SO…we have moved and are living in Tuscany. We left Asia ( though we miss it dearly) and are now in Cortona.
You may wonder why, and I can’t really answer that clearly. No, we did not find a job here, as our intention is to work from home, and at the moment we are not working but enjoying time together as a family. The nebulous answer I can give you as to why Cortona is that I wanted us to be near my hometown ( Antibes) and I knew we could rent a large house in Tuscany. At the moment, we are in a 3 bedroom apartment with two huge terraces and perhaps one of the best views in the city ( no joke); on one side we face the Saint Francis church, founded by brother Elias.
From the other terrace, we have a stunning view of the countryside and Camucia, as well as far beyond. In the morning, we see the mist and clouds. It is what heaven would look like, in my mind. To have a coffee or tea and look out is a pleasure I wish everyone could have. Here are some pics.
Our apartment is fantastic, but if we plan on getting pregnant in the next 6 months, we will absolutely move to a house, probably near Corys Ristoarte, where my mother stayed for a month. We are big fans of the hotel/restaurant ( thanks to Francis Mayes’ luncheon during the Tuscan Sun festival, which introduced us to the restaurant and its owners).
I am not sure how long we will stay. We crave the diversity of a big city, and long for spicy Asian delights, and we are an unconventional family doing things very differently then some parents ( unschooling, still nursing, cosleeping, veg,Vedantists,gamers etc.). Despite this, the slow groove of Cortona and Tuscany has grown on us. We are nomads by default, and this is a great home base for us, as we are near the UK ( where my family is from and where most of my schoolmates now reside) and the rest of the EU.
If we can work from home, and thus keep our family together, things will be perfect. In Korea, my husband was working nonstop, and wouldn’t get home until 6pm. We were not used to this, as in LA he only worked 3 days a week; this change took a huge toll on our marriage and his health. We adore Korea, and some of our closest friends are their ( who are like family to us) but Koreans are severely overworked, much more so then the Western ESL teachers who go there. Nonetheless, the world is overworked, and the family pays. This obsession with material gain is getting us nowhere, and quickly, and is causing what Mathew kelly describes as the war between society and the family. Yes, people are overworked here as well, but many businesses are family owned and not monopolies.
Things are quieting down here as well, which we are greatful for. The summer was overwhelming, with tourists swarming the place ( great for business, bad if you have a baby and people are bumping into you nonstop). As I mentioned, my mother stayed for a month and the cool whether was nice for her, since she now lives in LA. We had a nice time and went to a number of fantastic local restaurants, although we were at Corys the most.
mom at Corys
My mom at Osteria.
Working at nine to five ( and more) destroys so much of our lives, and yet it is the norm nowadays. It’s time to be creative, and dedicated to happiness and not following society’s guidelines of how to be mediocre and ‘fit in’. I don’t want my daughter to be in the little box called normal, I want her to be her unique self, I want her to explore the world and help others. We all deserve to be happy and to be our authentic selves.
Living in Tuscany is affordable. One can have a large farm style house or a ‘rustico’ here with some land. Maybe a vineyard! It is a dream come true and very doable. If you are a fellow Brit or an Eu citizen it is especially easy, but even if you aren’t there are still ways to get a visa and citizenship.
I have not yet read Eat Pray Love but I downloaded it off of audible and I look forward to hearing how the author found her authentic self through travel. I was listening to a Rick Steves podcast and he had her on to discuss her new book about marriage, and I found her to be incredibly articulate. Now I want to see the movie as well. I still have not been to Bali!
Let’s all explore the world more, give more, love more. I am always down with eating more as well…