In September 2015, after graduating from York University, I moved to Florence, Italy, to become an English teacher. It was an entirely last minute, spontaneous decision to uproot myself and leave the comfort of my parents’ Somerset home and live in continental Europe. I didn’t really think the idea through; simply applied for the job, was offered the job, and in a rather cavalier attitude, accepted without much consideration.
For the first couple of months of living here, I hated it and thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. The whole experience was nothing like I had imagined and all I wanted was to fly back to England and to forget the whole thing.
Then, about 4 months after moving here, I started to learn to love Florence. I made a conceited effort to enjoy myself, to visit new places and to leave the safety of my bedroom (and by extension the safety of having a wifi connection). I met new people and travelled to neighbouring towns. I kissed a few boys and made some new friends. I forced myself to acknowledge all the wonderful things this beautiful city has to offer. Slowly, Florence felt less daunting and a felt little more like a home.
About a year ago, I wrote an article about my experience for the online magazine il Cartello – you can read it here – and since then, things have changed once again.