Holy moly - we just moved across the world! Sometimes it doesn't feel real, but it felt very real saying goodbye to our friends and family and crying in the airport as our luggage was being weighed. What a range of emotions in just a few hours at the airport before we even boarded the plane: excitement for the adventure ahead, fear of the unknown, anxiety for our little pup (he's actually 8 years old but will always be a pup to me) since this would be his first time on a plane, and sadness as we said goodbye to people we loved.
It took us a year from the time we made the decision to start this pursuit until the time we actually left so we had plenty of time to prepare not only mentally but prepare our dog and our life!
Mamma mia, moving across the world take a lot of time, effort and pre-planning. There is a ton to think about so I wanted to share a snapshot of our experience in hopes that it would help you should you ever decide to take a leap into the land of pizza and pasta.
Photo by my friend, Haley from Borrowing Britain
While still in the US:
Once we decided we wanted to move, we prepped our house and put it on the market. It actually sold quicker than we anticipated and luckily the buyer was ok with a giving us some extra time before we closed. During this time, we bought our flights, put a deposit on our apartment in Italy, and secured a storage unit. We were busy bees! We then moved out 3 weeks prior to our move date. (Shout out to our besties, Amanda and Stephen who let us room with them for those 3 weeks!) Note: we already had friends in Italy so finding an apartment was largely in part to their help.
Once we moved out, we made sure that we had all the paperwork we thought we needed (Spoiler alert: we needed more when we arrived) and also finally completed David's US citizenship so he is now a dual-citizen! We also decided to keep our cars, and our parents were kind enough to allow us to keep them at their houses. What we didn't sell, we put into storage for when we decide to make our return back to America.
We brought over 6 suitcases, our dog in a travel crate, his actual crate packed with all of his stuff, and a guitar. We must have looked nuts arriving to the airport especially since I was crying after we finished up our goodbyes. The guy checking us in gave me a little pep talk (lol) and didn't charge us extra for a few of our bags being overweight. That was just the bit of kindness I needed at that moment, and then away we went! Our friends here in Italy met us at the airport in Naples, and drove us to our apartment - It felt so surreal.
Arrival in Italy:
Since we arrived late Thursday night, the first few days we were putting together our furnished apartment the way we like it, and then started working on the residency paperwork on Monday. P.S. Some unfurnished apartments do not have a kitchen, meaning no appliances, cabinets - NOTHING. So be prepared to spend at least €5,000+ if you go this route.
We have some amazing friends here that helped us get our Codice Fiscale, helped us set up our phone plan which are insanely cheap here (I'm talking €10 a month for 30 GB of data!), and show us nearby grocery stores. I'd recommend taking Italian classes as soon as possible because you can truly feel helpless knowing nothing at all. If you can't start right away, download Duolingo which will allow you to practice even before your arrival.
The residency process is a HUGE undertaking which you can read all about here. If you followed me on Instagram during this time you know what a long process that was for us!
Moving across the world isn't easy, but it's worth it for the amazing experiences you will have and the people you will meet. Also the food. The food is amazing and you walk so much it all balances out, right?