Changing Your Life One Glass of Wine at a Time

Hard to believe, but true. This weekend marks my THREE-YEAR anniversary in the Bel Paese. My oh my, how time does fly …

It seems like only yesterday I was packing boxes, overloading suitcases and stumbling my way through general greetings and basic Italian conversations and can I just say-I’m so glad that is a thing of the past.

At Ciro's Pizzeria in Catanzaro Lido, Calabria, southern Italy
My husband and me the weekend I moved to Calabria.

Right around the time of my one-year anniversary, I wrote a post describing the six things I love most about Italy and I’m happy to say not much has changed. I still get breathless at a new bella vista, enjoy a shot or three of limoncello every now and then and get outside for a peaceful passeggiata whenever I can.

But nothing stays the same. As time passes, our perspectives change and in amazement we wonder how we ever saw things differently. How we were different … how much we’ve changed.

Or in this particular instance-how much I’ve changed.

Since living in Italy, I don’t feel my temper flaring, my blood pressure rising, my blood boiling-quite like it used to. For the most part I’m more laid back … and I like that.

I’m not as materialistic. Don’t get me wrong-I still  lust for Manolo Blahniks, Prada and D&G but I don’t live for them and I certainly wouldn’t sacrifice anything to have them.

As lost as you can feel sometimes when living on foreign land, I somehow feel grounded. I have a good sense of where I’m going and an unending faith that I’ll get there. And I know that even when bad things happen, I’ll come through the other side … with a smile.

I can’t say what the future holds-all I can say that is that today I am happy to be here. I’m proud of what I’ve done and who I’ve become. And at the end of the day, could we really ask for more?

How do you think visiting or living in Italy-or any foreign country-has changed you? Would you do anything differently?

Buon Weekend!

20 Responses
  1. Stellina

    wow, just this morning my italian husband and i were talking about how much more calmer we are now then when we first came to live here 2 years ago. We were so stressed out in the states. Now we are like, well if we don’t finish (our current project) there’s always tomorrow. That’s Italy.
    Ha. I know. Isn’t that funny. I still am a tad more uptight than my husband, though.

  2. carol

    Oh Cherrye……
    All the reasons you just mentioned are why I love being in Italy…….I just wish I had realized it when I was your age….but better late than never, right? Can’t wait to come back.
    Absolutely. Hope you can make that summer trip!

  3. I’m with you Cherrye… I became much more laid back when I lived there. You learn to deal with things and accept the way things are done. Unfortunately I’m back to being not so laid back here in the States! Happy Anniversary!
    I know. If I had a dime for every time I heard, “Mah… What can you do?” …
    Joe@italyville’s last blog post..Sopressata

  4. Marmie

    This is what I am thinking….that I would LOVE
    to read a post by Peppe, stating the above about
    living in the states!
    Oh, Mom…

  5. Marie

    Congratulations! You make a beautiful couple. I hope you enjoy many years of good health and happiness!
    Thanks, Marie.

  6. Congratulations! Just stumbled across your blog recently. My grandparents are from Calabria and I have many cousins that live there. We haven’t visited yet but will when our little ones are a bit older.

    I can’t wait to visit Italy.
    Wow. That is great. I’m glad you found me. I hope to hear more about your Calabrese grandparents.
    Nadia’s last blog post..

  7. Michelle

    What an inspiring read on a saturday morning.

    Thanks Cherrye.

    PS: What a good looking couple!
    Why thank you, Michelle! He’s a keeper.

  8. With all that you have said here, I am now looking even more forward to my two weeks in Italy this coming October!
    Living abroad definitely changed me for life, Cheerye. I was in Spain for two years back in the 90s, and I have to admit that since my return, I have never quite felt like I belong in the US. Things like being rushed in restaurants by waitstaff, and the general attitude about “vacation time” in the workplace bother me a lot.
    On a more positive note, I like who I have become as a result of my time abroad. Time in Spain opened up my world view, connected me with some incredible friends, and it has made me empathetic in my work with immigrant communities in this country.
    Those are great traits you picked up in Spain. Brava! I can’t wait for your trip, either. It will be great.
    Jennifer Rafferty’s last blog post..Curinga Where You Least Expect It

  9. That *is* a gorgeous photo. I love your Mom’s comment, it’s so sweet. Our families definitely miss us being nearby, huh.

    It’s curious. My first experience living abroad as an adult was in Hungary, the year I was 23-24. It’s hard to think how it changed me, because by now that’s just such a part of my background I can’t imagine it any other way. I should ask some friends who knew me before and after . . .

    Congratulations on three years in la bella Italia . . .
    Yea, it is hard to say how Paris changed me. I was young then, too. I think Paris made me more confident-like if I could do this in French, I can do anything in my own language. lol
    Kim B.’s last blog post..And then, Martha Graham

  10. j

    So, do you think living in Italy has made you more laid back or just getting older and more settled? By the way did you get the email I sent you about my son?
    That is a great question, J. I’m not sure. Maybe the combination? I do hope to keep “that” with me, though wherever I go. Did get your email re: son and have resopnded and sent out “feelers!”

  11. Congratulations Cherrye! 🙂
    Wow, three years! Italy definitely seems to suit you!! I’m so glad that I stumbled onto your blog when I did because your story, your experiences, remind me that anything is possible if you just embrace it and do it! I send you my prayers of continued happiness always. I can’t wait to finally meet you when I’m in Italy again!!
    Me, either, Lulu. I hated we missed each other last summer. I hope to hear about your Italian move soon.
    LuLu’s last blog post..Prayers for Abruzzo / How You Can Help

  12. what a lovely greeting on opening your blog…2 gorgeous smiling faces!!

    you can bet my life has changed since my first visit to italy…so much from my cooking to my career (i went back to college to pursue a completely different path) & have not regretted a moment of it!
    How sweet. Thanks. I am also a MUCH better chef than when I came here. It is SO fun cooking here.
    qualcosa di bello’s last blog word

  13. Ah, you’ve come to terms with Italy! Either you do, or you go back to where you came from. 5 years seems to be the time it takes people to decide whether to stay or to go. You’ve got two more years to go – but it sounds as if they won’t be a problem for you 🙂

    Dig into Italy, and you find there is plenty to like – despite the rough edges!

    Here’s to the next 3 years and beyond!


    Alex (who’s been in Italy for well over 3 years, but is still here and not planning to move on)

    Grazie, Alex!

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