Today's three years since I packed my bags and got on a flight from Bristol to Milan Malpensa, to begin my Italian adventure. It's such a cliché, but time really has gone so fast. I'd only originally planned to stay in Italy for a year or two, even though I didn't then know what I would've done when I returned to the UK. But I'm still here, three years on.
The whole point of moving here was to improve my Italian after I graduated from university. I didn't move out here for love or work. Ever since I first set foot in Italy I'd always felt a connection to the country, leaving to go home was always heartbreaking. And I guess I'd got a bit bored of living in the UK, life wasn't challenging enough, and I'd had enough of the small-town mentality I'd grown up in where everyone knew everything about everyone. About half-way through my degree I decided that yes, I would move out to Italy to continue learning the language, but also for a fresh start.
The anniversary's naturally made me reflect on my time here, especially the last year. It's been a big year of ups and downs. At the moment I'm going through a bit of a difficult patch, I'm feeling at a bit of a dead end. I don't think my Italian can get any better than it is now, but I'm frustrated at only being able to use it during my free time. I've been threatening for weeks to go back to the UK, even though deep down I know I'll never bring myself to actually leave Italy. I'm happy in Milan, and in Italy in general, that's not the problem. I'm hoping things will improve during the next few weeks though, as I don't want to be unhappy here.
I'd like to take the chance to say thank you to everyone who's supported and helped me over the last three years, and also to everyone who I've met during this last year. Thanks for putting up with my whinging and ranting, and thanks for helping me get to know the real Italy.