One of my favorite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun. I just watched it again for the countless time. If you haven’t seen it, rent it! On the surface, the film is your typical chick flick (which I happen to be a big fan of). But if you look deeper, there are some very profound messages.
It’s just like eating a meal that you think is just like all the others. But if you really get present to the food, you can taste the subtle, life-altering flavors.
The story goes like this. After finding out her husband is having an affair, Frances (Diane Lane), a book critic, ends up on a gay, romantic tour of Tuscany, alone. During one of the stops, while wandering the streets of Cortona, she sees an advertisement for a villa for sale. She rejoins her tour on the bus and, just outside the town the bus makes an unexpected stop to allow a herd of sheep to cross the road. Frances realizes they’ve stopped right in front of the villa she had seen in the posting earlier that day.
Frances believes it’s a sign, and immediately buys the home.
One of the most profound scenes is a conversation she has with her realtor, Martini. Frances is questioning herself – naturally, thinking how crazy she is to buy a villa in a foreign country that needs a lot of TLC. In the scene she’s crying, asking herself out loud why she bought the huge house for only her… for a life she doesn’t have. Martini shares a powerful story.
“Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.”
Whether or not this story is true, it has you stop and ponder.
When we were packing up our house in the U.S. to move to Budapest, I had the exact same feelings as Frances: What the ^$%# are we thinking? Am I sure about this? We are leaving our beautiful house in the mountains (that we built), putting it on the vacation rental market, and moving into a 700 square foot apartment while we attempt to renovate, from floor to ceiling, an apartment in a foreign country. Genius!
In some moments the noise was louder than others – like when we had a production company filming us checking the dog kennel for our flight across the Atlantic Ocean. But even in those deafening times, those times where the noise in your head drowns everything else, I knew that we were doing the right thing.
This was my track across the Alps.
Sometimes it’s scary to trust the unknown; to keep the faith. But I believe that when the universe presents a possibility, it lets us know we are the one to carry the torch and that it’s the right thing to do.
Too often, entrepreneurs and change agents listen to that noise and think that it means they shouldn’t lay the track until the train is built. But what would the world be like if Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. had waited? The world needs to get across the Alps. And although the train to take us there might not have arrived, we all need to be building those tracks.
Lay those tracks now!
Sweet little article, Drew. That’s one of my favorite books. “The Olive Farm” is another great one in the travel / food/ romace genre. Are you still living in Budapest?
Thanks, Clint. It’s interesting that you bring up a book about olive farms; while I am currently in Budapest, we are looking at buying a farm in Serbia. Stay tuned for more on that adventure… 🙂
Hi , I am actually from Serbia but I live in Germany now . I am glad to hear you want to buy a farm there. Good luck !
Drew, this is a great reminder that if we want the life of our dreams, we must be ready to face our fears. Thank you!
Well said, Rick. Thanks! Facing our fears is the access to our dreams.
Great article and reminder about life, Drew. However, they must have had the money to lay the tracks to cross the Alps. You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but if there is no money to bring your ideas/dreams into being, you go nowhere. No train will ever come, because the track could not be built due to the lack of funds. I truly feel that is a lot of peoples problems today.
Thanks so much, Sondra. Great point; that’s why we created http://www.PitchRate.com – to help those people who don’t have the funds in getting their message out into the world.
Such a great article !!