ex-pa-tri-ate: adj. Residing in a foreign country.
This is Webster's definition of expatriate, or "expat". This is the term that those who have moved to a foreign country will affectionately call themselves. Being an expat doesn't mean you give up the citizenship of your native country, but that you embrace a new country.
Or should I say you embrace a new culture. This is what we will be doing, embracing the culture we are looking to immerse ourselves in while living in Italy. By definition you don't become an expat until you reside in a foreign country but I would say we have been becoming expats slowly over the past few years.
We have been enamored by the slower pace of Italian culture, the time spent at a meal, the abundance of history and the beauty of the towns and the countryside. We have done things in our home to try and bring Italy closer to us: buying an espresso machine so we can have caffe in the afternoon, hanging scenes of Italy on our walls, painting walls colors that remind us of Italy,watching Italian movies and taking Italian language classes. We talk about Italy. We read about Italy. We look at websites about Italy. We eat Italian (and boy can Valerie cook!).
When did we become "expats"? - I'm not sure exactly when, as it has been such a slow process, but it will come to fruition when we land in Italy in April.