8 things you should know before moving to Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia_MapThis blog My Sardinian Life receives daily hits from people looking to move to Sardinia, Italy. So, I’ve compiled a little list for those out there searching for a life less ordinary in paradise. The search engine terms which brought people to my little blog are always written in English: Sardinia cost of living, move to Sardinia, jobs Sardinia and so on.

Canada, England, Australia and America want ‘in’ on this little island secret but before you pack your bags, take these pointers into consideration. My intention with this post is to put into perspective what day-to-day life is like on the most stunning island in the world – Sardinia, Italy. Disclaimer: these are just my opinions.  Continue reading

Notes from 1997 | An Australian Maverick

This is a second installment on my series Notes from 1997. To read the first chapter click here. Enjoy.

“Bondi beach stop,” yelled the handsome bus driver in his smooth Australian accent.  I didn’t want to get off that bus … because the driver was the spitting image of Tom Cruise from the 1986 film Top Gun. With his silver aviator shades and black tussle hair he gave me a slight wink as I gathered my backpack and headed for the exit. Images of being whisked away in fighter jets to exotic locations around the world while Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone played in the background; I found my young head disrupted and my motor skills failed.

“Ma’am, you okay?” He grabbed me by the elbow and helped me up. “Uh – thanks. Just got in yesterday, I’m a little jet lagged.”

“Welcome to Australia. Is this your stop – Bondi Beach?” Was it my stop? I couldn’t even remember what day it was; he was nice and über cute in a young Tom Cruise-ish way and a sex-bomb – eat your heart out Kelly Mcgillis.

“Yes, yes, this is my stop. Thank you.” Embarrassed I turned to get one last look at his beautiful Australian perfection. His blue bus driver uniform was perfectly pressed, probably thanks to Momma; his arm muscles bulged under his shirt; his chest muscles, pumped from hours at the gym and his name tag read – Maverick.

My eyes did not deceive me. I read it right and I read it twice – Maverick. I tried to look through his aviator shades at his eyes as the sun reflected the twinkle that was already displayed in his smile. He smiled a beautiful smile as I swung my backpack over my shoulder and asked “You’re name is Maverick? You look like …” He didn’t give me a chance to finish “Maverick is my nickname on the bus my real name is Tom Crusher.” He held out his rugged, tanned hand.

“Well, nice to meet you T-T-Tom.” I held out my hand – goshdarnnit he was beautifully beautiful. “If you’d like to get a drink sometime … here’s my card.” I handed him my business/travel card which was complete with email, Canadian address, Mom’s phone number and a huge Canadian Maple Leaf image.

“I feel the need …” His pause was dramatic and the heavy sighs from the bus patrons grew with each passing moment. I pinched myself, this is not a movie – this is for real; he feels the need to … oh god! I’m never leaving Australia or this bus.

“I feel the need for speed. Do you like Harley Davidson’s – you know the motorcycle? If ya do … I’d like to take you on a tour of Sydney, on the back of my hog. How about tomorrow? It’s my day off; we could pack a light picnic and check out the sights on the other side of the harbour.”

“I do feel the need, the need for speed. Tomorrow sounds great! Where shall we meet?” My heart pulsated and my knees grew weak for tomorrow could not come fast enough.

“I’ll pick you up, right here, at this bus stop. I’ll be here at eleven-thirty. I look forward to seeing you. Oh – and wear those jeans.”

Applause erupted from within the bus, romantic hope applause or hurry up and get off the bus applause, it didn’t matter.

“Eleven-thirty, I’ll be here … in these jeans and don’t forget those specks and you can leave your cowboy boots on.”

I walked off the bus to the rush of fresh salt air; beach-goers busied themselves burying umbrella poles in the sand when I heard the sound of the closing bus doors. I raised my hand to wave goodbye. Maverick beeped the buses’ horn, smiled a Cheshire smile, waved and drove away.

