Guest Blogger Cherrye Moore of My Bella Vita

by Valerie on June 19, 2009 · 5 comments

I am so happy to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Cherrye Moore of My Bella Vita. Cherrye and I are both expats – she’s a Texas-born writer living in Calabria with her Italian husband where they run a B&B – while I moved from Switzerland to the U.S. several years ago. Cherrye is sharing her perspectives as an expat here today and next week I will be guest blogging over at her blog, My Bella Vita, which is truly a wonderful read – it has humor, sadness, food, travel and, above all, great writing.

Without further ado, here is Cherrye:

Change is in the (Italian) Air by Cherrye Moore

Ahhh, the joys of being an expat. Living it up on foreign land, haggling with the locals over the price of a knock-off handbag, expanding the search for the most authentic homemade gelato in the country. Oh no, life in Italy is not bad … in fact, it is downright bella.

I was thrilled when the City Girl suggested we exchange “Expat Life” blog posts … and I’m not just saying that because this is her blog. It is true.

Even when your day-to-day experiences consist of Argonese sand castles (see picture below) and big naked bronze men, you fall into a routine and it is surprisingly easy to overlook just how much your new life has changed you.

But it does. Being an expat changes your perspective on life. It enhances your life. It transforms you in ways that are sometimes hard to articulate.

So this is what I think. Here are three ways being an expat can change your life.

  • You see the big picture

    And no, I’m not talking about Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or Leonardo’s Last Supper.

    Since moving to southern Italy three years ago, I have developed a better understanding of the world I live in and just how small my place in that world is. This doesn’t mean I feel insignificant or inferior, but rather, when you expand your network to include people from Italy, France, Brazil, Russia, England and Ireland you become less ethnocentric and learn to appreciate the influences these cultures have in your life.

  • You develop a deeper appreciation for your culture

    Ironically, living abroad has also enhanced my admiration for my home country-Texas! … oh, and the US, too. I’m always amazed when I meet fellow travelers or expats who are quick to jump on the America-is-to-blame-for-everyone’s-troubles bandwagon. Yes, America has its issues but we are a great country and I’m proud to be an American (can’t you hear the song playing in your head?). I adore Italy but I am, and always will be, a Texan at heart. And I think leaving my home has only made me love it, and appreciate it, even more.

  • You learn to stop taking yourself so seriously


    There are only so many times you can make a complete fool out of yourself without seeing the humor.

    So even when I make linguistic mistakes, like telling my husband’s friend “I have 29 anuses” instead of “I am 29 years old,” or telling my father-in-law “I’m F-(blank, blanking) the floor,” instead of “I’m sweeping the floor,” well … you get the picture. And you learn to laugh.

    Embarrassment has become an everyday occurrence around these parts and although I’m not exactly thrilled with it as it is happening, I think the embarrassment or humility, we’ll call it, is to count for the newfound laissez faire attitude I’ve developed here.

    Luckily, that attitude stays with me when I travel, when I’m back in Texas, when I’m dealing with guests at our bed and breakfast and when working with editors or freelance writing clients.

    And that is something I don’t think I could have learned in a stress-management book or university classroom. It is real life experience. It is my real life experience. And even the worst of it, is wonderful.

    You can learn more about Cherrye at her site My Bella Vita, grab her RSS feed here, receive updates via email here or sign up for her newsletter “Questo Mese in Italia.”

    All photos courtesy of Cherrye Moore.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Noodlegirl June 19, 2009 at 4:22 am

Nice to meet you! Oh gosh I think you are living so many women's drean living in Italy and having a bed and breakfast I am so envious!!!!

What a great idea of blog swapping! I will definitely check out your blog!


2 Globetrotting Cacti June 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

Love your post. I am English and have lived in America for a couple of years and have spent multiple summers living with an Italian family so can really relate to what you are saying….

Off to check out your blog….


3 Cherrye Moore June 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Hey Noodlegirl and Globetrotting Cacti! Thank you for the comments!

I hope to hear from you on My Bella Vita and learn more about you, as well!


4 Kiki June 21, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Great idea for a post! As an American living in England, it is easy to forget sometimes that this is actually a different country, and then BOOM! something happens to shock you back into reality. But the contrast isn't nearly as huge as it was when I was living in China.

Hope this becomes a regular series! I'd love to hear more about your experiences as an expat in the States!


5 KARMINA July 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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