This is turning out to be a summer that I am immensely enjoying – in stark contrast to my previous summers in Sardegna, marked by countless packing and unpacking of bags as I struggled to remain in a positive mood, enough to last three months, in an island where I did not speak the language, and transportation was limited.

Perhaps it is largely because of my recent adoption of a dog that found me on the street. For months, I truly knew I needed one. Despite my best efforts in adopting one from a shelter, it was met with a number of disappointments and not a few times of crying outbursts that lasted through the night.

These days I look forward to waking up in the morning. I do my stretches while I wait for my coffee.I give our adopted cat and dog their morning meals before sitting to enjoy the cool morning and my black Illy or Lavazza coffee. Afterwards, my Maremma-Golden Retriever mix of a dog that I had named Poldo, and I go on our hour-long morning walks to nearby beaches. Aside from helping me get fit, these quiet walks make for great time for reflection, and planning the rest of the day. Or I go on my Duolingo app to achieve my daily goal of 100 XP or more, improving my Italian or learning French. I am having the time of my life.

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