Thirteen years ago I went on an adventure that would change my life. I left Toronto to go to school in Florence, Italy. I spent the year making new friends, learning a new language and experiencing the beauty of European culture.
The more time I spent there, the more I fell in love. When the year was over, I decided that I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I bought a used Volkswagen polo for a couple hundred bucks and hit the road, heading west. Keep in mind that since this was before iPhones and Google Maps, I had a big book and several paper maps that I used instead to reference my location as I zig zagged my way west across Europe. I didn’t really have a destination in mind or a timeline to follow, I just knew that I wanted to see more, travel more, learn more and experience as much of this country as I could. During the next eight months, I slept on park benches, ran an illegal hostel, took Spanish lessons and busked for money playing guitar. It wasn’t long before I knew that somehow, someway, I would spend my life in Europe.
Fast forward ten years. I had met my dream girl, we got engaged and had decided unanimously that we wanted to travel before getting married. This was a dream come true for me and little did I know, this adventure would lead us to places and people that would inspire us to change our lives, to find direction and to understand each other even more deeply than we thought possible. We spent a year traveling; there were highs and lows, both physically and emotionally. It was draining and invigorating all at the same time. We slept in over 100 different beds, took more than 30 flights and enjoyed all 24 hours that each day had to offer in both bustling metropolises and faraway country sides. We stayed in hotels, hostels, tents and farm houses on top of mountains, spent time with foreign families that made us feel like their own, and made friends that will hold a special place in our hearts forevermore.
As we travelled, an idea began to form; something that neither of us had ever even considered before experiencing it for ourselves and it actually kind of surprised us that we were even thinking about it in the first place. We decided to spend some more time learning and seeing if it was something that we would actually be interested in. After an impromptu trip to Nepal and living on an eco village, our lives were changed forever. We knew that there was no going back to the way we lived before. After that trip, we focused on finding more places like the one in Nepal so that we could spend more time engaging in what might just be our life path. As the months passed by, the wanderlust gave way to direction and purpose, and we realized that we wanted to create something that encompasses who we are as creators, artists, writers and dreamers. We decided that we had seen and done enough to know that it was time to start developing an idea where we could incorporate all the best parts of our experiences, a place where our children could grow, learn and most importantly, see us doing what we love. We want to create a place where people can learn respect for our natural resources, learn how to admire nature’s truest colours, and begin to see beauty in all things. Our dream is to have a home that we build with our hands so that we can teach the values of hard work, dedication and integrity to our children and all who choose to join us. We didn’t leave home looking for this direction or purpose, we just stumbled onto it. This is an opportunity for us to learn and to teach by example and that will lead to us being the happiest versions of ourselves.
After all the traveling and opportunities we have been able to witness and be a part of so many different walks of life, we are excited to announce that our plan is to open a small bed and breakfast in the countryside of Florence, Italy. We will grow our own food and be as eco friendly as possible while still having an air of luxury. We could not be more excited for the next leg of our lives’ adventure, and we look forward to being able to share it with you as it evolves. We sincerely hope that if you have the opportunity to come to Italy that you will think of us and come spend some time in our little paradise.