The Bittersweet Life

The Bittersweet Life

www.thebittersweetlife.net
The Bittersweet Life Podcast


Bittersweet Moment #70: A Birthday Revelation
Aug 6 • 15 min
On a magical summer evening in Rome to celebrate her birthday, Tiffany has a sudden revelation. She shares it—and what Christian Dior’s cologne Fahrenheit has to do with it—on this week’s mini-episode.
327: Rome’s New Normal?
Aug 3 • 34 min
Is Rome back to normal? Is that “new normal” what we expected? This week’s topic was sparked by an article in Esquire Magazine. We dissect the writer’s claim that the only people who go out are teenagers and that the city’s police are taking advantage of…
Bittersweet Moment #69: How’s Coping Going?
Jul 30 • 14 min
In response to a listener question, Katy talks about what she’s doing during the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown to keep her spirits up and get through the day. On this intimate and personal mini-episode, Katy shares the books she’s been reading, the…
326: Finding Life in the Surf (with Diane Cardwell)
Jul 27 • 28 min
What’s the difference between having fun and having a happy life? This week’s guest, award-winning journalist and author Diane Cardwell, tackles this and many other life questions. After ending her marriage and giving up her attempts to have a child,…
Bittersweet Moment #68: Outside the Vatican
Jul 23 • 8 min
Tiffany finds herself just outside the walls of Vatican City on a summer morning and marvels at the dramatic change in the neighborhood. In an area that once fed almost exclusively off of tourist dollars, from cafes to restaurants, from souvenir shops to…
325: Good Teachers
Jul 20 • 28 min
If you tuned in last week, you heard us commiserate about the awful and sometimes destructive teachers of our past. If that episode left a little blue (it did us!), then take heart because today we’re talking all about the best teachers we ever had (and…
Bittersweet Moment #67: Collecting Collections
Jul 16 • 10 min
Today Katy looks at collections, and the people who keep them. What makes people collect things—or not? After asking our listeners to write in about their own personal collections, she realized that unprecedented time we are living through might be more…
324: Bad Teachers
Jul 12 • 33 min
We all remember our favorite teachers, but what about the horrible ones? The ones who crushed our ambitions, treated us unfairly, or were just plain mean. Tiffany tells the story of her abusive voice teacher in grad school, an experience that may have…
Bittersweet Moment #66: Villa Doria Pamphilj
Jul 8 • 11 min
Have you noticed the birds more during lockdown? If your lockdown is over, do you find you’re more aware of them than you were before? On this mini-episode, Tiffany and Aurelio stop to watch (and listen to!) the birds, and Tiffany takes the opportunity to…
323: Travel Trauma
Jul 4 • 33 min
Has anything traumatic ever happened to you when you were traveling—a natural disaster, a personal tragedy, or maybe even a global pandemic—and as a result you never want to go back there? Today we hear from a listener who had an encounter with a…
Bittersweet Moment #65: A Sleepy Bittersweet Moment (with Drew Ackerman)
Jul 2 • 23 min
Do podcasts put you to sleep? Well, there’s one out there that aims to do just that, Drew Ackerman’s Sleep With Me podcast. This week, Drew put his own sleepy spin on our recent episode, Virtual Tour of Rome. Make sure you check it out to hear our audio…
322: Introvert or Extrovert: The Covid Edition
Jun 28 • 32 min
We all think we know if we’re an introvert or an extrovert. But what does it really mean? On this episode, we dig into the true meaning of these pervasive personality types, and they might not mean exactly what you think they mean. We also explore how the…
Bittersweet Moment #64: Visiting an Empty Colosseum
Jun 25 • 16 min
What’s it like to visit the Colosseum in the time of corona? This iconic monument usually crams thousands of tourists in at a time, making the experience hot, sweaty, and often uninspiring. Now that it’s reopened after months of quarantine, there are…
321: Living Alone during Lockdown (with Nicole Hardy)
Jun 22 • 36 min
What is the reality of living alone during this pandemic, when your entire town, state, or even country goes into a strict quarantine? What are the worst days like, and how do you stay healthy, safe, and sane when loneliness and the longing for human…
Bittersweet Moment #63: What’s Going On in Seattle? (with Casey Martin)
Jun 18 • 17 min
Wondering what’s going on in Seattle’s “Autonomous Zone”? Today we’re joined by NPR reporter Casey Martin, who’s been on Seattle’s Capitol Hill since the protests began. He dispels rumors and describes what’s going on in this organized protest. He also…
320: Facing Death (with Jim deMaine, MD)
Jun 13 • 34 min
We all have death on the mind more than usual during this time of pandemic. We may be worried about losing older family members, overwhelmed by the number of lives Covid-19 has claimed, or are simply more aware that life is so fleeting. We’re joined by…
Bittersweet Moment #62: Quarantine in Trastevere (with Amy Knauff)
Jun 11 • 13 min
You’ve heard all about how Katy and Tiffany spent their quarantines (or are still spending them, in Katy’s case), but what was quarantine like for a someone living alone in Rome’s lively and quaint Trastevere neighborhood while working from home? On this…
319: Who Is Rome For?
Jun 7 • 40 min
In cities like Rome, tourists are part of the city’s identity, its reality, its way of life. When they go away—and don’t come back—the city will inevitably change. Will the countless AirBNBs turn back into regular rentals, and will that in turn cause…
Bittersweet Moment #61: A Nation in Protest (with reporter Casey Martin)
Jun 4 • 23 min
Protests over the murder of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, have sprung up in cities across the United States. In Seattle, peaceful protests calling for justice have also generated violence, looting, and clashes with police. Public Radio…
318: The Nature of Time
May 31 • 34 min
Why does time pass more slowly or quickly depending on what we are doing? Why is it that we sometimes completely lose track of the time, and what does it mean to truly live in the present? Are the past, the present, and the future all happening at the…
Bittersweet Moment #60: Italy’s New Rules of the Road
May 27 • 15 min
What can you expect when you go out to eat in Italy during Phase Two? What about if you want to go to a museum, get your hair cut, or just grab a coffee at your local bar? What’s the deal with shopping and trying on clothes? On this mini-episode, we give…
317: Out and About in Rome
May 23 • 39 min
Italy has officially reopened for business. While masks are required in public places, social distancing is (supposedly) non-negotiable, and tourism is still non-existent, life is nevertheless quickly returning to normal. Perhaps too quickly? Will the…
Bittersweet Moment #59: MEMORIZATION (with Katy’s dad, Dale)
May 21 • 20 min
Memory is the buzz word on The Bittersweet Life this week! Monday’s episode was all about autobiographical memory, and on this mini-episode, Katy’s dad Dale stops by to talk about the challenges and rewards of memorizing a speech of prose as opposed to…
316: The Nature of Memory (with Susan Engel)
May 16 • 43 min
Why do we remember certain things and forget others? Do some people simply have a better memory than others, or is it something we can practice and get better at? Perhaps most intriguing of all: how reliable are our memories? This week, we muse about the…
Bittersweet Moment #58: EMPTY ROME
May 14 • 11 min
Rome has finally opened up for walks in the center. Even so, when Tiffany finally has a chance to wander through the city, she finds it all but empty at midday: just deserted streets, chirping birds, and precious few residents out for a stroll. Tiffany…
315: THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL
May 9 • 34 min
With international and even domestic travel all but ground to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the question on everyone’s lips is: what is travel going to be like once everything is back to “normal”? Will it become unaffordable to fly? Will…
Bittersweet Moment #57: DISPATCH FROM SEATTLE
May 7 • 9 min
What’s going on in Seattle? More to the point, what’s going on with Katy in Seattle? On this mini-episode, Katy checks in with what’s in store for the city in the near future, as well as how she’s doing, and what she’s doing to stay safe, sane, and well…
314: STRAY (with Stephanie Danler)
May 3 • 32 min
How do you transcend a childhood marred by addiction and go on to pursue the life that is calling to you? Katy sits down with bestselling author Stephanie Danler to talk about her forthcoming memoir Stray, but also to discuss what it takes to make the…
Bittersweet Moment #56: ITALY BEGINS TO OPEN
Apr 30 • 11 min
Italy’s lockdown restrictions are finally about to begin (and, more essentially, we finally know what they entail). In this mini-episode, Tiffany goes through the new rules, as well as her reactions to them. (Hint: she’s slightly frustrated, and plenty…
313: VIRTUAL TOUR OF ROME
Apr 26 • 38 min
Longing to wander the streets of Rome, visit its most beautiful squares, and marvel at its monuments? Since, for now, that isn’t possible for any of us (even those of us who live in Rome) we’ve put together a virtual auditory tour of the Eternal City. The…
Bittersweet Moment #55: Memorizing Poetry
Apr 23 • 21 min
Today Tiffany talks about one of her favorite hobbies: memorizing poetry! She lays out the plethora of surprising benefits she reaps from this personal practice, as well as a list of tips on how to start out memorizing your own favorite poems. Be sure to…
312: PHASE TWO
Apr 19 • 32 min
When will Italy reopen—and what will that reopening entail? These are the questions that Italy’s residents have been asking themselves constantly lately. Rumor has it, Italy’s country-wide lockdown will come to an end on May 4th, although this is not…
Bittersweet Moment #54: Learning to Read in Two Languages at Once
Apr 16 • 17 min
With Aurelio home from school, Tiffany is taking the opportunity to teach him how to read and write in English—before Italian school gets its hooks into him. She explains why she’s taking this so seriously, as well as some of the exercises she (with no…
311: LONG DISTANCE
Apr 13 • 35 min
We all have those close friendships that survive over time, despite the fact that we live half a world apart. And now—with most of us living under lockdown for the foreseeable future—all of our friendships are long-distance now. What are the best…
Bittersweet Moment #53: {EASTER?} or Roman Easter in the Time of Coronavirus
Apr 9 • 20 min
Rome is the center of the Catholic world, the home the pope, the city of St. Peter. Easter time draws enormous crowds of faithful to participate in the high holiday services and be blessed by the pope. But this year, Easter is cancelled. Or almost. Easter…
310: {DAY} or A Day in the Life under Quarantine, Part 2
Apr 6 • 20 min
In the second part of this Day in the Life episode, Katy offers a rare glimpse into what it’s like to edit and a long piece of tape, extracting its gems to transform it into something engaging. Karen, a US expat in the Dolomites, cycles home from work,…
309: {DAY} or A Day in the Life under Quarantine, Part 1
Apr 5 • 33 min
What does a day in the life of someone under lockdown look like? That’s what we asked our listeners for today’s episode, offering a peek into their lives throughout the course of a day as well as our own. From Lynn in San Francisco as she studies Italian…
Bittersweet Moment #52: Shopping and Consumerism in the Time of Coronavirus
Apr 2 • 25 min
What happens when you CAN’T shop? When all the stores in your town are closed and your supermarket stops selling anything beyond the basic necessities? Even major online shops are running out of merchandise or have month-long waiting periods for delivery.…
308 {SURVIVING} or Tips and Tricks for Surviving Quarantine
Mar 29 • 31 min
An astounding half of the world’s population is now on some form of legal lockdown, quarantine, shelter-in-place, or self-isolation. With many of our listeners new to Quarantine Life, Tiffany, who as of today has been on lockdown for 21 days, offers some…
Bittersweet Moment #51: LOCKDOWN, Part 4
Mar 26 • 20 min
How are our daily lives changed due to quarantine and life during the coronavirus outbreak? It seems like every day something changes: restrictions get tighter, a new epicenter emerges, and the new theories on the best way to conquer this crisis emerge.…
307: REPORTING
Mar 23 • 35 min
What’s it like to cover a major world-wide news story that changes practically every day? How do you keep up with the story and find new ways of looking at it? And what happens when you, as a reporter, become part of the story? We discuss this and more in…
Bittersweet Moment #50: LOCKDOWN, Part 3
Mar 18 • 20 min
Lockdown has hit the United States—at least in some parts of the country. And people all around the nation are choosing to self-isolate. On this mini-episode, Katy and Tiffany discuss the realities of life under quarantine, including the practical things…
306: LOCKDOWN, Part 2
Mar 17 • 28 min
The lockdown in Italy continues on the second part of Monday’s episode, and as each moment passes, lockdown looms across the United States and the world. Tiffany shares some tips with Katy and our listeners for what to expect when their own quarantine…
305: LOCKDOWN, Part 1
Mar 16 • 28 min
Italy is on lockdown. No going out except for basic necessities for medical reasons—or work if you absolutely cannot work from home. How is Tiffany coping? How is she staying sane, keeping her four-year-old entertained, and resisting tearing her husband…
Bittersweet Moment #49: VIRUS UPDATE, Part 2
Mar 12 • 15 min
How are Italians reacting to the strict restrictions now in place during the unprecedented Italy lock down? Are they exhibiting their characteristic “furbizia” to get around the rules? Or is the country pulling together and making the necessary sacrifices…
Bittersweet Moment #48: VIRUS UPDATE, Part 1
Mar 11 • 12 min
In the wake of the country-wide lock-down of Italy due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, we are putting two mini-episodes this week! On this first update, we check in about what exactly the “red zone” decree of Italy means, what life is like, and…
304: VIRUS
Mar 6 • 35 min
Tiffany and Katy are both living in two of the epicenters of the devastating coronavirus, Italy and Washington State. This week, they chat about their parallel but distinct experiences, how the spread of the virus is affecting their lives, what like is…
Bittersweet Moment #47: How to get an agent with PITMAD
Mar 5 • 10 min
How do you get a literary agent? For many aspiring writers, it can seem like an impossible task. With agents receiving hundreds of queries per day, how can you get noticed? Tiffany has a better way. This year, Tiffany was awarded a prestigious fellowship…
303: FALCON THIEF (with Joshua Hammer)
Mar 2 • 30 min
A globe-trotting rare bird egg thief, a detective hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey, and a writer who stitches it all into a brilliant story. Today we talk to that very writer, Joshua Hammer, who also happens to be an expat living in…
Bittersweet Moment #46: QUESTING
Feb 27 • 9 min
If you could have an encounter with any animal in the wild, which would you pick? For author and actress Jane Alexander, it was the exotic Himalayan Monal pheasant. She got her wish in the mountains of Bhutan and told Katy about it. On Monday’s episode we…
302: QUEST
Feb 24 • 33 min
What’s the difference between a goal and a quest? This week, Tiffany and Katy discuss what goes in to embarking on a quest, and why you would want to go on one. Tiffany (who famously loves a challenge) sets down her own definition of a quest, as well as…
Bittersweet Moment #45: CARNEVALE
Feb 20 • 11 min
It’s Carnevale here in Rome, and before you say—why don’t you go celebrate in Venice?—you should know that Carnevale originated in Rome. In this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Tiffany recounts the ancient origins of this raucous pre-Lenten festival, what it…
301: PERSONALITY
Feb 17 • 33 min
Do you know your personality type? On this week’s episode, Katy sits down with personality consultant Leslie McDaniel, who diagnoses Katy’s personality type through a series of probing and sometimes difficult questions. Leslie believes that knowing your…
Bittersweet Moment #44: NOTABLE GUESTS
Feb 13 • 18 min
We’ve had some fascinating guests over the past six years of this podcast, and to celebrate our exciting 300-episode milestone, this Bittersweet Moment takes a look back at just a few of our very favorites. In this mini-episode, you’ll hear why most of us…
300: TRECENTO
Feb 10 • 43 min
Two countries, six years, 300 episodes! On this week’s episode, The Bittersweet Life podcast reaches a major milestone! To commemorate this important number, we look back on 300 episodes: highlights, bloopers, tears (mostly Katy’s), laughter, our most…
Bittersweet Moment #43: RAPHAEL
Feb 6 • 14 min
Visit Rome in the footsteps of Raphael, just in time for the 500th anniversary of his death. Despite his short life, he had a massive artistic output. A whopping 100 of his works will be on display at a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit at Rome’s Scuderie del…
299: CORRUPTION
Feb 3 • 35 min
Italy is a historically corrupt country, so much so that many Italians roll their eyes at anyone naive enough to trust their own government. Is that where the US is heading? On this episode, Tiffany and Katy discuss how a country can begin a slow slide…
Bittersweet Moment #42: ROMAN HOROSCOPE
Jan 30 • 13 min
Sagittarius or Scorpio, Leo or Libra, visit Rome based on your sign. In this mini-episode, Tiffany tells you what to see and do in Rome based on the traits of your zodiac sign.
