REFLECTIONS ON LIVING IN TUSCANY
Each year as I settle back into the normal routine, summer vacation over and kids back in school, I often feel a rush of differing emotions- relief, anticipation, fatigue. This particular Fall, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic thinking about what my family and I were doing this time last year. We had just arrived in Italy and were preparing for the kids’ semester at the International School of Florence. I was just starting the adventure of my life, then I was deep inside that adventure, striving to soak up each and every moment, then in the blink of an eye, it is a year later.
My wonderful, courageous business partner, Brandy, has embarked on an adventure of her own with her family, and she definitely one-upped us! They are traveling the world for six months, big itinerary and small luggage in hand. They are learning and living so much and I know this experience will change them.
This is the beauty of travel. Whether you drop everything and move to another country, spring for an around the world ticket, or take a week off work to step out of your routine, it will change you. The effects of travel to a foreign country are particularly poignant for kids, who live most of their lives in the comfort zone of school, family and friends. But if you take them out of that zone for a minute and give them a peek at what’s on the other side, it’s wonderful to see their perspectives broaden.
Spending time in Italy, especially in an international school setting, showed my kids that we live in a big world with many languages and cultures. But we are all the same in so many ways. They learned first hand that some societies are a lot older than our young US west coast. They learned that cars, houses and schools look different in different places, that food in Italian packaging is still food (only better), and they learned about jet lag and time differences. Basically they learned that the world is a lot bigger than they had previously imagined.
The same principles apply to adults. We could all step out once in a while, take a risk, meet new people, taste new food, be jetlagged.
For now I am home, in the Bay Area that I love, working on this travel business that I love. I’m holding down the fort while Brandy has her global adventure, and looking forward to meeting up with her in Spain after my villa-scouting trip to Italy in October.
Drop us a line when the travel bug bites.