A retired expat

My Sardinian Life by Jennifer AvventuraIt has taken me months to come to terms with this difficult decision, weeks to accept its fate and countless hours on how I would pen a letter to the island and islanders who opened their hearts and doors to the expat Canadian who tried to make it work.

My fingers linger over the keyboard, trying to find the right momentum, trying to find the right words while internally I struggle.Β 

I have moved back to Canada.

I’ve been back in the great white north for two weeks now; it’s cold, bitter cold and it snowed on the first day of spring.

The decision to move back to my home and native land comes from the lack of jobs and future in Italy. The economic crisis is written on everyone’s face, people are suffering, grandparents have never seen anything like it and adult children are moving back home.

The unemployment rate in Sardinia is at an all time high, 50% of the population are out of work.

As I near my forties and watch as the wrinkles creep in a new adventure and a new life awaits.

This blog for which I have poured six beautiful years into will remain open. I want the world to know about the island I fell in love with, I want the world to see her beauty and experience her sights, smells and tastes.

I will never close the door to Sardinia as she is deep within my soul; its time to turn the page and begin a new chapter.

I would like to thank everyΒ one of you who has offered words of support, kindness and help when I needed it, I will never forget.

PleaseΒ continue to email me with questions about Sardinia as I would be pleased to help anyone that wants to discover her great beauty.

So with that finally said, I encourage you to stay tuned for a new blog that will highlight the wonders of yet another magnificent island, but this time in the great white north.

From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful

Jennifer Avventura the retired expat

55 thoughts on “A retired expat

  1. Jennifer thank you very much for such a commitment for my land, my heart, my family that I could feel in different ways through this blog. I miss Sardinia a lot, for this past 5 years I been here in Toronto where yes probably in my mind got better opportunities and my family but in my soul, in my smells,in my color, in my surroundings there is something that I really miss, domu.
    All the best and good luck! Keep us posted, best Davide.

  2. Hey we are in Sardinia and want to go see turtles or seals. Is that possible anymore or is it very rare? Thank you

  3. Jennifer, we met you last night at Pescatore. We are very happy to have met you and have enjoyed reading your story. Please look to see my Son’s blog regarding his South Africa trip

    • Hello! It was great meeting you the other night, and thank you for checking out my blog. I’ve had a look at your sons’ blog and now I want to go to South Africa! πŸ™‚ Wishing you well. πŸ™‚

  4. I found your blog today. I have a friend that lives in Sardegna, he has been teaching me Italian(whenever I have the time) I currently live in the USA. My husband, I and children have made the decision to move to the island. If you do not mind, I may drive you crazy asking boring questions about property taxes, utilities, housing requirements and (OF COURSE!) good places to shop, eat and have fun. So far we have already decided most of our fun will be at the beach but would like other ideas too.

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  6. always late to the party….but I wanted to chime in to say I always enjoyed your posts about Sardinia, the ones that I had time to catch anyway πŸ™‚ I wish you well in your new life and I’m going to go follow your new blog now. Perhaps you could retire to Sardinia eh?

  7. I, too, wondered what you were up to.

    I can empathize. I moved back to the USA from the UK in the early 1980s. Unemployment was high, the standard of living low (25% of people in some cities still didn’t have indoor toilets; refrigerators were rare as was central heating; and a shower was a luxury!); and the strikes finally did us in. It wasn’t the random electricity, the unavailability of car parts, the bus strike, the petrol strike, the media strike (so we couldn’t even tell who was on strike!) – it was the lack of toilet paper in the shops due to the strikes. At that point, I called it quits and moved back to the land of heat and hot water. I still dream of living in the UK again as there is so much I loved about it, including the close proximity to Italy and my dream (if low-paid) job. But, life is short – as is money. Like you, I miss the part of each country that I can’t get when I’m in the other.

    Enjoy Spring in Canada. Best wishes in all your endeavors. I will miss the bit of Italian/Sardinian joy you brought via your blog. Especially the beach photos when all I had was ice and snow outside…

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  9. Oh how I feel for you! Let there be hope that you will some day retire from not being an expat!

    Look at it this way… I have dreamed of the warmth of the Med for so long and have not managed to get there (to live). You have at least shared your soul with that Med… you have drunk her essence often and basked in her warmth. You have had (and hopefully will again have) what will for many only stay a distant dream!

    God bless you back in the Great White North! The economy will turn eventually and you’ll slowly but surely sup again! Then, maybe we’ll be able to sup together! πŸ˜‰

  10. I’ve started on the wine and cheese n crackers, Jen. Hope you’re past the drowning your sorrows stage. New life! Here’s to it πŸ™‚

  11. I am sure it was a difficult decision – and such a beautiful place to have left! Your life is so much rusher for the experience though and I sure your next chapter will be just as exciting albeit different. You have an amazing passion!

  12. It is really sad to hear this. Although I have not communicated to you much through your blog, I have been following your posts regularly, as a silent spectator.Only because of your blog, I fell in love with Sardinia. Your detailed posts on each and every aspect of this beautiful place was such a delight to read. Life springs unexpected surprises and this is one. I am looking forward to your blog about Canada. Btw where in Canada are you settled?

