A three-hour train ride from Sassari got me to the island’s capital of Cagliari; a city that I still struggle to pronounce. I pronounce it like the city in Canada, Calgary, with a soft g. It does look like this cag-li-ari, to the English mind, but alas that is not the case. The locals here pronounce it like cal-ra-re, where’s the g sound in that? So, after much pronunciation homework, I set off to explore this city by the sea to discover rooftop panoramas, hidden alleyways, and an immensely wide, soft sand beach with a sea so limpid a pebble would send it shivering.
When time permits, and when the weather is just right (like a strong mistral blowing through) I like to take long coastal walks to discover hidden coves, islets and even old lighthouses like at Porto Faro, Palau, Sardinia, Italy. This coastal walk is unlike any I’ve ever done, with its craggy coastline and many, many hidden and delicious beaches to be discovered. Continue reading
Welcome to the new and slightly improved My Sardinian Life. After a much too long hiatus, I thought it was time to give my much-beloved blog a refreshing makeover. I am back in the writing-blogging saddle to share my experiences with the culture, traditions, and people of this enchanting island I now call home.
Keep your eyes peeled for new posts on cost of living, working in the hospitality industry, colourful and vibrant snapshots, short stories of a wandering waitress, expat tales, and bloopers that are best only when shared.
Sardinia, Italy has been my home for the last ten years, and it’s only here where I feel truly me, and feel home.
Please let me know in the comment section below what you think of the makeover regarding fonts and font size, headline and title. All improvements are a work in progress. Thank you for following along. There will be more of me in your inbox in days, weeks and months to come. Until then … Ajo, Eh!
From Sardinia with love.
Last year, I was given a super-duper under water camera, and I’ve had a ton of fun playing under the sea at Palau, Sardinia, Italy. Sometimes there’s nothing to capture but turquoise water, waves, and wet luscious sand, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the many faucets of this new camera. Continue reading
It seems that winter has eluded us, at least for the last four days it has, where we’ve had temperatures upwards of 19 degrees Celsius and we’re still in the month of February. After a harsh, wet, gray and snowy winter it is invigorating to see the bright blue skies and the warm, luminous sun that casts its brilliant rays on my pale Canadian skin. These are my reflections of summer in Sardinia and it’s times like these that I dream of Continue reading
Inside Sardinia: A distorted Nature’s poem …
I grow flat along the red rocky earth
with only the wind to guide me.
My nutrients I steal from the sea
with only the wind to guide me.
I yearn to reach new heights
with only the wind to guide me.
I’ve learned to reach the mountain peak
with the wind holding my hand, beside me.
Sometimes in life the big things take over, they are uncontrollable and we lose focus. I prefer to look at the little things that make this world spin, that make me spin. The little things that get inside my head and complete me. The little things that seem so insignificant to the bigger picture that I’ve forgotten how I got here. It was the little things that built my grand picture, the little things that held me up, the little things that make me believe, make me hold on to the dream that I will see you again.
Have you looked at the little things in your life lately?
Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen your face, twenty-one months precisely. I can only imagine your sun-kissed shadows, the way the wind whips in the cold winter months, the sound of your animals going out to pasture and the lingering sensation of a well aged mirto sipped between my lips. For one day soon, I shall return to your green pastures, and help seed our own garden, made from love.
I’m proud to have been included in the quarterly on-line magazine known as Insiders Abroad. It’s a magazine from the English-speaking community with inside information and a yellow page directory for Italy, Spain and France.
It was such a pleasure to write a piece for this established on-line magazine that I burst with joy and did the happy dance all over the cobblestone streets of Sardinia.
You can delightfully view the colourful on-line magazine here:
Once upon a time (about a year ago) a Sardinian travel agency contacted me to write brief English articles to help promote their travel brand. Unfortunately, at that time I was just packing up to move to Cayman Islands and I didn’t have the time nor energy to craft posts about Sardinia after slinging beer for 10 hours a day. I emailed them a polite reply stating that I was grateful for their consideration but am out of the country and haven’t the time to freelance for them.
When I returned to Sardinia last June I contacted this travel agency and told them that if the offer still stands I would be more than willing to write articles on Sardinia for them.
I didn’t hear back from them for six months.
I thought it was water under the bridge until a month ago when the same agency contacted me. At this point I thought “what the heck, eh” let’s do it.
This was their offer:
- 6 articles a month, 250-300 words (I could even use my existing blog posts but they would have to be re-worded).
- Write one post a week for their Facebook profile about Sardinia.
- Respond to any questions about Sardinia on their profile – maximum three questions.
- My pictures would greatly be accepted.
- €100 a month for three months.
I took to my super fabulous expat group and asked a few questions about this type of work, as I’m new-ish to the freelance world and I certainly didn’t want to sell myself short.
Here are some of the responses from my trusted, in-the-know peeps:
- not enough money.
- that is ridiculously low payment.
- you need to negotiate.
- work like this is likely never under €300 per month and that would be the bottom of the bottom.
- They will never find a native English-speaking person to work for that money.
- if you start low, you will stay low on the pay scale. It’s better to play hardball and present yourself as a professional.
- Off the top of my head €25 per hour for this type of work.
Like any professional freelance writer I responded with:
Good morning. I would be pleased to work alongside your team, however I would like to negotiate the salary. I am willing to write 6 articles a month including the use of my photos for €250 per month. I look forward to your response.
And this is what the agency said:
Good afternoon. Currently we cannot afford €250 a month as our budget for article writing is €100 a month. Please keep in mind that the articles do not have to be original articles, you are free to re-word the existing articles on your blog. Can we negotiate with 4 articles a month?
I thought over this offer for a good five minutes and decided that yes, I will give it a go. I’ve wanted to work for a company that is 100% owned and operated by an islander for a long time. It’s important for me to root my words, work and photography with the islanders who have adopted me.
I responded with:
Thank you and I accept your proposal of 4 articles per month for €100. I would like to be paid every month, not at the end of the three months. If you would like to add any of my photography, the cost will be €50 for each photo. How do you propose payment?
I understand that their budget is €100 a month, but I can’t nor I won’t give away my photographic work. Work that took hours of hiking in the mountains just to capture the feeling of Sardinia.
And now, eight days after I sent the last email I’ve heard nothing. Nadda, zilch, zero. I could have sent another email asking “what’s up” but I’m not desperate and I refuse to sell myself short.
You know what I’m tired of?
I’m tired of being paid pennies for my time and hard work. I’m tired of being taken advantage of with extremely low pay and no respect for the work done. This applies for hospitality work and freelance work.
Everyone I speak with says “Those are the rules here in Italy. Companies can and will take advantage of someone just so they can have more money in their pocket at the end of the day. We are just the little people here. In the end, it’s we who suffer. The ones who cannot make a difference. You either work for nothing or starve.”
Am I disappointed with the Italian way?
Sure, I am. Does it dishearten me to know people try to take advantage of me? Sure, it does. Does it lessen my love affair with the island I’ve come to call my own? Absolutely not.
If I’m going to work for free then I’m going to continue to craft posts about Sardinia and post them here, on my blog, where the only rules are mine.