Updated: Apr 5
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." Vivian Greene
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On first thought, it surely can be a bummer when it rains on your plans, be it on vacation or a special event. In our travels, we've learned to embrace the rain. It can create unplanned adventures and spark the imagination.
We braved a torrent in San Gimignano, Italy (and later that day in Volterra) which impeded what would have normally been a gorgeous view of the Tuscan hillside from the town's towering walls. Yet, despite the weather we enjoyed the views of historic alleys, beckoning to us like glistening diamonds. We took respite from the rain and wind in a petite corner cafe, enjoying a glass of fine Tuscan wine. We laughed as we were welcomed in to shops, shaking off our umbrellas.
In Florence, where we've been on numerous occasions, we've more than once stood at the edge of a museum's inner courtyard, watching rain play among statues or simply brighten centuries old stones.
Can you imagine the original inhabitants dressed in the costumes of the day, pulling ornate dresses here and there, stepping gingerly with their satin and leather shoes to avoid puddles as they dealt with the rain coming down in the middle of their palazzo?
Can you imagine the original inhabitants dressed in the costumes of the day, pulling ornate dresses here and there, stepping gingerly with their satin and leather shoes to avoid puddles as they dealt with the rain coming down in the middle of their palazzo? Or more likely, they were tucked away in elegant suites upstairs as servants scurried to and fro, trying to access the upstairs while avoiding the rain.
I'm not sure that picture would have blossomed in my mind had it not been raining.
Our trips to the United Kingdom inevitably brought rain (but we experienced a drought in Scotland, where we expected the most precipitation. Who would have thought?). Still, it didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the grounds and Victorian gardens of Kylemore Abbey in Ireland (pictured at the top of the post).
In Venice, during an Acqua Alta, it was a hoot watching people navigate boardwalks or sit in mid-calf deep water at a table near the Rialto Bridge, being served by a tuxedoed waiter wearing knee-high boots. We enjoyed splashing in puddles ourselves, as demonstrated in our video on the Acqua Alta page.
In Ogwen, Wales, the rain didn't stop us from emmersing ourselves in a landscape reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and fantisizing about the fable that tells of King Arthur's Excalibur lying in Llyn Ogwen.
The point of all this is that your attitude matters when dealing with the unknowns of travel (and that especially includes the weather). Even if you are a "wing-it" kind of person without an itinerary, it helps to be prepared. Simple preparation might include bringing a windproof, collapsible umbrella and at least a water resistant jacket with hood.
But the best preparation in our opinion is to embrace a sense of adventure, no matter what the weather brings.