Ciao ciao, for now!

Ciao a tutti!!! How long have I been talking about moving back to Italy? You guessed it. Many would say I never stopped talking about moving back to Italy.  Who knows what crazy ideal or grass is greener scenario has been stuck in my head for so long, but the moral of the story is I couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't ever get the idea out of my head as long as I didn't actually move back at some point in my life!

So, now is the time!

Holy crap.

I'm doing it!

I have finally found a job that isn't a step back career-wise and is something I will truly enjoy, and the best part is, I can do it from Italy! Ci credi? I don't!
Since I first heard of the job in mid-August, applied, interviewed (over the phone) while I was coincidentally in Rome trying to block out the deafening sound of the campanile Sant'Agnese in Agone (coincidence?), and finally accepted the job in early October, I haven't even had a chance to think! Now, alone and in the airport, I'm finally realizing this is happening, and I can't quite figure out how I feel about it!

Yes, there's pure excitement over the fact that I have an awesome new job and I get to do it working out of la citta eterna, but I am also scared out of my mind and am going to miss all of my awesome friends and family who I am leaving behind (for the moment) in the states!

For those of you who have made a big move away from your hometown or from your normal life, you know the amount of love that is poured into your life immediately prior to your departure. The second I accepted this new job and had a ticket booked, I wanted to soak up every free second I had with my family and friends, and I was lucky to find out that they wanted to reciprocate. Almost every night in October was filled with family and friends helping me check off very American and Boston traditions that I needed to soak up before my departure. I love you all so much and I knew that going from a month packed of love and seeing all of you was going to make being a loner in Rome even harder, but I wouldn't have done it any other way! THANK YOU ALL!!! <3

---- Arrived in Rome ---- Monday, November 5, 2018 ----

1.90 Euro, Doppiozero
Arriving with the the goal in mind to network like crazy and to never say "no" to a invite, I quickly felt the impact of loneliness after I left my bags in my AirBnb and set off to walk around this fabulous city all alone. The past month of constant plans made with good friends and family exploring new places in Boston was fabulous, but it really set me up to feel a big empty void upon arrival here! "What on earth was I thinking?" I kept thinking to myself.  It probably didn't help that upon arrival, my AirBnB host said I could meet him early at 11am, pouring rain out, thank goodness there was a courtyard with an over hang, because finally at 11:50 he shows up. He helps me into the apartment which is a total mess from the people who had stayed in it before. I hadn't understood that he was letting me in early to a dirty apartment, so dreams of taking a nap were quickly demolished and I was extremely disappointed in the state of the apartment and the size. So my only option was to go wander, and guess what? It was raining sideways out and I failed to pack an umbrella, woops! However, there was a silver lining to the AirBnB situation. The landlord's name was Roberto Serafini, which I noted immediately as I rang the bell, so I consider that a very good omen! My mother's maiden name is Serafini, and her brother, my uncle's name is Roberto! What are the odds!?

Quickly after I left the house, negativity got the better of me. I didn't think it would happen immediately, but it did. As I strolled toward the city center in the pouring rain, the orange washed facades and quiet chatter of the occasional Italian passerbyers made me feel unusually lonely when normally you can't rip the wide smirk off my face. But I said, hey, normale. I can't expect to move to a new country and be instantly happy when I don't know anyone there!

Carbonara from Da Francesco
I decided on stopping by my go-to carbonara restaurant, Da Francesco, in my favorite Piazza del Fico, for a warm carbonara welcome to Rome. No regrets on that choice ;) Temporary happiness!

By the end of my rain soaked afternoon, dodging street vendors who were selling much needed umbrellas (I refuse to buy umbrellas from them, a point of pride or something?), the day took a surprising turn of events! The rain seemed to subside, I got settled in my CLEAN AirBnB, yes, to determine that the internet service couldn't even open a website (sigh, again), BUT, the best part was, my good friend Lindsey connected me with one of her friends who happened to be in Rome, and we had already made a dinner date for that evening, so I wouldn't spend my first day completely alone! How exciting!

Jeanne and I got along splendidly! She took me to Giulietta, a modern, chic pizzeria that serves both pizza Napoletana and pizza Romana (pinsa).  Sharing our Roman secrets and our passion for Italy, dinner flew by and we were naturally ready for our post-dinner passeggiata. We strolled through the neighborhood of Testaccio then crossed the river to meander through the picturesque streets of Trastevere. It was in that moment enjoying the passeggiata that I realized, yes, I am going to miss all my friends and family back home SO much, but I am in Rome, and the only way to enjoy it is to continue exploring, throw yourself into your new life and smile! Since that realization, which I'm glad happened so quickly with the help of Jeanne, I haven't been able to wipe the smirk off my face!

So, my goal as I get back into Italian life is to share my struggles and my successes, and to also inform you of where I find the best frothed cappuccinos, the best carbonara, the perfect bars, the most friendly piazzas, the markets, the shops, the wine bars, cute old Italian cars, ecc. so that you too can enjoy the Rome that I love!

A presto. xxx.