A burning desire
We made our first trip to Italy in March of 1998. That visit started a dream we have had ever since: to move there. This is a little ironic since before that trip I had no desire to move outside of the US; I really had little desire to even visit Italy. Valerie’s parents had their sailboat in Gaeta and we figured we had built in tourguides; airfare was cheap so why not go to the land of Spartacus. With that first trip we knew we had to go back. With each visit Italy felt more like home and we started to talk about ways we could live there.
Living in Italy for someone who is not from a country that is part of the European Union is no easy process. We looked into the job market; maybe someone would hire me over there. Yeah right, I don’t even speak Italian and insurance people aren’t high on their list of job needs. Perhaps Valerie could get citizenship through her great-grandparents. Unfortunately that goes through the paternal side of the family and it was her grandmother who had the Italian ancestry.
We made three visits to Italy in 1998, 1999 and 2001. By that last visit in 2001 we were definitely hooked. We visited again in 2003 with the expressed intention of seeing what it would really be like to live in Italy without just the “vacation view”. We spent 2 weeks renting homes where we did our best to function day to day in small-town Italy. Going to the local market, cooking meals, walking the towns with the locals, and even getting a haircut, even trying to buy clothes pins from the local hardware store.
Since that last visit we batted around ways to be able to make the move. We began to research the visa requirements, how much money would we need, what about health insurance, what about our house, what about the 2 cats we had? Valerie was ready to go but, being the male provider that I am, I worried about provisions. On bad days I was ready to grab our passports and go. On good days Italy just seemed like a dream. Finally I realized it wasn’t what I did that provided us with what we needed but that God is in control. Ultimately we both decided it was time to move to Italy.
Why, you may ask. Why not? We do not have children we need to be concerned with. We have been blessed with the resources to do this. We feel that the Italian lifestyle better suits how we want to live our daily lives. If things don’t work out and we have to come back to the US in a year, I can get another job and we will have had a tremendous experience.
Check back to follow along as we begin this journey.