Tag Archives: aussieabroad

Spring in Italy

18 Apr

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As the snow starts to melt away on the mountains, the flowers are in bloom and every third person is eating gelato you know it is spring time. 

Italy is magical is spring. It isn’t the busy season yet, the perfect weather and the smell of flowers are in the air.

This year was my first Italian winter, to say it was an experience was a understatement. This Aussie is not use to snow, cold and wet weather. Let alone navigating a double stroller through it. So the day when the sun is shining and the weather is above 15 degrees it is like Christmas. 

Italians have a love of life and enjoy it in every way. From long lunches, to aperitivo in the piazza to spending Sundays with family, they take every moment and turn it into a memory. 

The pace of life is different in Italy. No one is ever in a rush. It isn’t a rat race and because of that people seem to be more relaxed. As I see people walking across the piazza it appears they have no care in the world. Now that may not be the case but to be relaxed and I would say carefree is blissful. 

Spring time. Is my favorite season. I love the smell in the air, the atomosphere and the excitement of summer approaching. This year unlike other years I thought I would make 10 spring time goals for the season. 

1- Eat gelato often 

2- Enjoy the sunshine 

3- Attend the flower festival 

4- Visit the seaside 

5- Enjoy the seasonal foods 

6- Visit the wine region 

7- Try new types of white wine 

8- Enjoy local arts and music 

9- BBQ often 

10- Attend an Italian cooking class 

 

So to my fellow readers enjoy the spring time and come up with your own goals to enjoy the season.

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The art of coffee and blind friend dates!

13 Apr

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I have a love for coffee! For the smell, tasting that first sip of fresh brewed coffee to socializing with friends over a coffee. 

Italy is famous for coffee! They have some of the best coffee in the world and it is a true art form to make it.

Coffee can mean a lot to a lot of people. From making a new friend over coffee, to a first date, to a long overdue catch up to a blissful moment alone with your cup of coffee. 

Being a expat you meet new people all the time. The art of asking someone to coffee is not always easy. I have had a few blind friend dates. From people I met from a group online, to meeting up with someone my friend knows to just catching up for coffee after meeting the person once. 

It can be nerve wracking to ask someone to coffee, to make a new Mum friend or to just have someone to socialize with. But what I have become to realize is most of the time the person you are asking is wanting coffee also. They are just too nervous to ask. Many of my close friends I met by chance or by meeting online. 

So take a chance and next time you meet someone new you would like to socialize with, ask them to coffee! You can always make friends over a good cup of coffee. 

 

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Returning from the land of English!

4 Apr

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Expats have a love for travel, which is also a passion of mine. In the past month we have been to London and Ireland. Both of course are English speaking countries.

Now previously living in the USA, I wouldn’t think about the language of the country we are visiting, especially when it is English, but after living in Italy and visiting Ireland this past week it was interesting to realize how easy visiting a country that speaks your own language is.

Now on arrival into Ireland I did use grazie a few times until I got my bearing but then it was like, wow I can say what ever I want and they understand me. It made me realize just how easy being in a English speaking country is. Also how easy it is to fall back into it.

But what I found most interesting is adapting back to my Italian life. Previously after returning from Australia at Christmas it was very difficult for myself and our children to adjust back to italian life but as time has passed it is becomes easier. This was the first time on return into Italy that it felt like home. It was a weird feeling as it is still so foreign and every day we are learning something new, but this time it felt almost normal and it gave me comfort.

I grew up always wanting to travel and move abroad but I never thought I would live in Italy. I thought my expat experience would end in the USA. But little did I know another abroad assignment was around the corner. What I am starting to realize is being a expat in Europe and more importantly in a foreign speaking country is completely different to that of a English speaking country.

Everyone’s expat experience is unique and different. Each of us face our own challenges, discoveries and journey. Not one expat experience is the same as another. It doesn’t make one better or worse but rather different.

Since arriving in Italy, I have never met so many worldly, transit, inspiration women. It is really mind blowing. Each of them have there own story and each of them has experiences to share. I gain knowledge in those that have moved to non English speaking countries and who have tackled it head on.

