When You Have a Heart That Has Always Longed To Travel {when Italy knocks on your door}


I have had an itching to travel for as long as I can remember.

I think I begged my parents throughout my whole childhood if we could move.

I used to call the airlines and get price quotes on a flight from Chicago to LA on a weekly basis.

The best part is that my mom let me do it.

I was a dreamer.

I read magazines and books about far away places and loved reading about discovered art and treasure from around the world.

My first trip out of the US was for my January term in college and we went to England.

Can you imagine taking 30 college students to England??

We were crazy!

{my mom reads this blog so let me just say that the trip was not just academic}

We went all over the country in our few weeks there and it only cemented my love of travel and other countries.

I wanted more.

When Maddy was a little shy of 2 years I traveled with my mom to Austria and met my Grandma Jeanne and her husband Robert for a trip with them that I will always treasure.

Austria and Germany have to be some of the most gorgeous countries I have ever seen.

You haven’t lived until you attend an opera in Vienna that your grandparents drag you too (only because you are so tired from 28 hours of travel) and THEY fall asleep during the show.

Seriously, they looked dead.

My mom and me were laughing so hard because they were a few rows ahead of us all slumped over.

A few years ago I had the amazing privilege of attending Kari Meng’s French Chateau Getaway.

It was my first in France and I can not imagine a more magical time.

While I was there I even made friends with one of my most favorite persons in the world.

I was able to go back to Paris last fall with my husband and then spent another week in the Normandy region with this girly.

When you love to travel it only makes you want to travel more and with the people you love the most.

I am heading to Italy this summer to teach.

This is a dream come true because Italy has been a country that I have wanted to visit for most of my life.

I met the event hostess, Laura McCollough, while I was teaching at another event.

We instantly connected and she asked me to come teach at her event on Lake Como.

How long do you think it took me to agree to that deal?:-)

Isn’t life amazing that when you follow the gifts that you have been given that beautiful experiences and people open up to you?!

Laura has given me the itinerary for the week and I am beyond excited.

I can not wait for the beautiful apartments in the heart of the village, the boat tour along Lake Como, the incredible food, the strolls through tiny alleys and cobblestone streets, time to relax at the pool and creating art with other women.

This is a special area of the world for Laura and her family so they know all of the special places and she puts her heart into the event.

For all of the girls that are signed up you are in for such a trip of a lifetime.

This event is sold out but Laura has a waiting list going because something always happens and someone needs to change plans.

I am looking forward to making special projects with the girls that have been customized for this amazing trip.

I am really excited that I get to bring my husband.

I can not wait to explore this area with him and then take a few days to travel to Florence and Venice together.

If you are going to the retreat in Italy please email me and let me know.

If you have suggestions for the Lake Como area, Florence or Venice I would love to hear them!

If you want to be placed on the waiting list please contact Laura.

{All photos property of Laura McCollough from her travels to Italy}

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  1. Mikal

    Oh my heck. I might be a tad bit jealous of you right now!! This is my dream trip to a “T”! Have so so so much fun!!!

  2. Jenny

    I loved Florence! They have an open air market that is fun! Also go see the David statue amazing get tickets before hand then go straight to see the David first then see other things u want. Go on a gondola ride in Venice is is pricey but worth it!

  3. Anita

    My family is from Tuscany and we had a huge family reunion several years ago when over 20 of us went from the US to my father’s hometown of Lucca. We made so many wonderful memories and made my father’s dream come true before he died. Seeing all of his family together meant so much to him. We got to visit both Florence and Venice. We did not have time to visit the island of Murano. I would have loved to have visited the glass factories. But we did get to visit Cinque Terre. Someplace I want to definitely go back to! Also, Lake Como is on my list. And running into George Clooney would be pretty great too 🙂
    Sounds like you’ll have a wonderful time!

  4. kay

    Wonderful photos of an amazing country! Look where your dreams have landed YOU! So happy for you.

  5. cathy

    Venice was both my childrens favourite city….Very magical my friend and Florence is (seeing David was pretty awesome for Kirstie and I and watching students in the gallery sketching loved it all) gorgeous but we only spent a day and night there….We hope to be back to Venice this December 🙂 but lots of hurdles to cross first….Travel changed my heart forever and I can’t wait to to more 🙂

  6. Pam

    i am so happy for you! travel is essential to us all..it’s how we grow! and you are making it a priority in your life! venice is amazing and so different from anywhere i’ve ever been. but tuscany..if you visit florence..you must see sienna. an easy day trip! also..a commenter above talked about lucca. we visited lucca during our trip a few months ago and found it to be such a charming, cozy little town. we had a wonderful lunch there. enjoy my friend!! xo

  7. Jo

    I’m going to Lake Como in Sep. I hope you share some of the sights with us so my friends and I can visit the places you loved. We are then going to Chinque Terra for several days and ending up in Florence. Can’t wait. Have a wonderful trip.

  8. Jen

    Ahhh!!! I’ve always been a “dreamer” too. I have close family that live in Germany so luckily for me I was traveling to Europe at a young age. And as a pre-teen /teen I was always begging my mom to move. I would buy newspapers from other “big city” newspapers and skim the housing section, and classifieds for a job for my mom, imagining a new life for us 🙂 Crazy eh?

    Trip to Italy sounds so wonderful. I have wanted to go there for quite a while. This sounds like a beautiful trip- enjoy!!

  9. Dore...Burlap Luxe

    You are going to have the time of your life, and so wish I were there for this event.
    Inspire us with all the beauty you take in, it will make us lone rangers feel as if we were right by your side.
    When the movie…Under the Tuscan Sun” Came out I longed to live in a Tuscan villa, Jeanne this is what movies do to me!
    Your holiday trip will creatively and soulfully add to the artist you are in so many ways.

    Happy holiday see you soon.


  10. Anne

    What a blessing to be able to travel! Someday there are many places I would like to visit.Can’t wait to hear all about it.And you are sharing photos right 🙂

  11. tiffini

    all i know is i have a deep dream to do something like she did in eat, love pray.
    maybe when my baby is graduated i can gift myself all the travel i have always wanted to do
    God willing..sounds like heaven Jeanne. Happy to follow you on IG so i can live vicariously
    through you;)

  12. Lisa W.

    A girl can only dream….hoping someday I can afford and be able to go, have always been curious and would love LOVE to visit Italy, AND to create WOW, has to be a trip of a lifetime!!!

  13. pam

    I went to Italy last Spring with your pal Lara B. It was ah-maz-ing! You are going to have such a wonderful time! Gelato, gelato, gelato…and two words to learn…Scuzi..and Gratzi! Can’t wait to see your photos when you get back!

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