“Ma Sulmona? Come Mai?”

This is inevitably the first question that any Italian asks me when they realise that I am from foreign lands. Basically, what they mean is “What the hell are you doing here?” As I have said, Sulmona is the epitome of Small Town Italy, henceforth to be known as STI. A lot of the people who are from here don’t understand why anyone would choose to come and live here. Well, I didn’t exactly choose to come here but I did choose to stay. So why? Why Italy and why Sulmona? Well that is a question that has its answer in the past.

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Church in La Palma

As I said in my post about Learning the Lingo, I studied French and Spanish at university. This is where I had my first taste of living abroad. When you study a language in the UK, part of your course has to be spent abroad, either studying (usually Erasmus) or working. I chose to work, first as an au pair in France, then as an English Language Assistant in the Canary Islands, and then back to spend a summer in Nice working in a dive centre. I will chronicle each of these experiences in future blogs, both the highs and lows of each place. Needless-to-say, by the time I got back to Wales, I knew that I wanted to move abroad after university was over. So, much to the chagrin of my boyfriend at the time, I moved back to France after finishing uni. My ex seemed to have the idea that my year abroad had got the travelling bug out of my system, little did he know that it had just made it worse; I was officially a gypsy.

After almost two years in France, I needed a change and so hopped on a plane to join my family in Dubai. For me, it was basically a 4-month holiday as I spent my days shopping and diving. I’m not a fan of Dubai, but I’ll save that for a later post. After 4 months in Dubai, it was time to head to Gijon in Asturias, Northern Spain, where I would spend my days looking after kids and my nights (and occasionally days) drinking with the American who lived with the family next door. After 10 months, it was time to decide what to do next. So I headed back home to complete a TESOL course at a local school. It was one of the best things I have ever done, but more on that later.

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Gijon, Asturias

Fast forward to December, when I find myself searching for teaching jobs. I had decided I wanted to work in Italy because I had never been there before. December is not the best time to look for a teaching job and so I applied for all the positions I could find. The boss at my current school was the first to respond and offered me the job during my Skype interview. I accepted and three weeks later, on the 2nd January 2014, I flew off to my new life in Italy. Here I have been ever since, minus a brief stint in a UK summer camp. Stay tuned for that story!

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Church in Gijon

And that’s it. That’s the story of how I ended up in Italy. I really don’t know where I’ll go next or when I’ll leave Italy, but at some point I’m sure I’ll get itchy feet again. You can’t keep a good gypsy down.



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