298: VIETNAM
Jan 27 • 33 min
Katy’s father and sister join us this week to look back on their family travels to Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam. Katy, who was not a travel-lover as a younger person, asks her dad if he invited her to join him on his trips there in order to expand…
Bittersweet Moment #41: MORE SNOW
Jan 23 • 11 min
Michigan, Minnesota, Montana… oh my! Katy’s sister and father have lived, respectively, in some of the snowiest places in the US. What do they think about the snow nostalgia that plagues so much of the non-snowy world? Do they agree with the theory that…
297: SNOW
Jan 20 • 24 min
Most people either love snow or hate it. How much of that depends on where you live and how much snow you see in a typical year? Or maybe our love of snow is determined by how much it gets in the way of our day-to-day lives? A recent snowstorm hitting…
Bittersweet Moment #40: TRAVELING TO WRITE (with Jess Walter)
Jan 15 • 15 min
There’s nothing like curling up in your favorite armchair and traveling the world via an amazing book. But what about the writers who must craft stories that bring these exotic cities and countries to life? How do they go about it? On this week’s…
296: READING (with Nancy Pearl)
Jan 13 • 17 min
Most book-lovers would agree that reading is the best way to travel without leaving the comfort of your favorite armchair. This week, Katy sits down with librarian and world-famous book expert Nancy Pearl to discuss what makes a book a great armchair…
Bittersweet Moment #39: ROMAN RESOLUTIONS
Jan 9 • 13 min
So you set yourself a bunch of New Year’s resolutions and now you’re on your way to Rome. How in the world are you going to keep them? Do you even want to try? Well, we’ve got good news for you! This week’s mini-episode is all about how to keep your New…
295: VENTI VENTI
Jan 6 • 35 min
What are your resolutions this year? And did you get your resolutions done last year? We start every year with our Resolutions episode, where we look back on last year’s accomplishments (or non-accomplishments, as the case may be), and look ahead with…
294: SHAKESPEARE
Dec 30, 2019 • 23 min
What did Shakespeare think about his own mortality? Is it possible to discern how he felt about death from his writing? We explore the intersection of art and death in this special presentation of the pilot to non-starter podcast In Black Ink that Katy…
293: HOLIDAY MAGIC
Dec 23, 2019 • 30 min
Has Christmas lost its magic now that you’re all grown up? Katy and Tiffany brainstorm ways to bring that holiday magic back even if you don’t believe in Santa anymore. Katy tells the story of the time she played Santa’s secret helper to someone she…
Bittersweet Moment #38 COCKTAILS
Dec 19, 2019 • 9 min
Who doesn’t love a good cocktail, especially around the holidays? On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Katy revisits Monday’s episode and her interview with author Adrienne Brodeur to discover her mother’s secret for making amazing cocktails, especially her…
292: WILD GAME (with Adrienne Brodeur)
Dec 16, 2019 • 35 min
Can you keep a secret? Author Adrienne Brodeur was asked to keep an explosive secret at just fourteen years old when her mother confided in her about her extramarital affair. From that moment on, Adrienne’s life changed; her innocent childhood was over,…
Bittersweet Moment #37: CHRISTMAS IN ROME
Dec 12, 2019 • 13 min
Spending Christmas in Rome? On this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany shares her tips on the best, coziest, and most festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Rome! Buon Natale e Buone Feste from The Bittersweet Life! ***Don’t forget! All of our Patreon…
291: LIGHTS OUT
Dec 9, 2019 • 33 min
Some say you can never understand or truly experience a culture if you can’t speak the language so don’t bother going. But that’s awfully limiting. Even in the best scenario, in which you speak 3 or 4 languages, that would still cut you off from most of…
Bittersweet Moment #36: NEARLY FORGOTTEN
Dec 5, 2019 • 10 min
We won’t be remembered for long after we die—that’s a conclusion that Mo Rocca, correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, came to on Episode 290 MOBITUARIES. Today, we continue to explore the transience of fame on this mini-episode by introducing you to Jan…
290: MOBITUARIES (With Mo Rocca)
Dec 2, 2019 • 38 min
What makes someone’s life worth remembering? Mo Rocca spends a lot of time thinking and talking about this, on his podcast Mobituaries with Mo Rocca. Today he joins The Bittersweet Life to continue that conversation, and to talk about his new book,…
Bittersweet Moment #35: THANKS
Nov 28, 2019 • 7 min
We are so grateful for all of our wonderful listeners around the world for your love, attention, and support throughout the over five years of this show! On this extra-mini-episode, we have a quick Thanksgiving message for you.
289: LOSS
Nov 25, 2019 • 34 min
In the lead up to Thanksgiving, Katy and Tiffany muse on the inevitable missing out on important holidays and events that comes with being a far-away expat. And the annual November dilemma: do I celebrate Thanksgiving this year or do I skip it? In light…
Bittersweet Moment #34: OPERA
Nov 21, 2019 • 13 min
Do you love opera? Hate it? Indifferent? Give Tiffany the length of a mini-episode and you might finding yourself warming to it. Tiffany tells how she fell in love with opera at age 12, and how her passion for the art form goes hand in hand with her…
288: CHINA VS. BALI
Nov 18, 2019 • 38 min
Mike Shaw recently moved to Bali after 11 years in Beijing. So far, it has been a hard move. This week, he chats with Katy about why he decided to leave an adopted city he loves so much, and what he’s discovered about himself in the process. He also talks…
Bittersweet Moment #33: THE BORDER
Nov 13, 2019 • 10 min
Paul Theroux is back! This time, live onstage. If you loved Monday’s double-header episode featuring an in-depth interview with legendary travel writer Paul Theroux, tune in to this week’s mini-episode to hear a snippet of his live stage interview with…
287: PAUL THEROUX, Part 2
Nov 11, 2019 • 19 min
World-famous travel writer Paul Theroux joins us again for the continuation of this fascinating discussion. In Part 2, Theroux weighs in on the cult of social media, and how much of the travel posts we see on Instagram are the antithesis of travel…
286: PAUL THEROUX, Part 1
Nov 11, 2019 • 29 min
Legendary travel writer Paul Theroux joins us this week for a candid, backstage interview. He delves into what brought him to traveling and to writing, and how those two things are inexorably linked, at least for him. He remarks on why he thinks that…
Bittersweet Moment #32: RENT
Nov 7, 2019 • 12 min
Dying to move to Italy? Be forewarned: renting over here is a bit different than it is back home. On this mini-episode, Tiffany lists some of the oddest and most unexpected aspects of renting an apartment in Italy, and how to navigate the Italian rental…
285: HOUSE
Nov 4, 2019 • 38 min
Since moving back to the states from Rome in 2014, Katy has flit around the country, moving from Seattle to New Orleans to San Francisco and back again. A common occurrence in repats who struggle to find their place in the world after living abroad.…
Bittersweet Moment #31: THE BLOOD
Oct 31, 2019 • 6 min
In honor of Halloween, today’s mini-episode features a snippet from Katy’s most controversial NPR story ever recorded. Listen in to hear an interview that is equal parts, gruesome, disturbing, and adorable. And let us know what you think about it—is it…
284: ASK A MORTICIAN (with Caitlin Doughty)
Oct 28, 2019 • 33 min
Self-described dead body enthusiast and corpse geek, Caitlin Doughty joins us this week for a fascinating discussion about all things death. Doughty is quite possibly the most famous mortician on the internet, and her new book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?…
Bittersweet Moment #30: VILLA AURORA
Oct 24, 2019 • 15 min
A glorious Guercino ceiling fresco, Caravaggio’s only wall painting, a maybe-Michelangelo, an oasis off Via Veneto, and a real live American princess! In this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany takes listeners on a visit to one of the most unknown troves of art…
283: SPIRITS
Oct 21, 2019 • 38 min
Have you ever encountered a ghost? As the Halloween season pulls into full swing, we replay one of the most popular shows from our archives: our ghost episode, featuring spooky and unexplainable stories, be they run-ins with ghosts, scary stuff that’s…
Bittersweet Moment #29: INTERVIEWING
Oct 17, 2019 • 10 min
What are the best tricks for organizing and carrying out an effective interview? And what are some things that you should definitely NOT do? On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Katy shares her considerable knowledge and experience on the matter after…
282: ROMANCE
Oct 14, 2019 • 45 min
How do you flirt in a foreign language? What happens when cultural miscommunication crops up? How do you manage to be charming in a foreign language? Today Tiffany shares her experiences dating & flirting with foreign men, her bad dates, misadventures &…
Bittersweet Moment #28: ITALIAN
Oct 10, 2019 • 14 min
Want to kickstart your Italian language learning? On this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany offers five practical tips for learning Italian fast, with specific tricks for building a vocabulary and learning to conjugate verbs. Aurelio also stops by to share his…
281: LANGUAGE
Oct 7, 2019 • 38 min
15 years of living in a foreign language can change the way you think in your own native tongue, or at least that’s the case for Tiffany. This week, we chat about the unexpected side effects of speaking your second language more than you speak your first,…
Bittersweet Moment #27: BUDGET
Oct 3, 2019 • 15 min
Longing to visit Rome but don’t want to dip into your life savings? On this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany shares her tips for visiting Rome on a budget. Everything from eating, drinking, sleeping, and sightseeing. You never knew Rome could be this cheap.
