I read a blog post recently about an American gal who's been living in Italy for the past eight years - she's married to an Italian man, and just had her first baby recently. She mentioned in her post how her mother used to leave classified ads for jobs she'd be qualified for around the house whenever she'd come back to the US to visit, and how she's now upped the ante (now that there's a grandchild added to the mix) by saying, "They've had you for eight years, now it's our turn!" The blogger was wondering who exactly had "had" her for eight years, since her move to Italy in the first place was her decision.
Anyway, it got me thinking how important it is to have a base of support behind you when you do anything that's even remotely unusual or difficult. Yes, great things can be (and often are) accomplished by people who work solo and who don't even have a cheering section, but I can't help but think that's really the tougher road. Even if your support network does nothing more than take you out for a drink every so often, or listen to your complaining, or remind you that you're wonderful no matter what happens - these are incredibly important elements to undertaking any difficult task.
So I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who's been supportive of Chris' and my "Project Italy," as we sometimes call it. It seems crazy to some of our friends and family that we'd want to live in Italy, but for the most part all we hear is encouragement. Some people are sad that we'll be further away, but generally speaking their first question is, "You're going to have a guest room, right?" It means the world to us that our friends and family are so supportive, because although the end result (living in Italy) will be excellent, getting there (figuring out a way to live in Italy legally) is definitely not easy.
In fact, we just found out today in a detailed email exactly what it will take to get one particular visa that would allow us to live and work in Italy without Chris having a job ahead of time. In addition to the cost of the visa, there is an incredible list of documents we'd need to pull together, get translated, and bring personally to the Italian consulate in San Francisco. And, ironically, one of the documents is proof of a residence in Italy... Which is something we thought we couldn't get without the visa first. It's such a circular process, it's no wonder people just go and stay illegally.
At any rate, this is all to say that while we know this isn't necessarily what everyone out there would want for us to be doing right now, we appreciate the support you're giving us anyway. It's quite something to have so many people cheering you on as you try to realize a lifelong dream!