In august 2013 I departed from Italy to go for a month at Stephen’s house, in Northern Ireland. My luggage was full of nice dresses to go out together and italian food for his family, power adaptors and books. And then there was that pocket of my hand luggage, full of curricula translated in english. Even if nothing was certain, maybe I wasn’t coming back so early, and by tacit agreement everyone was knowing. My sister came with me at the train and helped me to set my bags, then we hugged and bravely we held back the sadness. As I was sitting on the train I received a text: “I see you”. I looked out of the window and saw her, standing on the platform in front: she was waving at me and laughing. I smiled and waved back hoping she was not seeing the tears which slowly were starting to fall.
I read and followed a lot of expats‘ blogs during last year and I admire the courage and stoicism of these people, often of my same age, that one day decided to go away and don’t come back, at least for a while. I was almost there myself, and, even if later things came out differently, I know what it’s like that moment in which you are waving at people and places you love with that weird farewell, too long and containing a lot of uncertainties. When I talk about it with friends, mostly they shrug and comment “I’d depart tomorrow if I could“; they seem surprised when I say it’s indeed not so easy, and I’m not talking about preparing luggage, but about the immediate sense of sadness and loneliness you feel.
The triggering event was my feeling of being lost: half in a country, the other half in another, without knowing anymore where my home was, having no idea of what would be happened in a month, I felt the need to create a virtual room in which keep memories of good and bad things happening in that period. I’ve been to beautiful places, I took around my curricula, I saw the irish rain coming down often, day after day, with a pain in the heart thinking to my Genoa, grey and sunny, on Ligurian Sea. I bought a notebook and, with the colours Stephen gifted me, I started to note and draw thoughts and places to feel better. Then arrived a call for a job, in Italy. Nothing special, but anyway something. So at the end I took my bags and went back, but I continued to draw and visit places, listen to stories and see the world with different eyes.
At the moment I continue to work on the web and I remained anyway between Italy and Northern Ireland: I have the luck to be able to travel more or less when I want and to mantain in the while my job. I’m not totally a digital nomad because I pass long periods at home and I define myself in a (N)ex(t)pat phase: expatriation is often near but I still have to choose which will be my next country. In the while, if you want to keep me company, I narrate you what happens 😉