742 episodes

Life doesn't have a script. At least, it doesn't have to. Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks explore the challenges and joys of moving abroad and moving home. Whether you’re living overseas, or not — or not yet — join us weekly for unadulterated conversation. Get to know Rome. Laugh at our embarrassments and insights. Most of all, imagine the possibilities for your own life (and meet some famous authors along the way).

The Bittersweet Life Expat, Repat, Travel, Rome, Seattle, Books, Art, Italy, Wonder

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 285 Ratings

Life doesn't have a script. At least, it doesn't have to. Hosts Katy Sewall and Tiffany Parks explore the challenges and joys of moving abroad and moving home. Whether you’re living overseas, or not — or not yet — join us weekly for unadulterated conversation. Get to know Rome. Laugh at our embarrassments and insights. Most of all, imagine the possibilities for your own life (and meet some famous authors along the way).

    Episode 528: Going Native

    Episode 528: Going Native

    What happens when an expat "goes native"? How long does it take, and is it inevitable? Is it a conscious choice or does it just happen?
    Today we chat about this idea, and Tiffany lays out the ways she has gone native—eschewing American culture and habits entirely in favor of Italian ones—as well as the aspects of Italian life that she staunchly resists and rejects, even after two decades in the country.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 42 min
    Episode 527: Moving to Rome—Sight Unseen (with Brie Ripley)

    Episode 527: Moving to Rome—Sight Unseen (with Brie Ripley)

    Would you move across the world to a country without ever having been there?
    That's what this week's guest did. We sit down with Brie Ripley to talk about her decision to take a 4-year contract with the World Food Program, which meant a relocation to Rome—a city she had never even visited. 
    She talks about the challenges of adjusting to life abroad as a brand-new expat, struggling to speak the language, searching for an apartment, missing her new husband who will be joining her soon, and quickly acquiring an unquenchable dependence on espresso.
    She also talks about what it was like to move her cats here, and how that came with its own set of challenges.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 41 min
    Episode 526: An Unbelievable Discovery in Rome!

    Episode 526: An Unbelievable Discovery in Rome!

    An exciting discovery out of Rome has recently rocked the archeological community! We have the details on this week's episode.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 35 min
    Episode 525: A Question of Season

    Episode 525: A Question of Season

    Last week we talked—among other things—about what it would be like if the year started in March, as it used to do in ancient Rome.
    This got us thinking about seasons and how they effect our lives.
    On this week's episode we talk about what we love about certain seasons, how where you live can vastly affect how you experience the seasons (and therefore which ones you prefer), and the drawbacks of living in a place without distinct seasons.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 32 min
    Episode 524: What if New Year's Were in March?

    Episode 524: What if New Year's Were in March?

    Is early January—the deepest, bleakest, darkest moment of winter—really the best time to make New Year's Resolutions? Isn't early spring a more fortuitous time for new beginnings? (And did you know that March used to be the first month of the year?)
    We mull this and other season-related questions on this episode (including a check-in to see how Tiffany and Katy are getting on with their resolutions for this year).
    We also talk about what we love about certain seasons, how where you live can vastly affect how you experience the seasons (and therefore which ones you prefer), and the drawbacks of living in a place without distinct seasons.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 33 min
    Episode 523: Legacy and Loss (with Kaila Merrill)

    Episode 523: Legacy and Loss (with Kaila Merrill)