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I hope you enjoyed the story. I am open to positive critique, thank you for reading.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

(click on any image to view it larger.)

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

This is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign.

What are you thoughts on the new mosaic option from WordPress?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

A photographic journey around the world – my free spirit through the eyes of others.

Sardinia

Brazil

Sardinia

Paris

New Hampshire

Niagara Falls, Canada

Montreal, Canada

Australia

Australia 1997. Can you find me?

Cayman Islands – thanks Dad!

Cayman Islands

Dominican Republic

Sardinia

Florida 1995

Bern, Switzerland

England

Canada circa 1981

I would have preferred to fill this post with photo’s of my three beautiful nieces instead of my silly mug but there are some things I would rather keep sacred.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic journey of my free spirit. Click here to see what other bloggers are up to this week.

Notes from 1997 | Toronto to Bondi Beach, Australia

***This post was originally written as a guest post for The Blissful Adventurer while he was busy gallivanting in Italy earlier this year.

“Mom, I’m moving to Australia for a year.”

“But … where will you go? What will you do? Where will you live? How will you make money?” my mother asked in her usual motherly way.

Thirty-two long air flying hours later I was sitting at the bus station outside Sydney International Airport without a clue where I would go next.

I sat on the wooden bench for what seemed an eternity, while listening to departure times over the intercom system to cities and towns yet unfamiliar to me. I flipped the pages of my passport in anticipation, but for what? I really had no plan.

When my mother asked her questions, I simply said “I’ll figure it out when I get there.”

Hints of Irish Spring soap filtered through the warm Australian air triggering memories of my childhood past.

He sat down beside me without a care in the world, dropping his green and orange backpack at my feet.

“Hi, I’m Ireland. Where ye heading?”

“I … I … don’t really know. I have no plans. Where are you going?” I said slightly nervous at Ireland’s gregarious smile.

“Kings Cross, it’s the place to be seen! Want to come?”

“Sure, okay.” I naively said.

We hopped on the next bus to Kings Cross station. My body and mind clock still on Canadian time, I was glad to have found this gregarious travel companion.

He ran on in his lovely Irish accent, telling me stories of bombs and beer, talk of jobs and ex’s left behind. His story was similar to mine with the exception of the bombs.

We arrived into the early morning sun and booked a hostel room at Jolly Swagman Backpackers.

“All dorms are co-ed,” said Mr. Dreadlocked, tattooed surfer who sat perched on a stool made of beer cans.

“Coed? Like boys and girls in the same room?”

“Ah, don’t be an eejit! There’s nothing to it. Book us into the same room,” Ireland said.

I didn’t have time to object as he thrust his credit card at the surfer. He booked us for the night into a four bed dorm. Ireland told me I could reimburse him the room fee by buying dinner that evening. I was beginning to feel crowed in Ireland’s presence; he was slightly over-bearing and rather obnoxious.

Thoughts of uncertainty danced in my head, I had never shared a room with a boy, let alone three other stinky boys.

“Hi, my name’s Canada.” I held out my hand in eager anticipation

“Hola, I’m Spain and this is my boyfriend New Zealand.” Spain was gorgeous with long flowing dark locks and a mysterious golden light in his eyes. Did he just say boyfriend?

New Zealand grabbed Spain by the back of the neck and deeply kissed his beautiful Spanish boyfriend. My momentary flash of Spanish romance quickly evaporated into the rising heat of the room.

“Welcome to Kings Cross, Canada,” New Zealand said, barely coming up for air.

I discarded my backpack on the overly used, dusty bunk bed number three and enquired about an eating establishment.

“Eat? Eat?” Spain questioned with a local sarcastic sneer. “This is Kings Cross my dear, the last thing on one’s mind is eating.”

“Well, I’m hungry, it’s been a long day. Did you know I spent thirty-two hours…?”

I was oddly interrupted by a soft twang.

“You’ve come to the wrong place Canada. Kings Cross is a cesspit of sexual desire, a place where dirty deeds are done dirt cheap and a place where food is used for other purposes.” New Zealand squealed.

