by Melinda Gallo

Iíve been back to Florence for a week now and taking my time to adjust to the big change I just made. I want to make more changes and shifts in my life, but the warm summer air entices me to slow down, enjoy, and relax. To add to the weather, my sprained ankle is also forcing me to take it slow. I canít walk as fast or as far as Iíd like to. Iíve been wanting to walk along the Arno and get lost in my beloved cityís beauty, but I canít go far and can only take quick glimpses of it when Iím out.

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Itís been two months since Iíve made an important decision in my life. One that Iíve been wanting to write about on my blog for at least a month, but have been dreading it a little bit. Alessandro and I have decided to get a divorce. The fact that Iíve kept it in for so long has only made it more difficult for me to write anything else for my blog. Iíve had so much to say, but felt blocked by keeping this piece of my life a secret. At first, I wanted to make sure all my close friends and family knew, but that hasnít been possible because many of my friends are either busy or out of town.

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Tuesday evening I returned to Florence after a little over two weeks in California and today Iím in Paris. My trip to the US was a great personal success for me. Besides recharging my batteries, I redefined my goals, met new people, made deeper connections with family and friends, and committed myself to my goals and priorities. Being an expat is an enriching experience that can be quite challenging at times. So for me, itís a great respite to return to my natal city and reconnect with the energy I was born into. Itís as if I can more easily reassess my life by seeing where I am and where I was.

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