Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“More, more, more”–thank you, Andrea True Connection

I’ve probably said this before, but I’m gonna say it again. Just when I think I’m getting caught up on my to do list, yet more items come up.

I met with the Honorary Consular General in Portland the other day. The gentleman was very helpful and told me that I could apply for a residency visa for up to one year. I clicked onto the website for the Italian Consulate in San Francisco and found the section for a residency visa. I had seen this before but didn’t think it applied to me.

So, I’ve started the process for collecting all the information requested–photocopies of my passport, photocopies of blank pages from my passport, proof of assets, apartment lease agreement, FBI criminal record (seriously?), letters of reference from my financial institutions, a residency visa application (which is voluminous), last two years of tax returns, last six months of bank statements, and a passport photo. Whew!

Fortunately, I have most of these things done, but there’s still the remainder to do. These items take me away from other responsibilities.

You see what I mean about “more, more, more”? It seems to be never-ending. Should I have waited to purchase my ticket until after I had an idea of all the hoops I would have to jump through?

My medications are turning into something else. I am no longer using Canada Drugs because the costs were twenty times what I’m paying now through Shopko. Plus, I can only get six months’ worth of meds at a time.

Yesterday I saw the surgeon who performed by prostate surgery. Turns out my PSA is elevated again and I now have to squeeze in an ultrasound and, possibly a scope–I leave in a little more than three weeks. In addition, my doctor wants to discuss my Vitamin D levels as well as my pre-diabetic status. More, more, more time for yet more, more, more things to do.

Still to do on my list are: speak to State Farm regarding my car insurance, get my adoption decree and birth certificate certified by the Secretary of State, get an international driver’s license, finalize health insurance, finalize my cell phone, place more items in storage. Then there’s the aforementioned doctor’s appointments. It might not sound like too much to do in three weeks, but let me assure you, more, more, more will crop up. At some point, something will present itself to slow me down and prevent me from completing something when I want, also.

And there’s the real possibility that the Consulate will not approve my residency visa. If that’s the case, I will have to find a place to stay every three months. I cannot go anywhere in the EU; I must leave it completely, although I can, apparently, go to the UK.

I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity in Lviv, Ukraine in case I am not able to stay in Italy for an extended period. If it turns out that I can only live in Italy for ninety days at a time, I decided I would look for a place in Ukraine. Part of my reason for moving to Italy is to research my birth mother’s family. My maternal grandfather was born in Lviv, Ukraine in 1878. In researching places to stay on Airbnb, I found a number of people who were more than willing to play tour guide.

The gentleman I’ve settled upon is actually from Washington State. He was excited to communicate with me. Turns out he and his family spend the first quarter of the year in Georgia, a small nation south of Russia in the Caucasus. He is offering me a 2.5 bedroom, 1 bath apartment for $400/month. Utilities would be extra. I’ve responded enthusiastically to his offer, but I’ve cautioned him that I will not know anything for several weeks. I’m not crazy about paying two rents, but what can I do?

I could fly back to America, but that would entail a $1500 (minimum) plain ticket. There’s three month’s rent right there. Plus, I would have to find a place to stay. Too much hassle. At least I can relax and know that I have this opportunity. I have a feeling the gentleman will wait to hear from me knowing he has a chance to get three months’ rent.

To re-cap, this is what I’ve had to deal with or still have to deal with:

Car insurance

Health insurance

Mobile phone

Car (where to keep it)

Mail pick-up

Health check-up


Eye doctor

Surgeon visit (check-up on surgery procedure)

Medications purchase

International driver’s license

Order adoption decree

Order birth certificate

Order birth parents’ birth, death and marriage certificates

Research Social Security

Research American federal taxes

Meet with credit union

Meet with bank

Meet with Honorary Consul General

Gather information for residency visa

Find potential apartment in Ukraine

Go through mini-storage

Purchase items unavailable in Italy


Purchase ticket to Italy

Purchase ticket to Alba Adriatica

Coordinate travel with family in Italy

And this does not include what I’ll need to do when I get to Italy. After I arrive, there will be more, more, more.





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