280: NO, Part 2 (with Sheri Salata and Nancy Hala)
Sep 30, 2019 • 24 min
Oprah Winfrey’s former executive producer Sheri Salata and her cohost Nancy Hala from The Sheri + Nancy Show podcast, join us again this week to continue their fascinating conversation! On this episode, Sheri delves into the title of her new book, The…
Bittersweet Moment #26: READING
Sep 26, 2019 • 7 min
One of the best parts about hosting this podcast is getting to meet amazing authors and talk about their books with them. A bonus is when the author agrees to read you your favorite excerpt from their book. On this mini-episode, our most recent author…
279: NO, Part 1 (with Sheri Salata and Nancy Hala)
Sep 22, 2019 • 29 min
This week we’re joined by special guests Sheri Salata & Nancy Hala, hosts of popular podcast The Sheri + Nancy Show. Sheri was also the executive producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show and is the author of the new book, The Beautiful No. They discuss the…
Bittersweet Moment #25: UNFORGETTABLE
Sep 19, 2019 • 11 min
On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Katy takes to the streets of Seattle to ask passersby if they’ve ever had a brief encounter with someone and never forgotten that person. Why was that? Why do some people stay with you even if they are not physically…
278: LISTENER
Sep 16, 2019 • 35 min
Today Katy recounts her relationship with a long-time listener, someone she never met but communicated with often, and how finding out about his death brought up unexpected emotions. Digging back through his emails, she finds an invitation to cherish…
Bittersweet Moment #24: ILLUSION
Sep 12, 2019 • 12 min
In this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany takes you on a virtual tour of one of the most fascinating and little-known sites in Rome, which also happens to be one of the greatest optical illusions in the world.
277: TRANSITION
Sep 8, 2019 • 44 min
SEASON 7 is opening with an announcement from Katy. Another move is in store for her! In fact, part of this episode captures some of the highlights of her journey to her new home. Where will it be, you wonder? I guess you’ll just have to listen to find…
276: FAREWELL
Sep 2, 2019 • 30 min
On our annual Labor Day encore episode, we take you back in time to the summer of 2014, on Katy’s very last morning as an expat in Rome. She and Tiffany spend 20 minutes in walking the streets of Trastevere at dawn before Katy has to hop on a bus and make…
Bittersweet Moment #23: FICTIVE
Aug 29, 2019 • 7 min
On this mini-episode, Katy takes us back in time to the the Golden Age of radio, by re-broadcasting a piece she produced for the Radio Retrospective. In it, she looks at the way the news was manipulated and dramatized leading up to and during World War…
275: STORY, Part 2 (with Anthony Doerr)
Aug 26, 2019 • 24 min
In Part 2 of our conversation with author Anthony Doerr, he tells the story of finding out he had won the prestigious Rome Prize literally the same day his twin sons were born, and what it took for he and his wife to make the monumental decision to pack…
274: STORY, Part 1 (with Anthony Doerr)
Aug 26, 2019 • 25 min
In this very special episode, we are joined by the award-winning, best-selling writer, Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, and Four Seasons in Rome. Anthony shares his writing journey, from his earliest beginnings as an amateur writer to…
Bittersweet Moment #22: OBSERVATIONS
Aug 22, 2019 • 11 min
This mini-episode finds Tiffany sitting on a bench on a crowded street corner in Prati, observing the world around her—without her smartphone on hand. In a follow-up to last week’s episode ADDICTION, Tiffany carries out Katy’s assignment of spending some…
273: ADDICTION, Part 2
Aug 19, 2019 • 20 min
In part two of this week’s double-header, we continue our discussion of addiction, this time focusing more on physical addictions, and specifically cigarettes. Katy reveals her struggles with smoking from a young age, and how she finally managed to quit.…
272: ADDICTION, Part 1
Aug 19, 2019 • 37 min
How do you know you’re addicted to your phone? And more importantly, what can you do about it? Tiffany recognizes the signs of a looming problem and asks Katy for some advice. This leads to a conversation about addiction in general. Be sure to stick…
Bittersweet Moment #21: OWL HOUSE
Aug 15, 2019 • 11 min
Swiss cabin meets medieval hamlet meets art nouveau glass? As crazy as it sounds, this unlikely mash-up is not an abomination, but rather one of the most charming, yet little visited, museums in Rome. Tucked away among the greenery of Villa Torlonia north…
271: PUNCTUALITY
Aug 12, 2019 • 32 min
Is it important to be on time? What does it say about you if you are often late? What does it say about you if it really bothers you when others are late? This week, we delve into the world of punctuality, and all of the expectations and resentments that…
Bittersweet Moment #20: PARADE
Aug 8, 2019 • 8 min
On this week’s mini-episode, Katy captures the unique and festive sounds of a parade that is passing through her town. And she explains why she sometimes gets choked up when she attends a parade. She also wonders about the origins of the word “parade,”…
270: STATES
Aug 5, 2019 • 34 min
This week, TIffany fills Katy in on her recent trip to the States, the best parts of the adventure, and how Aurelio is turning out to be an awesome traveler. She also remarks on the things about American life and culture that never fail to surprise her…
Bittersweet Moment #19: AUGUST
Jul 31, 2019 • 13 min
Rome in August. It’s hot, it’s sticky and it’s surprisingly empty. It’s the month when Romans desert the city en masse and head for the seashore or the mountains, searching for a welcome respite from the scorching city. Many shopkeepers and restaurant…
269: UNDERLAND (with Robert MacFarlane)
Jul 29, 2019 • 34 min
This week, we explore the underground world with Robert MacFarlane of Cambridge University in England. Robert is the best-selling author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, and was awarded the EM Forster Prize for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and…
Bittersweet Moment #18: INDIA
Jul 24, 2019 • 11 min
On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Tiffany interviews an old friend, someone who has had an influence on her writing in a very concrete way. The interview takes place in a gorgous house up in the trees on the cliff of Big Sur, but it was in Rome where…
268: RAILS
Jul 22, 2019 • 32 min
Do you think traveling by rail is romantic? Or are we the only ones? We’re digging into our archives this week to bring you this episode that we recorded on a train between Rome and Orvieto way back in 2014, the very first year of this podcast! Summer is…
Bittersweet Moment #17: MEDIUM REFLECTIONS
Jul 18, 2019 • 7 min
On today’s Bittersweet Moment, we check in with listener and friend Lynn Fortunato to hear her reaction to her session with a psychic medium. If you haven’t listened to last week’s episodes, be sure to do that first!
267: MEDIUM, PART 2
Jul 15, 2019 • 38 min
Last week we were off, so this week, we’re putting out two shows for the price of one! (That price being FREE—as always! :-) Make sure you listen to Episode 266 {MEDIUM, Part 1} first, to follow Katy and our longtime listener Lynn into a live psychic…
266: MEDIUM, Part 1
Jul 15, 2019 • 20 min
This week, Katy meets up with one of our longtime listeners, Lynn Fortunato. Lynn is standing on the precipice of change. She’s bored of her job, she’s not overly attached to San Francisco, her lease is up in September, and she’s yearning for something…
265: BREAK
Jul 8, 2019 • 4 min
Katy and Tiffany take a much-deserved break this week, but we stop by to say hi. If you feel a twitch of disappointment that you don’t get to hear the show this week, consider supporting us! If we bring value to your life each week, help keep the show…
Bittersweet Moment #16: FEEDBACK
Jul 4, 2019 • 4 min
On this extra-mini Bittersweet Moment, Katy and Tiffany take a break from their mid-week mini-episode formula to ask YOU a question: what do you think of the mini-episodes? Do you love them or skip them? If you love them, what do you love most about them?…
264: TRAVEL ANXIETY
Jul 1, 2019 • 30 min
Do you love to travel but get inordinately stressed out when it comes time to book your reservations? Are you a typically chill person who wakes up in cold sweats because you’re afraid the tickets you were looking at have doubled in price—or worse—sold…
Bittersweet Moment #15: BEHIND THE SCENES, Part 2
Jun 27, 2019 • 15 min
It takes more than one mini-episode to go behind the scenes at The Bittersweet Life! We’re joined again this week by Sara Johnson who turns the tables on Katy to interview her about everything that goes into producing this show every week. Specifically,…
263: CRACK-DOWN
Jun 24, 2019 • 30 min
This week we discuss the new strict laws that have recently been signed into law by Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi. Feel like enjoying a gelato on the Spanish Steps à la Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday? Think twice! Want to climb on the back of one of the…
Bittersweet Moment #14: BEHIND THE SCENES
Jun 20, 2019 • 15 min
On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, we offer a peek behind the curtain as Katy’s sister Sara—one of our most ardent fans—interviews Katy about everything that goes into the podcast that listeners don’t see (or hear). Learn how the name was chosen, how long…
262: JOURNALIST (with Natalie Higgins)
Jun 17, 2019 • 39 min
BBC producer Natalie Higgins joins us to discuss the ins & outs of the journalist game, and her experiences living abroad in Rome over a decade ago and her current expat experience in Belgium. Natalie shares her story of starting out studying languages,…
Bittersweet Moment #13: TEMPIETTO
Jun 13, 2019 • 14 min
On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Tiffany and Aurelio chat about their recent visit to one of Rome’s most secret, and best-hidden, gems: the Tempietto of Bramante. Find out what makes this minuscule “temple” so utterly sublime, which ancient temple it…
261: ICONS
Jun 10, 2019 • 31 min
What are the instantly recognizable symbols that represent your city? Do you travel to a city because of the icons there, or are they what make that place feel more familiar once you arrive? Is the purpose of a city symbol, like the Seattle Space Needle,…
Bittersweet Moment #12: BODIES (with Hallie Rubenhold)
Jun 6, 2019 • 9 min
On this week’s mini-episode, we delve a little deeper with social historian Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. Hallie discusses her fascination with the physical experiences that people from…
260: THE FIVE (with Hallie Rubenhold)
Jun 3, 2019 • 44 min
This week, we sit down with Hallie Rubenhold, historian and author of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. In this eye-opening interview, we discover that, contrary to popular narrative, Jack the Ripper’s victims were not all…
Bittersweet Moment #11: VATICAN
May 30, 2019 • 18 min
On this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany shares all her expert tips for visiting the Vatican—and keeping your sanity while you do it. The Vatican Museums are huge, overwhelming, and most of all, extremely crowded. As a guide who has led tours inside the…
259: CHALLENGE
May 27, 2019 • 36 min
Do you like to do hard things? Do you tend to challenge yourself… just because? On this episode, Katy and Tiffany talk about deliberately seeking out difficult situations, tasks, and habits, in order to promote personal growth, build inner (and outer)…
Bittersweet Moment #10: RAMADAN
May 23, 2019 • 10 min
Ramadan began for millions of Muslims on May 5, 2019. But what exactly is Ramadan? Most people know it entails fasting, contemplation, and prayer, but not much else. To learn a bit more about it, Katy interviews her former colleague Amina Al-Sadi for an…
258: NIECE
May 20, 2019 • 24 min
This week, we’re joined by a very special guest, Tiffany’s niece Hannah Ritter. At 22, Hannah has lived in France for the better part of two years, first as a study-abroad student, then as an English teacher. Tiffany sits down with Hannah to talk about…
Bittersweet Moment #9: SCALA
May 16, 2019 • 11 min
Tiffany recounts her visit to the Scala Santa, believed to be the 28 steps Christ climbed on his way to his trial. Transported to Rome in the 4th century by St. Helena, he stairs are usually covered with a layer of wood to protect them from being worn…
257: THERAPIST (with Lori Gottlieb)
May 13, 2019 • 35 min
This week, therapist and bestselling author Lori Gottlieb joins us to talk about change, loss, and self-examination. Lori and Katy discuss everything from what you should look for in a therapist to what your therapist is listening for—and why it’s often…
Bittersweet Moment #8: PLAY
May 9, 2019 • 9 min
