Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“You’re a hard habit to break”–thank you, Chicago

I’m a heretic. Why am I a heretic? Because I have to let go of something I’ve supported for so long.

Because I’m becoming bored with the adoption thing. I guess I’ve reached overload. For nearly three years I have lived this book–writing, editing, promoting, book signings, etc. I’ve researched websites and other blogs. I’ve had radio interviews. I’ve pursued television opportunities (to no avail). And for thirty-six years I’ve lived the life of an adoptee seeking his roots and heritage, yearning for acceptance and trying to figure out his place in the world. Continue reading


Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“I’ll be there”–thank you, Jackson 5

I’m going out on a limb here. I’m going to embarrass myself in front of everyone. That is, except for those who are acquainted with me. They will just shake their heads knowingly and smile.

A few days ago I posted a blog blurb about the hotel I had reserved along the Tyrrhenian Sea in Rome for my arrival on November 13. When I found the hotel online, I nabbed it. It was dripping with quintessential Italian design and ambience.

A few days later I realized I hadn’t asked the hotel about shuttle accommodations to the airport. The next day I would be flying to Ancona on the Adriatic, near the town where I will be living. The hotel assured me that a shuttle would be ready and that it was complementary. I wiped my brow. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“I live in Oregon, Oregon’s my home. I love the trees, the hills, the places I have roamed”– thank you, Blackhawk County

In a previous posting I mentioned that I have checked out of Oregon emotionally and mentally. While re-reading and editing the post, that statement stabbed me in the heart.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, you will be hard-pressed to find many people who adore this state as much as I do. I bitch about things I don’t like–high unemployment, lousy roads, a constipated legislature, anti-business attitudes. No place is perfect, right? Yet, I am captivated by Oregon.

When I lived in Southern California for eight years, sunbathing, entertaining clients at bigh-end restaurants in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, I longed for Oregon. I missed the rain and the green. I missed the smell of fresh-cut hay and the change of colors in autumn. I even missed the smell of field burning! (Note to non-residents: field burning occurs in the mid-Willamette Valley in fall when farmers burn off the chaff from their grass seed fields to kill pests and disease.) Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Celebrate good times, COME ON!”– thank you, Kool and the Gang

Every time I start to get a bit worried or my confidence starts to wane, something pumps me up.

A major blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers had agreed to accept one of my adoption-related postings as a teaser right before her adoption series in November which is National Adoption month. I was grateful for the opportunity. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“They livin’ it up at the Hotel California”– thank you, Eagles

OK, I admit, I’m not staying at the Hotel California. I am actually staying at the Guesthouse 1932 in Rome. So I guess I am (altogether now to the tune of “Hotel California”) “livin’ it up at the Guesthouse 1932”.

Today I reserved a room at this hotel. My flight arrives at 7:00 p.m. local time in Italy on November, 13. I will be flying Portland-Chicago-Dublin-Rome. I determined that the best plan for my travel would be to spend the night in Rome upon my arrival in Italy. No flights are available to Ancona, nearest major city to my new home, at such an hour so this made sense. The next day I will fly to Ancona, catch the train to Alba Adriatica, hail a taxi to the property management office and get my keys to start my new life. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Roll with it, baby”–thank you, Steve Winwood.

So now the waiting starts. I had mistakenly thought that I sent off my visa application a week ago Friday. Actually, it was just last Friday. I guess that shows how anxious I’m getting. Gotta deal with it.

Now it’s a waiting game. I have everything done so I’m at loose ends. Just kinda hangin’. There’s nothing much to do. In a way, I guess that’s good. Once I land on Europe’s shores I will be very busy familiarizing myself with the area and the bus/train schedules, buying home items, getting internet/electrical/natural gas service. And, of course, I’ll immediately start the citizenship process. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Leaving on a jet plane” (I hope)–thank you, Peter, Paul and Mary

Cross one major item off my list.

Today I sent off my Italian visa application. It’s been a long haul, but the app and its voluminous documentation (with copies) are on their way to the Italian Consulate in San Francisco.

This day has had a long gestation period. Initially, I was not going to even try for this visa. But the consul general in Portland said I could get it in 2-3 weeks. I was dubious because the Consulate website said not to send in an application less than ninety days before the departure date. I mentioned it again today when I was finalizing the documents with the consul general and he assured me that I’d get the visa quickly. Continue reading