Two years ago I moved to Italy with my Honey. My life has changed in both subtle and dramatic ways as a result. It has been a grand adventure.
The top 20 things I've learned:
1. Making friends is the glue that holds life together and international friends are fun.
2. To think globally rather than nationally is not just a good idea, it's vital.
3. Italy challenges me in every way possible. If I don't understand, I need to dig deeper. Still don't understand, dig deeper still. Give up my preconceptions - see in a new way. Learn a new language to make understanding possible.
4. Learning a new language for the first time in my 60's is difficult. Finding a good teacher makes it possible. Finding a kind and encouraging one is golden. Thank you, Marcello.
5. Clothes can be dried outside without a clothes dryer and smell better, too.
6. Fresh, locally grown food tastes better, costs less and is better for me and the planet.
7. Bidets are great sinks for 4 year olds.
8. Growing basil, rosemary, hot peppers, celery, chive, mint, parsley, oregano and arugula on my balcony tastes better, saves money and is better for me and the planet.
9. Growing lavender helps the beleaguered honey bees, smells good and gives me fresh potpourri.
10. Natural rising is one of life's great pleasures.
11. Discovering more about my natural rhythms and having more relaxed time makes for better sex in my 60's. Afternoon delights are just that.
12. Good neighbors are a gift of pure grace.
13. Italy delights me in every way possible- the people, the food, the national parks, the sea and mountains, Rome, Venice, Assisi, Florence, Sienna, Sardinia, the sweep of history, the ancient architecture, the amazing art and so much more...
14. Locally grown wines from our region of Abruzzo - Montepulciano (red) and Trebiano (white), are delicious.
15. Fresh, local olive oil is surely a gift from the goddess.
16. A good woman's club is a great way to integrate into an area.
17. Having easy access to Europe for travel to Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands (so far) is a wonderful way to expand my mind, deepen my understanding, and bond me to fellow travelers on this journey of ours.
18. Exposing grandchildren to all this expands their world and minds as well.
19. Running three times a week keeps me healthy and lets me eat more of this uniquely scrumptious food while maintaining my weight.
20. Blogging keeps me more aware of the blessings I have. It forces me to put this journey into words and share it. For the responses I have received and the relationships I have developed, I am truly grateful.