Eating, Praying, Loving

I am really looking forward to this movie. I used to say I was living my own little Under the Tuscan Sun every day… soon I’m setting off on an Eat, Pray, Love, I think!

Got invited to Mauritius today. Now that’s a sentence I’ve never seen in writing before. Thank you, inviter. You know who you are. That conversation made my month.

After Under the Tuscan Sun, after Eat, Pray Love… what book to live then? Maybe Leaving Microsoft to Change the World or The Google Story?  Another Elizabeth Gilbert book, Committed — which is fabulous, by the way. I liked it much better than Eat, Pray, Love. This movie looks like a winner, though!

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Leaving Lugano

Lugano (Ticino). View on Lake Lugano and Monte...
Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t mentioned this publicly, though you may have gathered something big’s afoot… I’m leaving Lugano. In 10 weeks. Maybe you’re wondering…”Where are you going, Rebecca?” And that, dear readers, is a Very. Good. Question.

I have no idea.

It’s been time to leave here for years, though. Friends, family, work – none of them are here. Perfect renters need the apartment now, so here I go. This is an opportunity worth taking.

Perhaps I’ve perfected the wandering art form, or thrown myself into Buddhist practice, or, I don’t know… something… by renting my apartment to a lovely young family before I’ve made plans for another one. I have work trips, friends, some ideas about what to do next, places I’d like to see… and there’s the European Summit happening in October so you know where to find me. Other than that, I am adopting Radical Simplicity in a way even I never imagined.

In the past I would have worried like mad over this and needed some kind of plan… not a full-blown itinerary like some people would want, but something, for heaven’s sake.

For some reason I’m remarkably calm.

It helps to have one’s debt paid off.

The truth is, recent events have blown me open in a raw and basic way (If you are new here, I am a PhD-holding serious businesswoman not usually prone to New Age jargon. We will return to our normal programming shortly. Bear with me while I have my little Buddhist awakening, ok?).

Not sure where I want to live, I think I might just travel for a while. Could I come check out what it’s like to live in your city?

Thank God Mom loves the dog. He’ll appreciate her air conditioning. Thanks, Mom.

I’m not sure what else to say about that right now… let me just tell you, people, so far being 40 has been FULL of surprises!

And, once again, Adventure Awaits!

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My Kingdom for a little AirCon

It’s gotten over 98 degrees this week here. Now, where I’m from in Florida they might be saying, “Oh, that’s no big deal, it’s 98 all the time in the summer.”  Yeah. Okay. That’s true. It’s also why many years ago people invented air conditioning, which never really caught on in Europe so we are doing everything literally dripping sweat. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. People conducting business literally dripping sweat. I saw a woman take out a fabric napkin and blot her whole face in mid-business transaction yesterday. Today I went for a massage and it never occurred to me that the lovely day spa would have no air conditioning, but she hardly needed massage oil because we were both sweating. I know: Eeeeeeewww… That may have been too much info now that I see it typed on the screen.

You get my point. Here’s a funnier image to leave you with on this hot, hot, steamy day:

I noticed before my massage appointment that some kind of festival — giant concert and market-type tents — was being set up all over town, up and down the lake.  While in my appointment I asked the massage therapist what event was going on. She didn’t know.  Afterward, I strolled down through the main piazza toward town to have a closer look. I’d arrived just as the festivities were getting underway, in the hottest part of that summer late afternoon heat.  It was a GIANT, world-class gathering of motocyclists with their tattoos, Harleys and Ducatis. Thousands of them, roads closed, the whole nine yards. Like all good motorcyclists do, heat be damned, they were walking up and down those cobblestoned streets IN LEATHER! Full leather pants, ladies in leather halter tops, leather skull caps… some of them even had on gloves.

My kingdom not just for AirCon, but my camera, too.

Tuesday Tidbit: What I’m Reading

I got an Amazon Kindle recently and absolutely adore it. It’s tiny and holds something like 1500 books! Amazing.

Wander WomanOn the plane from Atlanta to Milan the other day I finished reading my colleague Marcia Reynolds’ Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. Wow! Never in my life have I read anything so completely, 100% geared to me, my psyche, my life. If you fit the demographic and have been wandering yourself, have a look at it. It’s PERFECT for where I am right now in life.  I appreciated reading it tremendously.

Next was Nancy Lublin‘s Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business. I’m reading it nodding on every page, because her lessons from the non-profit world (she started Dress for Success and runs Do Something!) are right on. I’m highlighting many parts, which is sort-of a hassle with a Kindle. One thing to note: I’ve never seen a book with so many typos. Is this just on the Kindle edition? I’m finding a typo on almost every page. It’s bizarre. Is that the power of zero – no proofreaders? I am letting it go because I admire her work so much; this is a heads-up for those of you who are like me, though, and see typos as an affront to the natural order of the Universe. Or something.

Finally, you may be wondering why I chose the Kindle over other e-readers. I have 3 words for you: free international downloads. I tried this out immediately upon landing at Malpensa airport, just north of Milan. In the in-flight magazine I learned about Young World Rising: How Youth, Technology and Entrepreneurship Are Changing the World From the Bottom Up. While I waited for my shuttle to Lugano, I downloaded it in the airport parking lot instantly and for free (paid for the book, no download fee, though).

Can I count that as among the most amazing things I’ve ever done?  After riding on an elephant in JaipurIndia or jumping off a mountain in the Swiss Alps, you may think this an exaggeration…. but for me, after years in a town without English books, this is the height of excitement. I guess that could be the start of another post: You know it’s time to move when…

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Leaving Home, Part 5401

I was one of those kids who left home at 18 and went far, far away. On purpose. Not to escape. Not  for any other reason I can think of now, in fact, except to GO. To see. To Live. To experience the world. I always said I could NEVER, wouldn’t EVER move back to Florida.

And now, 20+ years later, after seeing South Africa, Nepal & India, mainland China, Greece, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium, Hong Kong, driving across the US multiple times, living on two continents, and so, so much more, I find myself wondering what living in Florida would be like now. I find myself valuing time with lifelong friends and family so much. The things I long for on vacation are things I loved when I was a kid: waterskiing, white sandy beaches, flaky white fish. What if I could have them every day?

On the downside, public transportation is almost nonexistent. Schools are underfunded and crime is shocking. A significant percentage of the population does not share my values and politics. Houses are lovely and affordable, though, and I could sea kayak every day. Oh, the trade-offs.

I’ve heard of expats returning home 15, 20, 35 years later. As I board a plane leaving Florida today, I wonder what that would be like…

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Greeting the Neighbors

I’ve been spending some time in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida, in the home our family moved into when I was 12. It’s nice to be in familiar surroundings, where everybody not only speaks my language but knows my parents, the schools I went to, even some of my childhood friends. The neighbors have been the same for decades. Each time I see them we exchange greetings as if no time has passed at all. Jim still goes for his daily walks and Norma’s still doing her extensive yardwork, even though she’s in her 80s now. Though I hightailed it out of here when I was 18 and returned infrequently after that, in so many ways this is still and will always be HOME.

Today I sat working on the back patio. A slight movement caught my eye and I glanced up to see a 3 foot black snake slithering toward me. That’s a neighbor I never knew! Dad, here’s a heads up: I think when I screamed he hid up in your BBQ grill (and I’m not lifting the lid to look).

These neighbors below are dear to my heart… even though they don’t greet me in the same ways their human counterparts do. The Gulf spill is ever-present in peoples’ minds here as we wait to see if this part of the coast, and these neighbors, will be spared…

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