I'm sitting in my little cabin. Five empty seats. Just me.
Listening to This American Life to pass the quiet. Ira Glass' voice is so familiar and comforting.
I stare outside, and it looks like New Jersey. For a minute I slip into a train coma and forget where I am.
I put the show on pause when I realize the conductor is standing right beside me saying something loudly.
I don't know what he's saying. Then it hits me that I'm in Italy. This is my life. This is the only time I've ever existed in a country where I don't know a soul.
This is so cool.
I give the man my ticket, and he seems to be satisfied. Every now and then he walks by and says something. I smile and nod.
The scenery changes from asphalt buildings to farm land to beautiful hillsides spattered with pink and pale orange homes. The coastline is outstretched on my right.
I've arrived here via the flight from Iraklion to Athens to Malpensa airport. Then a shuttle to Milan to the Stazione Centrale.
Next I get off the train at Chiavari. Catch a bus to Casali. Meet farmer Giovanni to get a ride to the farm, my home for the next two weeks.
I've made it. All that transportation, and I actually made it.