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Who Will You Become as an Expat in Italy?

I know in so many of my posts I write "I can't believe this is my life."

Because it's true.

as an Expat in

I never could have imagined that the life I actually have as an expat in Italy would be mine when I lived in San Diego just a few short years ago.

The Transformation is Real

Something that people who want to move abroad really don't consider is how much they will change in response to their new country. You can't help it; when you speak another another culture...with different will be impacted. And that's a good thing.

When I arrived, I faltered. I hated standing out as "the American" and just wanted to blend in. I wanted the topics of conversation to be anything other than "where are you from? Why in the hell did you move to Calabria?"

And piano, piano, I found my footing. I accepted that I would always be l'Americana, and that it wasn't a bad thing at all. People are innately curious about the "other," so it's natural they should ask questions.

And once they understood that I, too, was insanely curious about their culture and traditions, they let me in. As I learned new things, the foundation of my being began to shift.

Preparing for Who You Will Be as an Expat in Italy

There's little you can do right now if you're on the other side of being an expat in Italy to prepare, though I would invite you to open up. Open up to the fact that who you are right now, driving to Starbucks, having too many appointments scheduled, and generally being tired all the time, is going to change. For the better, my dear, ti juro.

Accept the fact that this place will change you. It will bring forth interests that you didn't know you had. As for me, I cook far more than I ever have, and I love it. I forage for herbs. I dance the tarantella. I try every new thing put before me.

Give yourself grace as you go on this beautiful exploration of the Italian version of you. Especially when it clashes with the American version. Your old friends will see it. They may not like it. But this isn't about them. It's about you. And you chose to completely untether yourself from the life you had for something better. Something other.

Enjoy the journey.

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