As I continue this expat Italian journey, I will strive to face each challenge head on, to emerce myself in the language and culture and gain comfort in other expat women’s abilities to do the same.

So though English is my first language I am striving to make Italian my second. It is about the journey, not the destination!

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Living on the Italian edge

15 Mar

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As a expat every day we are putting ourselves out there, embracing new challenges, discovering our self and facing our fears.

But imagine if we didn’t do that, what our expat experience would be like. Recently I was ask “ Sarah how are you so proactive?” The answer is well I am not sure.

Is it because I am outgoing?
Is it because I have been a expat for so long?
is it because it is time for my personal life to come in to play, after putting my family first?

Well I think it is all the above.

Being proactive is not easy and it takes effort. It can be tiring, it can disappointing at times but on the whole, it is worth it as on a daily basis I get so much out of it. From meeting new people, learning new cultures, experience new things and gaining confidence to take it all on.

I am one of those people that having one thing or doing one thing doesn’t always make me happy. I need say 10 elements in my life to be fulfilled. My Mum always say I want to be involved in everything and take it all on. She is right but what I have recently discovered is I don’t want to do things to fill in time but rather do things that fulfill me.

So being proactive in a fulfilling way is a new concept for me. I would say I am a giving person, always wanting to help and lend a hand so trying to determine do I want to help or will this fulfill me is different concept to me. It makes me discover what is important, what I enjoy and what I want to achieve.

As a Mum we always put our family first and we think about everything second. I have always wanted to be a mum and a wife but don’t want to be defined by just that. So asking myself what do I do in Italy while the kids are in school, while in Italy, while being fulfilled is a the big question.

So while I ponder that question I continue to be proactive, meet people, discover opportunities in the hope of determining my Italian way.

 

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Secret tips for newcomers arriving in Turin, Italy!

10 Mar

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This week I meet up with some girlfriends for pizza and wine. One of my girlfriends suggested I write top tips for expats living in Turin. So this post was inspired by my fellow Aussie friend.

After 6 months and a lot of research, recommendations and help, here are my tips: in no particular order.

1- Online supermarket delivery– don’t lug wine, sparking water, groceries around the city order online and get it delivered to your door. Carrefour does free delivery for any order over €70 and you select a timeframe the same day or next day.

http://www.carrefour.it/volantini/

2- Google chrome– use google chrome on your phone and it can translate whole websites into what ever language you would choose.

3- Want thai, Chinese, Italian food delivered to your door? Use foodora or just eats. Order online and get delivered to your door.
https://www.foodora.it/en/?r=1

4- Torino Museum card– a annual card that gives you access to museums sights and royal residences. It is the best value for money. Visit https://piemonte.abbonamentomusei.it for more information.

5- Google translate– try the ap, the website and use it to learn Italian words, sentences and in required events have it speak Italian.

6- The International Women’s Club of Torino – this is by far one of the best groups I have joined to date. The International Women’s Club of Torino is an expatriate club with members from all over the world. Founded in 1960, is a non-profit organization. Visit https://www.iwct.it/ for more information.

7- Facebook groups– search for group that fit your interest- there are many English speaking groups, Mom groups and interest groups. It is a great way to meet people and expand your social circle.

8- Italian equipment adjustment – we tried to plan prior to our arrival but to be honest nothing could have prepared us for the fact the double stroller doesn’t fit in the elevator, that my California boots and jacket don’t cut the snow weather and that I would need a granny trolly to carry my groceries. You can only prepare so much so on arrival access what you have, wait sometime and then get anything essential.

9- Italian websites are not always updated and often are hard to navigate. So I find going in person is best. That way it is easier for them to understand me and if they are closed for a period of time often the notice will be on the door or window and not on the website.

10- Restaurant booking are needed especially at night on the weekend. Well after a few non successful attempts speaking Italian over the phone I was recommended two websites I can make reservations online. Visit https://m.thefork.it/it_IT/home or https://www.quandoo.it

There is still so much to learn, understand and do but hopefully these tips help you adjusted to life in Turin, like they have helped me.

Now to continue the Italian journey and get excited for spring to arrive.

 

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