Bella Martin

Last edited- January 14, 2022

Who Am I?

Now that’s the big question. We live in a society obsessed with labels. You have 150 characters to tell us where you live, who you are, and what you stand for. Go!

I don’t think anyone likes it, but we all play along.

Here’s my bio:

I’m from Petaluma, CA. I live in…

Warning: Don’t switch countries to live inside someone else’s Instagram feed!

We all know Instagram is fake, but it still helps to hear people admit it. One of the most toxic things for my mental health during the pandemic has been living vicariously through the social media accounts of people who have me convinced they are leading superior lives.

I know…

And why I don’t care anymore

“You’re perpetuating stereotypes.You don’t know what you’re talking about. If you don’t like living abroad, go home. You have no right to comment on a culture that’s not even yours. That’s not true at all.”

We tear expats (or, if you prefer, immigrants) to shreds for sharing their opinions on…

In honor of my three year abroad anniversary, here are three lessons I’ve learned from living in Italy

After studying abroad in Florence in 2018 and falling in love with an Italian man, I decided to move to Italy and see what happens. At the time, I didn’t talk about moving permanently. I didn’t even think about it. An adventurous year abroad seemed delightful, but a lifetime away…

“The day you stop moving is the day you start dying.” — Nonna Assunta

“The day you stop moving is the day you start dying.” — Nonna Assunta

My boyfriend’s grandmother expressed that sentiment all the time. Even as an eighty-five-year-old woman, she went out into the fields to pick her vegetables, cooked every meal from scratch, hung her laundry to dry, washed her…

Italy went from my dream to my home to my cage, and the only thing that changed was my mind.

I rolled up vertebrae by vertebrae to mountain pose. Inhale. Exhale.

Is this real life?

I paused my yoga video to take a picture of what I saw. The Tuscan sun glowed a pinkish-orange as it set over the distant hills, turning them a faded blue. I looked in awe…

Bella Martin

Californian living in Italy, navigating my 20s abroad. | Writing about expat life and personal development. | Contact:

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