Last weekend, my figure skates finally caught up to us here in Albania. Within a week, we were already regulars at the rink and on a first-name basis with most of the staff. Within 2 weeks, we had a camera crew invade our home and were appearing on Albanian television! How on earth are the two things related??? Well, let me back up a bit to explain.
Back in April, when my family and I were getting ready to hop on a plane yet again, we went through the process we always go through upon preparing to relocate. Culling our belongings is both a joyful and a challenging process. The longer we travel, the less we realize we actually need lots of physical stuff. The MORE we roam, the MORE we are reminded just how much we value relationships and experiences over things.
So, knowing that we were headed to a spectacular castle in the Florentine hills of Italy, AND knowing it was going to seem light years away from anything remotely resembling ice, I opted to leave my skates in the hands of loving people who would look after them until I needed them. At that time, I had absolutely no idea that we would soon find ourselves here in Albania, with an ice skating rink literally within a short walking distance from our home!
Why Albania? Well, I made a whole series of YouTube videos about that very question! Check out part 1 here, and part 2 here. Many thanks to my dear friend and business mentor, Adriana Monique Alvarez for her crucial role in helping us to discover our new home!!!
Once we got settled here in Tirana, we immediately set to work doing all of the things we normally do when we move to a new location. We made friends with our neighbors, we found a new church home, and we started scheduling play dates with other children and families living here in the capital city. Some of those get-togethers were even with friends we’d already gotten to know virtually through our work as digital nomads. It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly we’ve been able to bond with other like-minded traveling families–like the Ferreiras–as we wander all over the globe!
But you could have knocked me over with a feather when I met Melissa Madsen and her lovely family on one of those play dates in the park. We hadn’t been chatting long before she revealed her daughter’s love of figure skating and their desire for her to continue lessons here in Albania, if possible. I know she was equally surprised to learn that she was sitting with a Master-rated professional figure skating instructor!
Melissa was such a doll, she offered to connect with my sister in the States. They worked together to reunite me with my babies, and and Our Little Sous and I turned into rink rats practically overnight! One of our first days playing on the ice, an enthusiastic skate guard asked if she could take a brief video of me to share on their Facebook page. I said, “sure!” The video caught the attention of a local television producer, and she had a camera crew out to our place within a week.
The entire affair happened so quickly, it almost made my head spin! It’s been absolutely wonderful to be able to share our stories of travel, pursuing our passions, AND especially our love of food with a whole new audience whose language we are still working to master. Already, more and more Albanians are reaching out to share some of their favorite traditional dishes and their origins with me.
You can see the entire 14-minute segment on our YouTube channel, or just click play on the inserted video below. If you haven’t already, I want to urge you to like the video, comment with your favorite part of the interview, subscribe to our channel, AND hit that little notification bell so that you don’t miss out on any of the deliciousness coming out of Our Kitchen Classroom!!!
We’re sharing all sorts of Albanian cuisine, as well as some of our daily cooking, travels, and life lessons, in our #PLAYwithYourFood Community. We’d just LOVE to have you jump in and join in the conversation!!! Looking forward to seeing you on the inside!