Monday, April 8, 2013

The Italian Retirement Adventure

When I say the word "adventure," what do you think of?  I think of pirates, swashbuckling, Amazon river trips, exploring some unknown place.  When we tell people we are retiring to Italy, they say, "What an adventure!" in a very awe inspired tone.

The dictionary defines adventure as "an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience." Although at the beginning of this adventure we were focused on "unusual and exciting", the word hazardous has now crept into our experience.  The thing is, that leaving one's country of birth and going to live in another country is a hazardous experience.  It is not a safe thing.  This journey is filled with the unknown, the unpredictable, and in many ways the unstable.  The last describes our emotional state of late.  The thing is the honeymoon with Italy is over and we haven't even gotten there yet.  We know that the Italian bureaucracy will frustrate us beyond measure. The Italian sense of time can not be rushed.  Everything in Italy is ancient and surrounded by myths and deeply embedded customs that are in the blood of the Italians, but unknown to us. (i.e. I thought Antonietta was going to faint dead away when I opened my mouth to have the doctor take my temperature.  The Italians take the temperature by putting the thermometer under the armpit. Who knew?)

At this moment, it feels hazardous to leave my life in the US. I am nostalgic for all that I leave behind, and I haven't left it behind.  It is strange how the mind rushes ahead into areas of discomfort as if feeling the worst will prevent it from happening. Our friends Joseph and Paul are also on this crazy adventure with us.  They have landed in Italy, their belongings are coming over by ship, and their apartment is not yet completed.  They have other types of hazards to face that cause them to be on an emotional roller coaster.

My life in Italy beckons, but I can not go there yet.  I have work commitments and we have the Queen Mary whose date can not be changed.  So our house here in the US has sold, we will live in rental apartments, and houses, each month a different place; don't ask.

We have had a lovely time in Italy this trip, despite the weather.  Donna and Michael were perfect house guests; happy with whatever we were doing and supportive of us in our thrashing around.  Michael fixed us breakfast every morning which we appreciated beyond measure.

PS.  Just in case you think all Italians have a wonderful sense of style and color, let me introduce you too the hallway in the hotel we stayed at in Lake Orta.

Unbelievably horrible.

On to our next adventure!


  1. Susan

    I enjoyed discovering your blog. Libby Barber and I are moving to Montone in late February and look forward to meeting you.


    1. Let me know when you arrive.
      Hope all goes well.