On this week’s Bittersweet Moment, Katy talks about the joys of play, and specifically, games. We are all familiar with simple childhood games, board games, and travel games, but what about games that spark your imagination and fuel your creativity? On…
256: YOUTH
May 5, 2019 • 34 min
As a follow-up to last week’s Bittersweet Moment mini-episode KIDS, Katy and Tiffany reminisce about traveling in their youth. Were they “good” travelers? Were they interested in what they were seeing, or were they bored and sulking? At what age did they…
Bittersweet Moment #7: KIDS
May 2, 2019 • 16 min
On this week’s mini-episode, Tiffany shares her tips on traveling to Rome with kids. She not only gives suggestions about what sites in Rome are most suited to kids, but more importantly, she shares tricks on how to get your little ones to enjoy the…
255 AWARENESS (with Amy Herman)
Apr 29, 2019 • 32 min
In a sequel to Episode 253 PERCEPTION, this week we are joined once again by visual intelligence expert Amy Herman. Katy and Amy take a walk through the streets of Manhattan, discussing how better to observe the world around them, and by doing so, make…
Bittersweet Moment #6: PLACES
Apr 25, 2019 • 10 min
On Monday’s episode, we discussed the tragic fire at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. At the end of the episode, we wonder what other buildings in the world, if any, could elicit the same universal heartbreak as Notre Dame? We asked and you answered.…
254 NOTRE DAME
Apr 22, 2019 • 30 min
This week, Katy and Tiffany discuss the tragedy of the Notre Dame fire. How do you move on after all but losing such an integral monument to human history? We muse on our own reactions to the disaster, and how it took us back to the trauma of tragedies…
Bittersweet Moment #5: FIRE
Apr 18, 2019 • 12 min
In the aftermath of the devastating fire at Notre Dame, Tiffany is reminded of a similar fire that took place at Rome’s San Paolo fuori le Mura in 1823. She takes comfort in the fact that almost every building of any significant age has been rebuilt, at…
253: PERCEPTION (with Amy Herman)
Apr 15, 2019 • 39 min
Amy Herman is an art expert who trains members of law enforcement, intelligence agents, counter-terrorist specialists, and healthcare professionals to enhance their observation skills by learning to look at works of art. In this episode, Amy and Katy…
Bittersweet Moment #4: DANCE
Apr 11, 2019 • 10 min
On this mini-episode, Katy interviews Matt Harding—you know, that crazy American guy who danced with people all over the world? His videos dancing alone and with locals, in front of some of the most recognizable monuments in the world and in some of the…
252: CREATIVITY
Apr 8, 2019 • 36 min
What do Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin (and so many other artists) have in common? They all reached the apex of their creative output while living outside their countries of birth. An email from a listener, who also happens to be an Aussie…
Bittersweet Moment #3: LANGUAGE
Apr 4, 2019 • 9 min
In this week’s Bittersweet Moment mini-episode, we tackle a question from a listener: how do you learn a new language effectively? Tiffany draws on her experiences studying and speaking Italian and French (and a smidgen of Spanish and German) to come up…
251: SHOULD
Apr 1, 2019 • 35 min
How many of your life decisions were entirely your own, and how many were influenced by what the people around you expected you to be doing? Today we delve into questions of “should.” We discuss whether we’re living our family’s/society’s version of how…
Bittersweet Moment #2: QUESTION
Mar 28, 2019 • 8 min
It’s time for our first full Bittersweet Moment! Inspired by Monday’s episode, Katy wonders how many people have lived in places they didn’t like. Be sure to listen to Episode 250 {SPOUSE} first, where we chat wtih author Beth Howard about her experiences…
250: SPOUSE (with Beth M. Howard)
Mar 25, 2019 • 33 min
This week we talk with Beth Howard, author of Hausfrau Honeymoon, about her years as a “trailing spouse” in Germany, and how despite her best efforts, she just couldn’t seem to find happiness there. What happens when the success of your marriage hangs on…
Bittersweet Moment #1: INTRO
Mar 21, 2019 • 4 min
On occasion of the fifth anniversary of The Bittersweet Life, we’re launching Bittersweet Moments, mid-week mini-episodes to bring a little extra bitter-sweetness to your week. We’ll be regaling you with a different nugget every week, from bite-sized art…
249: PLATEAU
Mar 18, 2019 • 35 min
This week’s episode is inspired by a letter from one of our long-time listeners. Giovanna wonders what to do after hitting an expat “plateau,” when the rapid learning and expanding period of being a new expat inevitably slows down. After a little over a…
248: START-UP (with Lori-Lee Elliott)
Mar 11, 2019 • 35 min
This week, we’re joined by Lori-Lee Elliott, many-time expat, world traveler, and techie girlboss. We chat about her journey to become an expat business owner with the launch of her new Augmented Reality software company. Lori-Lee talks about what it…
247: HOW-TO
Mar 4, 2019 • 28 min
In this long-awaited epsiode, Tiffany finally reveals how she moved to Rome. It wasn’t all a bed of roses (and frankly, it wasn’t all legal), but after innumerable requests from listeners, who regularly write to us saying, “I want to move to Italy. How…
246: REGRETS
Feb 25, 2019 • 40 min
Whether due to poor planning, penny pinching, or laziness, we’ve all got regrets when it comes to our past travels, like the time you didn’t cough up the extra 5 bucks to climb the church tower to see the amazing view. The time you missed the museum you…
245: FOOD (with Francesca Montillo)
Feb 18, 2019 • 33 min
Have you ever thumbed through a cookbook only to roll your eyes and wonder, who has the time? Italian food expert and cookbook author Francesca Montillo joins us for a conversation about her new cookbook. For anyone who loves cooking Italian food but…
244: JOY (with Sarah McColl)
Feb 8, 2019 • 34 min
Do I deserve to live a bigger life? If you’re asking that question, it’s a gift to have parent (or friend) who answers-“Why not?” Sarah McColl, author of the beautiful new memoir, Joy Enough, joins us to talk about the rich, meaningful life she discovered…
243: SISTERS Part 2
Feb 4, 2019 • 27 min
Katy’s sisters, Dana and Sara, join us again this week! They discuss what ties people to the city they are currently living in. What’s holding you back from imagining a new life for yourself in a new place? Dana has a special needs child, but that didn’t…
242: SISTERS
Jan 28, 2019 • 26 min
This week we’re joined by Katy’s sisters, Dana Zahler and Sara Johnson. They chat about the things that prompt you to change where you live, and what your upbringing has to do with it. Hear from Dana what it takes to move a family of four across the…
241: DARE
Jan 21, 2019 • 15 min
Our super summer Share-a-thon came to an end a few months ago now, and today is the big day that our super-fun, super-secret Truth or Dare episode hits the airwaves! If you’ve been paying attention, you know that that episode is only available to…
240: ANGELS
Jan 14, 2019 • 27 min
Every so often, just when you find yourself alone and vulnerable in a foreign place and in desperate need of help, an angel comes into your life…a very special kind of angel. A travel angel. This episode is dedicated to those rare and wonderful strangers…
239: NOTICE (with Amy Herman)
Jan 7, 2019 • 43 min
In a re-airing of one of our most fascinating interviews, Amy Herman joins us to talk about visual intelligence. How can looking at fine art, or rather learning how to truly notice what it is you are seeing, change, or even save your life? Herman has…
238: RESOLVE
Dec 31, 2018 • 33 min
What happens when you dig out the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year just as you are about to make some new ones for the year to come? Tiffany and Katy find out the hard way. Plus, in honor of Tiffany, Katy takes on a few extra resolutions,…
237: WHITE
Dec 24, 2018 • 13 min
This Christmas, we’re gifting you with a sweet, sentimental, and surprising piece of radio created by your host, Katy Sewall, the Christmas she spent in Rome. If you love the song White Christmas and have always wondered about its origins, listen to this…
236: WHEN?
Dec 13, 2018 • 31 min
When you move abroad to be with a significant other, what do you do when you don’t find expat life satisfying? Whether it’s because you struggle to learn the language, feel isolated, don’t really love the place where you live, or are not sure your partner…
235: GERMAN (with Dana Newman)
Dec 10, 2018 • 40 min
This week, expat, author, and vlogger Dana Newman joins us for an interview! An American living in Germany, Dana first moved to Prague back in 2008, then later relocated to Munich, where she married a German and still lives today. She also has a new book…
234: ADVENT
Dec 3, 2018 • 32 min
It’s December and Advent is upon us! With this unofficial kick-off of Christmastime, we discuss the different ways Italians and Americans prepare for the holiday season. We also debate contentious topics such as: when is it too early to put up your…
233: BORGIA
Nov 26, 2018 • 42 min
A powerful, unscrupulous man whose two greatest vices are greed and lust. He’s close to his family…perhaps too close (particularly his beautiful blond-haired daughter). He holds a position of great power, although the machinations he employed to get it…
232: THANKSGIVING
Nov 18, 2018 • 35 min
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and if you’re anything like us, you’re partly dreading sitting down at that big, diverse table because you know the person sitting beside you—while you may love them to bits—has political views that are the opposite of yours.…
231: ARCHAEOLOGY (with Christy Schirmer)
Nov 12, 2018 • 28 min
In her mid-30s, Christy Schrimer quit her job to pursue her dream of a PhD in Classics. Fast-forward a few years and she now comes to Italy to work once a year on archaeological digs. What’s she looking for in the dirt? And how did she decide to take the…
230: EIGHTEEN
Nov 5, 2018 • 35 min
On this week’s episode, Katy and Tiffany reminisce about their first experiences leaving home—when they went away to college at age eighteen. Why was Katy’s experience so bad and Tiffany’s so awesome? Was it really only luck? How do you cope with…
229: HALLOWEEN
Oct 29, 2018 • 46 min
This week, in honor of Halloween, we feature the stories of listeners and friends, whether they be recountings of run-ins with ghosts they themselves have experienced, or just downright scary stuff that’s happened to them. So get comfortable, pour…
228: GHOSTS
Oct 22, 2018 • 38 min
Join us for a whimsical and seasonal episode about ghosts—do you believe in them? Have you ever encountered one? Are you the type of person who automatically looks for “rational explanations” when spooky things occur? Or are you open to believing…
227: WANDERLUST (with Laura Smith)
Oct 15, 2018 • 33 min
Katy interviews author Laura Smith, and the two discuss the definition of wanderlust, why some people spend their lives longing for new experiences, and how you can challenge the status quo in your own life. But does a yearning for “other” mean you are…
226: ISOLATED
Oct 8, 2018 • 38 min
There’s nothing like a complete political meltdown in your home country to make you feel utterly alone in your adopted one. Tiffany opens up about her feelings of isolation in the wake of the Kavanaugh debacle raging across the pond. When you are consumed…
225: LOST
Oct 1, 2018 • 26 min
Not all who wander are lost…but some are. Why is it that so many expats and travel addicts come from troubled homes or have difficult pasts? In this week’s episode, we discuss whether this is simply a coincidence or if suffering and dissatisfaction push…
224: DOLOMITES
Sep 24, 2018 • 36 min
On the first episode of season six, Katy and Tiffany take a trip north (at least in their memories) to the Dolomite mountains in the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige. The sounds of munching goats, clanging cow bells, and haunting chants enliven the…
223: ARRIVEDERCI
Sep 17, 2018 • 22 min
Friendship, Rome, the end of another season of The Bittersweet Life, & the end of Katy’s latest Roman adventure…What does all that have to do with John Keats? Find out on the latest episode—and the final one of the season—as Katy and Tiffany discuss what…
222: DESTINY
Sep 10, 2018 • 41 min
Are we the masters of our own fate, or merely unwitting pawns in a larger scheme, the irresistible pull of destiny guiding all of our so-called decisions? Or is the reality somewhere in the middle? In their second live show, recorded at The Beehive Hotel…
221: LABOR
Sep 3, 2018 • 8 min
In honor of Labor Day, Katy and Tiffany take the week off from their labor of love, The Bittersweet Life podcast. But in this special, super-short episode we ask for your feedback for three upcoming episodes. Listen to the episode to hear our questions so…
220: STAYING?
