“When I first visited Vincerola I was especially intrigued by the fact that one of the classroom teachers, Achmed who comes from Egypt, is deaf and solely communicates with the children in sign language. When Ella joined the nursery interacting with Achmed was quite a challenge for her and it took her some time to understand that she needed to communicate with him in a completely different way.”
Dutch artist and mum Onke Truijen talks about her journey from hippy Ibiza to cosmopolitan Barcelona
“When we’re at school and with friends we only speak Italian; at home with our parents we speak English. We both find it easier to express ourselves and think in English, even though we use Italian more throughout the day.” Twins Mia and Cara talk about their life in a small village in Perugia.
“My advice to others thinking of relocating is to have about 3 times as much money as you think you’ll need. Also join any local expat groups on social media before you arrive – the members have a wealth of information.” Maya Mackenzie on relocating to Barcelona.
“There are three lessons I have learned about life as an expat. It helps to be adaptable, patient and have a big support network.” Marisa moved to Bordeaux with her husband and young family in 2009 for a 3 year trial period. They are still there today.
“Even though I’m Italian, after many years of living abroad I found returning to live in Italy harder than I had expected. Once again many things were different. I felt the only familiar thing was the language. Anything else I struggled to understand or to make sense of. I had to learn to live in my own country.”
“Whether we’re learning about a famous local artist or an old monument, the kids see the look of curiosity and wonder in our eyes and they become instant students of whatever we’re learning. It’s honestly surprised me how much their love of learning has grown on this trip.”
“Integration is difficult in the early stages and if your French isn’t good it’s even harder. Even though it can be deeply uncomfortable you simply have to throw yourself in at the deep end and try – you will be respected for it and find that you fit in, in no time at all.”
“I’ve always loved wine and innately understood it somehow, and then my years working in the fragrance industry in New York gave me a good basis for sensing different aromas and understanding why things smell the way they do.” Ambika Kumar
“A quote is affixed to my bathroom mirror with the reminder, “we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” I am not there yet but each day here I am able to loosen my grip on “what should’ve been” a little bit more.”
“I dreamt of simplicity, less competition in every aspect of my life and more meaning in my day to day. I craved culture and more experiences, as our plan evolved I realized that I yearned for less stuff and more time without a plan.”
“I designed the company logo. I built a website, all the while settling Enzo in at school and taking Italian lessons and language exchanges and working. We began to make friends and Enzo started to be himself again. One morning he woke up and just started speaking Italian without even realising it.”