I remember it as if it were yesterday.
That thrill of excitement, a cross between fear of tomorrow and enthusiasm for what lay ahead. The spark that comes when you feel you are in your twenties, but fifteen years late. The sweet melancholy felt by those who leave the place where they were born and lived for a long time, knowing that most likely they will never return.
But I didn't look back. Not even for a second. I wanted to leave all of that behind. I was as ready as ever to start from scratch, to begin a new life, to prove to myself that I could do it on my own and be successful. That I didn't need anyone; I just needed courage, resourcefulness, and a pinch of madness.
So I jumped into my old but faithful car, turned up the volume on the stereo, and left.
My first destination was a port in Italy, where I took a ferry that carried me abroad. I had no destination but a very specific goal: to find myself. I had to rediscover myself, had to reinvent myself, had to become a new me.
One day, I arrived at a seaside village in Portugal. It was so beautiful that I cried for the first time in a long time. But these were different tears, the tears of one who is getting closer to her goal.
I rented a beachfront apartment for the next month. That month became two, then three, then six, until eventually I realized that I was home.
I found what was lost. I felt new, and I learned to love myself and wished to improve. I allowed myself new horizons, new foods, new goals, new passions, and the freedom to love and be loved for who I am.
Today I live here with my husband, and with the birth of The Limoncino project, we are traveling together toward our new destination.