When I think of people doing interesting things, I am always first drawn to those whose destiny has led them far away from home, and how they have made the most of the situation at hand. One of those people is Cherrye Moore, trip planner, freelance writer, innkeeper, wife and resident of beautiful Catanzaro, Calabria. Cherrye has built her life here in Italy and we had the chance to chat about it via internet recently. She is one busy lady, wearing many hats as so many of us do when we build our new lives far away from “home”.
Ahhh ... Disneyland Paris. *sigh* Yes, my first expat experience was in France as a cast member at Disneyland Paris. I had been working at Walt Disney World in Orlando and heard about an opportunity to transfer with the company as part of an international Work Exchange Program. I applied-along with hundreds of my fellow employees-and was awarded one of the 22 spots in the program. Fate it was, I say, because just a week or so into my new job, I started seeing this tall, dark stranger everywhere I went.
OMG Love at Disneyland! So you and your husband decided to settle in Italy instead of in the United States... what made you come to that decision? How has the adjustment to life in Italy changed you personally, and has living in Italy changed your view of the world?
We decided to start out in Italy because we thought it would be easier. It is kinda funny looking back on that now, after years of waiting on my Permesso, but that was our thinking at the time. I also wanted to more agressively explore freelancing and living here in Italy gave me that chance. It is hard to say how much Italy has changed me, though. I have been here almost four years, but in that time, I also got married and well, am four years older, so I think it is the combination of things that has changed me.
One of the first things I remember doing as a child was writing. I used to write plays for my cousins and me-there are 28 of us!-and then I'd direct the play and yes, I'm ashamed to say, play a starring role. My dad owned a newspaper and he and my mom were both fabulous writers, so I grew up with a strong appreciation for the written word.
Tell us a little about your life in Catanzaro, about having an inn and about the service you're offering for prospective travelers.
Catanzaro is an interesting place to be an expat. We are the capital of Calabria, so you don't have that small village-type atmosphere, yet it is still small by many standards. We live closer to Catanzaro Lido than the historical center and I've found it to the prefect place to stay if you want to really explore Calabria.
Why don't you tell us what kind of services you offer exactly? I am sure they would be of interest to people searching for a deeper, less touristed view of Italy.
I currently have three different services I offer for people traveling to southern Italy. The most comprehensive option is a custom itinerary, where I work with the travelers to decide on the best locations for their trip, the ideal route to follow to maximize time and to select hotels, restaurants, day trips, guides and transfers. I then book all of their reservations for them, confirm them before they arrive and am available 24/7 throughout their trip. In the end, they are given a personalized travel itinerary for each day of their vacation.
I've been getting requests lately for travelers who are interested in a quick consult or some light trip coaching, so I might add this service in the near future.