I wish I could sit here and tell you that I’m not afraid of what the future in Italy holds for me. I tend to put up this front, this great facade of “eh, I’ll be fine, I’m not worried” but in reality, too many things scare me about moving a million miles away from home. I mean it’s only natural because after all, I’m leaving behind everything I know in beautiful Los Angeles. So I’ll just be honest with you and tell you my fears, because I just had a glass of wine and I’m feeling vulnerable…
1. Getting homesick
My past experiences with traveling have been perfect. I don’t recall ever being homesick, except for maybe wanting my family to be experiencing the joys of travel with me. I never actually missed LA, but then again, my trips have only been a maximum of one month. Yes, I love adventure and I love all things new, but there’s a reason why home feels like home. Home is comforting: you’re close to your loved ones, you feel safe, and you’re FAMILIAR with everything. Like I said, my trips have only been a maximum of one month and Italy will be from 2 to 3 years, a lot of homesick can happen; I might just make life size cutouts of my family and have them next to my Los Angeles photo shrine…that’s not creepy right?
I’m not exactly afraid I won’t make any friends; my fear is not being able to make friends like the ones I have here or losing the friends in LA because I’ll be gone for so long. I won’t even write about Margarita Sundays with my favorite girls because I’m afraid I’ll start crying. My point is, I’m afraid of not finding people who I can really trust and call when I’m sad, happy, or even in need of a drinking buddy. I guess I’ll just have to win people over with Mexican food or margaritas, probably margaritas – alcohol always loosens people up.
3. Language barrier
I’m an Italian Studies major and I DO know plenty of Italian, but one thing that makes me more nervous than speaking Italian, is speaking Italian WITH an Italian. Not only can they catch all my mistakes but damn do they speak fast. My longest conversation was with my cab driver in Rome; he told me he thought I was Italian because I spoke really well! Boy did that feed my ego! But even then, I struggled to understand everything he was saying. All I know is he said “stay in school, follow your dreams and, I’ll be your personal cab driver when you come back to Rome” aww thanks Andrea, you were lovely. Now the problem is, there are a million Andreas in Italy, it’ll be a miracle if I find you.
You’ve all heard of this term right? Fear of missing out? Three years is a long time, a whole lot of missing out can happen. I think to myself, “What if my sister or one of my girlfriends gets engaged, married or pregnant? What if my parents get back together?” The what ifs are endless, and it’s moments like these that I might never be a part of because I was so far away.
5. Getting bored
As a wanderluster and wanna-be nomad, my heart yearns for new places, new people and new experiences. I’m completely ecstatic about moving to Italy, one of my dream countries. I know there are a million places to see and another million memories to make, but what if the fun stops and I get bored too soon? What if I want to pack my bags and leave before I’m even finished with school? Hopefully monthly weekend trips to different cities or European countries will keep my wanderlusting heart under control, otherwise we’ll have a case of college dropout! Yikes!!
I’ve thought about this so many times that I think I’m scaring myself more than I need to. But considering I lost a friend last year, I feel like anything can happen when you least expect it. Recently, a friend asked how long I’d be in Italy, and when I told him three years, he exclaimed, “Three years?! I can die in 3 years!”. I freakin know that! And that’s exactly what scares me: something, maybe not death per se, but even an accident can happen and I won’t be close to that person. For example, when I studied in Spain for a month, my grandma passed away, and although I wasn’t close to her, I wish I would’ve been there for my father who needed me at the time. I guess I’ll just have to hope that no tragedies happen while I’m away.
There’s no doubt about it, traveling can only happen with money and since I’m not wealthy, I’ve had to work my butt off to go on trips. I’m still paying off some of those credit cards that I used in Europe, and let’s not mention the giant loan I’ll be getting for Italy. I always jokingly say “ahh, fuck it” when my sister tells me I’ll be in a huge amount of debt for the rest of my life, but who am I kidding, debt is a serious thing. I don’t want to have a ridiculously high amount of credit card bills and loan debts in the future that I can’t even buy a house. I’ll just be praying to the money gods that I find a good paying job while I’m in Rome so that I can get rid of that unnecessary stress. If there’s one thing I truly believe in, it’s that you should never let money get in the way of your dreams. Debt all the way my friends!
Okay okay, I know this might sound completely ridiculous considering Italy does have amazing food and pizza made by magic hands (I once ate pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner there) but living in LA where food is a culture, I don’t have to go too far to find food from all around the world. Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese- you name it, it’s here and it’s all delicious. But if you know me personally, you’d know that I’m a big lover of Mexican food – like real, authentic Mexican food, especially tacos. And not just any kind of taco, I mean the kind of soft taco with the greasy asada meat drenched in salsa that you only get at your favorite taco spots, like the one down my street. Something I will never forget, is being in Spain craving Mexican food and going to a restaurant in Bilbao where I had some enchiladas and found that the sauce tasted straight out of a can. Gross. Then in Madrid, I was craving tacos so badly that we decided to give a “Mexican” restaurant a try, especially because they that had tacos as their main food. I was so excited until I saw that they didn’t even have asada meat as an option, what the freakin hell?! Ever since, I can’t trust a Mexican restaurant that’s not IN Mexico or in the US. So if you know of any great ones in Rome, let me know, otherwise, the only good Mexican food I’ll be eating in Italy is the one made by yours truly, or the one I’ll be asking mom to send me in a box full of gel freezer packs…
A lot of people are afraid of change, hence this entire blogpost I’m writing. Being in a completely different part of the world with completely different people and nothing from the past that can hold someone back, a person can really change. Their likes, their habits and their personality. Not to sound completely vain, but I like myself the way that I am, and if I change, I want to change for the better and not for the worse. When I move back (if I do) I want my friends and family to still recognize me and not just remember the way I USED to be. I want them to see me as the person I was when I left but perhaps only with a few good changes.
Regardless of my fears, I know no matter what happens, I won’t ever regret having made the decision of leaving. I’m sure that whatever hardships I go through will just make me a stronger and more independent person. Besides, if I wasn’t afraid of moving, there would seriously be something very wrong with me!
PS. If you have any fears of moving to a different country or any tips on how to deal with them, feel free to comment. Also, if you live in Rome and want to be my friend, feel free to comment too…I’ll make some margaritas for you! 😉