Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Musings, Travel Plans

Surprise: We’re Moving to Italy!

April 29, 2012

Time to jump ship. Since January, we’ve blogged our way through South America and most recently left the last tale quite near the docks in Rio.

More than a few stories wait to be told from our final days in the southern hemisphere: a mid-March visit to Roberto Burle Marx’s estate, time spent with an 81 year old fellow working at a 106 year old organization serving the disenfranchised in Rio de Janeiro, Ted’s fishing escapades on Brazil’s Northeast Coast, crossing the Atlantic Ocean for sixteen nights and watching that red equator line slip past the boat’s bow, early-April Easter arrival in Spain, and a 1,500 mile road trip from Barcelona to Cadiz with Mike and Tracy.

For now, tidbits live in the Daily Travel Journal, and the fully-fleshed-out-and-photoed posts will make their appearance at some date in the future.

Today…we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a plan that was never part of the plan:

We’ve moved to northern Italy.

On our Itinerary page, we share a Proverb that keeps us humble and excited: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” How true it is.

We’d planned to spend the last of April in the south of Spain, working at a culinary school and trading landscape architecture and miscellaneous skills for room and board. We’d planned to head across the strait to Morocco after that and wander through lands we knew little about, hoping to encounter people and places and life lessons. We’d planned to be independent and footloose, locked in only to arrival in Lebanon later on in June…

When plans began unraveling (and especially when I was disheartened at missing the culinary school opportunity), we fell back on our faith that grander things are in play and that it’s our privilege to learn patience and grow along…

With a wide open schedule, the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Umbria, Italy popped back on the radar, and shortly after the decision to attend, we were offered the opportunity to apply for a new project even farther north in Italy: an apartment stay and time to enjoy the Emilia-Romagna region while we share our travel stories about life on the road.

Now What?

Home is each other, and life fits in a backpack.

In this season we’re mobile enough to jump a plane, train, or automobile (still hoping for a yacht) to make our way forward into the unknown…

Here we are today, settled in Bologna, Italy until mid-May, perched in an apartment above the city streets, sipping dessert quality balsamic vinegar from silver spoons, waking to church bells chiming through the windows, spending time with new-found travel friends, and thoroughly enjoying this unexpected twist in life. After the 13th of May, we move again. Who knows where?

For now, we’re ready to crisscross the land between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, exploring Bologna, Rimini, Ferrara, Ravenna, Parma, Modena, and all the green fields in between…

My takeaway? Plans change: skip fear, choose trust. We’re in this together, and life is good.

For more information about what we’ve been up to, see details about TBU in Umbria and The Blogville Project in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Stay tuned in coming weeks for stories of fine foods, rich culture, and beautiful countryside… Photos and story snippets are flying on Twitter under the #blogville hashtag. Please feel free to jump into the conversation to share insights on enjoying the best of Northern Italy!

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  • Reply CJ April 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm


    Sounds like a blessing in disguise….. as God weaves together the perfect journey and faith is put into action.

    lotti di amore, bella. xx

    • Reply twoOregonians April 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, peach!! Funny how the frustration of plans falling through turns into the celebration of unexpected gifts. It’s such a treat…
      Hugs & good music to you : )

  • Reply Oriana April 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Sounds great Bethany, I’m glad Bologna is treating you guys well and that you can enjoy Italy a bit longer. It was nice meeting you at TBUMBR, I look forward to reading what you think of Bologna.
    P.s. Make sure you try tigelle and crescentine!

    • Reply twoOregonians April 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      So good to meet you, too, Oriana! Ted has your list of recommendations ready to go – it will be so fun to search out the best spots and try the best foods : ) Thanks so much for keeping in touch xx

  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    What an exciting movie! Italy is such a gorgeous country. Enjoy every second!!!

    • Reply twoOregonians April 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      We plan to! : ) How can we not when nearly every scene is piece of art? (And every meal a feast?!)

