Monthly Archives: May 2015

Searching far and wide…

2004 liam at ETH terrace in ZH

The last few days, well actually the last few years, I have thought a lot about the meaning of home.

Many years ago a good friend moved to Africa, then Paris and then back to Zurich. I remember asking him curiously, “Why did you move back? Why didn’t you stay out there and explore more?”
And he said, “It was great for a while, but all my family and friends are here. They are what matters most. So I will keep seeing as much of the world as I can. But my home base will always be Zurich.”
I didn’t understand him at the time. In 2004, when this photo was taken, I had already lived thirteen years in Zurich. It had become a true home. I was happy. Yet, I was restless and could feel my blood stirring. I kept wondering, “Can this be all? There is so much else out there for me to explore.”

Then, starting from October 2005, explore I did. Over the next few years I lived and worked in the Maldives, Belgium, Macau, Canada, Hong Kong, and Malta. I travelled all over Asia and Europe, through some of Africa and North America. All the while looking for home, but never finding it.

Living in Malta now, I can appreciate the kindness of its people. I can savour the scents and sights of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. But as I have done so many times over the last ten years, I can feel my thoughts returning to Zurich…

Every year since I left, I traveled back to the charming Swiss metropolis at least once. Each time it felt like an old comfortable shoe which slipped back onto my feet so very comfortably. I walked along the lake, sipped latte macchiato with old friends, went to the open air cinema, the vibrant Niederdorf, rode around in trams, and took in the sights along the river Limmat. My heart beat faster, emotion seemed to overwhelm me, and I had tears in my eyes many times over.

It took writing my memoirs and looking at my own life story in its entirety though, for me to truly learn and understand. It took showing my wife my beloved Swiss haven, and her telling me, “Liam, this place is so inspiring. And you can’t seem to shut up ever since we’re here. Your eyes sparkle. I haven’t seen you so happy in a long time.”

Is this what is called coming full circle? I think I understand now. Searching far away was necessary for me to learn, grow and begin to know myself. It was essential to truly come to appreciate what had been there for me all along.

Zurich, with all my friends and family whom I love and care for is my home and always will be, no matter where I go. In many ways, it is time to come home. This time not alone, but with a wonderful partner in life. Knowing this, I can feel something deep within me finally settling into a state of contentment. W.B. Pitkin said, “Life begins at forty.” Maybe, in a very profound way, for me it truly does.

Patience and Tenacity


It’s time for another update on the publishing progress of ‘The Fortunate Nomad’. The keyword in all of this for me is PATIENCE as well as a very large dose of tenacity.

So far I have sent manuscript submissions to 75 literary agents and publishing houses in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, etc. As of now, I have received 17 rejections.

One reputable hybrid company (mix between conventional and self-publishing) in the UK has shown great interest to publish and market my book. This is great – but also quite expensive initially, since they usually require their authors to cover the cost of the first edition. Should I not be able to get anyone else excited about my manuscript until the end of September this year, I will take matters into my own hands and go with this hybrid publishing house in the UK. They do sound very competent and I have seen their books at the London Book Fair. All their paperbacks were of excellent quality, indistinguishable from products done by a traditional publisher. Their production manager was incredibly passionate about every detail of the books she produces and their general marketing plan sounded very good as well.

For now, however, it’s many more hours of tenacious letter writing!
I will keep following my dream to find an agent who will open the doors to conventional publishing for me. There are at least 500 more suitable agencies I haven’t written to yet… and I am still on a roll, enjoying the journey!

A Toast Across The Sea

2010 michele liam

Every now and then I remember my birth dad who is somewhere out there and who I’ve never seen.
I first heard about him when I was around twenty-three years old. At the time, I was both shaken as well as happy to find out about being half Southern Italian. (I guess that’s where all the fire comes from. Forza!)
Today, for some reason, he is on my mind. And, as so many times before, his turban-like Seventies hairdo makes me smile. He was only nineteen when this photo was taken…
Does he ever wonder what happened to me after he ran off? Who has he become? Is he a good man? Does he have a big family? Is he enjoying the same, blazing, southern sun right now, not far away from me, in Apulia?
Maybe we’re even having our evening beer at the same time, toasting each other across the deep blue Mediterranean Sea without being aware of doing so…