Dear all,

I’ll quickly introduce myself. I’m Merel and I was born and brought up in the Netherlands. I lived a quiet, rather peaceful and happy life in Heerlen, until…

Until I was properly introduced to the magic of Italy. Really properly. Not as a traveller, or a guest – I had been to Italy on holidays before – but as a part of the community. It started gently. A visit now and then to meet friends and family, celebrating Christmas holidays and witnessing the actual life of Italian people. The gentle start, however, turned into a wild rollercoaster ride when I decided to take the leap and move to Italy. I quit my job as a teacher and started a new life abroad.

(The new start in our new home in Cittadella.)

I’m here to tell you all about the experiences of moving to a different country, of making such a life changing decision. I will explain the struggles I faced as well as all the good times I had and I’m still having. If I’m very honest, I was incredibly lucky not to have to do it all on my own. I could rely on my boyfriend, who is Italian (Neapolitan, as he would prefer), to show me the way and bring me along with him. But for all of you who are not that lucky (also for you who are) I would like to show you where to go, what to do and take you with me on this road of discoveries.

The moment you do something you never thought you would, you feel as if you are being challenged constantly. I felt – and still feel – incredibly empowered, but at the same time, it scares me every single day.

So bare with me on my new journey, my new beginnings.

From Italy with love,

Merel