The irony is that Italy wasn’t on my radar screen until 2009 when I met my fiancé (who is 3/4 Italian). My family, by contrast, is of the potato-eating, Irish-German crossbreed ilk. My Grandmother said ‘gesundheit’ for ‘bless you’, and we ate potatoes far more often than pasta.
But life sometimes has plans for us that we don’t find out about until we’re smack in the middle of them — and so I’ve learned to just roll with it.
My youth was spent in small town Kentucky, always in the same house. But, my parents LOVED travel, carting us kids along, and that’s how I got the bug. Since entering adulthood, I haven’t been able to stay put, spending my twenties in the Pacific Northwest (USA), my thirties (so far) in Italy, and living abroad in both India and France.
I’ve also traveled extensively throughout Europe, the US, and India. I’ve trained across Canada, hiked the circumference of an Irish county, planted banana trees in Kenya, jumped into the Hawaiian Pacific through a blow hole, collected research data in rural India, hiked one of the world’s tallest peaks in Tanzania, and fished for sand dollars off nearly uninhabited coasts in The Bahamas.
In all, I’ve changed locales so often and have taken so many airplanes back and forth from family to home-of-the-moment that I’ve lost count, making “I have no idea how I got here” my mantra.
There was once a formal career as a Land Use Planner in my life, but my itchy feet made that difficult to maintain, and so I now teach English in Italy, gallivanting around with my long-time sweetheart (he’s the one with Italian blood—not me).
With all this moving around, I’m in the habit of soaking up what I can, while I can. And so I write: stories that are a distillation of years spent being an outsider, living in so many places that the catch-all “culturally confused” doesn’t cut it: I feel one-part Southern, one-part Pacific Northwesterner, and one-part European mutt.
(To read the full account of how we ended up in Italy, check out the series, Seattle To Italy In One Not-So-Fell-Swoop (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3).
When I’m not blogging or teaching, you can find me: reading (mostly narrative fiction), writing short stories, practicing yoga or running (depending on my injury status), eating juicy balls of bufala mozzarella, hiking outdoors, exploring Italy’s hill towns and uncrowded beaches, speaking choppy Italian, and strumming away on a tenor Ukelele (larger body, deeper sound than the typical one).
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