by Melinda Gallo

The end of my Expats in Florence column

Another change occurred in my life a month ago: I made the decision to discontinue my Expats in Florence column. Today, in fact, the last article I wrote will be published. It was not an easy choice for me to make, but one that feels right to me. I enjoyed meeting so many expats, interviewing them, and writing about them; however, after two years, I didnít feel that same passion I had when I started. I felt I had done exactly what I wanted to accomplish with the column, and was pleased to let it go.

My goal in writing the column was to show that there are many people in Florence who have come and created new lives for themselves. Along their path there were struggles, but they overcame them. I was happy to be a witness to their journey and to share it with others who would feel inspired by them.

I certainly have been inspired by each person I wrote about, and am honored to have met them all personally. Each one kept reminding me that the objective is to follow your heart. Each one had a passion and a vision that they kept taking steps toward. Sometimes without a goal in sight, but always with their passion front and center.

I am very grateful to the The Florentine for giving me the opportunity to write my column and especially to Alexandra Lawrence, the editor at the time, because she was open to my idea for the column. I am honored to have been able to write about another aspect of my beloved city: the expats who created lives for themselves in Florence.

I am also appreciative of all the people who have emailed or talked to me about my column. I am happy they enjoyed the articles I wrote. As a writer, I am fortunate that people looked forward to reading the column and got something out of it too. Itís nice to be able to transmit something to others and know that they received it exactly as you had hoped.

Even though my column has ended, I still believe that Florence transforms each one of us. Each person arriving here will certainly be transformed if he/she follows the nudges of the city. Florence encourages each one of us to be true to ourselves, follow our hearts, and never lose hope. Stretching oneself can be challenging, but the rewards are always great.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!