We have already been talking on this blog about how it looks like moving abroad alone, what if this happens during a pandemic, in a new city and being jobless? Let's try to understand together how it is possible to survive and get the most out of it!
Hi there, my name is Federica, and I have been an expat for several years after my university studies. I have been living in the UK, Spain, Germany and finally back to Italy. Then why am I still writing on a blog for expats? Well, as you might have guessed from Rossella's article, Italy is a big Country and it has a huge variety of landscapes, dialects and culture. After having lived in Milan for a while, I was missing a bit my life abroad. But I didn't really feel like going again far away from my family and friends. I found out something in between: South Tyrol. As you might know (or maybe not), in this area of Italy, people still speak both German and Italian. Furthermore everyday culture is more close to Austrian and German life, rather than to the italian one.As said, you have the chance to speak German everywhere you go: there’s more chance you’ll be greeted with a “Morgen” rather than a “Buongiorno”. If you switch on the TV or radio German-language channels dominate and you’ll find local newspapers both in German and italian. Architecture in city centres reminds you of Austrian architecture, with its narrow Gothic arcaded streets and pastel colors of the buildings façade. In supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants you’ll find typical german food, beside italian one. Last but not least, traditional costumes, used on special occasions, are Dirndl and Lederhosen, which look beautiful, but really don’t sound and look Italian, do they?
Long story short. At the beginning of 2021, after having quit my job at the end of 2020, I moved down south, to Rome. Well, believe it or not, it really feels like having moved from abroad. Furthermore during the pandemic, with no job, no friends and not even family nearby.
So, how did I manage to face it in the past 8 months? Here are a few tips from my side:
Look for them with #s, searching for places etc. They'll make you feel handy even in a big city such as the new one you moved in. You'll soon feel like going out (when allowed) and see these little hidden gems yourself.
Whether it's a new passion or some old one that needs an update, there's plenty of choice now. There is a big chance that one of your classmates lives in your very same new city. You'll get the opportunity to meet them at some point. Of course you already share some interests with them and they might become new friends.
There's for sure The friend of an old friend of yours who's living in your new city. Catch up for a coffee when pandemic makes it possible, you'll slowly start to get your own connections. And maybe new friends as well!
You might find some tourists there, of course, but surely some locals too. Especially people who recently moved there, the same way you did.
There are surely elderly people in need living in your new neighbourhood. Or people that for any reason might need some help with groceries. Find out and reach the local associations who take care of it. When the situation gets better, you can of course go bigger and look for associations in the city. Have you ever heard aboutploggingfor example?
Join it to start to get to know, at least virtually, your neighbours. It can also be useful to get some help and suggestions on your new area.
So, these were a few tips I wish I could have received months ago. I would have started to get the most out of my new city earlier than I did, despite the pandemic. I hope you found them useful and I'm really curious to hear your suggestions!