We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Silver linings...

Ok, so I've been under a few clouds in the last few weeks.  Despite that, I've found silver linings - several times lately!

My silver linings have come in the form of new friends and acquaintances from around the globe, who have found me either through my blog or FaceBook.  In the past several weeks I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting several of these people while they were visiting Venice.  I am living a very charmed life, for sure! I know if I were still back in Baltimore, there is no way I would have ever come in contact with all these people. I would have missed the opportunity to make new friends.  There have been so many unexpected benefits as a result of our move, and this is one of the big ones.

First there was Candace- who found me on FaceBook after she saw a comment I made on a mutual friend's page.  She then checked out my wall, and discovered we have a favorite caffe in Venice in common. We emailed back and forth for a few months, and then made arrangements to meet for coffee in that very caffe when she was here in Venice in late February. We met a few times while she was here, and I'm sure we'll get together on one of her return visits.

Next there is Yvonne, an Australian  I met  face to face a year ago through another mutual acquaintance, Michelle from Seattle. Yvonne and I emailed back and forth all year, and now she is back in Venice for a month or so. This time she's in an apartment not far from where we live. What a pleasure it is to share some of my little corner of this fabulous city with Yvonne, and to get to spend a bit more time getting to know her in person.

And then there is Maxine and Tom from New York, also mutual friends of Yvonne and Michelle, who were in town again in mid-March. They were back in Italy to see one of Maxine's beautiful quilts on exhibit in Verona, and made a stop for a few days in Venice as well. We had met them last year at a lovely dinner Michelle hosted, and it was delightful to share another dinner with them during this visit as well.

Two weeks ago I met Cariya, an American who was coming to Venice from Bombay.  We corresponded via FaceBook for a few months prior to her arrival in Venice. Cariya was introduced to me by a Venetian friend, who thought I might be able to assist Cariya get settled in, as she was moving to Venice for a year.

I'm planning to meet Antonia  next week. Antonia contacted me a few months ago after reading my blog entries about my Italian citizenship ordeal. She and her daughter Allegra are in the process of getting their dual citizenship in the US, but decided to contact my immigration lawyer Luigi here in Italy to see if he could help them too.  They arrive next week to begin their process, and will be taking up residence in the same little town I spent time in while I was going through my citizenship process.  I'll meet Antonia the day she arrives at the train station here while she is waiting for a connection to Bologna where she will hook up with Luigi.  She plans to return to Venice before she flies back to the US, so hopefully we'll have another meeting then too.

In May, I'll be meeting Scott, another Italian-American pursuing his citizenship with Luigi. He contacted me after reading my experiences getting my citizenship here.  He'll be in Venice for a few days following his meetings with Luigi in Bologna. I'm looking forward to hearing all about his adventures also.

Later in June or July, I hope to meet Louisa here in Venice when she arrives from the UK for a stay. Louisa emailed me after reading this blog also. She recently purchased an apartment in Dorsoduro and plans to make several trips a year.

These are just the most recent meetings. The list goes on. I've been  meeting people from around the globe,  many of whom have become good friends. None of this would ever have been possible without the internet, or even more importantly, without me having moved to Italy. Who knew??  I never expected my story would open so many windows of opportunity.

I'm loving these silver linings!!!


Anonymous said...

And the lovely thread of communications via blogs and posts continues into the Fall ;-)

Michelle said...

Ah, Bella Karen, and to think that "if" I hadn't made a last minute check of Venice weather on weather.com a few days before my trip in October 2008 and saw the banner ad for The Venice Experience and decided Mike's photography tour was just the treat I needed...well some of this may never have happened.
You have no idea the credibility I have at my office when I say "my friend Karen in Venice".

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Wonderful silver linings Karen. One of the joys of the internet and blogging is these wonderful relationships that are formed virtually then many go on into real life. The modern day version of pen friends.

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen,

I'm Howard from NYC...been reading your adventures for quite a while now...thought I'd come out from hiding based on this post...!!! Some day, I'd like to follow in your footsteps and make a move to Venice...!!! I read your blog (and others) for inspiration and real-world advice...THANKS for Sharing!

karen said...

Howard- Ciao!!! Thanks so much for making yourself known! As you know from reading, I couldn\t have waited for someday, because I was afraid I'd find a million excuses and before I knew it someday would never have come. We talk about this every day- we have no regrets, it's the BEST thing we ever did. It's not an easy move,it will take guts, but it can be done. And the result of that hard work is that we're living the dream every single day. I highly recommend it!I hope to meet you here some day.

Jan Pag said...

Dear Karen, I too am a follower of your blog that regularly visits Vence and have thought about contacting you to meet for coffee - but have decided not to intrude - until reading this blog! I will again be visiting Venice ( on my own) from 10 to 17 April to attend an Italian course. I am renting an apartment in Santa Croce and the course will be from 9-1.30 each weekday but I would love to meet one afternoon for a coffee -if, of course, you would like to meet up with a welshwoman from Cardiff! My name is Jane Pagler, my email address is janepagler@aol.com - and I am on Facebook (there is only one Jane Pagler!) Jane x

karen said...

Jan- OMG, I am so sorry you thought you would be intruding... NO WAY!!! Promise you will let me know when you will be here next, we must meet. I LOVE these special connections. Grazie, Grazie, Grazie!

Looking forward to meeting you soon!

La Venexiana said...

Awww, I got tickles all up my spine reading your blog today -- so long after I've seen you, just catching up now. You KNOW we will be spending some quality time at Imagina and some great walking around now that we are both more ambulatory! It might even be for Redentore -- I have concerts to rehearse in Rome and Bologna. Hmmmm, plans afoot!