So it begins…

It feels less like a new chapter and more like a second book. We are finally here after planning and packing and working and sweating and crying and more packing and endless hours sitting upright 35,000 feet in the air. We have both arrived at our destination and started a new journey. And for the first time in my adventures, I’m committed. I didn’t leave a foot in the door. It’s unlocked and ready to be opened, but I have walked into this with both feet. And I’m happier for it.

Outside of a nine month stint in Rome when Luca was a baby, Portland has been my home for 16 years. To put that into perspective, I moved away from my parent’s house to college when I was 17. Portland has earned its right to be called home. It is now the placeholder city for “where are you from?” Except here in Rome people have no idea where Portland is so I say Seattle, i.e. “Do you know Pearl Jam”?

The main thing running through my mind at this moment is gratitude. Not only gratitude for Lorenzo and I being able to manifest this adventure through a series of lucky breaks and flexible jobs, but I am extremely grateful for our last weeks in Portland. We had some of the most wonderful, heartfelt moments with our friends. It feels funny to be expressing gratitude for the people I just up and left, but they all have given me so much over the last few months, when life felt so difficult and dark.

When I returned to Portland after my mom’s illness, I felt isolated and alone. I didn’t know how to talk about what I had been through. And over the following few months some amazing people came through for me. I also met new friends who I feel I may be tied to for life. Which is an incredible feeling.

And family. I spent a week reliving the loss of my mom when I visited my dad in May. It all came flooding back. After two days of pure anguish, my extended family, swooped in. They made me laugh, kept me up late talking and walked me through breathing yoga. Justin and I played music together, dad motivated us to go to the gym every morning and we did what we do. We cooked, we ate, we talked, we walked, we mourned. And it was beautiful.

Life is beautiful. Yes, right now all of our hearts are aching. The world is bad and scary. The world is also full of amazing, compassionate, caring, loving people. I am lucky to have known so many of these people that I am infinitely grateful. Infinitely. I dearly love the people who have supported me and encouraged me to take this path, even if it means leaving them. One thing my mom’s death has taught me, is that connection between people is limitless. It isn’t stopped by distance or space or time. I feel loved and connected to a special group of people and I am so grateful for all of you.

Now plan your trip to visit!!