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Saturday, September 13, 2014

6 Ways to Thrive and Survive in Italy

This applies to people who are actually considering to stay in Italy and make it their second home, (job or whatever). While it takes time to adjust to a new country,  taking these 6 considerations to heart may make the process a bit easier. These are borne experiences I had after 10 years of staying in pasta land.

1. Learn the language - You dont have to be perfect at it, but you have to know how to strike a simple conversation. This is all about the 90 percent of Italians who don't speak the "million dollar language," (english). While I've made up the figures, more of it comprises the city of Naples. Without learning the language, going out to buy, or do something is a frightening proposition. Speaking the language is one step further to independence, and a shield to being a total imbecile. 

2. Bring your family on board - You have to see for yourself, the everyday hardship of struggling with homesickness and loneliness. Then you can add to the equation, and as a result; a broken family because of father's, or even mother's extra-
curricular activities. Family on board means bringing your wife, children,  or even siblings to be with you through a petition or through the direct hire program. It may not guarantee as a prevention to bigamy, but in times of financial constraints 2 sets of income are better than one.



3. Health is your number one priority - Remember when the body is not in sync, you can't work. In Italy, when your sick, you are left to fend for yourself because everybody is at work. Although, healthcare can be almost free in Italy, with the right connections, it is a serious burden to be in. 
Speaking with sincerity, as Ive experienced being bedridden for 3 years because of Pott's disease. When your sick in pasta land it can be very ugly.

4. Finding true friends - Friends that do not cloud your senses because of envy or hatred. But because they honestly want you to do the right thing. Filipinos living in Italy are in competition with each other. They would do anything to get ahead, even if they have to chop your head for it. If that doesn't work, they would back stab you with words or make gossips about anything, just to put you down. True friends are literally finding that proverbial "gold in the streets."  

5. Do not be "deep in debt" - while having debt is a given if you are living abroad, being "deep in debt," is burying yourself in a monetary quandary. It is applying one loan after the other. Buried so much with payables, you can hardly keep up. The result; you can't keep up with your obligations thus having 
more money problems and destroying your reputation. I've heard a lot of stories about Filipinos relocating to another Italian zip code because of being "deep in debt."

6. Travel and see the world - while some people constrict their time in Italy as pure business, others like me, mix business with pleasure. If you are a resident of Italy whether temporary or permanent, you are given the privilege to go to other European countries without the burden of applying for a visa. As long as the country is occupied by the Schengen Area, (The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders, also referred to as internal borders), then you are good to go. While we have different set of ideals on dealing with stress, for me travelling is a stress-buster that recharges my human battery. A good idea if you want to work a many number of years in Italy.