How I became Expat Toscana

I thought it was apt for my first post to tell my story of how I became an Expat. Why Tuscany? Why Italy? Why move abroad at all in these turbulent economic times? Well in a way I was lead here, a series of coincidences, opportunites and even glib comments made by strangers that somehow sounded like perfectly timed nuggets of wisdom and guidance.

I’m from Southend, went to UNI in London and after Graduating, I lived for the hectic merry-go round of the London Retail Management scene that my Modern History and Politics Degree had obviously prepared me for. I revelled in the ‘glamour’ and fast pace and took advantage of the later part of a retail boom, relocating and taking higher paid jobs whenever I felt the need for a new challenge. I’ve worked in Womens and Mens fashions, Footwear and Jewellery. I’m afraid to say that loyalty and patience weren’t my strong points.

8 years ago however, I felt in a completely different space. I’d decided that I wanted to teach, I had applied for graduate teaching training and been declined, so I started volunteering in schools on my days off to improve my chances on my next application. I had become so despondent with Retail, and had pinned all my hopes on changing the direction of my career.

One morning, I left for work as usual but by my morning break was finished I had been made redundant. I then had a terrible accident on the way home. An articlated lorry pulled out across me in 3 lane traffic on the M25. My car spun several times and crashed into the barrier facing the incoming traffic. I’d written off my car, but was lucky to walk away from the crash. I returned home, in shock, to discover my landlord wanted to no longer rent his property as he had accepted an offer. As the shock subsided I realised that I had no ties, of any form. I was Single, no Employment or Housing. I was new to the area and didn’t even have a gym membership I was paying for but not using! Infact the only contractual obligation I had was to my moblie phone provider for the next 2 months. At first this panicked me, a lot! But the following morning, waking with the inevitable hangover I realised instead of asking “What do I do now?” the better question was, “What can’t I do now?”

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