I never thought I could write a post like this. Today it’s my last day of a 3-month “sabbatical” (fancy for “unpaid leave”) from Google and I have decided it’s time for me to move on.

It’s always sweet to have a break.
In my case, I wouldn’t exactly call it a relaxing time. Here are some of the things that kept me busy in the last 3 months:
for starters, I trained for and completed my first triathlon (that I finished in less than 3 hours, should I add?? :-)).
I traveled to Europe 3 times, spent time in Madrid, London, Rome,  Milan and the Alps (in addition to a sweet family vacation…).

As far as meeting with “policy makers”, I had a memorable handshake with the Prince of Spain (and man, what a grip!), met the Italian minister of development (twice), the former head of the European Central Bank, the mayor of Rome and a bunch of unnamed but very relevant people (including my folks…).

I mentored 8 startups at SeedCamp Week in London, helped organize the first Techcrunch Italy, with the Techcrunch folks in Rome (+1200 other people), discussed term sheets with 15 startups and invested in 3.  I set up a seed venture capital fund, which has had 2 closings of funding.  And I joined the international board of a top EU business school fund.

Crazy fun, although not exactly a time of reflection.

Today, I wrote my resignation letter from Google. I’ll be managing full time the MTS fund to invest in early stage startups.
7 years, 3 months and 27 days, to be exact.
During my time at Google, I had 2 children, traveled the entire Latin American continent multiple times,  purchased my first house, built a home in this new country, and enjoyed a sense of belonging as I never experienced before.

They say a Googler is for life. In my case, I mean it. I owe everything to this company: my credibility, my professional development, an healthy disregard for the impossible.
The conviction that a business can be at the same time highly profitable, fun and based on strong ethical grounds.
Working at Google is like a drug. It open doors, attracts interest, curiosity, often envy.
When, at passport control, I say the magic word, no other questions are asked. The hundreds stamps on my passport make total sense.

I believe I’m no fetishist. However, in the last few days I can’t stop thinking of Google as a woman: a beautiful, crazy attractive, smart,  open minded woman. And in this intricate relationship, I feel like back in the teen-age years, confronted with the terrible option of having to drop that voluptuous woman. You like her, but you feel like you’ll drown in this relationship, with you … and 40 thousand other people.

However, the reason why I’ve decided to cut the confortable umbilical cord lies in the very lesson I’ve learned there. Make a difference, be true to yourself, and try to have fun.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a difference… but jumping with no parachute definitely feels freaking breathless.