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In pursuit of a dream… Un’Avventura Italiana!

Posted 10/17/2018

I’m excited! I’m a little sleepy, have a bad hairdo and a sore neck, but excited. As I write this, Laura and I are at 38000 feet in a long tube speeding over the Indian Ocean, just flying past Kuala Lumpur on our way to Abu Dhabi and then on to Rome. This trip is the next stage in a dream to live in Italy that has been in process for many years. It is a significant step and one that was inspired after almost letting the dream slip away. This blog is to encourage you to focus on, refresh or find your dream and to never give up until it’s a reality.

Laura and I got married at a later age, I was 43 and she was 36. Neither of us had any children from previous relationships, a little baggage maybe, but no children.  Not too long into our marriage, we recognised that there was no time to waste if we wanted to have children. We naively thought it would be a fun and simple process and getting pregnant would be easy. Yes, we did have fun, but we were wrong about it being easy. After a year or two and no positive signs we started looking for alternatives and ways to help this process. We tried many different things; from clean eating and acupuncture, to meditation and Amazonian herbs. We even did two expensive and unpleasant rounds of IVF, all to no avail.

It’s amazing, when you’re trying to get pregnant, everyone has an opinion and a solution. Unfortunately for us, none gave us the desired result. We considered surrogates, we discussed adoption and we thought about every possible angle. It was a challenging time in our marriage and in our lives, and, it was a hard decision that we finally came to. We decided that if it didn’t happen naturally and even with all the effort we had put into it, then it wasn’t meant to be. Clearly, it’s not what God had in store for us. So, the question was, what does God have in store for us?

My beautiful wife has the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, just make margaritas!’ With that in mind, we decided that if having children was not on the cards for us, then we would just have to make the most of it and do something extra-ordinary with our lives. I have no Italian background, my mother was Hungarian and my father third or fourth generation Aussie, with English lineage. Laura’s parents, Paul & Teresa, were both born in Italy and came to Australia in their teens. So, out of the blue I said to Laura, ‘Why don’t we live in Italy?’ She looked at me as if I was a little looney tunes, and asked, ‘Why?’ I replied, ‘Why not? We have nothing keeping us here. We can run our lives from anywhere. You can design, and I can write and mentor, and, we can explore the world from a home-base that looks out over the amazing and beautiful Italian coastline.’

Well, it didn’t take long before Laura was on board with the idea and we started developing this new and exciting vision, planning our strategy and getting into action. I started visualising it every day, we started talking about it and I put pictures up all around my office and our house that showed the beautiful Italian scenery. We were excited, focused and got to work on turning that dream into reality. Then life hit. I won’t go into the gory details, but I will say things got busy and a little complicated. I got distracted and even though I looked at pictures every day, talked about it with Laura and even continued to tell other people about our dream, it just didn’t seem to be getting any closer. In fact, if anything it seemed to be almost slipping away.

Sometimes we need to be challenged!

A few years down the track brought us to the start of 2018. Well, at the start of the year, life was great, things were going well, but our Italian dream was really in a holding pattern. I was still telling people, that we would be moving to Italy and I really believed it, so why wasn’t it getting any closer. I’ll tell you why, because I had not set a date or a deadline, I was just saying that we will be moving to Italy in the ‘next few years.’ Can you see the problem here? The ‘next few years’ never come. Every time I said it, I gave myself another few years. I had been saying the ‘next few years’ for far too many years already! Then early this year, fortunately, I got challenged

I had a meeting with a guy I had never met before. I was expanding my network and came across this gentleman who had achieved some wonderful success in his life. He was asking me about myself; what I do and what my plans were. As I always do, I told him about my vision to be living in Italy… in the ‘next few years!’ He let me keep talking, and then when I had finished, there was a long pregnant pause as he sat there with a contemplative look on his face. He then asked, ‘So, why aren’t you already there?’

It took me a minute or so to get over the shock of the audacity of this man I had only just met, and the desire to punch him in the nose, then with all the intelligence I could muster, I answered, ‘good question!’ I went home shaken and stirred, and, I told Laura about my experience. We both looked at each other and asked, ‘so, why aren’t we there already?’ With that, we started making firm plans and we booked the plane that we are currently sitting on. The goal is that we will travel around the country, on a reconnaissance mission, to find the place that feels like home for us. Then we will set a deadline to make the move, permanently.

From that second of agitation, I was re-excited, in fact, we were both re-energised about our dream. We started planning, researching, and booking. We spoke to Laura parents, and we invited to come with us for a part of the trip. Whilst Laura’s mother had been back to Italy once 25 years ago, her father had not since he left as a teenager. That is over fifty-five years ago. It took a little convincing, but I can tell you now Paul is like a teenager again, excited to go back and visit his country of birth and see how it’s changed.

We went to a world travel expo soon after this decision and booked this flight to Rome and a cruise around Italy, Spain and France. We have hired a car and we have exciting plans to see a large part of this most beautiful country. I even, as I’ve spoken about in a previous blog, started going to classes to learn Italian and I am getting molto bene, if I do say so myself! After many months of planning and preparing, this trip is now happening. It’s the next step in the realisation of an incredible dream which is coming true.

I am so grateful to that gentleman, who has become a great friend, for challenging me right when I needed it most. It was that little jab in the ribs that, whilst uncomfortable, got me agitated, excited and moving again, but this time with a determined plan. So, now I would like to pay it forward to you and give you a little nudge in the direction of your dreams. What is it you are holding in your heart as a strong desire? What is it you are going to achieve ‘someday’ or in the ‘next few years’? Why don’t you already have better health? Why haven’t you already written your book? Why haven’t you already started that business? Why haven’t you already improved your relationship? Why aren’t you already living that dream?

Every day that goes past is another one gone. One we can’t get back. We have only one life and only one go at making it the best possible. Please don’t let it just pass you by. As Laura and I fly into Italy on our Italian Adventure, and in pursuit of our dream, I want to encourage you to get refocused on what you really want, set some tangible deadlines and get to work making it happen.