by Melinda Gallo

Thirtieth article published

On the day that The Florentine publishes my “Expats in Florence” article, I send the next one to the editors for the upcoming issue. I recently realized that today’s article is the thirtieth one published about an expat in Florence. It seems almost unbelievable to me since I feel like I’m just getting started. Since Florence is home to thousands of expats from around the world, I feel that I have so many more expats to meet and interview. I always love hearing how their lives have unfolded and led them to Florence. Even though we share the same city, our stories are always different.

With each article, I have noticed that almost everyone I’ve interviewed has either come in touch with or owned more fully his/her passion. And by honoring that inner strength to stay true to their passion, they have each created something unique for themselves in Florence.

I am always enthusiastic to meet new people who come from different walks of life and different countries to come live in the same city as me. Florence seems to attract so many people, but not just because of its beauty, history, and cultural heritage, but because it continually whispers to each one of us to follow our hearts. Every day I hear the words flowing up the Arno, between the stone buildings, and through the trees. And I am sure that so many others do as well.

I sometimes wish I had more space to write more about each person because in half a page, I can only give a quick peek into each person's life. I believe that each one of us has hundreds, if not thousands, of stories to tell. It brings me great joy to be trusted with each expat’s life to recount the story of what brought them to Florence.

I sincerely hope that each expat I interview, as well as those who read the articles, will be able to take pause and see what they have accomplished thus far in their lives. Not many of us do this enough because we keep wanting more and feel we need to continually forge ahead. We look toward the goals in front of us instead of stopping a moment to look at the path that led us to where we are today. We should be proud of where we are, and embrace all that life has given us. Certainly we experience difficult moments, but those joyous ones, as small as they may be, should be celebrated.

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