Aug 27, 2018 • 34 min
As Katy nears the end of her time in Rome (this time), Tiffany can’t help but ask, will you stay? Or, more precisely, would you stay? Would you stay in Rome IF all the conditions allowed it: work visa, gainful employment, apartment? Her answer might…
219: ABDICATE (with Jackie)
Aug 20, 2018 • 27 min
Moving abroad isn’t just for twenty-somethings. Jackie was a lawyer in her early 40s when she realized she wasn’t content feeding her wanderlust with short, occasional trips to Europe—she had to move there. Once she made her decision, there was no going…
218: POSTCARDS
Aug 13, 2018 • 19 min
A postcard captures a moment in time—a literal snapshot of a place. But according to Katy, people make the best postcards. If you visit a place often enough, you’ll find faces you’ve seen before. Locals whom you’ve noticed many times—and who have perhaps…
217: BILINGUAL (with Kristie Prada)
Aug 6, 2018 • 33 min
How do you successfully raise your children to be bilingual? This week Katy sits down with British mum Kristie Prada, author and creator of the blog Mamma Prada. She and her Italian husband live in the UK and are serious about raising their children to…
216: ORVIETO (with Linda Martinez and Toni De Bella)
Jul 30, 2018 • 23 min
What’s it like to be a foreigner in a small village where everyone knows everyone? On this week’s episode we catch up with two Americans living in Orvieto—two expats whom we interviewed for the first time back in 2014. Writer Toni De Bella moved to…
215: SUMMIT
Jul 23, 2018 • 36 min
After the wild week in the news in the US, Katy and Tiffany take a brief break from their recent Rome-based episodes to discuss the events surrounding and following the now infamous Helsinki Summit. In the course of their commiserations, they wonder what…
214: RUDE
Jul 16, 2018 • 23 min
Part of living in a foreign culture is learning that some things that are totally acceptable back home are a faux pas in your adopted country. Picking up on the social rules of your new country is part of adjusting to life abroad. But what makes things…
213: IN-LAWS
Jul 9, 2018 • 27 min
After being talked about so often on the show, Tiffany’s Italian in-laws finally join us to speak for themselves. We discuss many topics with this couple who have been married for 40 years, including the closeness of the Italian family unit, how they…
212: ETHNICITY (with Estrella Gomez)
Jul 2, 2018 • 25 min
Issues of race and diversity are on everyone’s lips and minds in the United States right now. But people in Italy are just starting to have these conversations. In an interview with our former intern, first generation Salvadoran American Estrella Gomez,…
211: SIRENUSE (with Antonio Sersale)
Jun 25, 2018 • 27 min
Katy interviews Antonio Sersale, son of the founder of the legendary Le Sirenuse hotel in Postiano. From a young age, Antonio was groomed to take over the family business, but resisted for years, convinced the life of a hotelier wasn’t for him. Then, one…
210: CORRESPONDENT (with Michael Maren)
Jun 18, 2018 • 39 min
Katy interviews writer and former war correspondent Michael Maren about his experiences covering conflict across the African continent. From Uganda during the overthrow of Idi Amin to Somalia during the height of the civil War, Maren has lived and worked…
209: REPURPOSE
Jun 11, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we hit the streets of Rome with our recording equipment to search for ancient artifacts or “spoglie” hidden in plain sight. Rome has been inhabited without interruption for over three thousand of years. A past like that cannot but leave its…
208: DECAY
Jun 4, 2018 • 26 min
What does it say about us adopted Romans that we choose to live in a city’s whose glory is all in the past? Why do so many of us, who can’t even use the excuse that this is our home, choose to live here despite how little it has to offer us? Why do we…
207: ARTIST (with Samuel Webster)
May 28, 2018 • 44 min
Katy interviews Samuel Webster, versatile artist, Australian expat in a small town in Italy, and host of Fool’s Paradise podcast. They discuss what it means to be an “artist.” Does adopting that title make you pretentious, or is it just an honest…
206: RAIN
May 21, 2018 • 37 min
What does Rome sound like in the rain? Tiffany and Katy take a walk through the soggy streets of Rome, from Trastevere to Campo de’ Fiori, capturing the sounds that you might not notice: raindrops falling in a puddle, water rushing through an underground…
205: ENCOUNTER
May 14, 2018 • 30 min
Sometimes a person comes into your life—just a chance encounter—and yet you never forget them. Maybe their impact is strong, maybe it’s insignificant, yet for some reason, the memory of that person stays with you for the rest of your life. Katy and…
204: ZODIAC
May 7, 2018 • 31 min
Planning a trip to Rome? Use your Chinese horoscope sign as a guide to plan your itinerary. What animal are you? A snake, a dragon, a rat, a dog? Listen to episode 204 of The Bittersweet Life podcast to discover a Roman location that suits your…
203: PRETENSION
Apr 30, 2018 • 33 min
An overheard conversation between two American students in Rome causes Katy to reflect on the idea of pretension. Why do some expats—even those who have only lived in a place for a few months—tend to feel superior to tourists whose experiences are…
202: STATESIDE
Apr 23, 2018 • 32 min
Katy and Tiffany reunite in Rome for the first time in two and a half years to kick of Season 5 of The Bittersweet Life. Tiffany talks about her recent trip to the States, including her book tour to LA and Seattle (during which she lost her voice!), her…
201: NICE (with Steve Scher)
Apr 16, 2018 • 32 min
Traveling alone to Nice, France helped former public radio host, Steve Scher, overcome a long-held hangup from high school. Has traveling helped you shed a negative belief about yourself? Steve worked side-by-side with host Katy Sewall for 9 years at KUOW…
200: LIVE!
Apr 9, 2018 • 62 min
We explore the concept of synchronicity live on stage in Seattle and answer audience questions as we celebrate the 200th episode of The Bittersweet Life podcast and the release of Tiffany Parks’ new book Midnight in the Piazza. Thanks to Stackry.com for…
199: TRADITION
Apr 1, 2018 • 41 min
When it comes to gender roles, are Italians more conservative than other parts of the world? If a Italian marries an expat are they non-traditional? That… and Italian Easter traditions! Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Bittersweet Life…
198: MICRO (with Beth Ann Fennelly)
Mar 25, 2018 • 38 min
Today we learn to write micro-memoirs. These are short stories that capture the essence of an experience, sometimes in just one sentence. Whether you write a blog, post on Instagram, or just want to process the details of your day-to-day life in a new…
197: BOOK!
Mar 18, 2018 • 33 min
Tiffany’s first book, Midnight is the Piazza, is out! We talk about what it is like to achieve a long-held goal, and how to start writing if you want to but you’re stalled. Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship…
196: RETURN
Mar 11, 2018 • 37 min
When you travel, do you always go somewhere new, or do you revisit the same places again and again? What personality factors determine whether you prefer novelty or familiarity on the road? Host Tiffany Parks thinks life is short and the world is big. Why…
195: GUNS
Mar 4, 2018 • 38 min
How does violence in Italy compare to gun violence in the United States? We discuss guns, international gun regulations, and the privilege of living in less armed countries.
194: GEMS, Part 2
Feb 25, 2018 • 37 min
If you’re traveling to Rome with kids, this is the episode for you. Lots of fun, spooky ideas to keep kids and teens entertained in the eternal city. But, adults! You’ll love this too. These ideas are pretty fun for us grownups too. Thanks to Stackry.com…
193: GEMS
Feb 18, 2018 • 39 min
Planning a trip to Rome? Today we explore the lesser known gems of the city. These are amazing places tourists often miss (though they shouldn’t). Listening will make your trip is incredible. And if you’re not planning a trip, this will be like traveling…
192: PACING
Feb 11, 2018 • 35 min
What determines the pace of your life? Is it the city you live in? How many connections you have? What happens when you live in a country with a slower pace than you’re used to? Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall discuss.
191: ADVICE, Part 2
Feb 4, 2018 • 30 min
“How does one choose their path without regrets?” That’s one big question circling through listener Darlene’s head as she listens to The Bittersweet Life podcast. Is the expat life for the unattached? Can it be too late to move? Are artist-types always…
190: ADVICE
Jan 28, 2018 • 35 min
Advice for future expats. Dreaming of moving abroad but love your job? We discuss the hazards of giving up your career. Tiffany also gives practical tips to keep in mind when moving to Rome, Italy. Future expats, this is the show for you. Thanks for…
189: AESTHETICS
Jan 21, 2018 • 46 min
Travelers frequently live in environments designed by other people. How important are the decorations around you? Some people can work anywhere, but aesthetics are really important for others. Host Katy Sewall realized her productivity suffered during the…
188: NEW YEAR
Dec 31, 2017 • 30 min
Tiffany and Katy discuss resolutions for the New Year as 2018 kicks off. Tiffany needs your help with hers. Also, host Katy Sewall makes a big announcement about where she is going from here.
187: CHRISTMAS
Dec 24, 2017 • 36 min
Christmas traditions can be grounding when you’re living in a brand new place. Tiffany and Katy talk about the joys and challenges of being untethered during the holidays. They also discuss which of their traditions come from childhood and which were…
186: DANTE
Dec 17, 2017 • 50 min
The magician Dante joins us with his amazing story of reinvention - from landing in prison to busking for huge crowds in the streets of Europe. As he puts it, “It’s not about what has happened, it’s about what we do next.”
185: METOO
Dec 10, 2017 • 26 min
The #MeToo movement took over news in the United States after Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood movie producer, was outed for a history of assaulting women. Since then, more men have been fired and women are reexamining life experiences. This episode, we…
184: DISASTER
Dec 3, 2017 • 46 min
During the Sack of Rome in 1527, thousands of citizens were killed and the Italian Renaissance was crippled for good. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, over 1500 people died and thousands lost everything they had. Hosts Tiffany Parks (in…
183: SABINE
Nov 26, 2017 • 35 min
Do Americans need more positive feedback than the French? French expat Sabine explains the communication issues she faces with her American husband. Also, what do her French friends think of her decision to move the the United States? Would you trade…
182: AUTHENTIC
Nov 19, 2017 • 27 min
You would think living in Rome would be fantastic but “Rome squashes some of my joy” co-host Tiffany Parks says in this episode. Over in New Orleans, co-host Katy Sewall keeps encountering local residents claiming that they’re able to be their more…
181: EXISTENTIAL (with Anne Gisleson)
Nov 12, 2017 • 37 min
What is the purpose of living? Does life have meaning? If you are asking these questions, you might be experiencing an existential crisis. New Orleans writer Anne Gisleson formed her Existential Crisis Reading Group to contemplate life’s meaning. She…
180: HURRICANE
Nov 5, 2017 • 28 min
Hurricane Nate missed New Orleans in October, but being in it’s path brought about both fear and cultural revelation for new resident - our host Katy Sewall. It also brought about an unexpected interview with BBC radio.
179: DEATH (with Caitlin Doughty)
Oct 29, 2017 • 49 min
Mortician Caitlin Doughty joins us to talk about death practices around the world. Discover where you’d like to die and what countries deal with mortality best.
178: DAD
Oct 23, 2017 • 38 min
Sad days after Tiffany’s father dies. She struggles with the guilt many expats feel about being far away and not seeing him as much as she might have if she lived closer.
177: NOLA
Oct 16, 2017 • 31 min
Visit New Orleans with us! Host Katy moves into her new (temporary) home and discovers crime, a muggy heat and a great dance partner.
176: JORGE (with Jorge Moreno)
Oct 7, 2017 • 45 min
Jorge Moreno, beloved bartender from the reality show Bachelor in Paradise, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the show and explains how expats can accidentally ruin a town they love.
175: AIR LIFT (with Sara Sullivan)
Oct 1, 2017 • 29 min
When expat Sara Sullivan’s baby got sick in Botswana, a medical transfer by private jet was required. What was that like? And what is it like to be able to afford a level of medical care that local residents can’t?
174: RALLY (with Scott Gurian)
Sep 24, 2017 • 29 min
Mongol Rally participants drive from London to Mongolia at their own pace and their own peril. Radio Producer Scott Gurian survived the 11,000 mile journey in his tiny, 1 liter car and joins us to talk about it.
173: GLAMOUR
Sep 17, 2017 • 36 min
A short memoir by Beth Ann Fennelly inspires a discussion on what makes something glamorous rather than trashy.
172: SURVEY
Sep 10, 2017 • 32 min
What is the best and worst place to live according to expats the world over? Tiffany tries to guess as Katy goes over the results of a recent survey conducted by InterNations. Spoiler alert: Italy did not do so great.
171: CLIMATE
Sep 3, 2017 • 34 min
Does weather dictate where people live or do people follow opportunities? We reflect on the power of weather after Hurricane Harvey floods the US city of Houston. If you’ve never heard the show, don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1.
170: ECLIPSE
Aug 27, 2017 • 45 min
Sometimes a big adventure comes along and you say no. How do you know you’re saying no for the right reason? Hosts Katy and Tiffany use the US total eclipse of the sun to fuel the discussion.
169: REFUGEE, Part 2 (with Jennifer Rumbach)
Aug 20, 2017 • 41 min
Jennifer Rumbach works with refugees all over the world, specializing in communicating with the LGBTI community. After a hectic year zig-zagging the world by plane, she is finally staying put in New York. How does living in one place affect her sense of…
168: TINY
Aug 14, 2017 • 45 min
What do a baby eel and a favorite cafe have in common? Next to nothing, unless you’re traveling and looking for a sense of place and belonging. We explore how the tiniest things can give you peace of mind.
