There's something about traveling that makes people more aware of and appreciative of what they have at home.  For example, spending two weeks in Italy during a record-breaking heat wave made me really appreciate our usual summer temperatures in the 80s and 90s.  It's all about perspective.  I also realized that I'm lucky to live in a home that has central air conditioning.  And I'm lucky that almost every place I visit has AC on as well.  When you DON'T have something, like how there aren't many air conditioned places in the Umbria region, you appreciate it that much more.  Hence today's little love letter to cool indoor air.  Thank you to the inventors of the air conditioner and thanks to all the businesses that use them!

Here's another thing I felt grateful for.  The sounds of the Jersey Shore.  Every day I woke up to Italian pigeons cooing and Vespa scooters whirring.  By contrast, I prefer the songs of the seagulls and the sounds of ocean waves.

And one final point:  I'm glad I live in a country where it's free to pee.  Yes, there were a few places in Italy where I had to rummage through my wallet looking for coins that would pay my admission fee to use the public bathrooms.  Funny how we can take little things for granted and then really miss them when we travel!

What's been something you've missed while traveling?  Did a trip ever help shift your perspective on something?