First Impressions of My First Month Living In Italy

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have consistently written posts, and I attribute it to a couple things:

  1. I was exploring a new relationship
  2. I moved to Italy! — By myself — With no friends or family — with a program of complete strangers — and I’ve only taken Italian for two years.

So here I am, finally settled and comfortable enough to talk about how terrifying and incredible and hard and exciting this experience is.

Week 1: Tears. I cried when I said goodbye to my house (because we’re selling it and I’ll never again live in the home I grew up in). I cried leaving my job. I cried saying goodbye to my boyfriend. I cried with my mom in the airport. I cried every day for the first week.

The strong emotions and sadness I was feeling surprised me a lot–after all, this is supposed to be the most fun and incredible experience of my life, but all I was feeling was fear, isolation, and sadness, which were not immediately redeemed by the fact I was in a beautiful country.

Week 2: Acclimating and Frustration. Things got easier as I cried less often, but I found myself clinging to Facetiming my mom and boyfriend to get me through. I weighed heavily on their support, but was too stressed to try to talk to any other friends back home. I got more used to the people in my program, but felt more insecure as I learned how much more experienced with travel and language they are than I am. I felt happy when I could find a grocery store but then frustrated when I learned I had to go to a different store to buy meat. I was happy to find a park to run in but frustrated when I couldn’t communicate well enough to purchase a gym membership.

Week 3: Planning and Accepting. This week still brought frustrations of its own, but there was much more comfort as things became more familiar. I was able to start making the best of things by decorating my apartment, signing up for classes, and figuring out my schedule. I began cooking almost every meal, and feeling better equipped to live in my very first apartment.

Week 4: Energy and Excitement. This is the mood I am in this week. I find myself savoring the views as I walk up and down the city streets. I have a new plan where I aim to try/see/taste/experience one new cultural thing a day to help me learn more about Bologna, Italy. I am visiting museums, cathedrals, I got Italian books from the library, I went shopping for Italian clothes, and I am trying to eat healthily. I am actually happy to be here and I am excited to integrate and become more fluent in the language, and make friends and build a life for myself that is different from any version of life I have lived before.

This was my timeline of feelings during the transition, and it surprised me! I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was, because these are things no one said. Sure they said “you’ll experience culture-shock,” but that seemed vague to me, and I was more focused on when they said “studying abroad is SO fun SO amazing you HAVE to do it.” So I wanted to share my honest experience with it. I hope you all enjoyed this, and I can’t wait to share more about Healthy Life Perspectives–IN ITALY! 🙂

Thank you for reading! xo





30 thoughts on “First Impressions of My First Month Living In Italy”

  1. What an exciting new journey you are experiencing Monte. Prior to air travel, passengers spent several weeks on a ship allowing them the time to “say goodbye” and reflect on what they were departing from so that by the time they arrived at their new destination in another country they were eager to begin their new adventure and happy to be off the ship! Enjoy every minute, every new sight, every challenge and achievement and I look forward to reading more about your life in Italy. Best wishes, Marg.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I spent almost seven months as an exchanged student in London (10 year ago time flies…) and as a result I call England my home now…
    Enjoy every minute, all the bad staff will disappear in your memories !!
    Good luck xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reassured to find a fellow “cryer.” I’m going thru a breakup and doing a lot of it myself. I’m going thru stages similar to yours, even though I’m not in a new country! I admire your courage to do what you’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow. First – I applaud you because that is actually a brave thing to do. I’m still trying to find my guts to move across a few states with no friends, family, or knowing anything about the location other than a few vague online details. Second – you’ve adapted as much as you have fairly quickly, especially if you’re as close to your friends and family as I am. Even more so it being a completely different country, culture, and language. Third – keep us (me) posted. I love a good adventure. Ready to be able to have one of my own.

    Again, congratulations!! To Italy, from Oklahoma. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Any kind of move or transition is hard. Harder than anticipated. Luckily for me I have an adventure here that I’m now able to open my eyes to. If you can create an adventure for yourself somewhere, there will be a light at the end of the initially friendless, family-less, tunnel. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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