There’s been a lot of that sentiment going around.

Especially after two torturous years of uncertainty. I, for one, have felt like I’ve been asked to throw in the towel again and again. I’ve felt pressed to give up more times than I had the capacity to do so. But, I’m also here to say that my life wouldn’t have taken a turn for the better if I hadn’t been forced to abandon the old and embrace a different path.

How to say, “Throw in the towel” in Italian

Yep, I’m getting plenty of practice on this one which, like most Italian idioms, is quite different from its English counterpart. You’ll find a lighthearted explanation in my most recent Italian Snippets video at the end of this post (along with how to say, “Spit it out!”). But, before I go into that explanation, I’d like to share how being forced to give up the old has been a very good thing for me.

A sustained crisis as an impetus for considering a different path

In March 2020 when the pandemic slapped us hard here in Italy, my spouse and I spent the first couple of months searching to find our bearings. I didn’t have the experience or mental capacity to ready myself for such a long stretch of uncertainty. I, like most everyone, was just trying to adapt to a new normal. Encouraging news was pretty much non-existent at the time.

So, I chalk up the first two-to-three months of the pandemic to being knocked sideways. Then came a dangerous juncture. We could have stayed frozen in fear while locked down in our Treviso flat in the city center. We could have remained stubbornly and unrealistically attached to the hope that the pandemic would end and that everything would return to as it was. I’m all for being hopeful, but as I’ve written in a previous post about the pandemic and the book “Who Moved My Cheese,” I knew we’d have to start exploring a different path.

First glimpses of a new direction

Our eyes began opening to new possibilities during a short trip to Liguria to see my Italian in-laws. Months of isolation underscored for us the importance of family. So, when there was a brief respite from Covid cases and restrictions, we headed west. It was early summer and the weather was great. Leisurely walks along the seaside left me in awe of such beauty and peace. On the third day, we asked ourselves, “Might living here in Liguria, close to family, be a possibility?” Would we be so bold as to throw in the towel on our life and future in Treviso and explore life in Liguria?

We said Throw in the Towel on Treviso and move to Liguria

The Liguria vision gained steam

We came again in late July to “poke around” further and to look at properties. I had decided to just give myself over to what seemed like a wave of change.

On our third day in Imperia, we found a house with sea views and a large apartment space on the ground floor. The price was right and after two days of thoughtful deliberation, we decided to leap. This meant putting our Treviso flat on the market and praying that it would sell.

We mused about updating the apartment and putting it on Airbnb for short-term (less than a month) vacation rentals.
We gulped (big time) and decided to throw in the towel on Treviso

And, wow, what happened in the next year still blows me away. In fact, if I’d let myself think about the possible pitfalls of what we were doing, we very well could’ve talked ourselves out of taking such a bold leap.

What did that year of massive change bring? Another rigid lockdown. Yet in the midst of it all, we sold BOTH the Treviso flat and the houses in Umbria. It was a miracle that all fell into place. The sale of the Umbria houses enabled us to opportunistically invest in additional vacation apartments and create Now, we have three beautiful apartments and are about to commence with some rather significant renovations on two more. Already, we’re booking up for next spring and summer.

Incredulity in retrospect

Yes, I find what we did and how the universe conspired to help us a miracle. We’re our own bosses now and living in an idyllic location. As I write this, I’m looking out at the light dancing on the sea and thanking the big whatever for delivering a promising new path in life. I guess we first had to throw in the towel to open the floodgates of new opportunities!

Now, learn how to say, “Throw in the towel” the Italian way!