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Don’t get bummed out.

Living in another country is always a learning experience.  You get to be part of a distinctive culture, meet new people, and in most cases see a different outlook on life than yours.

You really don’t have a choice when you are immersed in someone else’s environment, do you? 

Well that is what I experienced for three eye-opening years when I lived with my family in Naples, Italy.  It was such a wonderful time. The Mediterranean weather, the delicious food, the unexpected traffic, the fun-loving people, the diverse smells, the historical ruins and architecture, and the phenomenal history, all made life there so exciting.

But that was 20 years ago and I realized I had forgotten many of the things I learned about life from living there.

So when my husband and I recently returned for a vacation on the Amalfi coast (it was so amazing), just a short but hectic, white knuckle drive south of Naples,Vesuvius and Pompeii, it all came back to me! I re-learned what I had forgotten about life from living in Italy.

“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Elton John, Composer and Musician

Don’t get bummed out. 

Yes, take life slow.  Relax. As the the southern Italians often say “domani, domani”.  Life is too short to get worked up about the minutiae that happens to us every day.  Reduce your stress in life by controlling it. Don’t let it control you.

Always look your best. 

That is what impressed me about the Italians – they always dress up, not down.  They take pride in what they wear. They know that when you do dress up, you always feel better about yourself.

Eat slow. 

Yes, definitely eat slower and savour every morsel.  With Italian food, it is so easy to do because the food is so delicious – spaghetti vongole, frutti de mare, caprese salad, buffalo mozzarella, melone, prosciutto, and many more all make me salivate like Pavlov’s dog.

Enjoy the view.   

Too often in Canada, we are in such a rush that we often miss so much in life.  I learned in Italy to stop and ‘enjoy the view’, which is really my metaphor for taking the time to appreciate what is really important in life.  I am so grateful for so many things in life and just watching a sunset or a sunrise, listening to the ocean waves, being healthy to walk up the Impossible Stairway at the Grand Hotel Tritone in Praiano or navigate the Path of the Gods high above Positano, being stuck in traffic on the way to Ravello, or sitting having a glass of Prosecco in Naples, in full view of Vesuvius and the Egg Castle, reminds me of how fortunate I am. Yes, enjoy the view and remember what is really important in life.

Smaller is sometimes better. 

Certainly when driving along the Amalfi Coast or even in the narrow streets of Naples, having a smaller car is an advantage (and less stressful).  But in our life, do we really need big or super size things? Isn’t smaller portions at meal time better? I am not saying to live life in a small way, but we can enjoy life with the small or simple things that we already have.  And finally . . . 

Friendly service is what matters.   

I will return to Italy again and again, because the service that I received made me feel so important.  It didn’t matter if it was at the hotel or in a restaurant or on the water taxi boat, the service I received was always friendly, and considerate.  That is something that we all need to do in our business – provide the best service possible and in the best considerate and caring way.

So I came back from Italy rejuvenated and reminded of how we can all live our life better and live it to to the fullest.  As the Italians say ‘La Vita e Bella’ – Life is beautiful. 

But, most of all don’t get bummed out. 

If you would like to learn more, let’s chat. Feel free to contact me here for a telephone appt.