Archive | January, 2013

Life…add wine and pasta

28 Jan

After what has felt like one of the most stressful weeks/weekends of my life, I woke this morning with a fresh perspective. I was very close to pulling the plug on the whole ‘la dolce vita’ dream…

Something inside must have snapped overnight, as I woke up feeling about 1million times better than I did 6 hours previously. Maybe it was the hours spent before bed watching Italian cookery shows before I slept, but I felt much more myself this morning. I can’t pinpoint the exact change, but there have been a few things this weekend that have cheered me right up (4am soppy text from my best friend included!).

Life itself is like a recipe; what you add changes the whole flavour of the final dish. If you add negativity, you get something that’s not pleasant and not enjoyable. Its pretty self explanatory.

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For me, my most favourite flavour of Italy is carbonara…its rich, comforting, and naughty (…insert ‘just how I like my men’ comment here!). Side that with a bottle of red wine and I am happy. If you look at the way Italians view life, they have it spot on. They don’t sweat the small stuff; they keep their calm (unless football is involved!) and I can’t ever recall seeing an Italian as stressed as us Brits get over the smallest of things!

I planned a while ago that the night before I fly out to Rome for my 2 weeks, I’d cook carbonara for the parents to get us in the mood for a few days together in Rome. So, its this that I am focusing on. The shut off point of the last few weeks of crap times and sleepless nights. That yummy dish will be the start of a fantastic two week holiday/trail where I plan to relax, eat, drink, see sights, eat gelato, and generally see how I feel living in the Eternal City.

So, thank you carbonara…you have saved my bacon, yet again!

The dark side of the move…

24 Jan

Whilst I’m all for a Pink Floyd pun, this post is all about the not-so-cheery side of moving…especially abroad! At the current moment I write this, I hope in a few months I look back and laugh! But, here’s my list of things that make a move (especially overseas) that teeny (MASSIVELY) more stressful!

1. Sleepless nights...when one is expected to come into work at 8am and work solidly for 8 hours in a Communications role, surviving on 4hours (or less) sleep pretty much renders you useless in the world of successful communication. This week alone I have spelt my OWN name wrong (twice!), walked away from my desk whilst still attached to my laptop headphones and survived on a working day diet of 90% caffeine. Add to the lack of sleepĀ  the stress headaches/stomach aches and it doesn’t make for a pleasant time! I will be glad when this is all over!

2. Friends…whilst some people have been ridiculously supportive, there have been others that have really failed me in their support of this move. It seems as if I am simply no longer relevant seeing as I won’t be here much longer. Some simply and plainly act like they don’t care. And what makes it harder, is that it is the people I thought I could rely on most that have let me down the hardest. Well, I’m taking a stand on this one. You’ve had your chances. No one is *that* busy that they can’t find 2 minutes to reply to a text/FB message/email. I’m no longer making time for those that don’t make time for me. And yes, you know who you are, and all you have done is make my separation from the UK that little bit easier. And as a side-note, don’t bother contacting me a week before/a week after I go – it’s simply too late.
To everyone who has been like a rock to me and taken the time to talk to me about this/see how its going/how I am doing over the last month or so – THANK YOU!

3. Finances…never a cheery subject for me, but it feels like all I have done since I decided to move was pay for things I have seen little come-back from. The costs mount up and up and its impossible (especially a month after the expense of Christmas) to have spare cash for anything luxurious. Flying the cats out to Italy is costing roughly the same price as a first class ticket, and although TOTALLY worth it, I can’t explain that to my over-draft.

4. House sorting…getting the house in shape is always a sucky part of moving…boxing up belongings, going through EVERYTHING you own with ‘toss’, ‘keep’, ‘store’ labels at the ready is never an enjoyable task. Add onto the the decision of what you can move within your allowed 22kg baggage limit and it makes for even more head scratching!

Don’t think that any of the above is making me regret my decision, it isn’t one bit! This process was never going to be an easy one but I believe that the outcome will be more than worth it. I have found and secured an amazing place to live, in a cosmopolitan city, in a country I have loved for a decade. I consider myself SO fortunate that I have the means and backing behind me as lots of people in my age bracket don’t have that…this will be an amazing life change and I simply can’t wait to be living my new life in the sun! I am off for a trial run on Saturday 2nd February for two weeks and it simply can’t come quick enough!

Nina x

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When life hands you lemons….make Limoncello!

12 Jan

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As you may know, moving to Italy has been high on my ‘wish list’ for some time. It’s the main focus behind this blog and the one thing that keeps me awake at night!

