T contacted me the other day, subject: I NEED HELP.
Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers about making your dreams come true in Italy, but the tone of her email made me remember what is was like to be standing on the abyss of a move.
You don’t know where to find information. You think you’re doing the right thing but some people imply it’s the wrong thing. You worry about the language. You worry about the money. You worry about a lot things.
So for T, here are all of the answers (and none of the questions).
1. I moved as a student
2. I did NOT have a job but I did freelance for companies in the US at first. Now I do have a job. But it is super hard to plan anything FOR Italy while you are OUTSIDE of Italy. You will get there, but not until you are actually here.
3. I did have student loans, but I have paid them off since I moved here.
4. I knew Spanish, not Italian. I figured out Italian out of shame and a desire to be understood. Don’t under estimate the motivating factor that is shame.
5. I do not have a scooter. I think they are death traps. Have an Italian teach how to drive one.
6. I had a gym membership but it was so not worth it. Now I just use not-having-a-gym-membership as an excuse to buy lots of shoes because you will walk through all your shoes. You will walk everywhere.
7. You will eat better than you have in your entire life. There are no doritos or skittles to distract you. In fact, there few (delicious) processed snacks at all. So instead, you will eat real food. You will eat good food. You will eat normal portion sizes. So, it is certainly not some impossible task to have a healthy diet. In fact, it’s hard to avoid. Just don’t plan on eating a lot of non-Italian food unless you are very handy in the kitchen.
It’s going to be ok. In fact, it’s going to be a lot of fun.[Ed Note 1: I didn’t mean to imply that it was impossible to find processed food in Italy. See example. I meant instead that it is still easier to find unprocessed food in Italy than it is in the US, though the times they are a-changing] [Ed Note 2: Coincidentally, Georgette just launched a feature where she offers real answers about living in Italy]