01 October 2011


Two years ago today Mabel and I said goodbye to L.A. and hello to Florence, Italy, when we boarded the plane for our flight to our new home.
Leaving Los Angeles, one last ride in our car

I worried about her traveling for so long in the cargo hold below me: the noise, darkness, items shifting about.  After all, my brother's dog, Sparky, made a similar flight from L.A. to Brugge, Belgium, a few years earlier.  He went deaf from the flight but enjoyed the best year of his life living in Europe.  A dog's life is pretty good here because people in Europe welcome dogs to go almost everywhere.  No need to leave them behind anywhere.

Mabel is a real trooper.  She acclimated immediately to her new environs.  Never will I forget the picture I keep in my head when two airport employees hand-delivered Mabel to me, still in her crate, at the Florence airport.  She was pert and alert.  In the taxi ride to our new digs, Mabel rooted her tushy to the seat of the car between the taxi driver and me as she extended herself as tall as possible to look over the dashboard and out the window at all she would soon get to explore. She quickly spotted sights and smells centuries old that she filed away for future exploration.  
Jetlagged, Mabel naps with her baby after arriving to Italy

Mabel is a lucky girl.  Everyone does their part to spoil her, and she is adored by all.

It can be an exciting and scary adventure to uproot yourself from everyone you know and everything that is familiar and comfortable and transplant yourself to a different country with a foreign language. To move to and live in a city that welcomes thousands of tourists every day makes getting close to the locals even more of a challenge because the locals measure their roots by generations, not days. Why invest in a friendship with people who come but do not stay?

Not every day is la dolce vita (the sweet life/the good life), of course, but the obstacles and challenges are, for me, worth the deeply felt gratitude, joy, and happiness I now experience. Sure, I continue to find my way here.  Slowly and con calma, everything begins to fall into place.  The life of the expat has its own process and rigors to endure -- many days present new and different challenges -- but its objective remains true to our passion: to arrive safely on the other side of the wide chasm that separates our past lives from the future we envision and strive to create.
Radici (Roots)
My roots grow deeper as I make Florence, Italy, my home.

1 comment:

  1. Mabel is such a cutie-pie! Congratulations on two years living successfully in Florence.