Where do you draw your inspiration?  

I guess over the years my personal inspiration has come in many different forms, although for the most part there are people, places and gifts… 

Initially I found my inspiration in the final six months of my dad’s life and these experiences and moments changed my life irrevocably.   I no longer floated along and accepted life as it was, but outwardly challenged my values, beliefs and began moulding it into the life I’d always wanted to live, one brick at a time.

Of course this realization was at the cost of losing both my parents and not having had the opportunity to build an adult relationship with them… 🤔

The silver lining was that had the chance to spend a lot of time with my kids during their formative and teen years which was an absolute blessing.  ❤️

As with most things in life we draw our strength and inspiration from many places, and so I wanted to share with you a few of my inspirational touchstones.  Clearly in no particular order, but each contributes immeasurably to the shape and context of my life as it is today.

Special people  At times when I reflect on my life I’m always struck by the diversity and uniqueness of those special people in my life that truly inspire me.  

Just take a moment to reflect on those people in your life that touch you in a way that moves you. There are a handful of people who I both admire, but also take great inspiration from.  

Of all the people in my life my greatest inspirations are my kids Zach and Sam.  As they have always been both my number one priority but also my greatest motivation to be the best dad I could be.  It’s totally been a two way street as I’ve learned so much from them over the years, and love them with all my heart!    ❤️

The very next person on my list is my best friend, Craig. He has charisma, but not in a showy or outward way.  

Craig is able to put people at ease from the very first, this gift is then coupled with an incredible sense of humour, a healthy dose of self-confidence and most of all a giving and kind nature.  

He’s truly an inspiration, not only for me but for everyone he meets.  He’s a one of a kind best mate!

Often when traveling you meet people and connect, and there was something about Arianna and Alessio when I met them on one of my many trips to Italy back in 2016.  

They live in their beautiful home of Montrogoli just outside San Casciano Val Di Pesa (which I would highly recommend visiting and staying) which is surrounded by the natural beauty of Tuscany.

They live the concept of slow living…Italian style to the fullest, thus introducing you to a new way of looking and connecting with the world around you.  We keep in contact regularly, but they inspire me to continue on my path of self-discovery and yet slow down to experience everything life has to give.

Special Places  If you’ve read my essays over the years you’ll know that my heart belongs to Italy.  In fact, my daughter Sam often asks me when I’m moving to Italy…cheeky girl!  

Other than Australia and Canada, I’ve spent more time in Italy than any other country on the planet.  It’s sort of hard to describe, but when I’m in Italy I feel at peace… There’s no other way to describe it.  

From the moment I land and take my first breath of that aromatic Italian air it’s as if I belong there.  Perhaps in a former life, who knows, but clearly my affinity runs true and deep with Italy often on my mind.  ❤️

What most inspires me about Italy, although difficult to choose just a couple of things I would have to say its natural beauty, the warmth and generosity of the people who I’ve met and the way that Italians embrace life.  

They truly live “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) and they’re only too happy to share this approach to living, which I’ve come to appreciate more and more over the years.  It’s all about slowing down and enjoying every facet of life…without rush!

One bit of advice I’d give to those of you interested in experiencing the real Italy is to get local.

I personally enjoy renting an apartment in a small village for a couple of weeks and immersing myself.  You get to practice your Italian (in my case rather rudimentary) while they get to know you and practice their English. 

It’s a combination of a slow life, beautiful scenery, fantastic culture and history coupled with the warmest people on earth. Now that’s inspirational!

I’ve had a few people ask me why I decided to move back to Australia and not Italy?   Well, timing is everything I suppose, but more than that was my lack of language skills and starting life in a country that was in the midst of global epidemic were certainly barriers.

At least in Australia I knew the language and the weather was going to be sub tropical all year round…  So my plan is to continue to visit Italy whenever I have the opportunity.

Special Gifts I’m a big believer in giving myself presents, and one of my favourite gifts that I give to myself (other than freshly cut flowers each week) as often as I can is the dawn light over a beach somewhere. ❤️

Fortunately, I’ve always been a morning person, so not too difficult to get up early and head to the ocean for the dawn light, especially when I’m within such easy reach. 

One thing I realized over the past couple of years is that the more I slow down and breathe and take in all the things around me the more I appreciate my life and the things that are important to me.  

This inspires me to share my story and help others who are going through a similar journey.  

Maybe it’s karma, but the more I share the more I get back.  Life is a two-way street where it becomes unclear who is inspiring whom. ❤️

Perhaps take a moment to reflect on what, who and where provides you with inspiration?  

There are no right or wrong answers to this question, just reflection time… 

Until next week