  13. It is always hard to say good-bye to a great love. I understand as an expat here in China. I am not ready to say good-bye and have been lucky to extend my stay another year. As you say a new chapter begins and you never know where it will lead. Best wishes with your newest adventure.
    Looking forward to hearing about your new blog back ‘home’.

  14. So sorry not to have met you while out there as I feel I know you already.
    You have to do what feels right inside, even when it’s difficult .
    As you move away we are ready to move in and so the cycle continues.
    We too are lucky to be retiring out to Sardinia and not needing to find work.
    The contact you gave us for Bruno Pala has worked wonderfully for us and we will be forever grateful. Be happy Jennifer and do what is right for you and the ones you love. 😘 xx

  15. So sad you have left Sardinia, but understand 100% – it’s a decision we wrestle with frequently. You can take the girl out of Sardinia, but you’ll never get Sardinia out of the girl. Surely you’ll return, for visits if not to live. Meanwhile – stay warm, eh?

  16. Aw, Jennifer, I’d been wondering where you got to, but you had already hinted at what was happening in a post a while back, so it hasn’t come as a complete surprise.

    Please do keep posting from Canada – we want to know what you’re up to πŸ™‚ And good luck with settling back in and getting yourself some work that you actually enjoy (I hope!).

  17. I know this feeling ALL too well…it is so bitter-sweet! I hope you have some comfort in knowing that it will always be your second home! On a side note, the entire process seemed to be pretty quick?!

      • Oh no!! (I just saw this response now, sorry!). If you have any questions about the process, let me know! By the way, I was really looking forward to finally meeting you in person this summer! Are you planning on visiting during the summers??

  18. So sad, but totally understandable. Congratulations on making a really tough decision. Looking forward to reading all about your new adventures – and I won’t be nearly as envious of the weather this time round! Best of luck! πŸ™‚

  19. Stunned to read this and it will be sad to not get your regular posts about Sardinia but I am very excited that you will be blogging about Canada.

  20. Oh my, I can only imagine the sadness. Yes, go out and get drunk and eat potato crisps, then jump back in to your new life. The next adventure awaits, and you will see that had you not left Sardinia, the new adventure would not have materialized. Believe!

  21. I am sorry to hear you have left Sardinia. Though I can completely understand the reasons and can even more empathize with your decisions. I too felt the same way when I left Playa del Carmen. And I too have booed this horrible winter weather even during the spring.

    I wish you much luck with your decision and move.!! May everything turn out beautifully πŸ™‚

  22. Jennifer

    I’m sorry to hear that you have left Sardinia behind. Perhaps it’s only a temporary estrangement. I understand the problems of living here, the economic malaise, the lack of organization and transparency. Keep on blogging and I’ll keep reading.


  23. The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. New adventures await, Jennifer. Good luck to you.

  24. I can understand your situation. I would not like to have to work in Italy…anywhere. We are fortunate that our money is earned in Australia and we can enjoy the best the country has to offer. I wish you well in your new life. I was wondering why we hadn’t heard from you for a while.

  25. Thank you Jennifer, we never personally met and I am sorry about it. Your posts about Sardinia were always full of life and disclosed strong feelings toward Sardinia. We sardi recognize who feels genuine love for the island. saluti, Mario

  26. How very sad, I looked forward to yr blog, and had been wondering where you were, I wish you well, and hope you keep writing, I was going to ask you about the pitfalls of renting out my house on a long term basis, as our dream of living on Sardinia any time soon have disappeared , things are quite bad here in UK, youth unemployment is dreadful, and being self employed is getting harder and harder although no government admits it – life is changing and not for the better , I blame the EU but that’s another story. Good luck, health ,wealth and happiness to you and yours

  27. Jennifer

    The news is a surprise and a good one for you. Nothing is more appealing as home, even when one loves the place they have called home for a while. You will do amazing in everything no matter where you are. You are talented and so intelligent. Plus there are always visits and trips back! Will your husband go with you and enjoy life in beautiful Canada too? I hope that all works out for you! I will still look for your next blog, where ever you maybe. Take care of yourself, be happy always, May God Bless and keep you! I will miss all the wonderful things about Sardegna, but have learned so much from you! Thank you always! My sincere wishes go with you!

    The Sard//American

  28. AH, sorry to hear but not surprised as you are bright and had hopes of being able to live a quality life here. If I werent retired and getting an income from it I would never have made the jump. I feel sad for the young people especially since after they come out of universities – unless they have saved some money- they need to move off island or out of the country to find gainful employment. I am sure you will always have the option of visiting friends! Sardegna is not something one forgets…it lives within. Best of luck there, you are still young and you can always return someday!

  29. Wow Jennifer six years! I am sure it was a very difficult decision. Did your husband come or did he remain in Sardinia? Maybe too personal of a question. I am certain your life will find a new fulfillment and adventure wherever you are. I look forward to following your new adventures and at 42 I can attest that the forties are great! πŸ™‚ take care and keep in touch!

  30. I’m sorry you’re leaving, though I understand it’s difficult, the work situation. I’m fortunate, but I have my hand in a lot of pies. But it’s in the faces, as you say, and in the same questions from everyone when I returned from a recent trip to Australia: Why did I come back here? Because I love the land and its people and I hope that economically things will get better. Perhaps not in my expat shelf-life, however…
    Wishing you best of luck and happy trails to you.

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