An unexpected thing happened when I wrote my last blog about selling the villa. One of my readers took the time – quite a lot of time – to ask me a whole bunch of questions about the flip side of big dreams: the pitfalls. She thought it would be useful for readers to understand, if they wanted to try something like this themselves, the lessons I’d learned about what NOT to do.

One thing in particular about Ms. C’s note struck me: Failure is not a positive word in our western society, however I think the best way to think of it is as another word for a learning experience! 

I couldn’t agree more.

And then: Most of us have read “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “A Year in Provence” and we have a highly romantic, impractical view of undertaking the task of a remodel. In fact there are any number of books about how wonderful it all is and it sounds so fun and so easily do-able when you read those books and magazine articles.

Hmmm. Yes, I did read those books. And the villa project was hugely positive for me, despite my current period of mourning. To feel otherwise would be akin to wishing dead friends hadn’t been born, so that we wouldn’t miss them now that they’re gone. However, sometimes the price of dreaming is mourning, and I’d hate to think my story would stop anyone – least of all me – from continuing to pursue the big ones. From experience comes knowledge and growth.

So let’s share it! I’m going to simply work through Ms. C’s questions, on the assumption she’s not the only one who has them. If any of you have more, fire away: either here, or by sending me a message on Godzillavilla’s facebook page.

The first has to do with money. Stay tuned, my answer will be coming soon.

And thank you, Ms. C., for writing your long note asking me to do this.