I’m often asked, “Why Italy?” My answer has often been anything from, “to join the circus!” or “running away from burn-out” or “choosing to walk towards rediscovering me!”
The choice to change our path – whether it is moving to another country to moving to another house – usually happens when we realize that the current situation no longer serves us and we wish to do something about it. Or as a friend used to say, “the price we pay gets too high for the return we get (from what we are doing/where we are working/etc).”
The gifts of Italy
My original thought for Italy was that I wanted to be somewhere that spoke to my heart. What became apparent two years into this adventure was that what I had needed was to be somewhere that was, that is, completely opposite to the structure I’d been working in for the previous 12 years. I say that with great love for Italy.
The people, food, wine, culture, art, architecture and history are incredible. On the down side, the bureaucracy is incredible, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It is completely mind-boggling. This isn’t just the perspective of immigrants and expats – even Italians agree!
For me, the somewhat ‘organized chaos’ of Italy is a beautiful antidote to what was more than a decade of other people’s deadlines, agendas, egos and attitudes.
I needed to be somewhere that based most of the incredible opportunities on relationship. I’m not talking about the ‘new world’ “its not what you know, but who you know.” That oversimplifies the beauty and complexity of how life in Italy works. But relationships – the introduction by someone who knows you, who sees the value in what you are doing, who you are – is one of the most treasured things, particularly in Florence.
As one Florentine friend told me in late 2016, “We (Florentines) know that we are closed to most outsiders. We know this. But, once we open up to you, you aren’t just a friend – you are family!”
When that happened, finding my way to that level of trust was incredible – a true gift.
All of this means that my answer to that question – why Italy – is changing.
Now, when asked, I often answer, “Why not!” …perchè no!
My future path
Italy – where connections are not easily available – also offers a place that values time and culture and art, and if you let it, it will help you see your daily world differently.
My future lies in helping people rediscover their creativity – and Italy has helped me find that path …all of her history and modern flavours, her crazy red tape and magnificent scenery.
This country has whispered to me, set a seat at the table, and I’m intoxicated – in a good way – with her charm. The festivals and seasons open doors in the cooler months that most tourists never see.
Her beauty will touch you, if you let it.
Join me for one of my boutique photography retreats, as I open the doors to a small piece of paradise with each retreat, while my friends here show you the country they love too.