Coming Home

Hello dear friends. I have missed you!

I returned last night from a 12-day trip to Paris and to Acqui Terme, Italy with my dear friend Katie Tallo (my partner in the Habit Course).  It was a perfect trip in nearly every way, and I can't wait to share with you what I experienced and learned during my time away.

There is nothing like travel to help you stretch yourself and learn more about who you are and what you value in life. It also opens your mind and heart to new ideas and new ways of viewing the world. I highly recommend it.

By the way, the photo above is of the bed and breakfast where we stayed in Acqui Terme, Italy. It is run by Diana Baur (of A Certain Simplicity) and her husband Michael (and their wonder dog Max). I'll be writing more on this later — our time there with Diana and Michael was the highlight of the trip.

I boarded my return plane in Milan yesterday morning at 4:00 a.m. EDT and didn't get home until nearly midnight (my connecting flight from Newark to Atlanta was delayed several hours). I've had about 6 hours of sleep in two days.

Today I am facing hundreds of emails, piles of laundry, severe jet lag, and 3 kids who need my attention. I want to be clear-headed when I write about this trip, so I'll probably post about it on Monday.

But I did want to let you all know that I've been thinking about you and have missed writing and connecting with you. It felt very strange to be away from all of you for so long.

I offer my sincere thanks to Jennifer Boykin of Life After Tampons, Tim Brownson of A Daring Adventure, and Stephanie Wetzel of Trading Pounds, for filling in for me with such beautiful guest posts.

Once I am functioning on all cylinders again and have plowed through some of the laundry and emails, I will write all about my adventures and hopefully provide some inspiration for you. Until then . . . arrivederci!

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Corinne Rodrigues

Welcome back, Barrie. I’m glad you had a wonderful trip – waiting to hear about the details.


I had traveled all over the Germanic/Scandanavian parts of Europe before I went south to Italy. Trains ran on time. All the “i’s” were dotted and the “t’s” were crossed. Museums opened and closed punctually. We could stick to the itinerary by the minute, and we did.

Then we went to Italy (I was 37 years old). The first new word of Italian I learned was “chiuso” (closed). Museums which I had called 45 minutes before had closed before we got there. Train schedules were haphazard. There was no such thing as an itinerary. Signage was haphazard and we were frequently lost.

Late on Day 5, I had a complete melt-down outside a museum in Napoli. I was sobbing, my travel companion didn’t know what to do, and it just seemed as though my trip was being ruined.

Then, a young (early 20’s?), gorgeous Italian man came up to me, fanned his long eyelashes to cool me, cupped my lowered chin in his hand, raised my head, and said, “Bella, whassa mattah?” I blubbered about closed museums, late trains, inefficiency, etc etc. He let me finish, and then he gently lifted my left hand and began removing my watch from my wrist. As he tucked it into my hand, he said words to this effect: “Bella, Italy is no about the museums or the things you see. Italy is the people. Italy is in the heart. You don’t need a watch or a schedule to know Italy. You need a smile. Smile for me, Bella. Good. Now, go learn about Italy and yourself.”

How was one so young also so wise? He changed my life that day!

I haven’t worn a watch since then (although I still get places on time), I lost most of my need to judge things, and I am SO much more relaxed about life!

I am eager to hear how your view of the world has changed after your visit to that enchanting country!


    Meg, could it be that that gorgeous Italian man was an angel in a really, really nice disguise?

    Barrie, so happy you’re home safe and sound. Thank you for coming and sharing our little world with us in beautiful Italy. It was magical to have those precious days together.

    Susan Gregg

    Wow Meg,

    What a wonderful wake up call and story. I agree with Diana, sounds like an angel is disguise. Wonder if you watched him walk away if he would faded out into a flutter of wings…

    Welcome home Barrie. Drink lots and lots of water, for some reason it helps with jet lag.I am still in Tokyo working but also excited about going home in a few weeks.



Welcome home, Barrie
Really looking forward to hearing about your wonderful trip. Hope you get yourself powered up again cause I always look forward to your posts. xxx


Hi Barrie and welcome
We also missed you and your posts.
I think you had great holidays Barrie and you enjoyed yourself in I talt. We all know that Italy is a wonderful place to visit!
You seem to be also happy and having many things to say to us!
So tell us more about all what you saw there after relaxing of course!!!!
Thank you so much


Bienvenito Barrie!
You’re such an inspiration in so many ways…and reading your comments about the benefits of travel has ignited my little travel flame. I LOVE to travel but have been reluctant to go off on my own in a while now. Can’t wait to read about your experiences. I have a feeling I’ll be inspired to start packing!


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