At some point in our lives, we each come across a path or opportunity that can take us somewhere new. We can continue to go down the path we already know or we can pursue that other road that has presented itself to us. It’s ok to change paths in life, it’s what allows ourselves to grow and continuously feel fulfilled and challenged.
I had the opportunity to sit down with my friend Anita. Anita is the owner and operator of a boutique hotel, Principe di Salina, located in Salina, one of the Aeolian islands in Italy, near Sicily. Salina is small but charming island, that goes from a population of 1500-2000 people in the winter months and to 3000-4000 people during the summer peak season. I have been looking forward to talking to Anita as our first podcast guest because of her incredibly tenacity.
Anita was born and raised in a small town, just outside of Milan. She was a triathlete who was able to travel and compete around the world. But then at 21, she decided to change the course of her life and moved on from the sport that she dedicated so much of her life to. She has been all around the world, from America, to Bangkok and Hamburg after which she decided to embark on a new path that would bring her home to live in Italy.
Does the boutique keep you busy 24/7? You work with your parents? The boutique was actually my parents idea! They wanted to retire but didn’t want to sit around during their retirement. They wanted to shift what they did daily and do something that they truly enjoyed.
So they reinvented themselves instead of taking a true retirement? They were very brave! My mom loved to cook- it was her dream so they started a small hospitality project and eventually my husband and I took over and grew the idea into something much larger.
So the boutique is in your life now but let’s talk about the journey. You were an athlete and that was your first great love. But at some point you felt an internal voice telling you that there was more to your mission. Tell me about your twenties in Vimercate, near Milan?
I always felt like a fish out of water. I was surrounded by people who were satisfied with their life. They lived there, grew up there and were comfortable. I on the other hand, needed more. I was always very curious in life. As an athlete, I had always been given the opportunity to travel and it widened my world but I was training 9 hours a day.
I weighed the pros and cons and it was no longer worth it. Once you don’t justify it inside any longer, it’s hard to do 9 hours of training everyday.
Opening a small hotel and being in tourism has always been something that interested me. Meeting people and staying in a creative world, let’s say it has always been something that attracted me. Beauty in general in life has always been one of my goals.
Unfortunately, many people don’t have the courage to reinvent themselves and instead they let fear take over.
Do you feel like you have arrived? Absolutely not, the world around us is constantly evolving so it is difficult to establish a fixed point of arrival. We are always in motion and it is important to grow and evolve with it.
Creatives have a hard time feeling satisfied and living in the moment. I know I always have a hard time patting myself on the back and congratulating myself on a job well done- I’m always wanting more. With that being said, it’s ok to set one goal- achieve it then move on to the next goal.
Conserve your energy and only give it to those who you are closest with. Learn to say no more often.
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