Italy has been my place to escape, study the language, unplug from obligations, and focus on taking care of myself. Do you have a place like that or a routine you do that helps you escape?

The last few years of building my business, raising 3 daughters, and taking care of my mother has taken a toll. Traveling to Italy and Sicily has not been an option until a friend of mine reminded me that it was up to me to create my life experiences.


And so the planning began….fast forward to now. Yes, I am HERE NOW!

All I could think about was how fun it would be to show others a place that I love, a place where I have made friends, spoken the language, and created a home away from home. 

Sally and Erica at Cantina Planeta.

Meet Erica. Erica is a great friend of mine who has put up with me and all my big ideas for quite a few years. Our kids have been in school together, and we continue to have girls’ night out at the local theater together. I asked her if she’d like to come along.

Teresa and her angel’s trumpet.

Then there’s Teresa. Teresa is the one who found me because she saw my red haired baby on the playground at school and decided she needed to have her as her own. We also hit up the theater together and have had many nights out with our husbands trying interesting food that most people wouldn’t try.

But that’s not all. I also have some fabulous friends that I’ve made in Sicily along the way. How could I not mention the people who have put up with my broken Italian, my American ways, and insistence on cream in my coffee?


Janet and Ninni preparing calamari a casa.

Meet Janet e Ninni. Janet was one of my roommates the first time I was here in 2012. We both were students at the local language school. Ninni was our host, who would take in students to rent bedrooms to and prepare wonderful dinners every evening. Ninni’s wife had recently died, and not long after, he and Janet struck up a special friendship that is still going strong. How cute are they?

After vacationing with friends, my first official retreat for my business began at the restaurant by the language school. I am so glad I came a week ahead of time because it made all the difference in calming my nerves about playing hostess in Taormina, where I get to share this wonderful place, the beautiful language, and little nuances that only those who stay here as residents, not as tourists, get to experience.

If there is somewhere in the world you would like to visit and immerse yourself in the culture, set a date, create your vision of what you want it to be, then work backwards from there to craft the entire experience. Staring down your bucket list will get you nowhere.


sally hendrick sally forth travels grapes socially sicily

Grapes ready for harvest at Cantina Russo.



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Sally Hendrick is the founder of Social Media Traffic School, a place to learn social media marketing technology and strategy to make Facebook your ATM. Get more info on Sally’s website.