27 years ago I stood on a bridge somewhere in Rome and declared that one day I was going to live in Italy. I was in college but I knew that Italy was my home. Ever since then I have subconsciously and/or consciously been working my way back to Italy. 14 years ago I found the town that would grab hold of our hearts and never let go. Through trials and tribulations we have never given up-because when you know where you belong you just know.
We wandered the earth for the last three and a half years and could never find another place that felt so right. So this summer we applied for our Visas to become residents in Italy. The three months we waited for an answer was not as grueling as I thought it would be. Somehow I knew in my soul that it was the right time. I knew that I was ready and felt like finally Italy was ready for me.
Then the last two weeks came upon us and we started to lose it. Not so much because we were afraid we wouldn’t get our visas but because we so desperately wanted to pack our suitcases and come to the place we feel is home. We were ready to unpack, to settle down and to get on with our dreams.
One morning I checked my email for a tracking update, not expecting any update. But, there it was the notification our passports would be delivered that day. I ran downstairs so overwhelmed with emotion my daughter-in-law thought something was terribly wrong. But there I was, a volcano of fear and excitement overflowing after waiting so long to realize my dream.
For 7 hours J. and I tried to keep busy in order to keep our minds off of the contents of the envelope. Would our passports be empty or would we open them to find the Visas we had been wishing for inside. Each car that passed the street caused butterflies in my stomach even though I knew it was too early for the mail delivery.
Eventually I decided to take a nap/meditate to pass some time. Then, just as I fell asleep J. heard the bang of the mailbox closing. All at once I wanted to stop him-I didn’t know what I would do if there were no visas in the envelope. Then, I gathered myself and knew it was all going to be the way we wanted it and I said-“What is taking you so long go get it!” I watched out the window as he made his way to the box, pulled out the envelope and then began his walk back into the house.
In a moment that moved quicker than any other moment of my life J. tore the envelope open, and inside were the two beautiful visas we had been waiting for, working for, and dreaming of. After celebratory drinks with our family, loads of phone calls and a few tears what we had always believed would happen began to sink in.
And now all at once our lives are changing again. So off we go, on our newest adventure to live the Italian life in the city where our hearts are full, and our lives are closer to dreams than reality.
(If you follow me to learn about travel destinations don’t worry, we will still be traveling and exploring the world.)