Life in Italy is not for everyone. It requires a lot of psychological flexibility, perseverance and adaptation abilities. On the other hand, if you’re a woman on a mission and are willing to do whatever it takes to make your dream of living in Italy come true, then nothing can get in your way, right?
Well, let’s see if Italy is really for you and if you’re up for the challenge!
- You’re sick and tired of the unexciting hum drum your life has become in which everything is safe, predictable and utterly boring. Going to Italy seems to be the only thing that manages to bring you back to life – and that’s what you desperately crave for.
- You’re ready to embrace chaos for the sake of feeling this aliveness. You’re willing to change your habits, your language, your personality, your daily routines, your friends, your relationship, the amount of contact with your family, your safety zones, your financial situation, your style, your hobbies, your expectations of what life’s supposed to look like both now and in the future and to totally surrender to what life will offer you in Italy.
- You’re willing to do whatever to survive here. Yes, you’ve read that right. Survive. When I just got here I did have some savings, but when they ran out I had to do whatever it took to survive and keep myself afloat financially. I worked all kinds of jobs: from babysitting to interpreting at a cooking school (I used to hate kids and cooking; I now like both of them), from an teaching English to writing, from tour guiding to life coaching. I did everything in my power to make this work, no matter what. So, if you have resilience, courage and an enormous amount of creativity, then read on.
- You’re prepared to feel like the biggest loser in the universe. Learning a new language is fun, exciting and something fresh when you can do it in the comfort of your own home country. When you need it for survival (think hospital visits, job interviews, fights with your lover, meeting the in-laws, ordering food, those kinds of things) and you don’t feel comfortable and make loads of embarrassing mistakes, it’s extremely frustrating and unsettling. Not masticating (self-made mix of: masticare, “chewing” or speaking/mastering) the language properly makes you feel you can’t express yourself completely. It makes you feel like a helpless baby with needs they can’t express; in other words: lost. So be ready to feel like crap while getting your head around Italian.
- Even though you’re highly sensitive you’re willing to put up with the noise, the traffic, the shouting, the loudness of their voices and their absolute lack of sense of personal space. Italy – and Italians – are intense. If you’re too, then this is the right place for you.
- You’re ready to start a love-hate relationship with both your home country and your newly adopted country at random intervals and go through a process of total unsettlement, not knowing where your roots are exactly and not feeling like you speak nor your own, nor your new language anymore.
- You’re aware you’ll go through stages of feeling differently about your life in Italy. You’ll start with the good old honeymoon stage where everything is just fabulous and you feel so ecstatic you could die right there and then. Then you’ll get into a “I’m quite settled-stage” (where your own personality traits have space to come back up again, like moments of insecurity, anxiety, depression, binge-whatevering; basically the less pretty things you did at home too and – surprise, surprise – haven’t disappeared because you moved abroad). Then it’s time for the disappointment stage and feeling that you might have been better off in your home country after all and you’re wondering if it’s all been a big mistake (low finances, broken relationships, friends leaving, crazy dysfunctional bureaucratic shit, don’t help either in this already pretty challenging stage). Then there’s a stage where you either go back or realise that it’s all in your own hands and you need to make your own life work; it’s not the country that owes that to you. And so you switch careers, select friends you really enjoy spending time with, end draining relationships, go back to school, set up your own business so you can do what fulfils you both spiritually and financially, you find a new, wonderful partner and living in Italy becomes a nice plus instead of the reason for your existence. At least this has been my experience so far after nearly eight years of living in Italy.
All of this ranting is not to put you off. As everyone knows, I’m the most positive, optimistic woman there is (hell, even my fab Facebook group is called The YES Woman). No, this is to give you a realistic checklist for yourself so that you know “what you’re getting yourself into.” This way you can come fully prepared (as far as this is even possible) and not expect Italy to solve your problems. You’ll take them with you wherever you go.
If you’re willing to face this reality, to see that it’s not all going to be sunshine & gelato, and do everything in your power to create the best conditions possible for yourself to succeed, then I’d say: go for it!
If you feel you could use some help in moving here both mentally and practically then I’m your woman! I’ve helped numerous women follow their dream of moving to Italy and I’ve assisted them in the process before, during and after the move. Knowing that you can ask someone even the seemingly “stupidest” questions, share your doubts and fears with and just have someone to support your while taking this massive leap, is really invaluable. If you’re interested in my services, please take a look at my programme Take the Leap to Florence (read: Italy) and book a first free discovery call if it resonates and you want to connect.
Looking forward to helping you get totally Italy-ready!
Love & courage,