With my first meltdown safely behind me, I'm back on track. A big shout out and Thank You to my near and dear Karen, who gave me my first sponsor contact! Thank you my love. You are a rock star! While at SXSW she snagged the card of the woman at JanSport. Yes, the people that make the backpacks. She was at a music festival (which is what SXSW is, just fyi) talking about sponsorships for bands, but whatever. It's still a total score in my book!
Also, I did hear back from Luca Zappa at Borgo di Casignano on Friday. While his email was welcoming, I did not experience the same sort of 'zing' as when the description first jumped off the page to me. For now, I have set it aside in the 'Ima be travellin' for 4 months ' email folder. While at dinner with Rochelle I busted out my new and improved 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice farm list for Italy. The second farm listed on the first page made her stop, "Oooh I think that's it!" To which I say, "The horse ranch?!" The description is very appealing, hence why it made the second round of cuts, but I mean really?! I'm going to travel all the way to Italy to have what they advertise as the 'True Western Experience'? I lived in Arizona, in cowboy country, for three years. I ask her to at least finish reading the rest of the list to humor me. I mean, I put all that work into organizing it.
As for the South African farms, in her humble opinion, I hadn't found it yet. There are 29 farms in total on the South African WWOOFing list, and I really was only looking at Capetown and the Western Cape. I will soon be printing out the descriptions of the other 19 farms on the Eastern Cape and beyond.
I woke up this morning to chat and consult with la mia bella madre. She agreed that I need to be open to the possibility of the Italian dude ranch. At first I was reeling because this is not what I'd intended to learn while in Italia. Then I realize I had become stuck on the idea of having a very stereotypical experience; going to a vineyard and/or olive oil farm because Italy seems ideal for that kind of education. However, being married to any one idea while planning an experience of this magnitude, I believe, would prove very detrimental. And come to think of it, when have I ever done anything according to what people expect? I've always danced to my own drummer. I'm going on this trip in order to break out of a rut, to learn something new, to be open, to regain some passion about something, shit, anything... however that shows up. So now then, I will be revisiting the horse ranch’s website immediately and sending them an email today!
It's a beautiful day out and normally I would feel guilty for not taking advantage of this California sun on a Saturday, but I’m having too much fun being inside, still in my PJs and glasses, blogging, researching farms, and stumbling through how to write a sponsorship proposal.