Making a big change? I am!

I have some exciting news I want to share with you... In just under 2 months, I’ll be moving to Italy!

It's a big change for me, and one that I know is going to be a wonderful part of continuing to create and shape my life and my business.

Yet it's also a challenge: I’ll be living in a different country, starting out with a limited knowledge of the language and I’ll be there without any friends or family in the immediate vicinity.

When I was working full time, feeling chained to my desk, I dreamed of travelling and seeing more of the world, and now  - here I am! - not long from getting on that plane.

Is it scary? Yes Do I know how it will all work out? No Do I want to do it anyway? Absolutely!

Of course, the idea didn’t just materialise overnight. I’ve been walking around with just the thought of visiting Italy in my head for YEARS. I finally got there in 2013. I knew what steps to take (check my passport, choose a place, book a holiday, get on the plane) but something had held me back. I’d even had a go at learning Italian a couple of years ago in order to be ready for my holiday - whenever it happened.

And now I’m moving there to live.

How did that happen?

Earlier this year, I went part time in my job in order to build my business, speaking, writing and coaching. It’s been a wonderful time, supported by the community I love at the office and also creating a space and time for me to meet and engage with people, do talks and workshops and create courses. All these things I’ve chosen to do - stepping away from the direction I was previously heading to bring more excitement, fulfillment and joy into my life.

Yet, I know the importance of my environment in supporting and enhancing my life to be at my very best. I know that where I am currently, London, UK, is not where I want to be.

The adventurer inside of me wants to experience a different culture, my skin is longing for a different climate and I know that Italy has been at the top of my list of desirable places to live for so long, almost to the exclusion of all others.

Italy is in my highest vision - the version of my life that I’m consciously moving towards, creating the life that I want to live. I know the more steps I take in my life towards that ‘me’, the more joyful my life is and the more I can give to those whom I encounter.

This is what Know Grow Give is all about. The more I learn about myself, the more I grow into the person I want to be, the more I give to the world. Italy is the next step for me….albeit quite a big one!

So how did I know that this step was the right one for me to take?

I tested it against my dream

Before I went part time in my job and, at a time in my life when I was trying to make a decision about my work and the business I wanted to build, the idea of moving to Italy came into my head. I knew that Italy was a place I loved to be, I knew that I could see myself living there at some point, but I didn’t know when. The thought of living abroad excited me, I pictured myself there, imagining the kind of life I would lead and  the things about it I would enjoy.

Initially I didn’t know it was Italy that was in my dream. It wasn’t until I began to identify some of the features that I would include in my ideal environment: warm weather, great architecture, gorgeous food, a beautiful language, plenty of coastline, that it began to sound more and more like Italy. Of course, lots of places fit those descriptions and ultimately the real test is the reaction I feel in my body when I imagine it.

I asked myself how I felt

When I was thinking about moving to Italy the feeling I use to guide me in my decision was driven by my body reaction (I've written more about that here) Over the time I’ve been considering this decision, all sorts of thoughts and ideas about how I feel about London have come up. ‘I’ll miss people’ or ‘There’s so much more activity in London - won’t I miss out?’ Yet against this, and in those moments of self-doubt, I ask myself: Am I excited about it? And I picture myself getting on the plane and see how I feel, and then I picture myself NOT getting on the plane, but staying here and carrying on and I can immediately tell the decision that’s the right one. The little fizz of anticipation, the potential that begins to swim around in my brain, the little leap of my heart - these reactions tell me what I want to do, even if it's buried a little under a sprinkling of fear.

We can get overcome by fear with a change we want to make, but don’t yet have the courage. But as Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy said: Fear is excitement without the breath. Fear is often a sign that something is REALLY important to us and when we allow long, deep breaths with big circles of air to begin to flow through us, that terrified, 'knots in the stomach' feeling lessens.

I planned out a route

How much money will I need? What if I feel alone? What if I hate it? How will I make friends? What happens if I get ill? How long will it take me to learn the language? All these questions have come up for me, plus a few more!

My two main fears were around income and feeling alone. My business is still growing and I know I want it to continue to do so in the way it has done over the last few months, gradually and at the right pace for me. When I originally had the idea I thought about how I could allow myself to create another income stream to support me for the move. So I’ll be starting my Italian life on a course to teach English, something that I’d always wanted to do, but had not yet accomplished.

Feeling alone was another thing I feared; without knowing much of the language, I was aware that the first month of being in a country will be the most challenging. Originally, I’d planned to qualify as a teacher here in London and then travel to Italy, but whilst researching I found a much better option; I could do the course out in Italy! This will land me in an already established English speaking community so I can be easily in touch with others who can help with the culture change.

So that's my big change - what's yours?