Hello I’m Anna, Italian expat since 2017. I lived one year into the magical, mythical Paris and now, at the beginning of 2019 I moved to Oxford. Actually WE moved to Oxford, because I live with my boyfriend, a cancer researcher.
Scared to Move Abroad
I won’t deny that before leaving Italy, I was scared. I lived in a village, in the North of Italy, it is not a super funny, charming place, but it’s quite and simple and Paris seemed SO big. I felt overwhelmed.
Once arrived there, day after day I discovered an incredible city and adorable small corners that are impossible to find out s a tourist. Further, I had the chance to see how the city changes during the seasons, the holidays, Christmas and so on and so forth.
Paris is not only the landmarks that anyone knows: Tour Eiffel, Louvre, Jardin du Luxembourg. Of course, they are beautiful, but the Marais area, the Shakespeare and Co. library and the Saint Etienne church deserve absolutely some of your time!
Cons of Moving
Well, there were cons also, not only pros:Paris is the second most expensive city in the world, the “studio” (flats) are very small and old, but at the end of the day, it was an amazing experience that I suggest to anyone.
Now, I stay in Oxford, obviously smaller thanParis and less chaotic.
I visited the city just one time for a couple of day before moving in, but I feel really at ease here. It is very coloured and well organized. There are Universities and Colleges everywhere, of course. There are also museums, galleries of contemporary art, restaurants and coffee shop really cute. If you come, don’t forget to have a break in the “Grand Cafe”: the oldest coffee house in England.I've been living here for only 3 months but I think I’m finding my dimension.
I can describe myself as a “digital nomad”: I’m an art organizer, I work with photographers, painters, sculptors, digital artists which need a curator for an exposition or a book or a portfolio review.This job allows me to work everywhere, I just need a computer and an internet connection. For my occupation, living abroad is a plus, because I can know the artistic culture and approach from different points of views.
Learning a New Language
One of the best aspects of the expat condition is learning or improving a language: of course you are surrounded by native people and it is easy to practice, especially if you are not shay! My suggestion about the language is finding a hobby, an interest to do in the new Country in order to improve the language, while doing something that you love.
If you are going to move abroad or simply thinking about it I suggest to don’t have too many expectations or – worse again – prejudices about the new country/place, because surely things will be different and you risk to start the experience with negative feelings. That would be very sad and useless, either if you will stay in the new Country forever or just for a while. Enjoy the experience, day by day, catch the opportunity to re-invent or re-discover yourself with new colleagues, new people, new food, new friends and new mind. Don’t think about what you are “losing”, like family and friends; we live in the social media era, we can keep in contact in any ways.
Stay open to new opportunities and you won’t feel alone!