Updated: 7 days ago
- PART ONE -
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: May 2023
About a week ago I shared that I'm moving to Italy!!! While the news is starting to sink in here as I pack my bags and check things off my "To Do" list before I go, I wanted to share a bit about how I got here.
Y'all have been asking and patiently waiting for me to spill the beans on why I've made such a huge life decision to move to Italy. Is it the food? Is it the weather? While the cannoli are pretty life changing, its not that! This is your cue to grab a coffee or glass of wine before settling in for part one of my moving story :)
As some of you might have already guessed, JP and I parted ways last summer. This along with it being my fortieth birthday month, was the catalyst to saying yes to a last minute girls trip with my friend Style Sandra in August 2022. We had an amazing time in Lake Como and Milan but while she had to go back home, I decided to take some much needed alone time and fly to Sicily. Having done zero research (I hadn't even watched White Lotus yet) I just heard from all my Italian friends that Sicily was supposed to be Italy's best kept secret.
Despite it being the busiest time of year, I managed to book the cutest AirBnB right above the prestigious del Capo Market and immediately felt my soul was at home. I spent 6 days exploring the beautiful city of Palermo... eating, cooking and drinking the best the island had to offer and making so many friends along the way! Sicilians are some of the warmest, most hospitable people I have ever met. They are the embodiment of "la dolce vita" and paired with the most amazing scenery, food and wine... its hard not to fall in love with this place!
Goodbye is such sweet sorrow. As I packed my bags to catch my plane back to Montreal, I knew in my heart of hearts that I would be coming back here... someday. Somewhere around the middle of the Atlantic, I was writing in my journal trying to map out my action plan for when I returned. I needed to move out of the house JP and I had built from scratch and start new. "Should I buy a house? Maybe rent for a year? What neighbourhood do I want to live in"... that's when I realized that for the first time in my adult life I was free to do what made my soul happy.
Some of you might not know this but I met Edgar's father when I was 19, got married at 22 and had Edgar at 23. My entire adult life was about being responsible for a young child, especially after becoming a single parent when Edgar turned 4. I was never resentful, I love being a mom! But I also, like most single moms, never gave myself permission to ask myself what I truly wanted, it always had to be the practical route. Add to that, eventually settling with a new partner and prioritizing their needs, well mine just got buried even further over the years.
I sat with that thought, of "being free" for the remainder of the flight. What a delightful, yet terrifying idea that was :)
A couple days later, as the jet lag started to wear off, a crazy idea kept popping into my thoughts as I was apartment hunting. "What if I put of renting for a couple of months and travel instead?" I had been yearning to visit different cultures, shop at farmers markets, cook with locals and write a cookbook since my original trip to Italy in 2016. Travelling was a luxury and not very practical as a single mom, and apart from business trips I had never travelled alone, until Sicily. What was stopping me? My responsible side and the mom guilt would normally have taken over at this point, but this time I told myself it was worth a conversation with Edgar and his dad before dismissing it completely. Guess what, they were 100% on board and all of a sudden my reasons for not leaving were getting fewer. After also speaking with my clients and accountant, it seemed like there was a clear path for me to take a sabbatical. So 5 days after returning from Palermo, I poured myself a glass of wine and booked a one way ticket back to Europe! EEEKKK!
I spent the next 3 weeks packing and getting my affairs in order to be able to spend a few weeks... maybe months travelling solo!
This photo of Edgar & I was taken at the airport, right before we said our goodbyes in September 2022.
Stay tuned for part two... its going to be juicy :)
In the meantime, if you are in the Montreal area, I have two events coming up before I leave! Thank you for all the support over the years. It means the world to me. I would be honoured to share my passion and knowledge with you one last time before I embark on this exciting new chapter.