001. My ten year adventure with nothing begins

 This is me on the Italian Riviera.

I came to Italy with nothing and lived for four months like an Italian movie star. How come? Well, this is my story. How my moderately successful life as a freelance copywriter crash landed and left me homeless, jobless, partnerless and penniless. I lost everything.
English: A 4x4 segment panorama of the Coliseu...
English: A 4x4 segment panorama of the Coliseum at dusk. Taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 50mm f/1.8 lens at f/5.6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet during those ten 'hungry years' I've had more adventures and learned more about life than I ever did back in the days when I was a self-employed advertising creative genius(?), was married, with two beautiful daughters, owned a Victorian terrace house in a trendy Melbourne suburb plus a country cottage on an acre of land.

The adventure took me to New York, England and the best of Italy - Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Sienna, 8 days in the delightful seaside resort of Santa Marinella, Sanremo and the Italian Riviera. At the other extreme I lived for five of those years in a friend's leaky old caravan parked by the roadside in a small country town in the Aussie bush with everything I owned (and no car) crammed inside. That was an adventure in itself.

When one has nothing there is the chance for small miracles to appear, people, events, unexpected happenings that money can't influence or buy. Joseph Campbell wrote of the 'call to adventure' common to mythologies around the world. This was not so much a call as a shove!

But this was much more than an adventure. It was a whole learning experience, a cathartic moment that completely turned my life around, or rather, upside down until my world was really the right way up when until then it had been upside down. 

Instead of everything going wrong and being dogged by failure - in every aspect of my life including the relationship side - things went right. More than right, downright miraculous. This adventure was one of those miracles, a magic carpet ride that swept me up from my life of nothing to this ongoing journey that took me across the world, then home so that my life has never been the same since. 

Right side up.

The excerpts which begin in my next blog can be read as a continuous narrative. For the full story and much more including a true 200 year-old mystery read my 233 page book - available in soft cover edition.
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