On Being a Single Female in Italy
The question I and my other single expat friends get asked more than anything else is:
"Are you single?"
Italians cannot fathom that a woman...without the security and protection of a man...would dare pick up everything and move here. Italians are, as you may know, very family-focused. Many, at least in small towns in Calabria, never travel far from home, and most will remain in the towns they were born in their entire lives.
That's a pretty harsh contrast to our American wanderlust. I am fiercely proud of the fact that I have traveled solo a dozen times since my divorce 6 years ago. I will never let my lack of a travel partner keep me from experiencing the world. And so I am here. Sola.
Just Be You
At first, this question about me being single irked me. Why shouldn't I be single and living out my dream? I don't need a man! But I had to look at their morbid curiosity as a teaching moment. Just because they'd never seen a single woman like me (or my friend Courtney, who even came here with her baby and no man!) didn't mean I couldn't teach them a thing or two about a woman's capability to be independent.
And while I wanted to shrink in and fit in when I first got here, a friend who's been here 20+ years advised me to just be myself. I can't blend in and seem Italian, at least not once I open my mouth, and I shouldn't have to apologize for being single.
So I'm proudly strutting my single self through my life as an expat in Italy!
And I like to answer the question: "No, I'm not alone. I brought two cats with me!"
I'm single...but definitely not alone. The friends I've made have made this adventure so much better.