167: RECAP
Jul 30, 2017 • 39 min
After an lengthy US journey to visit her family, host Tiffany Parks returns to her home in Rome. We get her impressions and hear a big announcement from Katy. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
166: TIPS (with Lori-Lee Emshey)
Jul 24, 2017 • 37 min
Today, tips on what NOT to do from an expat who is on her 17th expat assignment, Lori-Lee Emshey. Listen to avoid the mistakes people often make when moving to a new place. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
165: SPARK (with Cat Seto)
Jul 17, 2017 • 28 min
Artist Cat Seto completely remade her stationery business after being bullied into a trip to France. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
164: SUZANNE, Part 2 (with Suzanne Morrison)
Jul 8, 2017 • 41 min
Travel changes you, but how much? We trace how hosts Tiffany and Katy have changed through the eyes of their childhood friend, Suzanne Morrison. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
163: SUZANNE, Part 1 (with Suzanne Morrison)
Jul 2, 2017 • 24 min
We explore what makes yoga appealing to some? And what youthful notions of travel are unrealistic? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
162: ARRIVAL, Part 2
Jun 21, 2017 • 29 min
Expat Tiffany Parks returns to her hometown of Seattle after years away (in Rome). This episode is a continuation of last week’s episode with special guest, author and old-time friend, Suzanne Morrison. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
161: ARRIVAL
Jun 11, 2017 • 27 min
Host Tiffany Parks arrives in Seattle from Rome, reuniting with co-host Katy and long-time best friend, Suzanne Morrison. The conversation turns into a bit of a praise-fest. Maybe that’s what happens when an expat is gone from home for so many years.…
160: TRIP
May 30, 2017 • 30 min
Tiffany is heading to the U.S.A after 4 years without visiting her home country. Is her Italian-born toddler ready with enough English to meet his American family? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
159: SALT (with Hala Alyan)
May 21, 2017 • 46 min
Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American a poet, novelist (Salt Houses) and clinical psychologist. After her family fled Kuwait when Saddam invaded, they moved a lot! Together we explore storytelling, straddling cultures, loneliness, therapy and what value…
158: GRIEF
May 14, 2017 • 32 min
Katy cries over a sudden, devastating loss in her life, and the conversation turns to how to decide what you want out of life. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
157: CLARE (with Clare Brown)
Apr 30, 2017 • 38 min
Fan favorite Clare Brown joins us from Split, Croatia to talk about Tinder dating in a foreign country, making it as a freelancer, and the hazards of being happy anywhere. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
156: SIGNS
Apr 23, 2017 • 33 min
Have you ever received a sign to do something? Do signs even really exist? Katy and Tiffany share their experiences and yours. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
155: LONELY
Apr 16, 2017 • 25 min
Loneliness. Can it be cured by hitting the road? Katy and Tiffany discuss. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
154: MUSE Part 2
Apr 9, 2017 • 20 min
Part two of a rebroadcast of our walking tour through Rome tracing the steps of the painter Caravaggio. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
153: MUSE Part 1
Apr 2, 2017 • 25 min
A rebroadcast of our walking tour through Rome tracing the steps of the painter Caravaggio. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
152: COOKING Part 2 (with Francesca Montillo)
Mar 28, 2017 • 34 min
The cooking discussion continues. Katy and Tiffany discuss their own cooking habits in response to last week’s episode with Francesca Montillo of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures. What happens when Italians express love through food, but you don’t like to…
152: COOKING Part 2
Mar 26, 2017 • 34 min
The cooking discussion continues. Katy and Tiffany discuss their own cooking habits in response to last week’s episode with Francesca Montillo of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures. What happens when Italians express love through food, but you don’t like to
151: COOKING, Part 1 (with Francesca Montillo)
Mar 19, 2017 • 31 min
Italian expat and cooking expert, Francesca Montillo, inspires us to cook and eat with others daily. She also explains what it is like to grow up in small-town Italy, and move permanently to the United States. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to…
150: RESIST (with Ezra Levin)
Mar 12, 2017 • 36 min
Do expats and American citizens have a responsibility to resist and take action against President Trump? Ezra Levin, co-executive director of the Indivisible guide, drops by. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
149: COFFEE
Mar 6, 2017 • 35 min
Starbucks is opening its first Italian location in Milan in 2018. Are you okay with that? Tiffany and Katy discuss the good and bad of homogenized corporate culture spreading throughout the world. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
148: TIME FLIES (with Alan Burdick)
Feb 26, 2017 • 38 min
Why does time fly sometimes? Why does it slow when you travel? We explore time with the New Yorker’s Alan Burdick, author of Why Time Flies. Alan Burdick in The New Yorker New to the show? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
147: SEX (with Emily Witt)
Feb 12, 2017 • 33 min
Is part of exploring the world exploring sex? Host Katy Sewall talks with journalist (and former expat) Emily Witt about her book Future Sex. Warning: Sexual content. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
146: VIEW
Feb 5, 2017 • 33 min
How does your perspective change of your hometown when you live abroad or travel? Katy and Tiffany explore that idea. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
145: LETTERS
Jan 29, 2017 • 35 min
Katy and Tiffany read your letters and encourage you to email stories of the signs you’ve received in life before changing course or embarking on a new adventure. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
144: TRUMP
Jan 22, 2017 • 31 min
Using voice memos, Katy and Tiffany watch the Presidental inauguration of Donald J. Trump from their respective parts of the world - Rome, Italy and Seattle, United States. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
143: CRITTERS (with Jane Alexander)
Jan 15, 2017 • 41 min
Actress and conservationist Jane Alexander (Kramer vs. Kramer) joins host Katy Sewall on stage to explore the world and the amazing creatures in it. Thanks to Town Hall Seattle for hosting this event. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
142: HAT BOX
Jan 8, 2017 • 35 min
We celebrate the dumbest thing we ever traveled with. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
141: HUMILITY
Dec 11, 2016 • 31 min
Does it take humility to live in a foreign country? Tiffany and Katy discuss. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
140: RAKEEN (with Rakeen Akila)
Dec 4, 2016 • 26 min
Rakeen Akila was kidnapped and held for ransom in Afghanistan. Now he’s a refugee in Italy. His story is one of amazing resilience and great heartbreak. Come to personally understand our world-wide refugees through one man’s experience. NEVER HEARD THE…
139: PLACEBO (with Erik Vance)
Nov 27, 2016 • 39 min
Why do foreign doctor’s offices seem sketchy sometimes? Why are colors brighter when you travel? This has more to do with your brain than reality. Science writer Erik Vance (Book: Suggestible You) joins us to examine the science behind your brain and its…
138: ELECTION, Part 2
Nov 22, 2016 • 23 min
The Italian view of the Brexit vote and Trump’s election
137: ELECTION
Nov 13, 2016 • 33 min
Raw reaction to the election of Donald Trump. Voice memo episode!
136: VALUES
Oct 30, 2016 • 41 min
Katy moved to Rome once. Does that mean she’d be brave enough to do it again? Are you brave enough to move to a brand new city? Katy and Tiffany use a listener email to kick off the show. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
135: MOVING Part 2
Oct 23, 2016 • 29 min
Katy moved to Rome once. Does that mean she’d be brave enough to do it again? Are you brave enough to move to a brand new city? Katy and Tiffany use a listener email to kick off the show. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
134: CAMINO (with Aarin Wright)
Oct 16, 2016 • 29 min
The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route across Spain. Our guest Aarin Wright set off on the Camino with her father after finishing University. Was all the walking as rewarding as she hoped? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
133: EXCHANGE (with Sunny and Mike Strong)
Oct 9, 2016 • 55 min
Sunny Strong studied abroad in Florence in 1963, leaving her boyfriend Mike at home. Now, after 52 years of marriage, they recall how that time changed them. And we listen to reel-to-reel tapes and letters from that time to really capture Italy in 1963.…
132: SPQR (with Mary Beard)
Sep 25, 2016 • 47 min
Historian Mary Beard talks about her new book S.P.Q.R: A History of Ancient Rome. What parts of ancient Rome are alive in modern Rome? For one - Traffic! NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
131: DEAL
Sep 21, 2016 • 21 min
Host Tiffany Parks shares a big announcement. Also, Katy and Tiffany explore what it means to live in a temporary place that doesn’t feel like home. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
130: BOTSWANA (with Sara Sullivan)
Sep 11, 2016 • 29 min
We visit Gaborone, Botswana where expat Sara Sullivan moved after living in Pakistan. We talk about misperceptions of Africa, ‘staying-in-touch’ strategies, and the challenge of deciding where to live when your spouse has a job offer in one country and…
129: SPEECH (with Lisa Wilcox)
Sep 4, 2016 • 31 min
We use linguistics and speech pathology to think about learning languages with special guest Lisa Wilcox. Sound boring? Turns out- it is actually really funny. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
128: QUAKE
Aug 28, 2016 • 22 min
Host Tiffany Parks in Rome reacts to the earthquakes that rocked Italy on August 24, 2016. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
127: TEARS
Aug 21, 2016 • 32 min
If you cry unexpectedly while looking at art, or reading or watching TV - what do those tears mean? Do they indicated buried longings, fears, or loves? Katy and Tiffany discuss. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
126: THERAPY
Aug 14, 2016 • 27 min
We delve into the archives to get you some free therapy. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
125: BEGIN
Aug 8, 2016 • 31 min
By listener request, we replay the very first episode of the show, which happened over 2 years ago. A perfect opportunity to introduce The Bittersweet Life to your friends. (Please do!) NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
124: SHIP (with Nicole Hardy)
Jul 31, 2016 • 44 min
Nicole Hardy sailed the world on a 180 ft. square rigged tall ship. Her fantasy idea was rather horrific in reality. As a single woman who takes serious risks, what does it mean to plan a trip that is nothing like you expected? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t…
123: MOVING
Jul 24, 2016 • 26 min
Our hosts say goodbye to their old lives as Tiffany moves out of her Trastevere apartment, and Katy’s Seattle home is torn down. They explore life, loss, and the pain and annoyance of moving. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
122: ARTISTS (with Rob Spillman)
Jul 17, 2016 • 41 min
We visit the artist movement of cold war Germany, then Berlin after the wall comes down with guest Rob Spillman. Rob is editor and co-founder of Tin House, a literary magazine in the USA, and author of the memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties. Do artists thrive…
121: WOMAN (with Scottie Madden)
Jul 10, 2016 • 33 min
Reality TV director Scottie Madden’s journey from man to woman took 50 years. She and her wife Marcy join Katy to talk about how their relationship has changed and grown, and what it’s like to film in wild places. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to…
120: SETTLER
Jul 3, 2016 • 20 min
On July 4th (Independence Day in the USA), many immigrants get their citizenship. In their honor, we rebroadcast the day (host) Tiffany Parks finally became a citizen of Italy. (Other host) Katy Sewall was in Rome to record it, and meet Tiffany’s new…
119: WRITING (with Daniel Butterworth)
Jun 26, 2016 • 60 min
Writing while traveling. Many of us do it. Professor Daniel Butterworth teaches us how to do it better. Show correction: Ghirlandaio painted the Santa Maria Novella frescoes Dan refers to, not Brunelleschi. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start…
118: POLITICS
Jun 19, 2016 • 37 min
How does being an expat affect your politics? Host Tiffany Parks discovers that her politics in Italy are different from her politics in the United States. Do political views remain changed if you move back to your home country? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW?…
117: CHOICE (with Tom Vanderbilt)
Jun 12, 2016 • 42 min
Why do you like what you like? Journalist Tom Vanderbilt joins us to explore how our likes and dislikes are formed. His new book is You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
116: GOALS, Part 3
Jun 5, 2016 • 42 min
We share our bucket list goals (and yours!!) as our series on goals concludes with part 3. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
115: VISUAL (with Amy Herman)
May 23, 2016 • 37 min
Learn how to keep yourself safe by studying fine art. Our guest, Amy Herman, trains police, doctors, military and special operatives to see the world in a richer way in art galleries. We offer you her secrets. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to…
114: RUINS (with Jess Walters)
May 15, 2016 • 31 min
Author Jess Walter (National Book Award finalist & winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award) joins us to talk about his novel Beautiful Ruins. We also talk about writing in a language you don’t speak, what it is like to have your writing translated, and how a…
113: GOALS, Part 2
May 8, 2016 • 37 min
It feels good to accomplish goals, even tiny, silly ones. Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks talk about the goals they’ve accomplished and those they no longer wish to do. (Listen to Goals, Part 1 before this episode). NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
112: EXPLORE (with Clare Brown)
May 1, 2016 • 44 min
Clare Brown recently moved from London, England to Split, Croatia hoping to explore and write. Instead her life is full of new friends, adventure, and very little quiet time. She joins us with her hilarious and insightful impressions of life as a single…
111: GOALS, Part 1
Apr 24, 2016 • 31 min
A discussion about “bucket list” wishes turns into all the goals and dreams that will never happen. Not as depressing as it sounds. Or is it? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
