The story of Lost (and Found) in Sicily



Hello! I'm Karen. Californian by birth, Italian by marriage, Sicilian by residency, New Yorker at heart. I'm a lover of many things, but mainly I'm an art conservator, artist, wife and mother.

This blog is an extension of my life in Sicily. I started it when l first moved here as a space to record my discoveries, adventures and sources of inspiration. It wasn't always easy to find the good stuff, especially at the beginning. The blog let me keep track of it all. I figured if I was feeling a bit 'lost' there might be others like me who could benefit from some insider information when navigating this amazing yet sometimes maddening island. I also desired an international community. Blogging was a fun way to connect and share tidbits of my Sicilian life with other expats and lovers of travel and discovery.

Eight years later, I'm still here and I'm still living in Sicily. What I've come to realize is that I keep coming back to this space because of the simple fact that it inspires me! It inspires me to notice more, to slow down and look at the details of my life and the world I live in, to appreciate all the beauty there is around me, and to connect and share it all with you. 

Feeling inspired is so important to me because my greatest passion is living a creative life. I owe this realization to the process that began when I moved here and then slowly unfolded over these 8 years. You see it was much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be to leave the life I knew, to let go of longings and regrets I held onto for that life, and then to ultimately decide to take the leap and wholeheartedly embrace this new life. Once I was able to do all that, after a lot of resistance and struggle, the feeling of being lost magically faded away. What I 'found' it its place was a desire for self-discovery. And what emerged from that desire was my love for creative expression.

Creativity can mean so many different things. Currently it manifests as drawing, illustration, design, painting, photography, playing with my 9-year old, cuddling with our dogs, and planning our next travel adventure. From this newfound place I like to think of blogging as another way to express my love for the creative process. I also hope that through my posts I can spread the love by inspiring others in their pursuit of finding information about Sicily and their own version of living a creative life.

If you are interested in seeing some of my creations please check out my portfolio at www.karenabend.com or you can follow along on instagram, pinterest, or facebook. 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me an email, leave a comment, connect on social media, whatever works for you. I'll be sure to get back to you. Thanks so much for stopping by!


4 comments:

  1. I love your blog. Found it when I was living in Acireale from August 2011-2014, attached to Sigonella. Returned to it today and hope you are well.

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    1. Hello Jill! Thank you so much for writing! I had to take a long blog break for personal reasons but am back at it again with weekly posts. Acireale is a beautiful town, it must have been a fun experience living there. Hope you are well, too!

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  2. Hello Karen. I'm looking for a little guidance from someone who has done what I plan to do; relocate from USA to Sicily. Born in California, like you, I am currently living in Oregon. My husband and I plan to retire in a few years at which time we will live permanently in Sicily. We are in the process of purchasing a home there. I have dual citizenship and my husband has applied to become an Italian citizen through marriage but four years later, it still hasn't come through. In preparing for our big move, I have two questions for you. Quotes from international moving companies vary greatly, so I'm wondering if you can recommend any. My other question is this: when it comes time to retire and move there, if my husband has still not achieved his Italian citizenship, will he need some kind of visa or permit? All the information online seems to deal with working there, but we will be retired and receiving a pension from the U.S. We both already have our codice fiscal cards and an Italian bank account. Thank you for any advice you can offer.
    Barbara

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    1. Hello B.P., thanks for reaching out! Sounds like you have some exciting plans in place for your future retirement! Do you already know in what part of Sicily you will be living?

      To answer your questions, when we moved from the US to Italy I did not have that many possessions and we used a shipping company that a long ago friend worked for. I am sorry I really don't remember the details of the move other than that we used a container that was shipped by boat. We were allowed to fill that entire container. We only moved things like clothes and electronics and books, no big furniture. Sorry I can't be more of help with that.

      For your second question, yes, your husband will need a visa if he does not get his citizenship in time. When I came over I did not have citizenship. You have to get a 'permesso di sogiorno'. When you go to the Italian consulate they will explain it all to you. There is also something called a 'family visa' I believe that is different than a tourist visa. But basically before traveling you he will need the visa from consulate. Then when you arrive he will have to go to the carabinieri (police station) to register him in the commune and then you will apply for the permesso di sogiorno.

      If you need any more information in the future, feel free to reach out, also by email or facebook if you wish.

      Good luck!

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I'd love to hear from you!