Days 5 & 6–Living as an expatriate in Italy, the devil is in the details

For the past two days I’ve been getting more things done regarding this Italy move. It seems that the more I accomplish, the more things I have to do.Today I went to Verizon to discuss my options for my cell phone. I was hoping that, somehow, I would be able to keep my mobile phone and perhaps get a SIM card. I reasoned that it might allow me to use my phone without paying exorbitant bills.

No such luck. It turns out that I will need to dump my carrier and pay a $240 cancellation fee since my two year contract hasn’t expired. However, the Verizon rep said I can probably sell my iPhone 5 for $250-$300 which would make that cost a wash.

As for my phone needs, I can keep my mobile phone number and port it over to Google Voice. Then I could receive calls on my Oregon phone number through Google to my Italian phone. My Italian provider will most likely be Vodaphone.

This means I will need to buy a phone in Italy–a smart phone will run me $600-$700. Carriers in Europe are highly regulated and do not offer deep discounts for hardware. However, cell service is better and more ubiquitous while being less costly. So, I guess it’s a wash.

I’m thinking that I will probably get a regular phone. Do I need an iPhone in Italy? I suppose if I get a substantial job somewhere down the pike. For the time being, though, I can’t see myself needing an iPhone.

I also found out that I can keep my credit union account and continue to use it. One problem is that I will be assessed service charges for using the card in Europe. I will be able to use my debit and credit card for up to a year in Italy if I notify them in writing. However, every time I want to travel someplace else, I will need to call them so they don’t put a freeze on my cards.

While I was in Moscow recently, my credit union debit card quit working. Upon disembarking from the plane I went to an ATM and withdrew a few hundred dollars in rubles. Once they were used up, my card wouldn’t work anymore. I discussed this with the credit union and found out that card use is limited in Russia. This could possible be the case if I go to Ukraine to research my family. I know Poland is safe because we were in Warsaw for several days and I had no problem. Too, Poland is part of the EU.

I’ve also made it known that I need to sell my car. I put it out on Facebook first. Three friends have responded enthusiastically. This encourages me because I will need my car until late September. I don’t want to pay for a rental car for weeks and weeks. I don’t mind paying for a rental car for a week or so before I leave but any longer than that is cost prohibitive. I think that selling it to a friend might be much easier.

It’s these types of things that I’m glad I’m learning about now. I want to have everything ready before I go. No surprises. When I get on that plane for Europe, I want all my ducks to be in a row.

So I have several things done. I’ve already had my eye examination. I’ve seen my dentist and am getting a missing filling replaced. I’ve learned about my cell phone and I’ve learned the requirements and limitations of my credit union credit and debit card. I still have the debit card from my bank that I must research. I’m thinking it will be similar to my credit union, but I won’t assume.

I also have an appointment with my surgeon regarding my prostate surgery as well as an appointment with my doctor to have a physical. Two more things I can check off my list.

There’s still so much–saying goodbye to everyone, traveling to B.C., getting an international driver’s license, checking on health insurance and checking on Social Security, just to name a few.

I really hope that this is not a pipe dream–the foolish wishes of a fifty-five-year-old man. But, as I’ve said before, how will I know if I don’t try? The danger is losing possibly two years of income that could have helped me towards my retirement. But, I guess I’m a gambler.

I heard from a pastor friend of mine in Surrey, British Columbia. This gentleman presided over my biological father’s funeral. He said that he believes God is delighting over my decision and is happy for me. I found that statement striking.

The Bible says that God wants to “give us the desires of our hearts”. Somehow I never took that statement to the next level in that doing so would actually delight God. Something new and fascinating to chew on. Another attitude, another viewpoint to open my eyes yet more to the magnificence of Him. If this is the case, and I have no reason to doubt it is, then I’m much more encouraged. I have much less doubt.

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One thought on “Days 5 & 6–Living as an expatriate in Italy, the devil is in the details

  1. Pingback: Days 5 & 6--Living as an expatriate in Italy, the devil is in the details

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