Achieving a Life Changing Goal

My dream was always to live in Florence, Italy.  At 44- years old, I went from corporate executive, wife, and mother living in the suburbs in Orlandowaiting to-retire mode to single, empty nester, living on a winery in Tuscany with a handsome winemaker.  My motivation came from tragedy.  I was married, met someone new, got divorced to be with this new man and one month after my only child went off to college out-of-state, he died of a sudden heart attack leaving me alone and devastated. I saw first hand how quickly a life can be over and it lit a fire under my chair to get out there and live everyday like it was my last.  It gave me the courage to quit my job which no longer excited me, liquidate and rent my home. With very little money and no real plan, I took off…


After spending a soul-searching year traveling to Alaska in a camper for six weeks with my 70-year-old dad, waiting tables at a marina bar in South Florida where I met Captain Pete and island hopped the Caribbean on his 42 foot Hunter sailboat for 100 days as paid crew, I rented a room in the home of a woman I found on the internet in Tuscany. Even though I didn’t speak the language or know anyone, I followed my intuition. I just knew there was something waiting for me there.


Ten days after I arrived inItaly, I went to a winery as a tourist and met Giuseppe, a handsome third generation wine maker. It was love at first site.  Fortunately, he was single, spoke English with an intoxicating heavy accent and had just starting to promote his wines to theUS. I used my American Marketing and Sales skills to help develop and open up whole new areas of sales.  The following year, I moved into his family home in the hills of Chianti with his parents who don’t speak English, at the winery and helped with the English speaking tourists. Now, 5 years later, we spend our time between theUSandTuscanypromoting his wines, my book and our story.


Each morning when I open the shutters and look out over the vineyards and the valley below, I pinch myself.  I still can’t believe how lucky I am. Florenceis just 40 minutes away by train. The key was letting go and following my heart and not “the traditional rule book” society has taught us. Now, I am passionate about helping others take the leap of faith and start living the life of their dreams.


Lessons learned:

* Don’t over plan. Wing it!  

*Let go of control. Leave remove for serendipity and luck. Don’t over plan.  Wing it!

*Follow, don’t lead. Stay open and eager to see what comes next. It may not come in the package you thought.

*Start where you are. No matter what a mess you have made, your life can totally turn around with one big YES.

*Think outside the box. In order for me to live abroad, I cut all my expenses to nearly nothing which meant liquidating my home and renting just a room from another person.  I am happily “homeless”, have just two suitcases and three monthly bills (health insurance, cell phone and small storage unit) but freedom to go where I choose.

*Don’t let other’s opinions distort yours. They have their own agenda.

*Proximity is power.  Surround yourself with people, places and events that lead to your goal.

*You don’t need to plan out the rest of your life, just take it in three to six month periods and seize opportunities as they come to you.

One Response to Achieving a Life Changing Goal

  1. I work at the Orange County Library and had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Elaine Singer in person! WOW, what an individual! She gave me her book Living Without Reservations and I truly can’t wait to read it front to back. What an inspiring woman; a true living, breathing, walking “angel”.

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