As some of you may know, I was living in Greece when Tevi and I met. He found me on instagram, digged my style and life, and reached out. It wasn’t an obvious romance from start, which we may come back to in a future article, but fate had it that we got pregnant pretty soon after we first met, and then decided to move from the paradise island of Paros, back to Sweden, where I had lived from the age of 8-24 more or less.
I wanted to be close to family and friends for the end of my pregnancy, and I wanted to give birth naturally at home, surrounded by all that is nostalgically Swedish to me. So we rented a red little cottage in the country side and prepared for our son’s arrival. We didn’t know the gender beforehand, because that was the least of our concerns. To live in peace and harmony and be able to gain strength and support from mother earth, was the highest priority. That summer turned out to be the coldest summer in 150 years, perfect timing for living in a simple cottage that had neither running water nor heating and insulation. But despite the challenges, Rowan was born in that cottage bedroom, on the 18th of June of 2017 (birth story coming up soon!).
Three months after our son was born, we left on a journey around the world. From Sweden to LA, from Bali and Singapore to Tahiti and Huahine in French Polynesia. From New Zealand back to Europe, and after spending Christmas in Rome, we made Portugal our home for a few months. This is the time in which we had realised that yes, Mediterranean is the place to be.
We really enjoyed Portugal, but wanted warmer water, and being in central Mediterranean, just felt better location wise. I had lived in Greece for a year and Tevi for a few months, so we wanted to try something new. I used to live in Spain for a couple years when I was younger. So France was the only thing left, we thought. For some reason, Italy never came up in discussion. We were completely sure that France was the country to relocate to.
So when spring had just started to sprung, we packed our car and drove through Portugal and Spain to get to France (read about our first day in France here). We spent the next three months exploring the Southern parts of France. We fell in love with the Cevennes national park, and were pretty sure that that was our place. Until we just had to realise, that something just didn’t feel so right, after all.
Not only the fact that we couldn’t really find anything within our budget, but there were many restrictions, and nowhere could we find that wild beauty near the Mediterranean sea that we had dreamed of. The whole coast felt overly developed, so we took a pause from searching, drove to Sweden for my sisters wedding. And after a month in Scandinavia, we decided to drive down Europe on the Eastern side instead of France, Germany, England, Denmark..
We had one more country to check out as a potential home, namely Croatia. Croatia is so beautiful, especially the national forests and countryside a bit inland, but of course also the coastline to some extent. We did enjoy ourselves, but it didn’t feel right for a place to call home. Our long road trip led us to Ljubliana in Slovenia, and one evening after weighting our options and feeling quite frustrated, I reached out to my followers on Instagram to ask for advice. It had led us to each other, so it is quite a magical tool, after all. Maybe someone out there will know of a place that had all the tings we were searching for? We wanted:
Possibility of peace and quiet
Not too busy and developed
And within an hour, a lovely follower had suggested SICILY.
Neither of us had ever been, and it had never crossed our minds. To us, for some reason, we had excluded Italy from our potential list altogether, strangely as it sounds now. But after a quick Ecosia search, we were convinced. Absolutely sold to the idea that it would become our new home base.
I emailed the real estate broker that we found online on that same night, and when we woke up in the morning, they had already responded. “Yes, that piece of land in the valley for only €4000 is still available, when can you come visit?”
Next week! - was our answer.
And that was how it happened that we chose Sicily of all places in the world.
More about this very shortly …