Advice on relocating to Italy?

Old Nov 5th, 2013, 01:30 AM
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I have signed up for your blog - your header photo is very nice. Looking forward to following you vicariously.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 05:53 AM
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Love that header photo, Erynn - where was it taken?
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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Your poem moved me, Erynn. I will follow your adventure of transition on your blog with great interest. I, too, live on the Salish Sea and love Italy, but cannot conceive of such a permanent change for myself.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I just found this post. How amazing! And I love the poem that opens your blog. I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Holly, it was taken in the town of Poffabro, in the Dolomite mountains. I took it last summer when I was visiting my brother. Much of the town is inaccessible to cars. It's a very lovely place.

nukesafe - I'll respond to your comment over on the blog, and thanks for commenting there!

Further note on the VA for those who have been commenting on it: my brother tells me that I got an envelope from them yesterday and I asked him to have a look in it. It's my guide to the Foreign Medical Program, and he said he would scan and email me the other two pages that came with it. I presume this means that I was accepted into the program and my service-connected medical care will be covered now. I hadn't been certain it would be processed before I arrived.

Everyone - thanks so much for your kind words! I'm looking forward to sharing my journey with you, and to our conversations to come. Please feel free to comment on the blog anytime you like.

I'm working my way through the last five-ish weeks before I leave. My gf has planned a going away party for me, I'll be having a garage sale, and tonight I'll be off to the AFK Tavern in Everett for their anniversary party and to say goodbye to my friends there and thank them for having such an amazing place for gamers and geeks. It's likely to be packed to the rafters.

I will miss this place a lot.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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And here I am, ready for my moving sale tomorrow afternoon. It's 12 days until I leave for Italy and from what I can tell I am slightly ahead of schedule for getting things dealt with before I go; this is a relief. Better early than late!

I've got movers scheduled to pick up my things from my storage unit on the 10th, a friend will be picking up my dog on the 5th to keep him for me until I can come back for him, the Northwest Center will be sending a truck by to pick up what's left from the sale to haul it off for charity, and my friends will come and collect the furniture I've borrowed from them while I'm in transition, so I'll be out of the condo by the 7th so everything here will be done by then.

My Italy blog (http://poetsperegrinatio.wordpress.com/) has been updated every few days with new posts about what's happening here. I haven't said a whole lot yet about actually leaving for Italy because I don't know what to expect when I get there, but my brother's last day with the USAF was day before yesterday, so he will have all the time we need for traveling around and finding me a place to live.

He has a friend on Burano who will help out with looking around and exploring Venice on a non-tourist level. I don't know at this point whether we will be looking around Venice or Trieste first, but I'm okay with either. Both are going to happen after I've had my appointment to apply for my permesso di soggiorno. We must always sacrifice properly to the gods of bureaucracy and give them their all-important due.

In a couple of days, I'll be packing my desktop computer to ship off to my brother by priority mail. All four of the previous packages I sent to him at his APO address have arrived with their contents intact, so I will have some of my more important and valuable personal items immediately available. I'll probably update my blog again tomorrow after I'm done with the moving sale.

I've been saying my goodbyes and getting myself as ready as I can emotionally. It is both harder and easier than I imagined so far. Yesterday, despite my almost entirely empty apartment, I had seven people over for turkey day; they brought everything from food to folding tables and chairs and all I had to do was be here and eat. This week are my last two appointments at the Veterans Hospital.

I'm almost in the single digits now. Scary and magnificent!
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Magnificent indeed!

I made my move to Germany in 2008, so I understand exactly what emotions are running around in your head and heart.

Just keep on. Every day will have its challenges, and you'll get through each one. At the end of it, you'll have the glorious prize of living where you actually belong. It's not paradise, naturally, but it sure beats longing for what you know is your real home.

Thanks for these updates!

s
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 03:32 AM
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"We must always sacrifice properly to the gods of bureaucracy and give them their all-important due"

Understatement for Italy

Good luck Erynn
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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Thanks swandav, and if you have any advice for the newly expatriated, I'd love to hear it.

bilbo - I'll be landing in Italy the day the next Hobbit movie releases. I wonder if it will be playing anywhere in English? *wibble* I want to hear Smaug's rumbly Benedict Cumberbatch voice, not whoever is dubbing it into Italian! Don't mind me, I'm just fangirling.
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Hi again,

Well, Germany and Italy are so very different, I'm not sure that my experiences will be truly helpful.

I will say that giving language lessons in English and taking language lessons in Italian will be a way to meet local people (yes, I count other recent immigrants as local people, lol!).

Have fun!

s
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 12:07 AM
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Well done erynn, I've been reading your blog and I think you've done a great job of winding things up in the US.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 09:46 AM
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swandav - I'd have to be doing it as a trade, as my visa doesn't allow me to work, but I definitely plan on taking Italian classes and would be happy to help folks with their English.

cathies - Thank you! Today I've got to go out and deal with what's left from the sale. Things need to be bagged and boxed for the charity truck's pickup this Wednesday. That'll be several hours (or even a couple of days) work.

I am so excited.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 09:53 AM
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I haven't read all the posts, but am thinking, "You go girl!"
How exciting, best of luck to you. And keep us posted.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 11:43 AM
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Erynn - I've just discovered this thread and have read it all and also your blog and let me say I am so excited for you too!!! So many discoveries and adventures ahead for you. I'll be keeping up with you now.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 01:56 PM
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nana and cat -- thanks! I'm just delighted to be able to share this with folks. Comes with being a writer, I suspect. My next couple of days are going to be filled with bagging and boxing stuff that didn't sell to donate to charity, and wrapping up my residence at the condo. By the 7th I should be out of my place and staying with my gf until I get on the plane.

It's so close now.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Hi again,

Yes, I'm also on a no-work retirement visa here in Germany (like you, a woman retired from the military).

However, I've found that there is a possibility to work on the economy if you don't make an actual living wage and if a German isn't somehow qualified to do the job. Every time I have a class, I go down to the Landratsamt (the officials who regulate the visa), show the paperwork for the class, and get permission to teach. I make less than $10,000 a year teaching US military at the local base, and the officials are fine with it. Before I taught at UMUC, I did teach that one English class, and of course I got permission to teach it, too.

You may find something similar once you've been there for a while.

Looking forward to good reports!

s
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 11:03 AM
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swandav - Oh, cool. Lovely to meet another ex-military woman. We are everywhere. I do write, but I make less than $1,000 a year on it. It's not like poetry and niche nonfiction books for tiny markets actually pay much, but I love my writing.

I posted some photos and some thoughts from last summer's trip to Italy on my blog last night. Today, more last visits from friends before I depart.

Wednesday morning, the driver from the charity comes to pick up what's left from the moving sale. Thursday, I think, the folks from whom I've borrowed furniture will come by and pick things up. That's it before I'm out of the condo and staying just down the street with my gf. Then, on the 12th, Seatac to Venice!
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 09:03 PM
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Tonight I'm staying at my gf's place until I leave. Almost everything is out of the condo and I dropped off my dog with my friend until I can come back and get him. Tuesday the movers come to ship my stuff out of Seattle.

Thursday I am on the plane to Italy!
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 12:23 AM
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Bon. and wishing you the very best.

Two suggestions check out Meet Up to see if there are any groups where your going, it's a great way to meet people. Also a great website called Conversation Exchange it's a good way to find a conversation partner for your Italian and it seems there are always people looking to improve their English. I used it as a way to meet people in Paris and it worked very well.

Best wishes for a safe journey.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Thanks so much, welltraveledbrit - I shall take those suggestions! First, though, breakfast. (Lox & cream cheese on a pesto bagel.)
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