It all began with an episode of House Hunters International…
We are pretty much Type A kind of people. Most everything we do is planned. On occasion we’ll throw caution to the wind and do something spontaneous….like the time we were driving back to Tampa from Ft. Bragg NC where we welcomed home our eldest son from Afghanistan. On the ride home, we got all crazy and decided we’d stop and spend the night in Savannah GA. Yep, just like that. A couple of crazy kids, we are! We had a fantastic stay at the Marshall House, the oldest hotel in Savannah, and enjoyed an unbelievable meal at a restaurant on the river. Oh the ambiance!! That crazy moment in the car lead to fond memories that we’ll keep forever.
We can probably count on two hands (or less) the number of times we’ve ever done something like that. Suffice it to say, we are ROUTINE kind of folks. Operating outside our routine, our comfort zone, takes planning on our part. It takes a conscious effort. I keep a magnet on the refrigerator that says “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It serves as a reminder to us to stop doing the same old, same old. With our sons grown and on their own and retirement rushing at us, it was time to get crazy! Do something adventurous! Something totally outside our norm!
So back to House Hunters International…. The Man and I watched an episode where a couple from the UK, Michael and Talie, were looking for a 2-bedroom home in Abruzzo. That’s all it took. Done! Sold! We’re there! We are totally head over heels in love with the idea of moving to Italy!
Now five weeks later, we’ve had time to look into the not so fun stuff….extended visas, taxes, housing, car ownership, international health insurance….and on and on. At minimum, this venture is going to be a bit daunting. I remind myself, “Just because something is hard, that’s not an excuse not to do it.” (I collect inspirational phrases. I use them like ski poles…..pushing forward and steering myself in the right direction…..especially when I want to “shy-out” – turn and go the other way.)
We have 6 years before I retire and we take the big leap. In the meantime, we have joined several expatriot fora and are learning one word of Italian a day. Eventually, we will either enroll in classes or invest in Rosetta Stone. The expat fora are a wealth of information provided by warm, wonderful people who are already living la dolce vita. We’ve already established an email friendship with Pat From Idaho and his wife, who are two years away from packing their bags, and trade hopes, dreams, anxiety, and information. We hope to one day share a glass of wine with them as we watch the sun set on the olive groves.
This is the beginning of our journey. We don’t know where we will find ourselves down the road. For now, we are prisoners digging our tunnel….hoping to eventually escape our comfort zone.
Ci vuole fortuna!