Meet the Author

Not to sound cliché, but welcome to Eli In The UK!
(Is that a rhyme? Did I just make a rhyme?)

If you hit the "Meet the Author" option, clearly you're interested in knowing a little more about me, and what brought my family to England. Starting at the beginning would probably be too long—I just turned 40—so I'll sum-up.

As you know, my name is Elisa and I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. My younger brother and I were raised in the suburbs by our loving parents, and our little tight-knit family. When I was 19, I moved to the Eastern Townships with my now-husband, where I finished cégèp (what we call college in Quebec) and earned my diploma in Arts, Literature and Languages.

My husband and I have been together for more than 20 years. Though we got married in 2003, I knew he was the one, so I consider our wedding more as a milestone in our life together rather than the actual "date of our beginning". In 1998, we moved back to the city to "settle down". Now we have two boys who are both in secondary school, a husky named Maeby, and a Yorkie-cross who answers to Oliver (when he feels like it).

Over the years, we've learned the hard way that life is short—yes, I know, another cliché, but there you are. So, back some time in 2014, the seed for this Epic Life-Adventure was planted. With the help of my husband's company (read: his seriously amazing manager), a job opportunity was found and we started the complex process of moving abroad. After many, many months of planning and preparations, and a roller-coaster ride of emotions, the details were finalized, the paperwork approved, and we took off for a new life in the Old World. Two boys, two dogs, five hockey bags, and us.

So, that's it: the abridged version. Read onward if you would like to know even more about us, my past, our move, this blog, my writing, et al.

And please—no really, please!feel free to connect with me by leaving a comment. I love connecting with my readers!! Or else, find me on Twitter @Elisa_Writes or on Wattpad.


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Of Nomadic Italian Ancestors
My family tree is a wee bit complicated, with great-grandparents who were born in and wandered most of western Europe, finally settling in Italy.

My dad was born in Italy, to parents who were Italian. His father (a.k.a. Nonno) immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s, and by 1957 my dad, his mom (a.k.a. Nonna), and his sister followed suit. On the other hand, my mom was born in Canada, but was raised in an Italian family that immigrated in the late 1940s. See, her grandfather was some kind of British diplomat who travelled the world with his wife and their five children.

The Itch of The Wanderer
Personally, I think I genetically inherited the travel bug. I've always loved being out and about; the night-life on Saint-Catherine street, the festivals Downtown, people-watching and admiring architecture. As a teenager, I loved the freedom of having my own bus pass and taking the bus and metro just about anywhere I wanted in the city.

As kids, my brother and I enjoyed weekend day-trips in the Laurentians with my parents, my grandparents and my uncle (who is only 10 years my senior). We'd picnic at whatever peaceful area we found on our way to nowhere in particular. One of my fondest memories has to be of Nonno's retro-green cooler and the hibachi he always had in tow. A few times my grandparents brought me on vacation with them to the Maritimes; I loved the long drives and munching Fritos in the back seat with Nonna.

My parents didn't have a lot of money to afford huge vacations, but we did go to Disney World in Florida (by car!!), Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, New Hampshire, and New York. We also spent a few summers in Cape Cod, where I read on the beach while soaking in the sun, or swam in the hotel's indoor pool. (Isn't swimming indoors a cool thing when you're a kid?) We ate out, played mini-putt, went shopping... We even survived Hurricane Bob! (Alas, the roof of the hotel's indoor swimming pool did not.)

Then, the year of my 16th birthday, my dad brought us to Europe for almost four weeks. He bought a Renault in France, and we drove from Paris, to Lyon, to Nice, to La Spezia, to Como, and finally to Maniago, Italy. By then, I'd reached an age where I wanted to be out and about with my friends, and it behooves me to say I didn't want to go. Yet despite all my resistance, all my moaning and groaning, it was an amazing trip!

December 29th, 2015: England or bust.
Before getting married and having children, I had travelled a little, and even considered moving to the U.S. for a bit, just to experience something different. I never did it though, because in 1999, when I was 23, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and there was simply nothing in the world that would bring me away from her.

Then of course, we had kids, and on just one salary the only adventure in our lives was questing together across Northrend and plotting the demise of Icecrown Citadel's unsavoury residents.

