“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.” – Mandy Hale
My daughter is travelling over in Europe at the moment and last week she went to visit the beautiful small town of Panzano in Tuscany, where we lived for ten months during 2007.
Our greatest lesson after losing our son was to know that life is precious and that waiting or hoping there is a perfect time or day to start something doesn’t always happen and does not allow us to live in the moment.
I have always loved italians, italian food, italian language and culture and as I grew up in Australia with a Grandma who insisted we call “Nona” I must have started to believe from an early age that perhaps I was italian! and so it was no surprise one night as we sat down for dinner that we said “Let’s go and live in Italy for a year.”
The details of how this would take place didn’t seem important at the time, because it felt so right. The girls were at the right age to leave school for a year and we felt it would benefit us all to experience a new culture and pace and also help with the healing process of grief.
The planning and excitement grew each day and the response from others was shock and disbelief that we were actually going to go through with it. Most people believe that this is something you only do when you have won the lottery or when you Retire or when you find out you only have a year to live, and start to panic you better start living!
So, against some odds! We packed up the house, rented it out and took off to live in a quaint village in Tuscany, that we had never heard of (or anyone else for that matter) and hoped that the villa we paid a deposit on would really be there when we arrived!
It was there and it was certainly one of the best experiences for our family. We travelled, we picked grapes and olives, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we cried, we met the most amazing generous people and we lived very frugally at times!
I will need to write a book about all the experiences we had in beautiful Italy, but until then, I encourage you to let your heart take you where you need to go and not to worry whether you have enough money or that the kids are too young or that you are too old or you won’t have a job to come back to. If it feels right for you, step out in faith and do it now.
Don’t wait for a diagnosis, or the pension or your superannuation to arrive! There is no better time than the present to live fully and feel alive! “La Dolce a Vita”
21 thoughts on “Why wait?”
Bless you, and your courage in embracing new experiences. xxx
Thankyou so much, it was worth it!
Love the photo Karen … and your story even more. Good for you!
Panzano! I love the sunday market, the butcher, church at the top of the hill where there’s a wi fi hot spot …. and the beautiful Tuscan countryside. For the past 3 years we’ve been staying at an olive farm outside of Castellina …. living the dolce vita for a 2 weeks at a time. As long as we can, we’ll keep going back. It feeds our soul!
Thats so good that you holiday there! Yes Dario the butcher is an icon in Panzano and he is still there. It is good for the soul Val I agree, as the italians live, eat and love from there. You never know, we may bump into you there one day
What a wonderful idea Karen – I love that you did in spite of how others felt about it! ❤
Yes everyone thought we were a bit mad Diana, but also a little jealous too!
Great post, Karen.
My father was born in Sette Frati Italy, in the province of Fresinone. The pictures he showed us, as kids, are very similar to yours. I’ve never been there. But, through my father’s eyes and heart, it is very much a part of me.
Karen, how did you find your villa? Through a travel agency? How did you decide to live in Tuscany? Italy is a big country so to decide on one place to live there must have been a draw for you. I’m so interested because there is so much I want to do with my life yet!!! I really enjoyed your post! Thank you. And I followed you. I thought I was, saw I wasn’t, so I checked follow (again). Love, Amy
Hi Amy, thankyou for reading my post. We found our villa advertised privately in the Sydney (Australian) newspaper. I wanted to live in Tuscany after watching the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” it looked so beautiful with the rolling hills and it looked so peaceful, which is exactly what it was like. I encourage you to just start looking, you dont necessarily need to go through a travel agency, if you are meant to go, I promise the doors will fly open for you and you will be exactly where you are meant to be. Keep me updated.
Thank you, Karen. My life right now is pretty restricted due to the fact I take care of special needs cats who depend on this home for their peaceful environment. Yet, this phase of my life won’t be for my entire life, so in the meantime, I can plan or start looking. I’ve begun this year by taking chuncks of time (hours) and going on photo shoots to different places that I Love. This is small compared to what you did, but it sitll is something. Dream on ….. (((HUGS))) Amy
Yes please keep dreaming on Amy! That is a great start.
I will, Karen, I will. (((HUGS))) Amy
Alan, you should go there! You have real italian hertiage in your heart which is more than me! Although I did adopt their wonderful attitude to life ” lentamente” (slowly) they cook slowly listen and are present to all that they do and that is a wonderful lesson to take home.
wow! Karen, this is so wonderful! A chance of a life time! The idea of it already made my heart racing! So liberating!
Thankyou Jasmine, I really believe that travels helps heal your grief. Wherever you feel called to go, you will find you may need to face certain parts of yourself and if you allow it, it can soften the pain and release the heaviness. It helps to get away from everything that reminds you of your child too, it gives perspective and peace. It was a wonderful experience for us all.
Karen I can’t wait for the book. It sounds wonderful, we only get one chance at living the best we can. We as a family have come to discover it is not all about money, property or stature. Your experience will stay with you forever.
Thanks Kath it was an amazing experience and watching my daughter go back there as an adult is great to see.
I need to write the book while I still remember!!
What a happy story, and an uplifting message. Brava to you!
I too love Tuscany, but I also love France, which I’ve visited many times. When I see pictures of France on photo blogs, it makes me a bit homesick! I would love to spend 3 months there to see what that might turn into.
Yes we lived in the Provence for one month before we went to Italy and I too loved France. 3 months is a good amount of time to go anywhere so get planning MK!
loved having you here in Panzano and miss you all dearly. It was so great to catch up with Lauren last week. 🙂 Baci e abbracci v
Grazie Italiano Famiglia! I thought you might like this one on Panzano! We have wonderful memories in Italy and will always hold a special place for you all in our heart.