I officially have a moving date: June 30! Things have moved along a lot faster than I expected, and today is my last day at work. It will (hopefully!) be the last time I work for someone else for a long time.
When I first started thinking about this move, I was mostly filled with nerves and panic. I also spent a lot of time asking myself if I had lost my mind. However, over the last week in particular, I’ve felt strangely calm about things – not to mention really freaking excited!
I still haven’t bought my flight (it’s one of the many, many items on my to-do list), but I am planning to fly into Rome and spend a few weeks there to get my bearings. From there, I plan on taking a train down to Naples for a while, then travel back up to Florence. Many people have told me that Florence is the most beautiful Italian city – and home of the best food! – so I would like to spend a decent amount of time there. From there, I will spend a couple of weeks in Cinque Terre, and then head to Venice.
All of these plans are not set in stone at all. Towards the end of the three months, I will have to decide where to go next. The two top contenders are currently New York and Croatia – you know, because they are so similar. Haha.
Croatia is the logical choice as I can finish up my time in Italy in Trieste, which is close to Venice and right on the Croatian border. That will make it easy for me to duck over and spend three months between Croatia and Montenegro until I can return to a Schengen country (see this post for an explanation of the Schengen rules).
On the other hand, I have some pretty compelling reasons to go to New York sooner rather than later. But it will be much harder and more expensive to go all the way to the US and then head back to Europe, rather than taking a boat to Pula. So it all depends on how much money I have!
One of my best friends is flying to Europe in December for nine weeks and wants to backpack all over with me. To do that, I will have to cut my Italian trip somewhat, because of the Schengen rules. I could potentially head to NYC in mid-September, and then make my way back to this side of the pond for winter. What tough decisions!
The flight from London to Rome is currently £32, and a train ticket from Rome to Florence is only €17. I can get a ferry or bus from Trieste to Pula for less than €10. Living in temporary accommodation in downtown Rome is half as expensive as my current rent. I can’t believe how cheap it is for me to see the world!
I have the whole of June to tie up all my loose ends in London. I need to get rid of 90 per cent of my belongings, say goodbye to my London friends and learn as much Italian as possible. I have been studying French for the past few months, and am now attempting to learn the two simultaneously. I’m trying to spend an hour on each per day but it’s really making my head hurt. As in, I literally end up with a headache every single evening. But I’m hoping that now I won’t have a pesky desk job getting in the way, I’ll be able to study one in the morning and another in the evening, which should be a little easier to digest than attempting them back-to-back. I don’t want to give up French as I’ve progressed significantly and want to keep at it until I’m fluent, whereas Italian is likely something I only need a basic temporary understanding of.
At the moment, I’m living in central London, which is just amazing. I’m going to spend the next month being a tourist, visiting all the museums and seeing all the sights one last time – the majority of which is within walking distance to my flat. Of course, I will have to visit all my favourite restaurants and burger joints one last time.
Leaving London is bittersweet. I have loved the time I’ve spent here, and I have grown so much as a person since I first arrived three and a half years ago. I have made some amazing friends here and it will be very sad to say goodbye. I will also miss training and dancing, which are two things I imagine are going to take a backseat for a little while.
But this city has also been a source of much sadness. Last year when I went to Australia, I was so excited to get back to London. This year, I wasn’t. In fact, it was the very day I arrived back in the UK that I somewhat spontaneously decided to quit my job. I was disappointed for letting myself fall into a mundane routine of working, training and not travelling as much as I would like.
It would be remiss of me to not talk about the heartache I have experienced here. I moved to London with Rob and, even though we have not been together for a long time now, it is still difficult seeing constant reminders of our time together.
More significantly, Chris really ruined this city for me. As much as I wish one person didn’t have that much of an effect on me, I cannot even put into words how devastating the entire experience has been. I know I promised to write more about it but I couldn’t until our legal battle was resolved – which only just happened last week. And this post is long enough, so I’ll save it for another time.
In summary, when I was with him I lost sight of who I was as a person. When everything came to light, I felt completely broken. I went through a very, very dark time that I wasn’t sure I would see the other side of.
The fact that I still had to talk to him and see him eight months after we had broken up was weighing heavily on me. Everything was supposed to be resolved and then, while I was sitting in Perth airport about to fly home, I received news that it wasn’t. On the other side of the world, he was still able to ruin my holiday and make me absolutely dread coming home.
He works in the area where my gym is located, so I’m at constant risk of bumping into him. I never feel relaxed and I’m always fearful that he will somehow find out where I live. I’m not explicitly running away from him, but I have to admit the thought of never having to see him again makes the idea of leaving this country very attractive.
Last Friday would have been my fifth wedding anniversary. It’s crazy to think how different I was back then (mostly young and naive! haha), and I would have never expected my life to turn out like this. My 21-year-old self would probably be horrified at my spontaneous, nomadic lifestyle!
I have no idea what the future holds, but I am proud of myself for following my dreams.
Have you ever had to organise a big move in a short time period? If you could live anywhere in Italy, where would it be?