Continuing on the theme of returning to Europe for good, there are many things to consider.
In discussing a possible return with friends, several people have reminded me of the problems and frustrations I had when I lived in Italy in 2015. First and foremost was the internet/cell phone debacle. Then there was the frustration of having no personal mode of transportation. There was the loneliness, the unemployment, the language barrier.
These issues would not be resolved over night, if I were to return. They would be front and center. But, as with any issues in any living situation anywhere, they would be addressed. Firstly, there would be motivation to overcome them because my presence in Europe would be permanent. I wouldn’t be able to just push them to the side, assuming that I would be returning.
After having lived in Italy for a year, I now know what to expect. I’ve got the cell phone/internet issue understood. I would have internet installed in my apartment because I’d be there long term. My cell phone data plan would only be used outside of the apartment–and sparingly.
The transportation? That would be an issue. I know the train and bus schedules, so long distance travel wouldn’t be a problem. It was the local transit that was most frustrating. If I wanted to visit my family, I had to make sure I caught the last train before service ended on the weekends. Personal transportation would eliminate this. Of course, once I would start generating income, I could buy a Vespa and use it to tool around the local communities, especially to my relatives’ home.
And that begets another issue–a job. I dare say that I would be more diligent in finding work in Italy–not an easy issue to address. I would park myself at the tourism bureaus and annoy them until they gave me work. I would also pursue more diligently freelance writing, perhaps push for something (anything) at one of the businesses owned by my aunt’s brother.
The loneliness would be another factor. However, when I was in Italy, I found that the loneliness was less intense when I was occupied. Entertaining friends who arrived, traveling, visiting my relatives all served to keep my mind off being alone. Indeed, even a short ride to one of the local towns was enough to enthrall me.
And, as for the language barrier, that would works itself out. I would do less traveling and that would give me more time to indulge in acclimating myself to the culture. I would have to learn the language because my intent would be to remain permanently. Last year, once I realized I wouldn’t be remaining, my desire to become more fluent in Italian diminished. I was entertaining people and traveling once my genealogical research was done. I knew that I’d be returning so why bother, right?
One could surmise that I’m talking myself into a return to Italy. Quite the contrary. I’m attempting to look at the whole scenario objectively. Yes, I would be alone. Yes, I would be unemployed and without transportation–possibly for awhile. Yes, I’d need to learn the language and the idiosyncrasies of living in Italia.
But there’s also the inherent majesty of having access to unparalleled history and culture. Short, cheap flights to different countries and cultures. Opportunities to possibly write anywhere. Coupled with the minimal amount of money I would need to survive, the opportunity is almost overwhelming.
But, as I said, I’m taking each day at a time. I’m continuing the job search, doing everything possible to stay here. But, what if nothing turns out? Is that God’s way of telling me to follow the path back to Europe?
I’m ready for whatever comes my way. It IS enticing to consider. I have to admit that living in Italy permanently would be some kind of wonderful.