If you’re looking for a post on travel writing, back away very, very slowly. Now run. I use the term freelance writer because it sounds cool, and most people don’t know what copywriting really is.
Here’s the deal:
I’m a freelance copywriter and content marketer, and my husband was just accepted into the joint engineering-architecture PhD program at the Polytechnic University of Milan. We fly to Milan on October 4.
So how does it feel to be 28 years old, self-employed doing what you’re truly good at, and less than two months away from a move to Milan?
It feels like a wild host of things. The giddy excitement is being sat upon by visa requirements. Because here’s the thing, no coddling is happening. Millennial entitlement syndrome stretches all the way to immigration, and I must say that it is incredibly shocking to me that the Italian Consulate doesn’t even answer the phone. It doesn’t even have a voice mail. No one responds to emails. You’re on own when it comes to getting a visa.
Everyone asks their questions in forums. But here’s the thing: there are family visas, student visas, and freelance visas. I can’t find a “student with a freelance family” visa. Needs contradict each other when it comes to immigration paperwork, and it all doesn’t make much sense.
The Italian Consulate website even assaults you with pop up boxes telling you to turn Google Translator off. I wholly intend to learn Italian, but just not right at the moment when I’m trying to figure out what Form T really is.
So it feels like that.
But mostly it feels like one big dream. Have you ever dreamed that you were flying, only it looked and felt like you were swimming? Imagine yourself jumping off the Grand Crayon only to doggie paddle across it smoothly and gently. The reason I feel like I’m swim-flying is because we are actively creating the next version of our lives.
Sometimes in life, you set up the next phase and then step right into it as simply as playing hopscotch–or rather other people set their life up like that, and I commend them for it. For my husband Gabriel and I (and our adventurous little girl), it is impossible to set this dream life up and then walk right into it.
You know those forums that help you figure out visa requirements? The only time I found one post that was close to our situation, the person was asking for references to a “relocation expert.” That’s just not happening.
Other times in life, you swim-fly and cliff-dive and actively create your new dream. This is about more than doing our own paperwork. It’s about being in the limbo between old and new us. We’re peeking into the next phase of our existence and have no idea what it will look like. Of course no one ever knows, but moving to Milan for 3 years makes that universal truth glaringly true.
What will it be like to hop on a train or plane to head to Paris or Zurich or Barcelona for the weekend? Will we have to pack our own lunches to afford the train fare to Florence? My freelance business has to keep paying the bills–better believe I don’t want to add “work visa” to my consulate demands.
I don’t know what will happen, and that’s how it feels. At times, we all feel called to stay present minded, and this is one of the places in my life where I have no choice but to stay completely in the moment, otherwise I’ll wake up and discover that I cannot, actually, swim-fly.