Arrivederci Roma… For now

It’s hard to believe that I left Australia almost 6 months ago and have been living in Rome for just over 3 months.

How time flies when you’re having fun!

The past few months have been some of the proudest, most rewarding and happiest of my life.

I’ve had so many new and exciting life experiences and created enough memories to last my lifetime. I’ve experienced the fulfilment as well as the challenges of living out of my comfort zone and safety net. I’ve stretched myself personally and it’s been fun, scary, exhilarating, liberating & refreshing – all at the same time!

In my Trastevere street

I’ve met so many new people and made some genuine and beautiful friendships. And this was one of the things I was most fearful of being able to do.

Someone recently incredulously questioned this: “So you weren’t at all nervous or scared about moving to a country on the other side of the world?”

No was my answer. In fact I’ve always felt at home in Italy and in particular Rome… Like I’ve been told in Italian ‘quando sei a Roma ti allarga il cuore’ – (a much more profound statement in Italian but interpreted in English as ‘your heart sings when you’re in Rome’).

And in a sense it does. I have just become so comfortable and feel so at peace here that sometimes it shocks even me.

But I can’t say it has been all smooth sailing. Living so far away from family and friends has been really hard, dealing with Italian bureaucracy and adapting to a – let’s say different, not always wrong – way of doing things has been frustrating… and seeing firsthand the impact of a crisis that has the potential of bringing this country to its knees, saddening.

But… in spite of all of this – I am more crazily in love with Rome than ever before. For me it’s like a love affair that never ends.

Today was my last day in Rome for 2011. I am off to spend time with my family in Abruzzo and then home to Australia for new years.

In my apartment

I will miss Rome terribly while I’m gone – most of all, my friends and my neighbourhood which has become my home. But also the guy at the grocery store, the lady at the shop on the corner who says hello to me every day, my beauty therapist, my local chinese restaurant, my hairdresser, the guy at the tabacchi, the staff at the restaurant in front of my apartment… the list goes on.

And finally, I’ve enjoyed writing about this experience and sharing it with you all.

I will be back in Rome in February at some stage to continue on my little journey and look forward to telling you all about it as I continue my blog into 2012.

For now, I leave you with this…. – clip called Ode to Roma (even though the city doesn’t really need much marketing, what with approximately 10 million visitors a year!) It’s a short promo for the city produced by the City of Rome and screens on all incoming Alitalia flights to the city. For me, it captures the essence and heart of this beautiful city and when I watch it, I still have to pinch myself to be reminded that I live in one of the most amazing cities in the world…

So for now my friends, I bid you farewell…

Arrivederci Roma… Until we meet again…

(For the last time in 2011)

Signing off from Trastevere

Seasons greetings and Buone Feste a tutti!!

Baci Maria

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