7 Habits of Highly Effective Expats in Italy

Cherrye of My Bella VitaToday we have a guest blogger, and she comes from just down the road in Catanzaro. Welcome back Cherrye of My Bella Vita!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Expats in Italy

The reasons people move to Italy vary-some came to retire in the land of their fathers, others were pulled by Italy’s charm and yes, some of us came here for romance-or to say it like my mom would-we came here for a boy.

Regardless of our motives, we all left our homeland and entered the world of Expats in Italy. Over the 3+ years I’ve been here, I’ve noticed there are two distinct categories of expats-Effective Expats, or those who are happy, successful and grounded and Miserable Expats, the ones who can’t wait to leave.

Just so you know if you are considering a move to Italy … you want to be the first type.  Just to be sure here are the seven habits of highly effective expats in Italy.

1.    They research.
Most people plan for months for their Italian vacation so why wouldn’t they do the same when they are considering a move? Expats can adapt more quickly to their new country when they have done research, read other expat experiences or joined an expat forum. The Internet is full of information on moving to Italy. So fire up your laptop and get reading.

2.    They can adjust to change.
Successful expats know where the best laid plans go and are able to adjust to changes as they come. Being able to go with the flow and adjust to those changes, rather than getting disgruntled and negative is one of the major differences between those two groups of expats I listed above.

3.    They don’t focus on the differences.
This is one of the hardest habits to attain, but happy expats don’t focus on the differences between their home country and Italy. Learning to appreciate the differences instead of obsess over them makes expat life easier to enjoy.

4.    They work hard to acclimate to life in Italy.
If you move to a new city in Any State, USA and lock yourself at home, you won’t be very happy. The same goes for living in Italy. Happy expats take a risk, get out and meet new people and work hard at acclimating to their new lives.

5.    They are interested in the world around them.
And by that, I mean effective expats want to learn more about the people, places and things around them. We want to know how they do things, how they did them ‘back in the day’ and why.

6.    They have honed their stress-management techniques.
There is no other way to say it, moving to Italy is stressful. Whether you get crushed by the stress of your new life or learn to adjust to the changes depends on how well you handle stress. Successful expats are good stress-managers.

7.    They remember who they are.
The most successful expats remember who they are, or more importantly, who they were back home, and don’t alter their behaviors just because they are on foreign land. Some young or temporary expats might find themselves partaking in activities they would have never considered back home.

Opening your mind is a good thing, losing yourself is another. If you aren’t sure what I am referring to – think Amanda Knox.

Cherrye Moore a freelance writer and B&B owner living in Calabria, Italy. She writes about expat life for Affordable Calling Cards where they sell calling cards to Italy and about living and traveling in Calabria at My Bella Vita.

Thanks Cherrye!

What do you think are some habits of highly effective expats?

12 Beans of Wisdom to “7 Habits of Highly Effective Expats in Italy”
  1. Tina

    Brava! Spoken like a true… highly-effective expat 🙂

    I want to meet both of you someday, Cherrye and Michelle, really!
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..Past, Present and Future =-.

  2. 10.20.2009

    I’m not sure I am making much of a success of this, but I sure am enjoying the failure, if that’s going to happen.
    .-= Judith in Umbria´s last blog ..Getting high in Umbria =-.

  3. ally bean

    These habits are perfect for any adventure/situation in life. They’re perfect imho.

  4. 10.20.2009

    Great post and sound advice.
    Research is so important! I’m always amazed at foreigners who up and buy a house and move to France without doing any homework about the region, the weather, etc.
    .-= Loulou´s last blog ..Photo du Jour – Cassis =-.

  5. Fantastic advice, especially number 1.

    Vacationing in Italy and living in Italy are two different things.
    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..My own Top Chef challenge =-.

  6. Okay I had a dream last night that I was visiting Calabria and traveling all over but then it began to snow like crazy and I was freezing. Not sure what that means . . .

  7. 10.21.2009

    This is a great post with really good advice. Thanks!

  8. 10.21.2009

    As for ourselves, I think we’re just slightly effective expats here in Kuching. We didn’t do too much of that research thing. But we’re getting along and finding our way.
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Microwaved Cabbage and Carrot, a Bachelor’s Tale =-.

  9. I hope to meet you, too, Tina. Really! 🙂

    Funny, Michelle, it might be because it got COLD these last few days.

    Thank you, FoodHunter.

    Ha, funny, Nate. In bocca al lupo!
    .-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog ..Travel Tip Tuesday: Five Ways to Overcome Post Italian-Vacation Blues =-.

  10. 10.22.2009

    Great topic, Michelle and Cherrye- One that I might add is that effective expats in Italy quickly learn how to distinguish personal wants from needs. Things quickly made it from the needs list to the wants list when I moved here, and have remained there ever since. I need much less than I actually thought I did before coming here.
    .-= Diana Strinati Baur´s last blog ..Proceed with Caution =-.

  11. This might sound obvious, but I think learning the language is a big key. This can be a challenge for those of us who aren’t, shall we say, university age when we move here, but it can make a big difference in truly “inhabiting” the country.

    That, a consuming a great deal of excellent wine (a little at a time and with food, of course).
    .-= Nan, Living Venice Blog´s last blog ..Venice means fish…but which is which? =-.

  1. [...] pal Cherrye did a guest post on the blog of another blogging pal, Michelle, about the “7 habits of... italylogue.com/news/italy-news-25-october-2009.html
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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