Friendly Friday turning point

Amanda is asking us about the turning points in our lives. I shall concentrate on one: the time when I changed countries, languages, loves, climates, dogs. And yet every moment is right for turning your life around.

I think it was Amanda’s photo Contemplating the choices that brought me back to that moment. It was seven years ago, I had gelato in Piran leaning against the warm wall, gazing across the sea to Italy on the other side, and I realised I needed to do something to change my life.

Not much later I received an invitation from that direction to visit Rome and amore. At that time he was not yet amore as I know him now. He was an internet friend. We hadn’t even seen each other on the screen yet, except in a few photos, and had never talked, only chatted in writing on and off for some three years.

One day I was reading Jeanette Winterson’s The PowerBook on my reading rock by the sea when the decision was reached to say YES to the 10-day visit. I describe this event in my open letter to Ms. Winterson that I posted on my first blog and tried sending to her through some forums but never got any word that she has read it. I hope it has reached her somehow.

In the letter I thank her for changing my story and yet it was I who said yes, to the invitation, to the change, to life. I recommend doing that, wholeheartedly.

This scene from the island of Kefalonia in Greece (of which Gavin writes at firehorseworld) is a good visual of how it felt, to jump into uncharted waters.

These are the only two photos from there that remain. The others were deleted by accident. These were saved because I chose them to send out to friends as a New Year 2010 greeting. I might have jumped but I needed two more years to act.

The third key turning point came as I was on the train to leave Rome after those first ten days together. David Bowie counted down in the Termini station sound system and sang about leaving if I dare. I had to but was crying all the way to Bologna. The photo in the gallery taken from the train says it all. Sometimes you just know.

I was back in four months. Then he came to my city to spend New Year’s Eve 2013 together with the invitation to move over there to him. And in another four months we were living together in Tuscany. It will be six years in April.

Below are some moments that illustrate the start of our story. For the photos to make full sense you will have to read the captions.

Oh, and how did that first meeting go, you ask? First we realised that we didn’t understand each other. He had learned English by reading and writing it only. When it was time to listen to me, he didn’t recognise the words. And when he tried speaking it, I could only laugh. No wonder we’ve been having such a good time ever since. 😀

Friendly Friday

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Amanda from Something to Ponder About


  1. What a romantic story. And how brave you both were to jump into something new and unknown. I had never thought of the language difficulties you must have faced but you persisted. Look at you now. Just wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susanne. 🙂 If someone had told me when I was 18, for example, that I had this coming, I’d have laughed and laughed and told them they were being silly. Such things just don’t happen. I would have moved anywhere with him, really, but it was Tuscany, of all places.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Manja. I have something in my eye right now. 😉 It is such a romantic love story. I wish you many years of perfect love and Italian food!! Lol!
    I admire your adventurous spirit and the gutsy decision to leave and give love a chance! That is fantastic but it must have been a difficult choice in many ways!

    As for Slovenia, I can tell it will always be in your heart. Every time I read about it on your blog, it sounds quite magical. I love that you have a reading rock! And that you can gaze across the water to another country. A perfect place for contemplation! Thanks so much for sharing your story on Friendly Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda, for your words and this lovely prompt. I’ll never leave Slovenia behind or forget about it. Luckily it’s close and I can return often. I’m glad it sounds magical to you. 🙂 As for our story, it’s perfectly unreal and yet it happened.


  3. Storia appassionata!
    Complimenti ai due amanti!

    Just my taste & cup of tea.
    At this moment – me too twisting my life completely inside out:
    You must have smelled that.
    AHOI !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bojana. I love those moments when you know without a shadow of doubt.

      I was in Kefalonia without any means of transport, stuck in a small town far away from everything for a week with the ex with whom I didn’t get much along any more. We visited one Greek island every summer and this one was the last. Once we walked for 7-8 km to a deserted beach where the wasp bit me twice and I was this close to the shock even though I was never allergic. Some damn poisonous and hungry wasp. And then I had to walk all this distance back in 40 degrees. Really not such great memories. But it was not the island’s fault.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hihih, Leya! I wonder who would play both of us. 😉 I’d be too upset with every little thing they would change. 😀 I think a book might be better. And I’d write that myself. Thank you so much!


  4. Oh Manja! I LOVE your story ❤️

    I had no idea our stories had similar undertones. When Gilles and I met, my French and his English were more theoretical than practical. Like you and Amore, we had to learn how to communicate with each other 😍

    I don’t know if I can claim to ever have made such a huge decision as yours – or as you described it ‘jumping into uncharted waters’. However, it sounds like you did just fine 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Joanne, so nice to hear about your similar story. 🙂 We both did more than alright, I’d say! ❤ I believe deeply that once you are forced to express yourself in a different language, everything becomes clearer and much of the BS falls off. 😉 To happy stories such as ours. So glad to have you here!


  5. SUCH a sweet story! When you know you know. Yep. It’s a wild ride, this life, full of all kinds of surprises. I am so glad you found one another ❤ Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AWWW, I love this post 😍😭❤
    Life does surprise you sometimes, isn’t it true? If I look back, I realize that I’ve done things that I had swore never to do in life and being happy about it! LOL!

    I remember you told me about Amore not being able to correctly pronounce words in English (courtesy of Italian TV always using voice over) and it must have been very hard at the beginning for both of you! Bravi for being persevering!
    I experienced something similar (on a different level), having “a thing” for someone speaking another language. On one hand I am always enthralled by people with a different cultural background as it makes things less “boring” (I kind of hate “routine”); on the other hand I firmly believe the communication is fundamental in a relationship and not speaking the same language is a difficult obstacle to overcome…how did you manage? I admire both of you for your willingness to embrace your emotions ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Sara! ❤ Oh yes, I'm all in favour of mixing it up. 🙂 You're so right, Italian TV is to blame! I'll never forget how much I learned from original English and American films and series from the TV with subtitles as it should be! Before we met I had four years of Spanish and living next door to Italy was surely helpful, but it was the shock of his poor spoken English that made me numb. In writing he was so eloquent! 😀 (Of course, by consulting the dictionary all the time!) He is stubborn and chatty and that helped a lot. I'm doing much better too and can even argue on the phone in Italian to a degree and defend myself when his relatives tease me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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