Ciao my friends. In exactly 13 days, my husband and I will be on a plane to Italy. I’m excited. But I’d be lying if I didn’t add feeling some trepidation as well. Other than a couple of quick stops in British Columbia and a jaunt to Mazatlán when I was 18, I’ve never traveled too far outside of the good old U.S.A.

I’m not sure what exactly makes me nervous. I fly all the time to Hawaii, so I know planes aren’t the issue. We are going with a group of 22, so there will be security in numbers. But I think the hardest part is simply stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m a girl that always likes to know where I’m going, and know the people around me. Somehow that makes me feel safe and sound. And like many, I get stuck in a routine.

But I’m finding as the years are passing, that as comforting as routine can be, it can be constricting. What once felt safe, now feels like a limitation. And I’m not content to play it safe or be limited anymore.

When I sold my retail stores well over a year ago, it triggered a desire in me to reach for that dream that whispered in my ear. To tell my stories. To broaden my circle of connection. It’s not always easy to put myself or my writing out on display. Or to talk about how things affect me. Or to travel places I’ve never been. But it feels worse not to. And that is the true measure of calling, and of passion. Fear or no fear—I’ve decided to heed the call.

Europe here we come. And of course, as a mystery writer, I’m already contemplating the plot of another book where the victim is touring Italy!

I will have much to share soon. Until then—Stammi bene. Fino a quando ci incontriamo di nuovo.

Be well. Until we meet again.

My question for you: Where would you like to go that might stretch you out of your comfort zone?


P.S. Here are some pictures I’ve been capturing of Spring in full bloom, and August, my very sassy kitty.