A {new} Refreshing Makeover at My Sardinian Life

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.

Jennifer Avventura

Snapshots: On Life at Palau, Sardinia

Snapshots: On Life at Palau, Sardinia

So what, I’m in love with Palau. Her picturesque, pristine panorama leaves me breathless and wanting more. I could, and I have sat in awe for hours, taking in the stunning La Maddelena and its archipelago: Isola Spargi, Isola Budelli, Isola Caprera, Isola Razzoli, Isola Santa Maria, Isola San Stefano and much more small islets that it makes me realize Continue reading

Vote for My Sardinian Life in the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards

Just like the Emmy’s, Golden Globes and Music awards there are awards for bloggers who but effort, thought and heart into their blog(s). This year is the second year that My Sardinian Life has been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards.

My Sardinian Life was nominated for Best Travel and Expat Blog. It would be fantastic to bring home the gold this season, and only you can help me do that.

To vote, just click the following link 2013 Canadian Blog Awards then scroll down the to the bottom of the page. Under Best Travel and Expat Blog click on My Sardinian Life.

Voting closes on February 22nd, 2014 so hurry before it’s too late.

A special thanks to Jonathan Kleiman who took copious amounts of time to organize this award for Canadian bloggers across the globe. Jonathan is a Toronto Business Lawyer and a Small Claims Lawyer and his side gig is organizing fantastic blogging awards. So, thank you Jonathan. I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done in the last year to make this award a reality.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and vote. I am eternally grateful.

I want to live in Sardinia – answering your questions

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (8)Once in a blue moon this little blog receives an email about the cost of living in Sardinia, Italy and today I am answering one readers email.

Dear JP,

Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that you follow along My Sardinian Life and I hope I can shed some light on your decision to move to Sardinia, Italy.

Your questions answered:

“Based on various information, most importantly your blog, it seems to me living a simple life in Sardinia would cost us (couple with a little one on the way) 12K€ per year. That is, including rent, insurance, food, transport (thankfully we can drive since we’re EU), etc. There doesn’t seem to be any rent under 350 euro/month on the various immo web sites, insurances would add a hundred, 400 for food, 50 for gas, leaving a hundred for the rest & incidentals. Seeing the GDP per capita is less then 20K, it seems to me that jobs paying 1000 net per month are not to be found on Sardinia. So my first question would be: do you think we are completely off the charts with our budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia?

Searching for the simple life in Sardinia can be done but will need patience and hard work.

Rent

Any apartments closer to the sea will cost you more. If you move away from the sea even just 15 minutes you can lower your monthly rent by a good €50. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle with your landlord about prices. If you decide to move to Sardinia in the middle of August expect rent to soar! Try moving here sometime between September – March when most rentals are empty.

Food

We are a two person household and I spend about €120 a week on groceries. This includes: food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoos & soaps. Food is expensive in Sardinia. Yesterday my husband came home from the local farmers with: 3 melons, 2 watermelons, a crate of figs, 2 onions, one giant peach, 4 cucumbers and 5 zucchini, he paid €25 – at a discounted rate.

Gas

Gas is cheaper in the larger cities like: Sassari, Tempio, Cagliari and Nuoro. If you find yourself in an out-of-the-way little town with a car running on fumes expect to pay at least .20c more. We live in a small little town and if I look out my window I can see the price of gas: €1.77 a litre.

Jobs

I work in the hospitality industry which is very seasonal (only two months a year) in Sardinia and I make €1500 a month. This is because I have over 23 years experience serving the public and I speak English. I would never settle for €1000 a month. Others that are doing the same job as me are making between €1000 – €1700 a month. Be ready to haggle for your salary like I have done.

In the off-season I teach English to school aged children and I charge €15 an hour. Those with a degree in English charge anywhere from €20 – €45 an hour.

Do I think you are completely off the charts with budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia? No. But I would try to find a job considering you have a little one on the way.

Like you our Italian is cosicosi, then again, we’d need to speak the local dialect more then Italian. You say on your blog for the kind of jobs you are looking for you need Italian. I’m wondering, how well does one get away with basic Italian in daily life? Outside of your town, are you being looked at as a tourist as soon as you “open your mouth” and being treated as a tourist, or is integrating with the locals and being treated as one feasible? What is your experience having lived there a few years? Can one feel “at home” after a while and be treated as “a local”?

I don’t speak the local dialect to anyone but my husband and nor should you. Most locals are offended if you speak dialect. Study Italian and study a lot. Every Sardinian speaks Italian and will understand you when you are at their shop ordering chicken cutlets for dinner. Learning and understanding the dialect will come with time and patience but its most important to learn Italian first. Just forget that a local dialect even exists.

I’ve now been in Sardinia 5.5 years. The first year(s) I was treated like a tourist but that soon faded when the locals saw my face every morning in their shops. I am now considered half Sardinian and I have integrated myself into their lives with much patience, understanding and a few flubbed upped words. Locals are more curious about your life and who you are. They are very welcoming, kind and completely honest but you must make the first move. Be sure to say buongiorno when entering shops even if you don’t see anyone.

