Meeting Women Who are Living their Dream

My blog has allowed me to make some wonderful new blogger friendships and these people continue to inspire and amaze me everyday from all parts of the world!

In December I held my first workshops in Australia and was so fortunate to meet 2 gorgeous women who have been blogging and working towards their dreams.  Nothing like putting faces to names after all these years being friends in cyberland and there was the odd tear shed on the day.

Both women are at different stages in realising their dreams but none the less they are taking steps to achieve what they believe in to change their life and really live each day!

Lisa Chiodo from the the blog Renovating Italy has been telling her story since May 2005 about the same time I started my blog and I have been following her from her early days so I know her story well. Lisa has been working towards leaving her life in Australia and moving with her husband and children to live in Italy and renovate their dream home.

No, the image above is not their renovation it is Lisa’s ‘inspiration shot’ the images below are photos of their renovator’s delight!

After many years of planning some major life hurdles and set backs the countdown has finally come 16 days and counting until departure,  a collective Bravo to the Chiodo family their Italian Dream in the village of Veravo in Liguria is almost there, give or take a little blood, sweat and tears…

‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’


I also had the fortune at my Get Published workshop of meeting the lovely Debra Kolkka from the blog Bagni di Lucca, Debra spends her time  between Australia and Ponte a Serraglio in the area Bagni di Lucca which  is actually a collection of villages in northern Tuscany.

Debra has almost completed her renovation of their beautiful stone house in Vergemoli  which just happens to be  in a national park in the Garfagnana, the magnificent mountains near Lucca and Bagni di Lucca, check out the breathtaking view in the images below.

Image Copyright Debra Kolkka

Image copyright Debra Kolkka

Debra is actually in Florence at the moment and as I read her post I was transported back to my life in Florence. I felt like I was on her shopping spree looking at some of my favourite shopping (window only) haunts in my beloved Firenze. 

Roberto Cavalli Image Debra Kolkka

I loved meeting these two inspiring and highly motivated women and love that they have allowed us to share their journeys and their new lives.  If you feel like leaving your desk, the laundry basket or wherever you are today and flying to Italy check out Renovating Italy and Bagni di Lucca.

You know there are some things you never get over and leaving Italy was one of them for me.

Italy, Ti penso ogni giorno - I think of you every day

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32 Responses to Meeting Women Who are Living their Dream

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    You make my life sound wonderful…and it is. Thank you for your kind words…I wondered why there was a sudden interest in the Florence post.
    I had wonderful time at your workshop, and learned lots. It is so much fun to meet the people you meet through blogging.
    I hope Lisa has success with her Italian renovation…and life in Italy.

  2. Debra Kolkka says:

    You make my life sound wonderful…and it is. Thank you for your kind words…I wondered why there was a sudden interest in the Florence post.
    I had wonderful time at your workshop, and learned lots. It is so much fun to meet the people you meet through blogging.
    I hope Lisa has success with her renovation…and her new life in Italy.

  3. Carla, I know I have said this already but I have to yet again–you have the best recommendations! Am very happy to have signed up to follow both. We all need new dreams to attach our stars to from time to time. :)
    Stay warm up there, it’s cooold this week!

  4. La Contessa says:

    Alhora!My Italian husband Giampiero, well his partner is from BAGNO DI LUCCA!I will definitely sign up for that BLOG.I’m already following the other don’t know how I found her but we are all connected somehow someway through this BLOGGING!Sounds like her husband is on the mend and that CASA they will be fixing up!What a joy!My DREAM was a casa colonics with farmyard and all……………..still dreaming.Kinda made it happen here in the states.Not the same however!I think of FIRENZE every day too CARLA!It’s been 18 years for me since we left.Giampy, left before me and I stayed behind to let KRK finish first grade.It took 3 cars to drive us to the Rome airport you see I had 2 dogs, 2 cats,two kids and 18 pieces of luggage never mind the container with all of our belongings had already left with the MARITO!After,he left I went “shopping” and well I bought a lot of ceramics!Bought so much I couldn’t carry it all so for the next 12 years I would get a small package in the mail from assorted friends who would send to me upon their visits back to the states!Yes, it took that long cause WYLE wanted to give it to me in person and well……after years of sitting in her L.A. house she decided to mail it!Which reminds me did you know about NETWORK in FIRENZE?I was one of the first members!

    • WOW Contessa I am having the vision of you at the airport!!! this comment made me laugh what a great story xx no did not know about Network x Carla

      • La Contessa says:

        Yes, it was a sight at the airport and you know what?They did not charge me for too much baggage!I was so sad to be leaving told the gal at the counter I did not want to be leaving and there was NO CHARGE!The story gets better!We missed the connection in New York, But the dogs made it!This was the time of no cell phones!I was a wreck as the dogs would be in those boxes for over 24 hours!Never mind by the time we landed in San Fran the whole plane knew our story!Happy ending as the Marito was there with a long stem red rose!

  5. will trot over to look at their blogs + love this blog.

  6. Annette says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to meet new people and see how their going on their dream trajectory!? I’ve been following Lisa for a couple of years now and am so excited for her imminent move. Will be checking out Debra’s blog!

  7. Dianne says:

    Thank you Carla for introducing us to these bloggers with their wonderful dreams.
    “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” …what an inspirational quote.

    “All Things French”

  8. jeanettecoulson says:

    Hi Carla love this blog and Dad and I wish you and Francesco well in your dreams . (so many have come true ) you will have your home done one day Love Mumxxxx

  9. I stumbled into Lisa’s world late last year. We’ve never met but this girl has such a generous soul. Inspiring for newcomers. One day we’ll cross paths … Veravo we’re hoping :) And as for Debra, I’m on my way …

  10. Doug Porter says:

    A great piece Carla, wishing ‘The Chiodo’s’ all the best.

  11. I know I’ve told you many times that you were my inspiration to start sharing our story dear Carla. Those early years in Italy left me with thousands of photos and a journal I always wanted to turn into a book.

    Now we are so close to returning to begin this next adventure in the mountains of Liguria and my heart beats fast just with the thought. I fully understand your love for Italy and never getting over leaving.

    Finally meeting you at your workshop was like meeting a soul sister, someone who didn’t ‘wait’ and lept into the life you wanted wholeheartedly.We continue to do the same xxx

    • Carla says:

      Lisa I am so happy for you it has been a long time coming but you are now realising your dreams! I cannot wait to start reading the next exciting chapters xx Carla

  12. Sarah says:

    Oh wow…. so amazing to read these. Carla, I have followed you for many years, and you are living my dream ;) I so wanted to do your workshop, but it had sold out by the time I realised you were in Australia (hope you’re planning on doing it again some day!!) Not sure I can ever make my dreams quite my reality, but all of you are SO very inspiring to make even this smallest bit of change happen. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. jann says:

    Great women & great blogs!!! I’d love to meet these women, too.

  14. I love the six degrees of separation in the online world and to see how lives have collided in real life!

    I have been following Lisa’s fulfillment of her dreams and I cannot wait for the book with photos and narrative of the renovation and life in Italy.

    Debra amazes me with her imagery and tales of life in Italy and beyond on her blog. It has been wonderful to see the renovation of her beautiful stone house in Vergemoli – such history in that house.

    Well done to you 3 (Debra, Lisa and Carla) amazing ladies!

  15. love photos says:

    Awesome blog and pix i simply love this…

  16. Jacky says:

    So inspirational as always Carla, your story inspired me

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