Leaving your country behind and learning to settle in a new one can feel thrilling and exhilarating. Most days feel amazing as you explore the new city you have moved to and familiarize yourself with the paths and alleys, the pace of life of the locals and learn their language.
When people come to Italy, they rejoice in the comfort that the country brings. Speaking in a cliché, the vespa rides and the homemade pasta tend to be some of the most exciting parts of the new Italian life.
However, with the good comes the not-so-great days where you feel homesick and feel like you don’t have it figured out at all. When the uneasiness kicks in, know that you are not alone and that this too shall pass, like everything else does.
If you’re moving to Italy in the near future, here are a few mistakes you should look out for that expats commonly make when they move to Italy.
Expecting To Make Friends On Your First Day Here
If you move to a smaller city, you may come across many people in the younger age groups who have never lived in a different city, leave alone a different country altogether. Of course, while the bigger cities offer more diversity and opportunities to find people you can perhaps fully resonate with, making friends is still something that will take time.
As is the case with any situation where one experiences a culture shock, many traditions or superstitions in the Italian culture may come to you as a surprise. You may even have difficulty explaining yourself to the locals and vice versa. However, with time, your bond transcends cultural differences with your new friends and the new city begins feeling like home.
You Don’t Learn Italian Or Speak In the Language
This can also contribute to not being able to make new friends. If you don’t have a decent grasp over the language, you can’t talk about your past experiences or have meaningful conversations. But more than knowing the language, it’s about having the confidence to speak it. And even though you may make a few embarrassing mistakes here and there, the key is to keep conversing in Italian.
You Try Too Hard To Fit In
Becoming a part of a new culture, you try owning their sense of fashion and way of speaking. While it’s natural to pick up some habits here and there but if you consciously try to blend in, it will seem obvious. And it’s 2018 now, so we call it cultural appropriation (to an extent). As an expat, you should expect that a few heads will be turning in your direction, especially if the locals don’t see many tourists around from abroad. But rest assured, as time passes and you become accustomed to the city and the country, Italy will begin feeling like home.
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Read more from Christopher V. Carovillanoas he speaks about the Italian culture and way of life through his blog, The Italian Guru. From Italian traditions to its cuisine and Christopher Carovillano’spersonal insights, The Italian Guru is the place to truly learn about all that is Italian.
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