110: PLANTS (with Hope Jarhen)
Apr 17, 2016 • 46 min
New York Times best-selling author Hope Jahren, writer of “Lab Girl,” changes how we experience the plants of the world. She also tackles the difficulties of being a female scientist and why us laymen feel intimidated by people who study the natural…
109: EYES
Apr 10, 2016 • 27 min
Tiffany and Katy describe the sights of Rome and contemplate Katy’s death in this rebroadcast of Episode 24. If you’ve never heard our series on the five senses, don’t miss it. Look for Episodes 21-25. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
108: DAWN
Apr 3, 2016 • 31 min
Tiffany and Katy walk the early morning streets of Rome in this rebroadcast of Episode 44. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
107: REALITY
Mar 27, 2016 • 27 min
Reality always intrudes on fantasy. Is that always a bad thing? Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall discuss. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
106: FANTASY
Mar 20, 2016 • 29 min
How much of life is us trying to fulfill the fantasies of our youth? Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall explore this idea. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
105: FOLKS (with Rashmi J. Dalai)
Mar 13, 2016 • 28 min
The stereotype is that when a child moves to another country, parents are depressed. But is that true? We explore the notion with Singapore-based writer Rashmi J. Dalai. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
104: GUILT (with Jessica Scott-Reid)
Mar 6, 2016 • 29 min
Expats often feel guilt. What happens when you should go home, but don’t? Guest Jessica Scott-Reid (Wall Street Journal Expat Blog) joins hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks to talk about it. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
103: CIRCUS (with Andrea Conway and Wayne Doba)
Feb 28, 2016 • 36 min
Circus performers are often forced to travel or live abroad for work. We meet Andrea Conway and Wayne Doba, a married couple who specialize in comedy, tap dance and acrobatics. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
102: DESIGN (with Rebecca West)
Feb 22, 2016 • 25 min
Expats often live in spaces decorated by other people. Interior designer, Rebecca West, shares some ideas on how to make anywhere feel like home. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
101: ROOTS
Feb 14, 2016 • 21 min
When Tiffany’s husband Claudio takes a photo with the Karate coach of his youth, Tiffany realizes that by being an expat, her life has no continuity. She can’t revisit old teachers and places. How important is a sense of continuity when it comes to life?…
100: MILESTONE
Feb 7, 2016 • 26 min
Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks mark the 100th episode by talking about milestones. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
99: EVICTED
Jan 31, 2016 • 22 min
Host Katy Sewall is greeted by sad news when she returns to Seattle from Rome. Host Tiffany Parks is also facing new restrictions on her life. Does it pay to return home? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
98: BYE
Jan 24, 2016 • 19 min
It’s time for Katy to leave Rome… again. Tiffany and Katy say goodbye and marvel at how unpredictable life and time can be. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
97: NATIVE? (with Marta Nathansohn)
Jan 17, 2016 • 29 min
What is it like to feel like a foreigner in your native country? Italian citizen Marta Nathansohn has lived abroad much of her life. Now in Rome, she’s having trouble fitting in. She joins Katy and Tiffany to tell her story. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
96: PRIESTESS (with Kate McElwee)
Jan 10, 2016 • 36 min
Feminist activist and new expat to Rome, Kate McElwee, visits Katy and Tiffany to talk about her fight for women’s ordination in the Catholic church and the heartache of being robbed your first week overseas. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start…
95: IMMIGRANT
Jan 4, 2016 • 26 min
Kidnapped in Afghanistan! Hear the harrowing story of Rakeen, a refugee to Rome, Italy from Kabul, Afghanistan. Unbelievable! It might just change how you view asylum seekers. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
94: NATALE
Dec 20, 2015 • 14 min
Christmas in Italy. Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks get ready for the holidays. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
93: TRAST
Dec 13, 2015 • 37 min
Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall take you on a walking tour of Trastevere, their favorite neighborhood in Rome. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
92: MOMS
Dec 6, 2015 • 38 min
Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks meet Katy’s expat friend, Cassi Griesbach, at an outdoor cafe in Rome. Cassi is a mother of three, now expecting a 4th. She gives new mom, Tiffany, some much needed advice. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start…
91: MAFIA (with Ugo Barbara)
Nov 29, 2015 • 35 min
Journalist Ugo Barbara joins host Katy Sewall to talk about Italian mobsters, the Roma (aka gypsies), sexual slavery in Italy, and immigration issues. They also explore why Berlusconi came to power and why Ugo was Katy’s only Italian friend while living…
90: INFLUENCE
Nov 22, 2015 • 31 min
Movies and books can have a big influence on personal actions. Some even inspire a move to a foreign country. What art influenced you? Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall share their personal picks. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
89: MISSING
Nov 15, 2015 • 26 min
Missing important events and people is part of living abroad or traveling a lot. Host Katy Sewall missed her 20 year high school reunion to visit Rome. Now she is feeling regretful. Together, Tiffany and Katy reflect on the difficult life choices expats…
88: BLOOD (with Marsha De Salvatore)
Nov 8, 2015 • 50 min
Comedian Marsha De Salvatore brings humor to a discussion on living abroad with a serious blood disease. Also, we talk about socialized health care systems, modern day dating, comedy and the differences between American and Italian women. NEVER HEARD THE…
87: SHARING
Nov 1, 2015 • 31 min
A conversation about sharing (something expats often have to do) takes a darker turn. Host Tiffany explains what’s like to live with a stalker. Katy and Tiffany also explore the difficultly of revealing who you are to the world. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW?…
86: BIRTH
Oct 25, 2015 • 21 min
Host Tiffany Parks takes you inside the realities of giving birth in Italy… or really… giving birth anywhere. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
85: PARK
Oct 18, 2015 • 29 min
Host Katy Sewall and her husband Derek kick back in the Villa Borghese park to reflect on being back in Rome. While there, they are visited by Abdul, a immigrant from Bangladesh with roses to sell. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
84: CITIZEN
Oct 11, 2015 • 19 min
Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall are together again in Rome, Italy on a very special day. Listen as Tiffany finally gets her Italian citizenship. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
83: SHERMAN (with Sherman Alexie)
Oct 4, 2015 • 101 min
Native American author Sherman Alexie joins Katy Sewall live on stage with veteran NPR host Steve Scher to talk about urban animal encounters. A longer episode that will delight those who love great storytelling and the creatures in our midst. Contains…
82: DIVORCE (with Debra Bruno)
Sep 27, 2015 • 20 min
Do expat couples divorce more than other couples? Writer and former expat, Debra Bruno joins us to talk about her article “Divorce Global Style: For Expat Marriages, Breaking Up is Harder to Do.” NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
81: CHEF (with Thierry Rautureau)
Sep 20, 2015 • 62 min
Celebrity chef, Thierry Rautureau (aka The Chef in the Hat), grew up small town France grilling bread over an open flame. Now he’s a big shot chef in Seattle. He joins us with advice for home cooks and insight into our changing attitudes towards eating…
80: MOVIES (with Robert Horton)
Sep 13, 2015 • 27 min
Robert Horton is a film critic and temporary expat living in Scotland for six months. What movies inspired him to move abroad? How do movies influence our view of the world? Why are blockbusters aimed exclusively at teenagers? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t…
79: REFUGEE (with Jennifer Rumbach)
Sep 6, 2015 • 66 min
Jennifer Rumbach works with refugees all over the world. Lately her focus has been on the special needs of LGBTI refugees. She joins host Katy Sewall before a live audience for a funny and fascinating conversation that goes from Ghana, to Iraq, to Nepal.…
78: HOUSE-SIT (with Dalene Heck)
Aug 30, 2015 • 25 min
We explain how to house-sit your way around the world. Dalene Heck of Hecktic Travels joins us with tips. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
77: CIAO
Aug 23, 2015 • 30 min
Tiffany’s baby is due. We say goodbye to her (temporarily) and hear her final thoughts on becoming a parent. We also find out if she’s picked a name for her baby boy yet. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
76: BOOKS (with Nancy Pearl)
Aug 16, 2015 • 27 min
Armchair travel! Reading can take you anywhere. Today we recommend books that transport you. NPR’s Nancy Pearl is famous for giving the best book recommendations. She gives us her selections for the best armchair travel books. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t…
75: GUEST
Aug 9, 2015 • 18 min
Part of traveling is being a guest in other people’s homes. Can you relax or are you always trying to be the perfect guest? Tiffany’s been living with her in-laws to escape Rome’s incredible summer heat. How is staying with family different from friends?…
74: NEW
Aug 2, 2015 • 20 min
Trying new things is a big part of traveling or living in a foreign country. It’s also a way to get to know yourself. Tiffany and Katy muse about newness. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
73: INVISIBLE (with Surekha A. Yadav)
Jul 26, 2015 • 25 min
Some expats are invisible. They look like they are native in their adopted country. That can be positive and negative. We explore how with writer and expat Surekha A. Yadav who wrote the article “What’s It Like to Be an Invisible Expat.” NEVER HEARD THE…
72: ADDICT (with Rashmi Dalai)
Jul 19, 2015 • 27 min
What makes the expat lifestyle so addictive? Rashmi Dalai, an American writer in Asia, explores that question with host Katy Sewall. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
71: WEATHER
Jul 12, 2015 • 27 min
It is so hot in Rome and Seattle, it is all people can talk about. How much does weather dictate where you live in the world? Expats on assignment don’t get to choose what climate to live in sometimes. What does that mean for their lives? NEVER HEARD THE…
70: UPDATE
Jul 5, 2015 • 31 min
Tiffany updates us on Rome, her baby and the inappropriate things people are saying to her lately. Katy talks about her upcoming live performance in Seattle and the mysterious illness of her co-worker, Gil. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start…
69: GROUP TRIP (with Madeline Jhawar)
Jun 28, 2015 • 26 min
Planning a multi-generational trip isn’t easy. Taking that trip is also stressful if you do it wrong. Madeline Jhawar from Italy Beyond the Obvious gives us advice. We’ll also explore the difference between people who love trip planning and those who…
68: RED TAPE
Jun 21, 2015 • 21 min
Every country has bureaucracy. Part of living in a new country is learning the hoops to jump through. Host Tiffany Parks has been dealing with a lot of process. What has she learned? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
67: CROW GIFTS (with Gabi Mann)
Jun 14, 2015 • 7 min
Crows regularly bring gifts to 8-year-old, Gabi Mann. What is she doing right? Listen to a magical tale centered on a hilarious girl and her winged friends. A rebroadcast of Episode 51. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
66: REPAT Part 2 (with Maria Foley)
Jun 7, 2015 • 35 min
We further explore the difficulties of repatriating with Maria Foley, the blogger behind I was an Expat Wife. She conducted a survey of former expats to discover what struggles they faced coming home. We discuss what she found. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t…
65: ROME
May 31, 2015 • 23 min
Planning a trip to Rome? We offer practical tips and hidden gems to make your vacation great. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
64: REPAT (with Debra Bruno)
May 24, 2015 • 31 min
Repatriating is hard. Going home can lead to depression, isolation and wistfulness. Debra Bruno, freelance journalist for the Wall Street Journal, joins us to talk about her article Repatriation Blues: Expats Struggle with the Dark Side of Coming Home.…
63: LANGUAGE Part 3 (with J J Michael)
May 17, 2015 • 33 min
How did you learn a foreign language? Our guest JJ Michael learned Thai from math text books. We explore how language is best learned and the expat life in Thailand. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
62: LABELS (with Mawuna Remarque Koutonin)
May 10, 2015 • 33 min
Is “expat” a term reserved for white westerners? Are all other races immigrants? That’s the argument put forth by writer and activist Mawuna Remarque Koutonin. Today we debate that notion with special guest Keith Cooke. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
61: BABIES
May 3, 2015 • 24 min
Tiffany is expecting a son. What does that mean for her career? How common are stay-at-home dads in Italy? How does Italian maternity leave compare to what she would have received in the United States? Does a Catholic country revere mothers in a way…
60: SOCIAL (with Jessica Spiegel and Pam Mandel)
Apr 27, 2015 • 29 min
Social media. Do you need it to be successful in the modern world? Is Twitter like a bar or a billboard? Guests Jessica Spiegel of Italy Explained and Pam Mandel of Nerd’s Eye View join us. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
59: BIG NEWS
Apr 19, 2015 • 20 min
Big news on the show today. Things are about to change - for one of us, at least. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
58: HOME BASE (with Jessica Spiegel and Pam Mandel)
Apr 12, 2015 • 29 min
Freelance writers Jessica Spiegel (Italy Explained) and Pam Mandel (Nerd’s Eye View) join us to discuss travel-writing, working from home, and not loving overseas living. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
57: POMPEII
Apr 5, 2015 • 30 min
Katy visits “Pompeii: The Exhibition” with her husband Derek. This leads to a discussion on why we are so attracted to the tragic story of Pompeii, and how many years must pass before tragedy turns into gift shop kitsch. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
56: MUSEUM
Mar 29, 2015 • 24 min
What mistakes do museum visitors make? Tiffany Parks gives tips to make your museum visit more enjoyable. We also debate which is better, taking pictures of everything or putting the camera away and living in the moment? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
