So how does a Canadian girl end up living in Rome, anyhow?

A bit about this blog and the personality behind it

My name is Sara. I was born and raised in the rainy island city of Victoria, Canada, where I dreamed of escaping to some more cosmopolitan metropolis almost as soon as I was old enough to understand that there was a larger, infinitely more interesting world around me. I remember flipping through encyclopedias and my parents’ National Geographic magazines as a child, devouring articles about life in far away places and mentally placing myself inside images of New York streetscapes or narrow European alleys.

In high school I zeroed in on Europe. For years – ever since my grade 11 French teacher showed Amelie in class one day – I was fixated on the idea of living in Paris. And yet, years later, after getting a degree and establishing a career while simultaneously feeling increasingly desperate to get out of Victoria, I found myself deciding quite suddenly to move to Rome.

As far as life-altering decisions go, this one was fairly impulsive, based almost entirely on a six-day visit to the city and a lifelong love for pasta combined with a heavy feeling of general rightness. Beyond the stereotypes, I knew very little about the culture. I knew next to nothing about the language. But when something feels right, powerfully right, I can be inclined to take large steps in the dark. And so I quit my job and dove headfirst into the world of freelancing, encountered the mystifying world of Italian bureaucracy for the first (but certainly not the last) time, sold nearly everything I owned, and crammed everything that remained into two extremely overweight suitcases. In September 2012, I arrived in Rome.

I’ve been here for about five years now. I can tell you that Italy is a complicated place, swinging unpredictably between incredible beauty and immense frustration. I can tell you that very few things here are exactly as you might think they should be. But I can also tell you that I love it here – that I feel at home here – even more than I imagined I would. I could try to explain it all on this page, but that might take a while to write, and frankly, I’m not even sure I can explain it all. But I have stories to share – moments and experiences and thoughts piling up inside my head – and so I’m going to try to write about it all.

By day, I design websites and apps. When I’m not in front of my computer, I enjoy exploring new places (particularly tiny, semi-forgotten villages and islands in the Mediterranean), cooking and eating (perhaps eating more than cooking), and going on long wanders through the city, usually with my camera in hand. These days, I speak Italian far more often than English (thanks to Alessandro, who doesn’t really speak English). Sometimes I start to forget words in English, or I feel like an Italian phrase is absolutely the only way to describe a certain sentiment. Sometimes I feel as though I’m slipping into a crevasse between two cultures. But for all the influence Italian culture might try to exert on me, I will never loosen my grip on my “Canadian efficiency”.

You can find me elsewhere on the web on Instagram and Twitter. If you want to get in touch with me, send me an email at white dot sara at gmail dot com.

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