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Moving to Rome: This will take some discipline


When I paid a hefty deposit in early July to secure my apartment in Rome for the coming winter, I was nervous but very excited. I had just returned from three wonderful weeks in Italy and my mind was filled with all of the sights and scents and tastes that I could not wait to return to!

Now, it's September, my move to Rome is about 12 weeks away, and logistical worries are pushing out feelings of excitement, replacing them with anxiety. Will I find work? How quickly can I learn enough Italian to hold a conversation? Can I really restrain my packing to just two suitcases, yet still bring enough clothes to last thru spring and enough favourite books for when I feel down?

The practical matters around packing up my apartment here in Canada and putting everything into storage, then couch-surfing for a month, are also less than fun.

I take a lot of comfort from the fact that everyone around me seems to be thrilled with my plan, and their encouragement and enthusiasm reminds me of why I am doing this. And that it really will be great!

It also prods me to be much more selective in my thoughts. This is an essential lesson that I need to practice and now is certainly the perfect opportunity to remind myself: Select your thoughts.

Rather than obsessing about logistics to the exclusion of every happy thought, I must find a balance and make room for excitement.The details of wrapping up this old life and organizing my new life in Rome are important-- but it's crucial to remember why I want to live in Italy, what I want to see, and accomplish.

Left unchecked, my mind would rather return to its comfortable old groove: anxiety, fear, worrying details while missing the larger picture.


So, here goes: I'm disciplining my thoughts. Concentrate: what wonderful things will I be doing in Rome?

Priority number one: Starting language classes. I have chosen my school and very soon, I'll enrol for six weeks of classes, five days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Leonardo da Vinci school. It seems I can begin class on December 5th and get in three weeks before Christmas break.

I decided to take morning classes only because I also want time to work on my novel, and hopefully, find some paid employment. I've studied French full-time and it really is exhausting to learn a new language. I don't want language classes to feel like a sweatshop.

Priority number two: Find some employment. I'm trying hard to find writing contracts here in Canada that I can continue remotely; that is, from Rome. But I'll also check with the Canadian Embassy and the UN agencies in Rome (of which there are many) for casual or contract work, as a hired pen.

Priority number three: See as much art as I want, whenever I want! The prospect is dizzying. In Rome, so much great art is free but for those places that charge, I'll keep a close eye out for free admission days to control costs (the Capitoline and Vatican museums are free the fourth Sunday of every month.)

Priority number four: Continue to work on my second novel, and continue the desperate and frustrating search for an agent for my first novel. But who knows? Perhaps my pitch letter to potential agents will sound more impressive from a resident of Rome!

Priority number five: Blog!

Comments (17)

Again I think it's terrific you are doing this. The anxiety is normal, any major life change brings about a thousand reasons why you shouldn't do it. But do it! You'll never regret it and you have a thousand memories to remember your time in Rome. Oh, I fantasize about doing the same thing if only my life was different. And yes, all the fantastic art you will be able to see anytime you want!!!

I whole heartedly support priority # 5 - I can't wait to follow along with you on this adventure.


Yes, scary, but SO thrilling! I am so happy for you -- and, yeah, envious too. *smile* It is meant to be.


You're doing good! You forgot one big thing--you will have people to connect with when there. Most are just a short train away--Mary, Letizia, Judith (whom you must meet) and more.Then there are the folks "traveling through" who will want to touch bases. You are going to be fine!

Sandra, don't bring to many books. I am sure there is plenty English books in Rome and in addition you can now order from Amazon.co.ul or even amazon.it and often there is the possibility of free delivery. One weight less on your thoughts!

I am looking forward to come and visit you in your new Italian home!


Don't forget the highest priority--reaching the goal of actually LIVING! in Rome. That is quite an accomplishment! Anxiety, at this point, is totally to be expected. You'll be fine.


Thanks Barbara, I really am going to be so greedy about seeing as much art as possible!

Hi Jerry, I think I'll need to find a fancier blog format and tart the look up a bit.

Sharon, that's a comforting thought, thanks!

Jane, all your advice is so helpful. And you're right about meeting Judith, I'm going to email her and introduce myself soon!

Thanks Letizia, won't it be great to be so much closer now that we can visit more often? And you're right about not bringing too many books. But I have old favourites that I love to re-read and can't resist packing a few of those -- they're like friends!

Jan, that's an very important point! Maybe THAT should be priority #1.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I am so envious of your plans and I really admire you for what you are doing.

From what I've read about your plans it sounds like you are off to a great start. I envy all the art that you will have at your door step to soak in. I'm so happy that blogging made your top 5 priority list. I'm really looking forward to following along on your journey.


Sandra, I am so happy for you!It may not feel it, but you really do seem quite organized. I will enjoy following your journey!


Kathy, I appreciate the support -- I'm looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more from your fall trip, too!

Thanks, Sheri, I think I am more organized than I realize. Knowing where I'll live for the first 3 months helps a lot!

Sounds like your priorities are in perfect order! Number 3 is the one that makes me sigh. Just go in every open church you pass by. :) Good luck with the preparations!


You are embarking on my own dream! I am so excited for you and can't wait to hear how this works out.

I took Italian Language Lessons in Florence. It was enough to converse and since you already know French you will be fine.


Hi Annie, I'm sure that my attendance at Mass is about to go through the ceiling!

Thanks, Deborah.

Yes, blogging is a priority for those like myself who want to live vicariously through your adventures!

You are a brave, strong and SMART woman and you will succeed. You may achieve success in ways you never planned. But as you so eloquently put it, you want to live in Rome and so you shall!

Enjoy every twist and turn in that beautiful road.


Thank you Susie for such supportive words. I think you're right -- success may appear in forms I didn't imagine. I'm sure I'll also find new measures of success (which could be another blog topic!)

Like some of the others, I am green with envy. Wish I had had the guts to do something similar when I was younger.

It's natural to be nervous about your lifechange - the unknown future is always a bit scary, but I know you will do great! And I will be following along on your blog.


Thanks Nancy, I appreciate the support!

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