55: ZONES
Mar 25, 2015 • 24 min
Living in a different time zone than your family and friends can change relationships. Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks explore how, and that leads to a discussion on irrational fears. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
54: FLIGHTY (with John Wynn)
Mar 15, 2015 • 25 min
A common expat stereotype is they’re maladjusted and running from real life. Is that true? Host Katy Sewall speaks with psychiatrist and former expat, John Wynn, about it, and host Tiffany Parks shares her own story. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid…
53: FLUX (with John Wynn)
Mar 8, 2015 • 26 min
Life is full of major transitions. For host Katy Sewall, moving to Rome then back to Seattle has been hard. She speaks with psychiatrist and former expat, John Wynn, about why change is tough and how to do transitions well. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
52: ANIMALS (with Andrew Blechman and Clark and Evalea Beck)
Mar 1, 2015 • 26 min
Travelers often encounter animals. From the humble pigeon to a monkey or a great white shark. Today we share animal stories around the world. Special guest stars: Andrew Blechman, author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and…
51: CROWS (with Gabi Mann)
Feb 22, 2015 • 24 min
Gabi (age 8) regularly feeds crows and they bring her shiny things in return. Host Katy Sewall’s story about Gabi was instantly viral. Hear Gabi show Katy her crow-gift collection. We’ll also discover why crows give gifts and how you can earn gifts too!…
50: HOME
Feb 15, 2015 • 25 min
What feels like home changes for travelers and expats sometimes. Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks share their experience with home and homesickness. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
49: TIME
Feb 8, 2015 • 33 min
Time can seem long or short, important or boring, precious or fleeting. Why do some experiences stay vivid while others seem so long ago? Tiffany and Katy explore how time plays with memories. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
48: FREELANCE
Feb 1, 2015 • 38 min
Expats are often freelancers. Writers, artists, tour guides, radio reporters. Katy and Tiffany talk about the difficulties of freelancing and appeal to you for help. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
Epsiode 47: CONTRAST
Jan 25, 2015 • 31 min
Parts of American culture seem strange after a year living as an expat in Italy. Katy and Tiffany talk about the cultural oddities that stand out after living abroad. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
46: GOODBYE
Jan 18, 2015 • 25 min
Katy’s last morning in Rome arrives. Tiffany and Katy spend their final moments together before Katy is no longer an expat. Taped during Katy’s final 20 minutes in Rome. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
45: LEAVING
Jan 11, 2015 • 30 min
Moving home after living as an expat isn’t an easy thing to go. Tiffany and Katy lament Katy’s imminent departure from Rome and discuss the joys and difficulties that lie ahead. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
44: MORNING
Jan 4, 2015 • 30 min
Listen as the city of Rome comes alive. Tiffany picks up Katy at dawn, when only garbage men and birds move about. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
43: CARAVAGGIO, Part 2
Dec 14, 2014 • 19 min
We retrace the steps of the painter Caravaggio who walked the streets of Rome in the late 1500s. We examine his artistic genius and murderous temper while looking at his painting “Madonna di Loreto.” (Listen to “Part 1” first.) NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t…
42: CARAVAGGIO, Part 1
Dec 14, 2014 • 24 min
The painter Caravaggio walked the streets of Rome in the late 1500s. Today we retrace his steps, examining his artistic genius and murderous temper. Listen to Part 2 for the conclusion. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
41: COMPLAIN
Dec 7, 2014 • 19 min
When can an expat legitimately complain about the country they elected to live in? Tiffany and Katy wonder if complaining only for natives and immigrants? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
40: FRIENDS
Nov 30, 2014 • 20 min
Are long term expats unwilling to make friends with short term expats? Also, when you live abroad, is a big part of friendship saying goodbye? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
39: MEMORY
Nov 23, 2014 • 27 min
Tiffany and Katy muse on how memories are formed, recorded, erased and Facebooked. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
38: STUDENT (with Peter Dziedzic)
Nov 16, 2014 • 22 min
Students often travel abroad for extended periods of time. Does that make them expats? Our guest, student Peter Dziedzic, says no though he hasn’t been home in years. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
37: RETIRE (with Rose and Wayne Wentz)
Nov 9, 2014 • 29 min
What planning does it take to retire overseas? Can the average person do it? Rose and Wayne Wentz retired to Rome from Seattle. They pass on their practical and helpful advice. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
36: ALIEN
Nov 2, 2014 • 22 min
Are expats people who feel alien in their native country? Tiffany and Katy explore the feeling of “otherness” and the differences between an expatriate and an immigrant. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
35: TRANSLATE
Oct 26, 2014 • 23 min
Tiffany is bilingual and that means translating for others. It can be tiring, but it also gives her power. Has she been editing Katy’s speech this whole time? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
34: VENTURE (with Toni DeBella)
Oct 19, 2014 • 21 min
Moving abroad isn’t exclusively for students or childless people. It’s an adventure for all ages. Toni DeBella moved to Orvieto, Italy once her son was grown, proving that new dreams can always be made. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
33: PARENTS (with Linda Martinez and Steve Brenner)
Oct 12, 2014 • 31 min
Meet two parents who boldly moved to Italy with a dream rather than a plan. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
32: KIDS
Oct 5, 2014 • 23 min
We meet three American girls in Orvieto, Italy. Giulia (age 13), Paloma (age 11), and Viola (age 8) have been expats their whole lives. How do they view the United States from afar? Do they feel like they fit in with the local kids their age? NEVER HEARD…
31: TRAIN
Oct 2, 2014 • 31 min
Train travel is a romantic. Is train travel even better if you record an episode of The Bittersweet Life on the trip? You be the judge. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
30: COMEDY, Part 2 (with Marsha De Salvatore)
Sep 21, 2014 • 29 min
Our discussion on comedy continues with this bonus episode. Drunkenness, ESL, and expat cliches are on the table. Our guest, comedian Marsha De Salvatore, runs Rome’s Comedy Club. Note: If you haven’t heard Episode 29, listen to that first. NEVER HEARD…
29: COMEDY, Part 1 (with Marsha De Salvatore)
Sep 21, 2014 • 29 min
What people find funny varies from country to country. Comedian Marsha De Salvatore drops by to make us laugh and dissect why we’re laughing. You might be funnier in another culture. Did you even think of that? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to…
28: HOSPITAL
Sep 14, 2014 • 30 min
Not all medical systems are created equal. Expats often find that out unexpectedly — like Katy did after giving herself a concussion. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
27: UNSURE (with Amy Knauff)
Sep 7, 2014 • 34 min
Expat Amy has lived overseas since college. First in Italy, then in Nicaragua, then back to Italy. All year she’s been planning to return to the United States but she never leaves. Do long term expats lose their sense of truly belonging anywhere? NEVER…
26: MINORITY
Aug 31, 2014 • 20 min
Moving abroad often means becoming a “minority.” For some travelers, this is a new experience. Tiffany, Katy and Katy’s husband Derek discuss an eye-opening aspect of becoming an expats. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
25: TOUCH
Aug 24, 2014 • 14 min
Our series on the five senses wraps up with touch/feel. What does it feel like to be an expat and how is that different from the tourist experience? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
24: SIGHT
Aug 17, 2014 • 26 min
Our series on the five senses continues with sight. The sites of Rome have Katy contemplating her own death. Are we just a drop in the bucket? Tiffany and Katy broadcast from a roof on the Capitoline Hill. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start…
23: TASTE
Aug 10, 2014 • 23 min
Our series on the five senses continues with taste. Katy and Tiffany try eating (and podcasting at the same time) while visiting Eataly, a grocery store in Rome. Do countries have a national flavor? Does living abroad require a change in eating habits?…
22: SMELL
Aug 3, 2014 • 20 min
Our series on the five senses continues with smell. Katy and Tiffany visit a used book store in Rome that smells like Katy’s grandparents house in Pennsylvania. Is smell the closest thing we have to time-travel? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to…
21: SOUND
Jul 27, 2014 • 31 min
We begin a 5-part series on the five senses. This week: Sound. Explore Rome, Italy with your ears, and experience how different a city can sound. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
20: REBOOT
Jul 20, 2014 • 24 min
When you move away- no one knows you. You have no reputation. No expectations. No history. Does that mean you can completely reinvent yourself and become a new person? Or is a complete revamp impossible? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
19: LANGUAGE Part 2
Jul 13, 2014 • 27 min
Do you think in English, or do you just think? Which language expresses ideas easier - English or Italian? Tiffany and Katy discuss language in response to listener Adam’s email. If you want to hear LANGUAGE, Part 1 - look for Episode 2. NEVER HEARD THE…
18: RELINQUISH
Jul 6, 2014 • 22 min
Moving overseas can mean giving up a dream; letting go of ideas of who you are or who you hoped to be. Katy and Tiffany discuss the dreams they let go to live abroad. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
17: ASSAULT Part 3
Jun 29, 2014 • 26 min
Why do women feel shame after a bad sexual encounter? Does a lack of support from female friends make an assault worse? Katy and Tiffany talk it over. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
16: HOME BIRTH Part 2
Jun 22, 2014 • 20 min
Cassi and Leon Griesbach moved abroad while expecting a baby. Their plan: Hire local midwives and give birth in their apartment. Cassi shared their story in Episode 12. How did it go? Today we visit with Cassi to find out. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be…
15: MISSING
Jun 15, 2014 • 21 min
Sometimes you become an expat for life. Sometimes you repatriate. When moving home, what’s there to look forward to? Katy and Tiffany try to get excited about the fact Katy will eventually move away. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
14: INTEGRATE
Jun 9, 2014 • 22 min
Living abroad requires cultural integration (language, dining hours, work schedules), but what about the superficial things? Things like fashion, breakfast food, and kissing hello? Katy and Tiffany explore the culture they’ve picked up, and what they…
13: VISITORS
Jun 1, 2014 • 26 min
If you move somewhere great, expect visitors - welcome or not. Do you have to say yes to out-of-town company? Katy slips out of the house while her guests are napping to talk with Tiffany. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode…
12: HOME BIRTH
May 26, 2014 • 33 min
Cassi, just arrived in Rome with her husband, two little girls, and a baby on the way. She plans to give birth in her apartment. How do you plan for childbirth in a new country with rudimentary language skills? She shares her story. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW?…
11: ASSAULT Part 2
May 19, 2014 • 22 min
Our exploration of sexual assault overseas continues with Katy’s story. If you haven’t heard Part 1, go back and get caught up. This episode picks up right where the other left off. Again, a warning that this episode is not for children. NEVER HEARD THE…
10: ASSAULT Part 1
May 18, 2014 • 17 min
It’s harder to read people in a foreign culture. That can lead to embarrassment or much worse. Today we delve into the dark side of living abroad by sharing personal accounts of sexual assault. This episode should not be heard by children. NEVER HEARD THE…
9: BLACKOUT
May 11, 2014 • 25 min
It’s lights out in Rome. Not for everyone — for Katy. There’s nothing more humbling to an expat than losing a basic necessity and having no idea why or how to get it back. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
8: TRAFFIC
May 4, 2014 • 21 min
Tiffany dodges Rome’s heavy commuter traffic to bring you this episode. The driving rules of your native country seldom apply overseas. That can result in confusion, fury - or worse - a close shave. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with…
7: LAYABOUT
Apr 27, 2014 • 26 min
What’s important in life? Accomplishing goals or meeting friends for an aperitivo? Where you live may change the answer. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
6: OVERSTAY
Apr 20, 2014 • 21 min
When you move overseas — without a Visa — can you travel? Katy has overstayed her welcome and now she is facing passport control. Will she be deported? NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Don’t be afraid to start with Episode 1:OUTSET
5: DATING
Apr 13, 2014 • 26 min
If an expat dates a local, does that improve their social standing? Do all cultures flirt in the same way? Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall discuss dating abroad.
4: HOMESICK
Apr 6, 2014 • 19 min
Homesickness. Eventually it strikes everyone who moves away. Hosts Tiffany Parks and Katy Sewall share their coping mechanisms and examine what they are actually missing when they miss home. NEVER HEARD THE SHOW? Start with Episode 1:OUTSET
3: HOLIDAYS
Mar 30, 2014 • 23 min
Expats expect things to be different, but holidays make cultural contrasts very vivid. Does Christmas in Rome feel different because the commercialism is missing? Hosts Katy and Tiffany explore how holidays alter the expat experience.
2: LANGUAGE
Mar 23, 2014 • 24 min
It can be hard to live life in another language - even if you’re fluent. Long-term expat Tiffany Parks explains why. It’s also hard to live with no language. Short-term expat Katy Sewall explains how the language barrier changes her perspective on dogs,…
1: OUTSET
Mar 18, 2014 • 30 min
The premiere episode looks at the challenges of expat life from a short-term and long-term perspective. Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks describe the fear and liberation of moving abroad. They also tackle the question: If you’re not happy, is a city’s…