Ciao, 2010!

I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but I enjoy the opportunity for reflection that the closing of one year and the beginning of a new one seems to allow.

In 2010, I traveled to Australia to the first time.  The February trip was a lot of work, surf, sun, and important lessons.

Next up was North Carolina, to visit my friend who always jokes that she is “studying abroad” there.

My 25th birthday was spent at a lowkey wine bar in Santa Monica, where I had lived for quite some time, with friends I have loved for many years.  Wonderful people, good wine and Santa Monica sunsets can make anyone think about staying forever.

May brought more celebrations and a family trip to the Grand Canyon.

But in June, I got the push (ok, shove) I needed.  I spent a few days on those Santa Monica beaches, prepared an application to graduate school in Italy, and started seriously considering an international move.

It was a lot to think about, so I hopped in the car for a roadtrip to San Francisco, and then back down the California coast.

A California girl, through and through, I headed north once more for a weekend of wine tasting in Napa. (Plus maybe just a little bit of gambling in Tahoe).

Then, while I was fighting for a student visa and dichriazione di valore, I was lucky enough to be in Florida for my great-grandfather’s 100th birthday.

A few days, and a short trip with my mama to the Bahamas later, I had my life packed into two suitcases, bound for Rome.

In the past three months, I’ve learned a little bit of a new language, studied the international topics that I am passionate about, traveled to North Africa for the first time, gotten lost MANY times, and met absolutely amazing people from all over the world. I certainly would not have guessed that I would spend some of Christmas day trying to explain to a friend from Uganda that, in the US, we give our dogs clothes for Christmas.

So here I am, getting ready to celebrate Capodanno in Rome, with one of my oldest and dearest friends, as well as with a whole group of our newest friends.

But there was a moment this year, when and I had just gotten back from Morocco, my hair was a mess, my hands were covered in henna, my scarf was askew and I was in a huge rush to leave my apartment in Rome to make it to an economic conference with the President of Italy, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, “What am I doing right now?”

As crazy as it sounds, I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, but if you had told me last New Years Eve that ANY of this would be in store for me in 2010, I never would have believed you.

If there is something you want to do in 2011, do it. If there is somewhere you want to move in 2011, move there.  If there is a person you want to be in 2011, become that version of yourself.

Buon anno! Tanti auguri! May 2011 be more than you ever dreamed it could be.

8 thoughts on “Ciao, 2010!

  1. Laura says:

    This is one of my fav posts! Love the last lines for some reason..

    Happy New Year, rubita!! Enjoy all the new adventures 2011 will bring! Un besito gordo.

  2. Italian Postcards says:

    WOW! What a year. I think you MIGHT have the travel bug. You might want to have that looked at by a profficional. It is possible to live with as long as you maintain a steady diet of sun, postcard writing, food experimentation, and adventure…with a side of healthy picture taking. Good luck to you.

  3. Christina says:

    Wow! You’re talking to me. I’m an American who has been living in latin countries for the past 11 years. I’m 26. Without making any plans for a change…the thought of Italy came to my mind during the New Year vacations and I’m determined to go there. That is exactly what I want to do for 2011. I came across your blog looking up Italy. Do you have any tips on how I can aquire a working visa? I hear it’s impossible. But impossible doesn’t dissuade me. If you have any info, I’d appreciate it.

    • La americana says:

      Hey Christina!

      They’re tricky, but not impossible. I’m not going to lie, most of the people I know that work in Italy, don’t have their papers, so there are lots of employers that are sketchy enough to work around them. Start contacting companies and applying now, because it’s actually easier to get the work permit before you’re in Italy. Try schools that hire international mother-tongue English speakers, as well as corporations that have offices outside of Italy. They tend to have more experience hiring non-Italian workers.

      Good luck! All the work will be worth it once you’re in Italia!


  4. Alessandra says:

    While I realize that this was posted quite a while ago, I think this is an appropriate post to comment on. Ten months ago, my family and I decided we wanted to move to Rome. To prepare for the big trip, I looked for any and all blogs about living in Italy, or more specifically, Rome. And I found your blog.

    Just thought you should know that we are leaving the US in two weeks, and your blog has been wonderful for keeping us inspired 🙂

    Thank you so much!

    • Natalie says:

      Thanks so much for your comment! I hope you have an amazing time here in Rome and I am so glad to here the blog was a bit of help.

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