Anyone who has contemplated a move abroad will understand the thoughts that run through your mind, day and night, and how you can go from positive and excited to scared witless in a matter of hours! The journey you take (emotionally!) when deciding to make a move like this is incredibly personal, and everyone has their own personal reasons to take the leap! I have thought about moving to Italy (albeit dreamily!) since I first visited, but the time wasn’t right. That was 8 years ago, and I believe that now is the time. The circumstances behind each move can change the thought process completely, and as I said, it’s incredibly personal!

The decision has been made…I’m making the move. There is a magical draw to Italy, and as I reach the 30th year of being, I think this pocket of time is the best for me to take the plunge! So, what do I do now?

1. Rome is the place for me…I have visited many parts of Italy, but Rome captivates me. I have friends there, and that makes the process and logistics of moving a lot easier – having people you can turn to when you can’t/don’t understand something in a country where you don’t speak the language! I have found a potential place to live; a great 2 bed apartment in the Nomentana area of Rome.

2. My house will be going on the market in a matter of weeks…not an easy decision, but I have dedicated the last 8 years to renovating, maintaining and running my home, and that has been tough at times. Now is the time to make the house work for me.

3. I need to sort pet passports for the cats, and arrange their travel to Rome. The decision to take them has had me going back and forth in my mind. But I realised that there will be moments when I am in Rome that I will crave something from home, some comfort and a reminder, and they can do that perfectly! And they deserve la dolce vita too! Anyone in the UK planning a similar move can find out more information about pet passports here

4. Plan, pack, sort and throw out all of my belongings! I have a bit of a self-imposed deadline as my parents leave the UK on April 25th for up to 5 months, and there is no way I can do all this without them being here. I will need their emotional and physical support! My leaving has to coincide with theirs and likewise, I don’t want to wait until they return, as that could be as late in the year as September, and if I wait 8 months to make this move I will a) go mad and b) probably talk myself out of it! The time is now!

5. Save, save, save all I can fund-age wise to help build up some cash to have behind me. It makes no sense to waste money on boozy nights out between now and when I go and that’s a sacrifice worth making in my opinion! It costs more that you can imagine to relocate, and there are costs (pet passports/travel/vaccinations, storage for the things at home you may ship out later, added baggage when flying out for the first time etc) that some people may over-look, so it does help to be careful with what ‘luxuries’ you may spend out on pre-move!

So, in 4 months time, I hope to be living the dream…follow me on my journey!

Nina

Goodbye 2012 and hello 2013! A wrap up of 2012

8 Jan

Wow, I can’t quite believe that I am at the beginning of yet another year, looking back over my shoulder at 2012, which was one of the happiest, challenging and interesting years so far! I made some amazing friends, met some wonderful people and went to some stunning places.
January saw me confirming and planning my holiday in Tuscany for late June
February gave us some snow, and evenings having playfights in playgrounds
March started painfully with a broken coccyx, cue 6 weeks of no moving
April I was guestlist again to see my beloved Ryan Adams at the Palladium
May I changed my holiday plans and added a 3 night stay in Rome to my week in Tuscany
June was spent counting the days until I flew to Tuscany on 23rd for an amazing holiday
July I turned 29, and was treated to a night in a 5* hotel by my best friend Naomi
August my Mum turned 60, and the whole family celebrated together at hers for Afternoon Tea!
September I started my Italian language course
October I was rushed to hospital with appendicitis, had an operation!
November I had some of my writing published, something I could tick off my bucket list
December I spent Christmas with my family and my New Year in Rome

As for 2013, there are a lot of things I want to achieve. A psychic told me (cue spooky music) many years ago that 2013 would be the biggest year of my life and I hope they are right. There are many reasons people give for wanting to change their lives…whether those reasons are justified or not, is not for anyone else to decide. When I look at what I want to achieve this year, I find that people’s opinions fall into two categories…the ‘do it, life’s too short-ers’ and the ‘have you thought this all through-ers?’. Luckily, the vast majority of people who matterĀ  to me are in the first group.

I found myself thinking a lot of about my plans for 2013…it’s a big year for me; I turn 30 and that brings with it its own issues…its a real turning point in life (and 10 years in your twenties is too many!) and time to start making plans about the future. I don’t want to rush anything, but I feel that now is the time to start making plans and laying down the path to a new life.

It was 2005 when I first visited Italy and I fell instantly in love. It was returning from that trip that I vowed to one day make Italy my home. This year, I hope to make that dream a reality. It will take a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of day-dreaming thinky time, but I know that it’s where I want to be and I hope, where I shall be living by Christmas 2013. I’m in a very fortunate position and have the backing to make this move…now, it’s just a case of getting the wheels in motion.