The Key to Connections

Lilly Vercellotti

Connections are a vital element of life. When I was younger, family was not much of a priority. I can honestly say that, for the most part, I took for granted the benefits of family life.

I was often more interested in discovering, travelling,and experiencing fresh mindsets and cultures. I wanted to see ways of living beyond what I perceived as the tightly-wounded, gossip-driven, nosey farming community that I lived in.

When I was 13, I lost my mom. I was very close to my grandma but she passed away when I was 7. My dad was a hard-working farmer who showed his love and care for the family by being a good provider. In my early20s, I left Italy to study English abroad, first as a nanny and then returning to university to complete my Bachelor and Masters degree. I missed my dad and relatives in Italy but I was determined to be the first in the family to get a college education.

It wasn’t until later in my 30s that I realized the importance of building strong relationships. Even though we were not related by blood, two of my friends became sisters to me and another dear couple became my "adoptive" parents in Canada after my dad passed away in 2008.

I learned the importance of creating, cultivating, and cherishing deep connections with others only after seeing how they cannot be replaced by anything else. Despite all of my experiences in beautiful places, there is no replacement for a warm hug,a comforting word, or precious time spent with the people you love.

When it comes to family, biological or not, it is possible to create that community of love that we all need as humans. All you need to do is consider the following questions:

●     Do you have a support system?

○     If yes, whois part of it?

○     If no, howdo you build a support system while travelling, studying, or working abroad?

●     Who are the most important people in your life?

○     Where dothey live?

○     How often doyou get to spend time with them?

○     How do yousupport them and how do they support you?

●      What does it mean to you to build connections?

Building connections is the process of identifying your support system and discovering ways to strengthen and cultivate it over time.When you move to a new place, you may not have a local support system (yet).

With connection coaching, I help my clients strategize about how to build connections. We work together to identify groups and organizations as potential resources for building supportive relationships. We explore volunteer opportunities and groups based on shared interests, hobbies,and professional goals.


●      Determine which relationships you value and how to foster them to create a lasting support system, both locally and online.

●      Gain the strength you need from deeper connections and, in turn, be a connection for others around you.  

●      Develop genuine friendships after moving to a new location and/or after changes in your professional or personal life.

●      Acknowledge when negative emotions like fear,loneliness, doubt, and resentment creep in, and accept and love yourself in those moments. Learn how to know yourself and trust in your capacity to create positive emotions like gratitude, hope, joy, and unconditional love.  

●      Challenge yourself to make friends while continuing to feel valued and understood. At the same time, offer support to others who might be seeking connections and friendship.

●      Be inspired to make small behavioural changes that will help you connect more easily with others in your community.

●     Continue to cultivate the connections you have with friends and family who live in other places.

Do you own your story?

After many years of trying to meet societal expectations,I have learned to reclaim ownership of my life by defining my goals based on what I truly care about – not on what others expect of me. Now, I focus on howI want to grow, how I want to live each day, and ultimately, what difference I want to make in the world. I focus on what is important to me and why. Truly understanding your "why" is essential because it can help you withstand external pressures.

However, if I had a helping hand or someone who could work with me directly to figure out my life path, my journey might have been far easier and the obstacles quicker to overcome. That’s why I offer my own relocation and redefinition consulting services to help you on your own journey. Whether you’re looking to relocate for work/study, want a fresh start, or you want to redefine yourself in the face of adversity, I can help.

If you’d like some one-on-one guidance and direction, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! As someone who’s been in a similar situation, I know exactly how you’re feeling and how to solve it. Feel free to explore my website, take a look at the different servicesI offer, and contact me if you have any questions.


As you decide what nextstep to take, take some time to answer this question:


What is important to you?



Ready for the next step?


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