1. Do you speak enough Italian to open a bank account by yourself, sign up for a loyalty card, go to the doctor, talk your way out of a speeding ticket, hold dinner conversation with your Italian colleagues with ease?
(Note: I didn’t say with perfect grammar and vocabulary, but would you be able to work your way through these situations? FYI: These situations would normally fall under B1/B2 level. Just to give you an idea, to keep a work permit in Italy through the EU Blue Card program, you have to demonstrate A1 proficiency which is just beginner Italian)
2. Do you participate in a community-based activity?
(Examples might be school-related if you have children, but also attendance at church, a group exercise activity, etc..)
3. Do you have a bar/restaurant/place that is “your place”? (When you enter, the barista knows your drink or at least your name)
4. Are you able to continue all the hobbies you had in your own country or, if not, have you added new hobbies to your repertoire?
5. Same question as above, but with regards to physical activity (unless you didn’t do anything particular back home anyways!)
6. Do you have friends in your city who speak your native language?
7. Do you have friends who only speak Italian?
8. Do you feel like you have a purpose in your day-to-day life that also “fills up” your day?
(Note: this is not necessarily about having a job, if your purpose that “fills up” your day is honing your yoga practice and meal prepping, fantastic!)
9. Related to #1, but do you feel confident in carrying out ADL (activities of daily living) independently?
10. Proportionally do you love Italy, Italian culture and/or Italian language more than you hate it?
(Note: I know that it’s a love/hate relationship at the best of times, hence “proportionally-speaking”)
11. If you’re in a relationship with an Italian person, did you come to Italy willingly?
12. If you’re in a relationship with an Italian person, are you happy in your relationship?
If you answered NO to any of those questions, you may not be the happiest expat, am I right? I formulated the questions based on experience and people that I know that are either happy or unhappy in Italy. A lot of people who are unhappy have a lot of things in common, they typically might answer NO to one or more of the questions above whereas the happy people would likely answer YES to all of the questions. It’s not exactly rocket-science either, basically you just need to evaluate whether you feel like “you” in your new country. Yes, the surroundings are different and the language that you have to do everything in is different, but are you still the person that you were back “home”? Because I bet back home you had friends, you had hobbies, you exercised, you felt part of the community, you had a job or a purpose, good relationships, you were comfortable doing normal day-to-day tasks, and maybe most importantly, you did all of this independently! That’s essentially what the questions are focused on and it seems logical right?
Is there anything that you think I missed, other factors that are important or maybe you disagree with some? Let me know, as always, in the comments or via the Facebook page!
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