Today is the day! We are flying from Tampa to Rome (via DC) this afternoon and will arrive in Rome tomorrow morning. After all the planning, I can’t believe it’s time!
We only have the first six weeks planned. After being so scheduled and regimented my whole adult life, we are taking it as we go. I was a guest on the Fearless Living now podcast a few weeks ago and I talked about why that is so important to me in this phase of my life. You can listen to it here.
My only goals are to experience Roma like a local, and finish the rough draft of my novel. There are a lot of things I want to do, but it’s also okay if I don’t. Again, I want to relax and live in the moment and not worry about what is next.
As far as prep, it didn’t take a whole lot to get ready. For our house, we made sure the alarm system was updated and working properly. Our neighborhood is quiet and many of our neighbors leave for extended periods, so we watch each others houses. We also have dear friends who will be checking in on it.
We made sure our passports weren’t expiring any time soon, as well as our Global Entry. I also got my international driving permit, in case we decide to rent a car.
We didn’t want to take any chances, so we got global health insurance through Cigna. For less than $300/month we are both covered globally, as well as in the US for up to 180 days/year. It has a low deductible and covers emergency care, including hospitalization, as well as other routine services.
We have Verizon and they have a plan suspension that we opted for. It’s $10/month and it keeps your number assigned to you, but inactive for using data. You can still get iMessages and Facetime calls when on Wifi. We’ll add an Italian SIM card when we get there. We confirmed that both of our phones can use dual SIMs, are unlocked, and have eSIM capabilities.
I’ve been working on my Italian for over a year. I’ve been using Duolingo and Fluenz. Duolingo is more gamified and less focused on grammar, but it’s good for when you only have a few minutes here and there to learn. Fluenz is much more involved and teaches you about the language, instead of just memorizing. I feel like they both work better together and I feel relatively confident that I can get my point across in Italian. I also have some flashcards and a workbook, because I’m a nerd and love them both.
We’re each only taking one checked bag and one carry on. I don’t want to spend my time packing, unpacking, and pushing around multiple large suitcases. Washing machines aren’t as big as they are here, so I won’t need as many clothes anyway. Plus I obviously want to do some shopping.
I got just enough Euros to get us from the airport to our Airbnb. My bank wanted to charge me $7.50 to have Euros shipped to them, that I would still have to pick up. I have a lot of accounts with them so that pissed me off, and my petty self got the Euros from the currency exchange at the mall. Once I’m in Italy, I’ll use my debit card to get Euros at the ATMs.
I’m hoping to keep the blog updated but for day to day updates, give me a follow on my IG.
If you’ve moved abroad, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!