A spring in my (traveler’s) step

4 min readNov 2, 2023

Remaining entranced with the novelty of travel

A large group of tourists, back to the camera, listening to their tour guide in St. Mark’s Square in Venice
St. Mark’s Square, Venice — Photo by Anna-Philine on Unsplash

It’s day two in of my European getaway, and as usual on an international vacation, I’m enjoying the people-watching.

Enjoying lunch at one of the ubiquitous open air cafes, we have a ringside seat to the endless flow of pedestrian traffic. The ethnic and cultural mix is heady: all sizes and colours, a cacophony of languages, it really does seem like the world is going by.

Everyone has a smartphone, and many are “talking to themselves” into earbuds. It’s become an international norm!

Still, I can tell the Italians from the rest of the crowd, because they’re talking with extra-animated hands.

And the footwear of choice is the sneaker. Even in the 29C heat, running shoes rule. Children, adults, seniors — they’re all wearing sneakers.

The exceptions stand out — particularly the well-dressed Italian professionals on their lunch breaks, sporting proper leather dress shoes.

The men in their shiny formal shoes stride by confidently, usually gesturing and shouting into a mobile phone. The women seem to be initiates of a special sorority where they master the art of walking in 3” heels on cobblestones without breaking your neck.




Recreational writer, collector of antique corkscrews, urban gardener and retired management consultant. Still trying to figure out what to do when I grow up.