“Oh.” I said, slightly embarrassed.

Seeking dirty deeds was the last thing on my mind. I’d just finished a long term relationship in Canada. Australia was to be my awakening, my place to find me, a place to seek my soul.

“Ireland, I’m going to grab something to eat. If you want your reimbursement come now, or I’ll give you cash later this evening.”

“I’m coming,” boasted Ireland as he slapped Spain and New Zealand on the rear.

I turned to leave when I noticed a sign:

Bondi Beach – A Backpackers Oasis by the Sea
FREE Bus for Backpackers
Daily Departures: 8am and 5pm.
Show up at one of the times. It’s easy.

Early the following morning with a MacDonald’s breakfast settling uneasily into my stomach, I left the three boys to their vices and headed for the beach. I never saw them again until Future knocked and brought me to their door.

On the road to Bondi Beach and independence, I wrote a postcard to my mom:

Notes from 1997 | Toronto to Sydney (Guest Post)

Check out my second guest post ever from the kind folks over at The Blissful Adventurer. I’d love your opinions, good and bad on this story. Happy travels.

The Blissful Adventurer

**The Blissful Adventurer is running about Italy at the moment so in his stead we happily endorse and support the work of the following blogger, Jennifer Avventura of My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda. Please check out this post, leave comments for exchange with the author, and give their blog a read.**


Jennifer Avventura is a freelance writer living in Sardinia, Italy. In her spare time she runs, hikes and writes the popular blog at My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda.
The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright


Notes from 1997 | Toronto to Sydney

“Mom, I’m moving to Australia for a year.”

“But … where will you go? What will you do? Where will you live? How will you make money?” my mother asked in her usual motherly way.

Thirty-two long air flying hours later I was sitting at the bus station outside Sydney International Airport without a clue where I…

View original post 709 more words

Reflections | Unofficial Weekly Photo Challenge #2

A second entry to this weeks Unofficial Weekly Photo challenge.

The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia. It’s a scanned photo from 1997.

This is what comes to mind when I think of this weeks unofficial theme reflections.

Click here to see what others are posting this unofficial week.

My Expat Lives | Celebrating 4 Years in Sardinia, Italy

My Expat Lives | 4 Years in Sardinia, Italy

On May 6th 2008, I left my home and native land for Sardinia, Italy.

How is it possible that four years have passed? I can’t believe it! I made the long trip back to Canada several times in the last few years. The time never enough, and some of my family have come to visit us in Sardinia and again, the time was never enough, but the memories will stay forever.

This will be one of my longer posts, so grab a glass of wine, some popcorn or a jar of Nutella. Just get comfortable.

Find out the ups and downs of expat life in Sardinia, Italy.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey #2

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

In 1997 I journeyed all the way to Australia. This photo was taken on Fraser Island, just off the coast of Queensland. We spent four days journeying around the largest sand island in the world.

It was spectacular! And I can’t wait to do it again.

I love you Australia, you are forever in my heart.

These photos are not the best. I was 20 years old and had no clue about cameras. And I’m pretty sure digital cameras didn’t exist then. I remember clearly carrying around dozens of film tubes, taking them for printing, waiting a week, sometimes longer.

Have you been to Fraser Island? Tell me your story.

Top 5 Beach Photos to Keep You Warm

Tired of the white, cold mess of winter? Longing for days where the sun shines and the ocean laps at your feet?
I’ve had enough of winter, of the cold, of the endless days and nights of watching snow fall. I’ve complied a short Top 5 list of beach photos that can keep you warm during the winter storm of 2012.

Top 5 Beach Photos to Keep You Warm

1. Cayo Coco – Cuba.

2. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

3. Whitsundays, Australia

4. Copacabana, Brazil.

5. Sardinia, Italy

A little warmer now? Have you spent your winter days dreaming of summer? I have.

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