When my husband's mom suddenly passed away in 2013, he was just turning 40. This became his days in the dark. Yet from the soil of this tragedy sprung the proverbial new leaf. We began toying with the idea of living in the UK or France, to be able to travel western Europe with ease and efficiency. The kids were dismayed by the plan, but after many discussions at the kitchen table they slowly warmed to the idea. Well, in truth, my eldest warmed to it, whereas my youngest contested up until we got on the plane.

At first, things went impossibly slowly. Then suddenly they seemed alarmingly fast. And then things went backwards instead of forwards, and we thought our project would never take off. We got excited, and then heartbroken, excited, then heartbroken. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum. And then it was a go. Just like that. We got the paperwork, applied for our visas, and in early December 2015 we learned the UK would be expecting us before the end of the Christmas Holidays.

And now, here we are.

So far, we've visited:
  • Historic sites and cities in southern England, including (but not limited to) Salisbury, London, Stonehenge, Winchester, New Forest
  • Scotland: Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, Oban, Fort William, the isle of Skye, Inverness, Cairngorm mountain
  • France: (drove through the Euro-Tunnel) Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Dijon, Vimy
  • Italy: Venice, Maniago, Bibione, Trieste, Barcis, Udine, Palmanova, Casso


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The Pen, The Keys, and The Blog
This blog is partly a tool for people in a similar situation as we are—expats, nomads, travellers, etc.—where I can share our experiences and pass on advice. But I also hope to connect with those same people who would like to voice their own experiences, to share their dreams with me.

This blog is also partly a stepping-stone for myself, to hone my writing skills and practice researching. Maybe—hopefully—also to develop a small following of people who enjoy simply reading because they are curious and like my style.

Please, please, please don't hide in the shadows. Leave your comments, your opinions, your ideas, your dreams! Give me feedback!
  • Do you like what you're reading?
  • What else would you like to know?
  • Do you have questions concerning our move?
  • Planning a similar move yourself?
  • Have any doubts or fears?
  • Need moral support? I know I could have used some!

Talk to me, I would absolutely love to hear from you. :)

The Key Is The Pen
From a young age, I was prone to writing. English teachers from elementary right through to college would lift their eyebrows in surprise when they read my prose. My mother nicknamed me the author. For me, the best part of writing has always been seeing the reactions people have as they read my work. Why did I never consider writing as a career?

When my mom passed away in Y2K within five months of her own mom, I was left like a boat at sea without an anchor. By the end of that same year, I was also unexpectedly pregnant. In short, my life became so empty and so full all at the same time, that I faced my "Black Years". As self-therapy, I started a blog (before it was trendy and commercial) called My Little Life.

The daily writing helped me to heal and a few years later (when the spark had returned to my spirit a bit), I renamed my blog Spilling The Beans. At this time, I was approached by someone from Raising Hell (an online parenting publication), who offered me the opportunity to write for them, which I politely declined. Can you believe it? I declined! They obviously liked what they read, but I was embarrassed! I felt worthless and incompetent; the fact that I was writing, daily, only made me feel like I was somehow being lazy. [Insert face-palm here.]

Luckily, I have matured enough to understand that I have a gift. And what's more, I have this tremendous opportunity as a stay at home parent, to accomplish what I've always dreamed of: Writing a novel, and a children's book.

If you're interested in reading my work, find me on Wattpad! (Keep in mind I am just beginning.)

Passions, Aspirations, and Beliefs
(Or 'Things I Like Besides Travelling".) 

I firmly believe in being environmentally responsible: re-use, reduce, re-think, recycle. Hanging laundry outside is about the only chore that you would have to pry from me with a crowbar. I would like to become vegetarian. I dream of going organic but it costs a lot of money. I love dollhouses and miniatures in 1:12 scale. Dogs. Adopt, don't shop! A pet is for life! Coffee. Reading. Online gaming (Rift and World of Warcraft). French fries. Goldfish crackers.

Doctor Who. Big Bang Theory. The Good Wife. Lord of the Rings trilogy extended WITH bonus content. Under the Tuscan Sun. The Holiday. Julie & Julia. Calvin & Hobbes. A Year in Provence. Eat, Pray, Love. Harry Potter. Stanley Turrentine. Three Days Grace. Sussudio.