Well JP, I hope this answers your questions. Please fell free to add any more questions in the comment section below.

And to any of my Sardinian followers: if you have any insight for JP and his family please speak up.

Kind regards

Jennifer Avventura

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

She’s fresh, exciting. She’s so exciting to me. She’s fresh, exciting. She’s so inviting to me, yeah.” – Kool & The Gang

Fresh bird-prints on an early morning beach run.

Fresh by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life 2013Some of my favourite fresh vegetables from the farmers market.

Fresh by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life 2013Fresh mushrooms picked by yours truly in the Sardinian mountains.

Jennifer AvventuraFresh chemtrails in the Sardinian sky … sigh.

Fresh by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life 2013

This was my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh. Click the link to see more fresh photos from all over the world.

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

Travel Theme: Roads

This week’s travel theme by Ailsa at Where’s my backpack is roads. Sardinian roads are curvy, fast, mountainous and covered with little surprises.

My favourite road in Sardinia with a Nuraghe.

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (37)

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A favourite hiking road.

Cascabraga by Jennifer Avventura 2012 (6)

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A very curvy mountain road – taken from the top of a mountain.

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (49)

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My Sardinian running road.

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A typical farm road, leading to paradise.

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My favourite Sardinian road scene; covered with sheep.

Road by Jennifer Avventura 2013

What are the roads like in your neck of the woods?

Don`t forget to check out my new blog My Caymanian Life.

My Sardinian Life at My Caymanian Life

Don’t forget to give me a follow over at my other blog: My Caymanian Life. I’m in Cayman Islands giving work a go for a little while and I’ll be blogging about life on this tiny island in the Caribbean. Hope to see you over there.

The famous Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Seven Mile Beach by Jennifer AvventuraClick the image to be swiftly taken to the Caribbean. See ya on the other side my friends.

Happy blogging.

 

My Sardinian Life’s Top 12 Posts of 2012

It’s been a busy and exciting year at My Sardinian Life; I’ve witnessed traditional festivals high up in the mountains and had the pleasure of being crushed by i Candelieri at the fantastic, energetic festival in Sassari, Sardinia. I’ve virtually met some of the most fantastic bloggers out there today and you’ve all inspired me to blog on; you’ve humbled me and made me laugh out loud one too many times and you’ve even made me shed a few tears. Thank you.

I’ve put this little post together to highlight My Sardinian Life’s top posts and pages of 2012. I’ve already done a year review of my favourite photos from 2012 and you can see it here. According to the wonderful stats by WordPress, here are …

My Sardinian Life’s Top 12 posts or pages of 2012.

1. Home page / Archives with 45,928 hits!
2. Top 7 Shirtless Italian Soccer Players with 5,283 hits.
3. The naked truth on nude beaches in Sardinia, Italy with 2,854 hits.
4. Aboot me (thanks for checking me out) with 2,413 hits.
5. A Mediterranean Medusa | Sardinia, Italy with 1,696 hits.
6. Cost of Living | Sardinia, Italy with 1,618 hits.
7. How to make tomato sauce like an Italian with 1,402 hits.
8. My Expat job struggles | Sardinia, Italy with 1,095 hits.
9. Contact page with 1,088 hits.
10. Start Here page with 1,053 hits.
11. Top 11 Reasons why Living in Sardinia Rocks with 869 hits.
12. The Raw Reality of Expat Life in Small Town Sardinia with 862 hits.

My Sardinian Life’s Top 12 Search Terms.

1. Medusa with 657 searches.
2. My Sardinian Life with 438 searches.
3. Living in Sardinia with 259 searches.
4. Rossella Urru with 207 searches.
5. Gianluigi Buffon with 164 searches.
6. life before the interner with 164 searches.
7. jennifer avventura with 153 searches.
8. Andrea Pirlo with 144 searches.
9. Andrea Pirlo shirtless with 143 searches.
10. Buffon with 141 searches.
11. Sardinia with 131 searches.
12. forza Italia 2012 with 129 searches.

I’m SUPER stoked that people searched more for me than Andrea Pirlo! Snaperiffic!

Wishing you all a safe and successful new year. Thank you for sticking with me these last two years – each day I learn something new.

What’s your most popular post? Drop the link in the comment section below.

My best kept secret at My Sardinian Life

Besides my immediate family; only two of you, in the internet world know about my best kept secret. It’s been a secret for so long that I’m bursting at the seams with excitement, anticipation and nervousness. I mean – this is something I’ve done before, I’m no rookie. I know the ins and the outs of this game; I’ve played it many times in my career.

But now, it’s just a bit different – because my heart and soul are here, in Sardinia.

In the last several years I have struggled with finding decent employment to the point of frustration, tears and hopelessness. I have written about it several times in the past and you can read about it here and here.

This post is not about what happened in the past –  it’s about what’s going to happen in the very near future.

My Sardinian Life’s best kept secret is … 

Continue reading

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