While hiking, I had the most beautiful, open conversation with Claudio, both of us struggling to converse in the other’s native tongues, but nevertheless trying our best. Between my broken Italian, his (fabulous imo) English, and both our expressive gestures, we talked about politics, life, future goals, and the environment. To this day I can’t quite remember every word that passed between us, but I can remember the fulfilling, entirely uplifting weight in my heart and soul. It was unlike any conversation I ever had, and probably will ever have. There was no way to try and bullshit each other; we didn’t have the ability to even try.
What I do also remember, though again more the feeling then the physical words, was learning about a site of ruins we came across on our hike. Hearing Claudio speak so deeply about the history of these hills, a place where he grew up as a young boy and later worked to bring supplies to other likeminded people, was an experience in and of itself.