And the Winner Is...


My Decision on Where to Live in Europe

Veni, Vidi, Decided? I went to Italy, saw as much as I could, and decided where I am going to spend the year. One of my biggest regrets of college is not studying abroad, so I am taking this next year to accomplish that, just without the studying. This trip to Italy was very educational and helped me make that decision. It took me some time, with a very long pros and cons list, and while I am surprised by my decision, I am very excited to announce that I will be living in Paris next year.

Why I chose Paris

Surprised? I am! What’s the saying? This came out of left field? Or is it right field? Whatever the saying is, I don’t think anyone saw it coming. I was so determined to live in Italy, I told every one so that I wouldn’t back out, and look what I did, I backed out. But I have to look at it as a positive thing, not as a failure or an embarrassment. I mean how many people can say that they decided that they want to live in Paris and make it happen? I have always loved Paris It is absolutely beautiful, as is Rome and Florence. But there is something that makes Paris stand out in my eyes. Maybe it is because I like the style of architecture and decorating that comes from Versailles. Rain or shine, I have always thought it is beautiful. I chose Paris because it has all the history that I am interested in, a good transportation system, easy access to travel (a hop away from London!) and a culture that I love. Think of it is me connecting to my roots. While I do speak French, I only know a little, enough to understand people, but not big words. And while the bureaucracy is also a pain, at least I know people who can walk me through it. Just think of me as an American since I have spent so few years in France. And I can say that I am genuinely excited to be going back to my roots. I was born there after all.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Why I didn’t choose Rome

I feel like I’m breaking up with Rome. This is what I wanted for so long but now I realized that it’s not for me. Clearly there’s something wrong with me, right? Who passes up a chance to live in Rome? Apparently I do. This was a hard decision to make because I love visiting Rome. But I think that’s what it is: visiting. Not living. I absolutely love the ruins, love the stop and smell the roses attitude, and love the culture. But when comparing it to Paris, it lost! It has the history that I am looking for to keep me entertained, the accessibility that I am looking for to travel, the culture that I am looking forward to learning, and the food for eating. But it’s transportation is not up to my standards (only two metro lines??), there is a language barrier that I might never get over (and doing that alone doesn’t sound smart), and the bureaucracy doesn’t exactly get me excited! While a lot of people find these as minor bumps in the road, I really want to avoid them as much as possible. This will be my first time living away from home. I never left the county to go to college, let alone be in a situation where I have to pay rent. I think doing this on my own for the first time will be hard enough, add a foreign country to the mix and my stomach will be doing backflips, add a language barrier and I will probably hop on the next flight home. So I’m sorry Rome, but I think that we’re just two different for each other.

The Duomo, Florence

Why I didn’t choose Florence

The first time I went to Florence, I didn’t like it. The second time, the most recent time, I loved it. But if I am thinking about what I truly want, it’s unfortunately not Florence. It put up a good fight. I really enjoyed how small it is and how nice the people were, but those two things were the only pros on my list. While Renaissance history is very interesting, it is not the area that I prefer. And while it’s nice to be isolated, I would like to not be too isolated so that I can easily travel. The other down side was that the expat community really felt like college students, which makes sense since it is a big destination for studying abroad. While I might be about college age, I really want to be part of an expat community that is made up of working people, not just students. I loved Florence and would love to go back again, but I don’t think that I would be excited 365 days of the year when I run out of things to do that interest me. So sorry Florence, it’s not you, it’s me, I’m just interested in different things.

What’s next

Now is the time for me to start contacting family members for advice on anything and everything. I will also need to contact the Consulate so that any paperwork will be in order. I will most likely not have a job or a place to live when I get there, but I can line some up before I leave. Thankfully I am already TESOL certified, so at least I have one thing off my list.

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