But life is crazy, full of the unexpected, and I'm slowly learning that sometimes it is also best left unplanned.
I've been dreaming about living in Italy since my brief visit back in the summer of 2011. I instantly fell in love with the food, culture, wine, history, and the fact that everybody reminded me of my very Italian Grandpa Jim (whom we all miss very, very much).
The (extremely) attractive men and the fact that my blonde hair made me feel like an insta-celebrity, didn't hurt either, of course.
On this particular day, I took a gondola ride through Venice with my very best friends. It was a lifelong dream fulfilled and was the first time I thought to myself "this is the best day of my entire life." That day I vowed to dedicate my life to seeking out more simple, yet amazing moments, and it was also the day when my love for travel grew from a once yearly hobby to encompassing nearly every waking thought.
And just days ago, I was offered an opportunity to experience many more of those little incredible moments, in the first country to ever fully capture my heart and attention. And with teaching abroad jobs being plentiful and never really going anywhere, that dream can be fulfilled at another time. This particular opportunity comes but once in a lifetime.
After one simple message, a skype date, and a few conversations, I knew without hesitation, that this was the move for me. I scored an amazing Italian family, my very own beautiful apartment (come visit me!!!), and my only "job" is to teach English through play and conversation to twin 4 year old beauties for a few hours a day.
Let's put it this way, I totally hit the jackpot.
Thank you all for the many messages of support over the last few days, and for making me feel overwhelmingly loved. 2015 is shaping up to be the year of a lifetime, and I can't wait for what's ahead.