After months and months of trying to figure out how to get back to my favorite country, I’m finally back in Italy!
It’s no secret that the last year has forced a lot of trips and vacations to be canceled. Looking back now exactly a year ago, I had just finished living in Greece for a month and was making my way to Croatia. Of course, this was all before COVID-19 stopped the world entirely. It’s an eerie feeling to think that life hasn’t been “normal” for a year now. But, as my mom says, we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do to get through the hard times – there’s no other choice.
Well, A LOT has happened in the last year. 2020 was a year of transformation for me. I started the year embracing a digital nomad lifestyle only to have it ripped away leaving me confined to my hometown. The free spirit I am, I felt like I was in a cage that was never going to open.
Without these months spent at home, though, I may have never embarked on an even greater journey – entrepreneurship.
At the beginning of March, my friend (now business partner and boyfriend – more on that later) Jack and I had a crazy idea about teaching people who to work remotely. Both digital nomads, we wanted to help others live and achieve the lifestyle we had.
As with any legitimate business idea, it grew and transformed and adapted to the changing society happening right before our eyes. And so Nomads Embassy was born. Almost a year of working together and I can confidently say that we have created something unique (but I may be a little bias). You can head over to the website to learn more!
Witnessing just how many people lost their jobs due to an outside force against their wills, it made me realize that I never want my livelihood to be held in someone else’s hands. I wanted to create something to support myself and invest in my future and wealth in a more sustainable way. So, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur and business owner looked better and better with each increase of the unemployment line.
Never would I have thought that I would be the co-founder of a company. Me, a small town freelance writer, reading about marketing, copywriting, influence, and leadership. I can’t even tell you how many times Amazon delivered book after book to me during quarantine. But it was over this time period that I was able to change my mindset and experience what it felt like to work on something I was truly passionate about.
During these seven months at home, Jack and I were stuck in our home countries, his Italy, mine the US. We spent hours and hours on FaceTime, despite the six-hour time difference, discussing our project and simply getting through the pandemic. It was remote work at its finest.
Then July came and the announcement that Mexico was opening its borders. I was itching to go. I had already traveled Mexico solo and was ready to do it again. The moment I heard, I looked for AirBnBs and tried to get as much information as I could about traveling during the pandemic. I told Jack I was planning to go there for a few months and he could join me if he wanted so we could work in person. Of course, he agreed.
So, August 31, I flew to Cancun and we reunited. We stayed in Playa del Carmen, an up and coming digital nomad hotspot and worked on Nomads Embassy, solidifying the idea and business plan while also enjoying the Caribbean beaches and the taco place just down the street from us.
And it was during our time in Mexico that we realized not only were we great business partners, but could be great life partners as well. I won’t get all mushy and gushy, but I will say that I’m extremely happy and am so excited for our future.
In total, we spent 3.5 months in Playa del Carmen soaking up the sun and working on our project. Meanwhile, I also accidentally grew my freelance writing business and am working with some excellent clients that I’m excited to be writing for. Finding the balance between making money and working on a startup is difficult, I won’t lie, but it’s worth every minute of sleep lost.
And now that takes us to Italy!
European borders are still closed to Americans, but some countries – Italy included – introduced an exception. If you are in a stable and proven relationship with a resident or citizen in Italy, you’re allowed to cross the border. The campaign is known as Love is Not Tourism and was created with incredible effort by couples who were separated due to the pandemic.
So, I’ve been in Milan for a little over a month now with Jack and I couldn’t be happier and more relieved to be back.
I may have rambled on in this post and definitely have not offered anything valuable or entertaining to my readers (sorry!) as a blog post should according to my copywriting and content marketing books. But, I’ve made a decision to pick up writing on this blog more consistently and didn’t think it was fair to start again without giving a little update about what’s going on my life.
To sum up
- The pandemic still sucks
- I’ve become an entrepreneur
- I lived in Mexico for 3.5 months
- I found the love of my life
- I’m currently living in Italy
- I promise to write more here!