Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Friday, September 26, 2014

During my run yesterday, many thoughts came to mind about my life in Florence and a Parisian suburb. When I talk to my friends, I understand that it looks like a dream to be living between two different countries and be able to speak both Italian and French fluently. I didn’t get to this point in a day; it took many years of persevering. I remember when I was in my university library studying for my French literature class and how all I dreamed about was living in France. In my early twenties, I would’ve been content waiting tables or working in a bookshop just to live in France. Fortunately, I got a hired by a French software company that sent me to Paris. France drew me into its web after I stayed with two different French families (one month each) right after graduating high school. Florence, on the other hand, called to me after only spending three days in its embrace.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

When you are an expat, you walk a fine line between two worlds: where you were raised and where you are currently living. It’s not like you can hold one world in one hand and the other in the other hand; you have to hold onto both worlds with both hands without crushing either one of them. I have the added benefit (and added challenge) of embracing three worlds: Italy, France, and the US. I try to embrace fully the world in which I am right now without negating the other two. At times, it can be a bit challenging especially when there is some international sporting event. For me, the challenge comes around every four years for the World Cup.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014
Me, My Heart, and I :: Paying homage at Père Lachaise Cemetery

Thirteen years ago today my mom passed away. It sounds like a long time ago especially so much has happened in that time; however, with so many memories still vibrant in my mind, it seems like yesterday. To pay homage to my mom, I decided on going to Père Lachaise Cemetry. I had never visited the cimitière (cemetery) before although I did hear about many of the famous people who are buried there, like Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac, Colette, Oscar Wilde, and many more.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

The first five months of this year have gone by like a bolt of lightening. I almost can’t believe it’s almost June. I have been trying to balance my life between Paris and Florence even though at times I have felt more like a Ping-Pong ball bouncing back and forth. Although I am completely settled in each place, I usually need at least one full day to adjust to the language, culture, and rhythm of the city. The double-expat life can be a little exhausting at times; however, it has taught me about the necessity of keeping my life balanced.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In the middle of November, I wanted to write something to celebrate my nine-year anniversary of living in Florence. I almost can’t believe that nine years have passed since I moved back to Florence after my five-year hiatus in the US. Most of my family and friends in the US define me as an expat although that’s not how I would describe myself even though by definition I am an expat. For me, an expat is someone who chooses to live in another country, embraces the new culture, speaks the country’s language, and adapts to its lifestyle.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Soon I’ll be celebrating my nine-year anniversary living in Florence. It’s hard to believe that nine years have gone by already. So much has happened in my life in that time. Ever since I moved to Florence the first time in 1997, I have considered Florence my home. Even though I returned to the US for a few years, Florence was still blazing in my heart and I knew that I would call it home again.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

After my last trip to Florence, I came back to Paris and then left for California for a couple of weeks. Now that I am back in France where I plan on staying put for a little while. In the last couple of months, I have put my blog on the back burner, but have continued taking photos and publishing them via Instagram. During my last trip to Florence, my beau and I also visited the Cinque Terre and Siena. Even though I love Florence, I enjoy visiting Italy and sharing it with others.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I've been living in Florence since 2004 and traveling to Paris for work almost every month since the beginning of 2011. It was only recently that I decided to embrace my life in both cities. I initially thought that I had to choose one place to be my home, but I now feel that I can choose both. By doing so, I am able to appreciate each one more fully. This transition seemed natural to me especially because I believe that love allows us to encompass more in our lives, not less.

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