Interview with Aires in Treviso
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Date of Interview: May 06, 2007
Area of Italy you live in?
Let us know a little about yourself?
Canadian, married to an Italian, living in Treviso, self-employed as a
housewares/ giftware designer. Yippee!
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
First came here in '98 for nine months, hated it, moved back to Canada and regularly came here for Christmas and summer holidays. Even after we got married in '01, I lived in Vancouver and he lived here. But I finally took the plunge and moved here full-time four years ago. Now I love it....well, I'm learning to love it. (I'm flexible, I'm patient, and life is short.)
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
Not a big process, really. Had a permesso since my first trip here in '98, renewed it once. We got married in Canada, and when I finally moved here a year later, we started the paperwork to get my citizenship. I swore my oath last Thursday, now I'm a cittadina! (And I keep my Canadian citizenship.) Yippee ancora.
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them ?
The paperwork from Canada was easy: long form birth certificate, marriage license, and police check- originals and notarized Italian translations. My husband handled all the Italian documentation (he spoils me!) Unfortunately the Italian Consulate in Vancouver sent the documents to the Consulate in Montreal (why, we don't know) and they promptly lost them. By the time we discovered this, the police check had expired. So on our next summer vacation to Canada, I had to get that done again, which took ten minutes. We sent everything again to Vancouver, which sent it to Rome, who promptly lost it. Two years later, after several phone calls and letters, the paperwork resurfaced, and voila! I get my new European Passport next week. If they don't lose it.
How long have you been here?
Full time, four years. Or is it five? I don't remember, the loooong summers and fabulous vino have dulled my sense of time....
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
Same as everyone else: basic culture shock, giving up a career, leaving friends and family, trying to be myself when I can't crack jokes in the new language....
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap?
That this website existed! (I was soooo naive. I blame it on all those Hollywood movies.)
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
Leave all pre-conceived notions behind- forget the movies, the dolce-vita books, toss out the expat magazines. This is a real place like any other, and expecting to live a life of cliches (good or bad) won't help you. Ask lots of advice, but remember that every person's experience is different.
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
I didn't expect it would be so hard to set up a new business, or that this area (the Veneto) was so industrial, or that Italians, at least in this area, are so wary about forming friendships. But it's all happening communque!
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
I've become much more patient. heh. And I wear nicer shoes.
Do you think that you will stay forever?
Probably. I plan to have a successful life here.
Can you think of anything that you would like seen added to this site?
Maybe something about expat groups. How to find one in your area, how to start one, how to know if you need one, pros and cons....
Fabulous site- thanks to Cristina and all the contributors. Sorry I waited so long to join up.