  • Reply Kim April 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, it sounds wonderful! Congrats you two for handling all of the twists and turns with grace. I can’t wait to see your photos of Italy.

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Thanks, Kim! What a ride…

      I can’t wait to see your pictures from the FIRST DAY AWAY! It’s coming so, so soon… : )

  • Reply nomadbiba April 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    So glad you’re enjoying your time in Bologna & looking forward to meet up again with you guys over there! Can’t wait to start my own BlogVille adventure! Keep up the updates :)

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:06 am

      Yep – we’re off to a great start! You’ll so enjoy the apartment when you get here. It’s a comfortable spot with easy access to everything… : ) Looking forward to having you join us!

  • Reply Carrie Minns April 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Bethany, Love reading your adventures. How thrilling to make an unexpected turn. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Ciao!!

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:09 am

      So lovely to know you’re enjoying the journey along with us, Carrie! The food here…the FOOD is amazing. And exploring the farmlands and learning about their “local food” scene (which is really just the “normal food” scene) is such a treat. Hoping to share many more stories in the weeks to come!

  • Reply Grandma & Grandpa Menzel April 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    It’s so neat to be S-O-O-available to the Holy Spirit’s “change” of plans! A real thrill to be at “His Will” in your lives. Be sure it is His Will and all will be fantastic!!

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Thanks Grandma and Grandpa : ) Keeping you in our prayers – we love you! xoxo

  • Reply Sandra_Kathleen April 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Italia! Che bello!
    I lived in north eastern Italy for a while during high school. Enjoy all of the good food and coffee. :) Of course, don’t forget to have lots of pasta bolognese and ciocolata calda! Even if you had your heart set on your intial plans, I hope you enjoy Italy. This of course goes without saying, but: Italy is a beautiful place!
    Ciao e in bocca al lupo!

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

      Oh my word… We’ve not yet tried the ciocolata calda, but I sense a hot beverage run in the very near future! We’re already so enamored with this new life in Italy. What a different experience even than past trips to Rome, Florence, etc. The calm and beauty up north is just lovely.
      Thanks for reading along!
      Ciao ; )

  • Reply Cindy Buck April 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I love you two and I couldn’t be happier for you; I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Tears of Joy.

    • Reply twoOregonians April 30, 2012 at 1:21 am

      Aww, thank you! : ) Hugs and love xoxox

  • Reply Kirsten April 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I am certainly a veteran of life not going the way one envisions. Almost always for the better — as you two are well aware of already. I pray not that you learn that lesson even better but that you simply have a richness of experiences and the blessing of new friendships so that when you do begin to move again you can carry a fortification of love with you as you go.

    It was just wonderful to see you, Bethany, again in Umbria and to meet you too, Ted. Italy stole a piece of my heart so it’s wonderful to know it has stolen you two a bit as well. So many good things and people all together must be a great thing. xoxo from Bahinaye, Turkey

    • Reply twoOregonians May 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      I’m just now posting this reply, but thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve appreciated them (and re-read them a few times) since you wrote last weekend. Really, it was a highlight to meet up with you again in Umbria, and I’m so glad you and Ted got to finally meet, too. Enjoy Turkey, enjoy good friends, enjoy this journey of life and the experiences that shape us each and every day. You are so loved, friend! xx

  • Reply Gary April 30, 2012 at 4:57 am

    You guys are amazing!

    • Reply twoOregonians May 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Gary! Always so good to hear from you. Thanks for keeping up with us while we’re away, and thanks for keeping us in your prayers, too. Much love to you and the whole Clear Creek gang : )

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica April 30, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Sounds exciting! I liked you statement that “home is each other.”

    • Reply twoOregonians May 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      My mom wrote me a note about that line. She was gushing. Moms. ; ) But…it is true!

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    This is such a cool opportunity. Some of the best parts of travel come from being flexible!

    • Reply twoOregonians May 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      So true! It really is such a huge, unexpected gift : )

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