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PART TWO: the story behind why I'm moving to Italy!


Hey there, it's been a while since I left you hanging with part one of this adventure. Let me tell you, packing up my whole life and starting fresh in a new country wasn't as easy as I thought! But hey, if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen some snippets of my arrival in Italia! Between dealing with government agencies, finding a place to live, and hiring the right business professionals, I've also been exploring, making friends, and attempting to learn the language. Oh, and Edgar joined me for part of the summer, so I've been squeezing every bit of fun out of the time we had together too!

I haven't forgotten about you though. The truth is I've been trying to get part two out for weeks now, and today the flow finally feels right. So go ahead and grab a fresh cup of coffee, because it's story time!

Now, let's pick up where we left off… me, armed with a carry-on bag and a one-way ticket to Europe, ready for my epic solo adventure. But hold up, let's rewind and start from the beginning. Originally, I planned to kick off this journey in Miami, but life had other plans. My flight got canceled, leaving me high and dry. But hey, thanks to pure luck, I found myself on a flight to Rome instead. Talk about a curveball!

Forget about those glamorous travel fantasies. On that flight, my emotions were all over the place. I was sad, bummed, scared, and unprepared. But amidst the chaos, excitement bubbled inside me. I couldn't wait to explore new people, places, and most importantly, food!

Did I sleep on that flight? Nope, not a chance. With all those feelings buzzing around, it felt like the longest flight of my life. I had doubts and fears, wondering if this trip was a huge mistake. What if everything went wrong? What if I ran out of money or messed up my kid emotionally? The "what ifs" consumed me.

But just when I was about to lose it, the captain announced our arrival in Rome. Suddenly, all my worries melted away. Who cares what the future holds? I was ready to dive headfirst into this adventure. And let's not forget, there was gelato and pizza waiting for me in Rome!

I hopped on a train going to Rome's Central Station and booked myself a two night stay through . No hardcore planning this time. Instead, I settled into my cozy hotel room, freshened up, and made it my mission to find the best gelato and pizza in town. The gelato at Fiocco di Neve near the Pantheon definitely deserves five stars, no doubt about it. But the pizza place I chose? Total tourist trap. Lesson learned: don't trust Google reviews blindly. Trust your gut, folks. I should've known better when I ordered an overpriced pizza and a terrible glass of wine at Ciro Purpetta.

Meal over, and it's now 6:30 pm and I've trekked over 11k steps since arriving just a few short hours prior. I am sleep deprived and exhausted - physically and emotionally. So guess what? I listened to my body, tucked myself into bed and crashed into a deep 12-hour sleep!

Feeling like a million bucks, day 2 in Rome kicked off with a bang, starting with a delicious cappuccino and cornetto. As I enjoyed my morning treats on a little terrace, I couldn't help but people-watch - this has always been something I've enjoyed! With my hunger satisfied and my senses awakened, I was ready to explore Rome. I really wasn’t in the mood for the famous sights or the line-ups that went with them, so when I stumbled upon a charming street market, overflowing with fresh produce and hidden treasures, it was exactly what I needed and the perfect way to spend the morning. After perusing for a while, I bought some fruit and then strolled towards the Spanish Steps to soak in the view. Travel tip: do NOT sit on the Spanish steps. As I sat among a bunch of people hurrying to take selfies, I watched a bit perplexed as I enjoyed my fruit. Signora! SIGNORA! a handsome police officer proceeded to tell me if I didn’t get up immediately I would be fined. Suddenly the frantic selfie taking all made sense, it being illegal to be there and all. OUPS! My break abruptly ended and being surrounded by tourists, I realized my soul craved authenticity. Enough with tourist traps! In that moment, I decided to go for the path less wandered and seek out hidden gems where ever I travelled.

With this fresh perspective, it became clear that my time in Rome was coming to an end. I would not book anymore nights here, so where to next? Sicily, my friend! I loved it so much the first time, I needed to see if lightning could strike twice. However this time I wanted to see more of the countryside and avoid the city. Within 30 minutes I had a flight, wheels, and a cozy AirBnB all set for the next day. Woohoo, I was getting excited again!!!

To celebrate my last night in Rome, I walked 48 minutes or roughy nine thousand steps, just to get my hands on the mouthwatering food at Bonci's Pizzarium stand. After waiting in line for almost an hour, I finally got to the window and gazed at the many options in front of me. How to choose?!?! After feeling the pressure from the people in line after me, I settled for 3 flavours of the daily pizza, suppli, fried macaroni alla cabonara, and a beer! This was definitely a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach, but hey… when in Rome LOL

This place is more of a takeout counter than resto, so the few tall tables and bench spots are almost always taken by people devouring their snack. But my luck was strong that day and I snagged a table just as my food was ready. Having a bit of extra space, I thought it would be good karma to share the table with two guys looking for a spot. We bonded over our love for food and travel while devouring the best pizza in town. I will always cherish the connection I made with these two Romanian guys that day. So trust me when I say, you don't want to miss this spot when you visit Rome. Make a detour if you must, but definitely add Bonci’s to your list!

I went to bed with a happy heart and woke up the next morning filled with such a sense of joy as I zoomed off in my flight to Palermo. I felt like the universe was playing its part in bringing me back to my beloved Sicily, and I was buzzing with anticipation. This was the most exhilaration I had ever felt and something inside me knew my life would never be the same!

Fasten your seatbelts folks because the ride ain't over yet! Next stop is Sicily, Spain, Portugal and Morocco so stay tuned for PART THREE and a very wild ride!



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