Wow, how amazing does it feel to quit a job because you are moving to Italy...well only amazing when you have a back up plan clearly. In preparation for moving and quitting full time work I have been trying out various freelance websites like peopleperhour.com, Upwork and Fiverr. I created profiles on all of them in the past few months to see what kind of work was available and for what kind of money. I am both impressed and surprised by the results!
I first put myself on Fiverr, this is an ok platform but my experience is that there is more spam and in general the contract values are really low given they are based on discrete ‘gigs’. I then came across peopleperhour, this was better in the sense that the jobs were better and the rates we better but there were not lots of them. For me there were maybe 5 - 10 potential jobs a week although many of them were not suitable as the rates were too low. Onto Upwork - I am laughing at this now but I think I tried to get approved on Upwork for maybe 10 - 12 months, I must have applied about 20 - 30 times by changing my profile etc. In December I was finally approved and this opened my world to really great opportunities!
Fast-forward to January I have 3 really interesting jobs for 10 - 20 hours a week each! Good hourly rates, no commuting and interesting work. This is why I decided to quit my actual job full time VP of Sales role, no more people management, politics and commuting. I feel a new sense of freedom and ownership of my life. I also realize I might have over committed myself by having three jobs, I am clearly still dazzled by money but I think this slow transition will be good for me. By the time May rolls around (when we are planning to actually sell the house) I hope to be down to two jobs and then come August I will say goodbye to all of them. It is scary to not earn any money because you fear you will not be able to start earning money again when you are ready but I think that this process has shown that it is possible. I hope when we are settled in Italy that I am ok with just having one job for 10 - 20 hours a week, I just need enough to have a nice life - I need to get the American mentality of EARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE out of my system :)
Some of you may have read a previous blog about my love of the Italian agriturismo but for those you who have not heard of an agriturismo it is an independently-owned farm used partially for accommodation purposes. This means that this might be a place with one room/ apartment or 20, it really depends.
We have finally decided that we will put our home on the market in May and have made the rather brave assumption that come August 1st we will be bound for Europe, house free! We have yet to figure out where to fly, where to buy a car (or move our car - a new idea I need to explore) but we figure that this process to buy or collect our car will take about a week. So come the 11th or so of August we are ready to experience agriturismo life and so far the plan is to stay in various agriturismos until November. We are going to start with a 2 week stay in the Alto Adige region which is where you will find the stunning Dolomites, the stunning Northern Italian Alps.
Wow, is it hard to find a place in this region that actually has availability in summer! We love to go to this region to experience the summer hiking, fresh air and stunning mountains. Our first choice was to stay in a lovely sounding town called Castelrotto which is the largest town in the Seiser Alm region which is largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in Europe but alas for our budget everywhere is booked. After more research done, on my husband’s part we have landed on the town of St Magdalena. Check out this picture - not a bad place to stay huh! And, yes, this is the view from the place we are staying.
One great thing about these places in the Dolomites is that they often throw in these activity cards. For this particular location the card is called the DolomiteMobil Card which offers free use of public transport, free entry in over 80 museums, guided excursions and alpine tours, free use of the local swimming pool and free rides on the Seceda funicular! What a deal - can’t wait to get there!
Apologies for the silence for so long, life got the better of me. Also when you decide to move to another country your list to things to do becomes SO much longer. I am in the the process of trying to find a home for over 30 orchids as I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars heating my greenhouse this winter when I will be moving to Italy this year. This is just one of many tasks I am trying to tick off the list. Here in Seattle we have had some bad weather these last couple of months and we lost a lovely ornamental evergreen which was a good 30 feet tall, it is still in the garden along with many branches….more tasks.
With the start of the new year is the start of the real planning which is exciting, some big decisions and larger questions are:
The list really does go on and on. Some people might be overwhelmed by this but frankly I am pumped. I am going methodically check each on of these off the list in the coming weeks and months so that when it is time to go we will be all set.