Now that I’m back in the United States after living in Italy for nearly a year, I am reflecting on my time abroad. It was an adventure from start to finish. I never wanted to go for so long, but I can definitely say I’m stronger and wiser for it. I’m also pretty proud of myself for sticking it out on a small island with few conveniences, where I lived with 12 other people (all in-laws and my husband and son), and where I kept American hours (which meant working in the wee hours of the morning). Of course, I accomplished all this with the pitter patter of my 2-year-old son’s feet under my own. Out of my own sheer embarrassment, I’ll refrain from sharing the number of times sources I was interviewing for stories heard his cries or mischievous laughter and yelling in the background.
Still, I trudged forward. Recently, I compiled a list of the greatest lessons I learned during the experience for ItaliansRus. You can read about them for yourself in “What I Learned Living in Italy.” What you won’t learn from the story is just how bad I had it. The fact that I muddled by without the ability to watch any Real Housewives episodes – not even the crazy Italians in my Jersey – or eat a decent burger the entire time makes me a friggin’ hero if you ask me.