    Today we explore a story of one woman whose family legacy—in particular her close relationship with her mother whom she lost suddenly to cancer—brought about a life pivot that she was never expecting.
    Kaila Merrill joins us today to tell her moving story, from growing up in tiny island town in northern Vermont to a carefree life on the beaches of Australia where she met her future husband, to her whirlwind wedding on Lake Como—one of the last joyful moments she was able to share with her mom—to realizing, while she greived her loss, that her destiny was to run an agrigurismo in Umbria with her Italian husband.
    Join us for this insightful, vulnerable, and touching interview. 
    Stay at Kaila and her husband Ludovico's agritursimo, Poggio Belvedere, or let hem help you plan the most unforgettable Umbrian vacation at Vero in Italy.
    -------------------------------------
    ADVERTISE WITH US: Reach expats, future expats, and travelers all over the world. Send us an email to get the conversation started.
    BECOME A PATRON: Pledge your monthly support of The Bittersweet Life and receive awesome prizes in return for your generosity! Visit our Patreon site to find out more.
    TIP YOUR PODCASTER: Say thanks with a one-time donation to the podcast hosts you know and love. Click here to send financial support via PayPal. (You can also find a Donate button on the desktop version of our website.) The show needs your support to continue.
    START PODCASTING: If you are planning to start your own podcast, consider Libsyn for your hosting service! Use this affliliate link to get two months free, or use our promo code SWEET when you sign up.
    SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss an episode. Click here to find us on a variety of podcast apps.
    WRITE A REVIEW: Leave us a rating and a written review on iTunes so more listeners can find us.
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have a question or a topic you want us to address, send us an email here. You can also connect to us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tag #thebittersweetlife with your expat story for a chance to be featured!
    NEW TO THE SHOW? Don't be afraid to start with Episode 1: OUTSET
    BOOK: Want to read Tiffany's book, Midnight in the Piazza? Learn more here or order on Amazon.
    TOUR ROME: If you're traveling to Rome, don't miss the chance to tour the city with Tiffany as your guide!
     

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
285 Ratings

285 Ratings

WilliMia ,

New listener but glad I’ve found you!

I’m so excited to have found this podcast. Initially I started listening as I was looking to find a podcast on ideas/what to do/what not to do in becoming an expat in Italy. I’ve listened to like 20 episodes in the last few days and love not only hearing the good, the bad, but the in between as well. You ladies have done a great job making it feel like it isn’t just informative but also entertaining. I like that you keep it fairly short but in that short amount of time a lot of info comes through. I even appreciate hearing not just about experiences in Italy but other cities/countries. And I love when your humor comes through!

Erin mermaid ,

Living the Life of Dreams!

I’ve always been fascinated with exploring other places and cultures outside the US. I didn’t get the chance to travel until after raising kids and sending them off to see the world. I finally took off to Europe in my 60’s, and with the knowledge, experience & tips I’ve gained from listening to this podcast, I am traveling like I always dreamed I would.

The Bittersweet Life podcast, with Tiffany in Rome, and Katy in Seattle, explores all the bittersweet of travel, life abroad, LIFE experiences/changes/growth, with guests, like: expats, adventurists, writers & contributing listeners worldwide - sharing the bitter & the sweet of realizing dreams & living our lives with purpose and passion 🍫

Tiffany & Katy, who’ve been friends since 11 years old, are well-versed interviewers and great storytellers, with deep familiarity of their subjects and each other, as a listener I resonate easily and feel as if they are speaking directly to my longings.

There is so much content to dig into from their archives of 10 years, plus they respond to listeners questions, that provide many examples of how to approach your wildest dreams.

I recommend that if you’re tempted to taste the Bittersweet Life podcast, take a bite and if you want more, start from the beginning with Katy and Tiffany together in Rome. It’s a beautiful trip, the bitter and the sweet! 🇮🇪

Seattle artist LindaLMT ,

Best of Both Known Worlds

I have been listening since the very beginning and years later I am still entertained and enlightened by Katy and Tiffany. I live in Seattle and knew of Katy as the producer of one of my favorite local morning news programs. When I first saw her doing an interview “live”; I was completely impressed by her. She is competent, confident, and sincerely enthusiastic (I am older, so I am impressed by such things). The Bittersweet Life is as enjoyable as it is because we have the privilege of listening-in on the conversations of two intelligent, thoughtful and extraordinary young women. It’s true. Most importantly we get to hear about life in my beloved Italy and for a Seattleite the local twist and connection. What could be better? Niente.

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