over the past few years, i've been going to italy a lot, mainly on holiday. i completely fell in love with the country and every time i hit its fair shores, i felt at home - which for me (and my history) says a lot. my family on my mother's side is originally from italy, one half from livorno, the other from trieste. i know that the following comment might sound too ethereal to some of you and i apologize in advance: when i'm in italy, i feel a magnetic pull to the land as if there was this invisible energy which draws me to the country and which puts everything right, everything somehow comes to place, everything fits. actually, before continuing to magnify the answer to the 'why italy' question, let me go one step further: why move...?

i arrived in london on the 23rd of january 2004 with a very, very broken heart. i chose london - having never really lived there before - because that was where i had left my cat (Tiggsy) and where my mother (Mams) + my best friend (Claire) were living and to be honest, i had nowhere else to go. when you're nursing a heart which is torn apart, you must go and be with your people for only by their side can you truly heal. so there i was, in freezing cold london, mid-winter, having just returned from 9 months in australia. needless to say this was not one of my most memorable life moments. between the shattered heart saga, jetlag & unemployment, i drove myself crazy so, as a rescue mission, i got a job in a shop until i found a 'real' job; by july 2004, i had landed a 'more' serious job, at a company called gettyimages. i still work for gettyimages today.

the 5yrs i spent in london were not easy but they led me here to where i stand today. i needed those 5yrs to learn about myself, about what i like and don't like, how to love myself, how to set my boundaries and most importantly, how to ask for what i want - something i didn't know how to do really until my 29th yr... i vanquished more fears in that 1yr than i ever had in my whole life, it was all about breaking down those walls i had so solidly built around myself, about pushing my limits, it was scary yet amusing. i blamed this sudden urge for utter upheaval on my approaching a new decade, yes i was turning 30 in january and i had told myself that i had to have left london and moved back to the mainland by my 30th - i moved to milan december 1st, 50 days before my 30th birthday. i always do everything last minute you see.

my last yr & 1/2 in london i spent without a home: i decidedly placed all my belongings in a storage unit and became homeless as of August 2007. this was an amazing experience, to relinquish my consumeristic need to surround my with our possessions as well as saying adios to my personal space, damn humbling! the reason i pushed myself out of a home, out of my comfort zone, was a force majeure to help me achieve my goal of leaving england. i uprooted myself, a sort of an auto kick up the backside!

now, to the real question: why italy...? well, after getting back from a crazy trip to italy (no comment), i met with my boss who was in town from the US; he asked me if there was anything i wanted from him, from my job, i answered that i wanted a promotion and to be transferred to our milan office. he agreed to both. before that moment, i thought that the only way to move back to europe was to leave my job and get a new job but after talking to my colleagues Karima and Irene, they sewed the milan seed in my mind and it kept on growing. my boss asked me why italy and not another european country where we had offices, my response was that i didn't want to go somewhere i had lived already and i only wanted to live in southern europe (no germany/holland). i wanted a new challenge, to learn a new language. i wanted to live in a country without cynicism but with a warm heart - for me, that is italy.

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