Canada is a fantastic country and I am so proud and grateful to live here.
And I want to say, that living abroad makes you realize and appreciate what we have in this great country of ours.
So I had the wonderful opportunity of living in Italy for 3 years. My husband was a military officer then and was assigned to Naples, Italy working with NATO and then Rome for another six months.
What an experience! What a culture to be immersed in!
We experienced the Southern Italian life first hand, every day.
We lived off the economy, in an Italian villa. Our landlord only spoke Italian, so we communicated a lot by hand gestures. It was not easy but we always made it work.
Parco dogs, Whitehats, traffic and congestion, petty theft, mozzarella di buffalo, horseback riding, smelly Vesuvius, car breakdowns, Neapolitan hand gestures, pizza margherita, gelato, cappuccino, the Mediterranean climate and diet, the catacombs, olive oil, spaghetti vongole and more . . .
It was amazing even with all the challenges! And when we move, I was so homesick after 3 years to leave this amazing Italian life.
My children (son and daughter) attended a British School that was close by our house.
I learned Italian from an Italian family that we became friends with. They taught us so much about Italy, its food, and its culture, that you cannot learn from books.
Our NATO friends taught us about their cultures too – American, British, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, etc. It was a smorgasbord of information to take in.
We traveled whenever we could because we wanted to see as much as we could while we were there. We even found out the hard way that our Volvo sedan was too big for some streets!
Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello, Rome, Capri, Caserta, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano Siena, Lake Garda, Lake Como and Sicily were some of the many places we visited with our children and with our family and friends who came to visit us.
We also visited Greece and Germany, enjoying the history of Athens, the warmth of Santorini, the sights of Germany – from the Zugspitze!
We travelled to Copenhagen, London, Ljubljana, Bucharest, Berlin and many other European destinations.
So what did this teach me?
Well, it certainly expanded my horizons with a worldview mindset. It made me realize that I wanted more out of life.
When I came back to Canada, I was changed, I was empowered to achieve what I always wanted, a freedom lifestyle.
I was energized!
I did not know how I was going to get there. But I knew I would.
And I did.
If you want to achieve your dreams you have to have that spark that makes you go after it.
For me it was the experience of living in Italy.
So find your spark – achieve your dreams – do it now!
“To ignite your dream, you only need to find your spark.” – Mark Desvaux, Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Recording Artist, Author