Thank ya'll for the birthday wishes =) Another year gone so fast! At least the tornado closet didn't need to be used. YAY
Now for the green-eyed monster. I don't consider myself a very jealous person but sometimes.... ugh. I was talking to my husband the other day. And we were looking at his weekend options in the town he's in (and surrounding small villages). OH MY GOSH - they have a TON of stuff to do there. I mean interesting stuff that is free! Now, I live in a big metroplex and I know we have cultural events and stuff that goes on. BUT MAN. And, more often than not, you have to pay and use gas to get them. It's not easy to ride your bike to the city's cultural centers.
I swear, looking at the calendar of events for Saturday and Sunday - I found like 3 things each day I'd like to do. Is this normal? Stefano says - yeah, they always have something going on. Whether it's a small musical concert, or lecture, or excursion in the hills, movies - the possibilities are endless. Just this past weekend, there was an 'biodiversita' excursion in the hills held at some agriturismo where you learn what vegetation was safe to eat. Then you got recipes and cooked them! How fun is that? Another activity was a local food and wine festival. Learning the history of the village and sampling its local wares. Another - a private "behind the scenes" tour of a nearby villa. Next week, various archeology lectures; and on and on.
Now, I know that life in Italy is not "Under the Tuscan Sun." Most of us cannot live in or restore some beautiful country house. I know there is an abundance of red tape you usually have to go through to get in order to complete even the most mundane task. (which I am even encountering on this side of the ocean, but that's another post). Jobs are not well paying and the cost of living keeps going up. Surely, everyday life is not glamorous and you can get into the same ruts you do here.
But I have to admit, this side of Italian life is singing its siren song to me. I have lived in a big metroplex all of my life. Aside from a few years of small town college life, it's the only lifestyle I know. Where I live, you can drive a full day and still be in the state of Texas. There are many things to see and do here, but more often than not, they need to be planned. What is it like to take an hour trip to some medieval village? just walk around and see the art and old buildings - each little town or region seems to have its own unique history and flavor. Or be in the Alps or at the seaside in under 2 hours? How do you just hop on your bike and peddle to some town, sample its wares and peddle back? Not to mention, for larger trips - entering several different countries in just a day or two of driving or riding the train? Just thinking about it piques my curiosities and sparks my excitement.
I recognize the fact that moving to Italy will be a hard transition. I am trying to view life there without rose-colored glasses. Of course, I can only make assumptions about the place since I have never "lived" there. And I also am at peace with the fact that I might not like it. People might not like me, I may feel very alone and isolated - missing my family and my country. But at the same time - the activities I see offered make my heart beat faster. I am determined to do my best to enjoy all that I can once I move to Italy. To make every effort to assimilate into life while at the same time keeping true to myself. There are days where I am paralyzed with fears and doubts about whether we are doing the right thing. But then, when I see all I can do and learn... well, it renews my yearning to experience it.
That is what Italy offers me. Sure, I will still probably stress about money, jobs and language (among a million other things) but as a reward to the challenges, I get to feed my love of history and desire to learn (not to mention the FOOD). I could experience something & someplace different every weekend if I wanted to. So right now, I am going to bask in the excitement of these propositions and not think about the obstacles that still stand in the way. I do feel a twinge of jealousy that my husband has so many options at his disposal right now and I am not there to take advantage of them. But those days will come for me... those days will come.