Interview with Vicky in Lucca
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Date of Interview: April 07, 2007
Area of Italy you live or will live in?
Let us know a little about yourself?
I am divorced with 24 year old twins. I work full-time as an IT>EN, FR>EN freelance translator. My daughter just graduated in math from the U. of Pisa and is starting a job in logistics in Madrid. My son works in the travel industry in Lucca, renting megavillas.
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
I spent my freshman year of high school in Florence, learned to speak Italian and really enjoyed living in Italy. I came back to Italy for a year with my ex-husband and lived a couple of km north of Ancona on the beach. When my kids were five, I found myself at a crossroads career-wise, and was having problems with my ex. So I decided to move here and starting looking for a job. It took around a year.
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
I was hired by an American company to work freelance here, so all I needed was a letter from them stating that they were employing me. I took all my stuff to the SF consulate and it took around a week to get a visa. I had to take my children's school records to another office for an official translation so that they could be enrolled in public school. It was a pretty painless process.
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them ?
The only problem was that the company had not put some sort of stamp that the consulate wanted on my letter of employment. The company did not possess said stamp and thought the whole thing was rather humorous. Somehow they straightened it out.
How long have you been here?
Almost 19 years. I have lived in Lucca most of the time, but have recently relocated to Numana in the province of Ancona on the Adriatic. I am trying to decide if I want to move there permanently.
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
This is kind of hard to remember. Probably workwise. I didn't like what I was doing for the American company so I switched to teaching (I had gotten a TEFL before leaving as back-up). The first five years or so were tough in terms of income. The other thing would be the differences between being an American female and Italian female. It took a long time to get over the guilt of giving the kids PBJ sandwiches for lunch, or having a messy house. For a while I tried to keep up with my Italian friends who are married and don't work, but it was too much and I finally decided if they were going to talk about me for superficial things - tough!
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap?
I can't think of anything. Every situation is different and part of the fun is discovering things on your own.
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
Help with getting here: try all angles, read books, check out every possible website (I didn't have them). I found my job through a magazine my folks subscribed to called International Living. It was pretty simple, but I had done tons of research and talked to loads of people who had moved abroad to find out how they did it.
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
I wouldn't have minded winning the lottery!
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
I am more relaxed and self-confident, but this is also an age-related factor. Probably more flexible too.
Do you think that you will stay forever?
I don't know, but I have been here for a long time. A lot will depend on what my children do, if they get married, or decide to live with someone here and have children, then I guess I will stay here forever.