It’s almost been 5 months since I packed my suitcase, grabbed my passport, and left the best place to be. Speding holiday in Italy is, without a doubt, the best holiday decision I made. While I had the incredible opportunity of traveling all throughout the world, I always found myself excited at the prospect of spending my holidays in Europe, close to my “home” The Netherlands. But after spending time in Italy I have a dream of creating a new “home”, yes…in Italy.
As a child I spend a big chunk of my childhood moving back and forward between The Netherlands and Canada and after finally returning to The Netherlands I made a promise to myself that I would never ever move abroad again. One of the reasons I didn’t even go abroad for a semester during my time as a law student. So I never imagined that it would be possible to create a home across Europe lacking family, friends, and the same native language, but Italy is the easiest place in the world to do that. After my holiday, there were definitely some changes I made in my life, all thanks to my beloved Italians.
Take things slow
Italians take the word “slow” to a whole new level. They walk slow, they started the Slow Food Movement and they don’t believe in take away coffee because you’re supposed to drink it slowly etc. It is very weird to read this at first, because the Dutch are taught to hate everything that’s slow, but eventually you realize how relaxing and carefree life is if you just slow down. In our society everything succesfull must be fast and quick. Instead of doing that, sip your warm coffee from a real cup instead of taking it to go, take a nap in the middle of the day because you can, take a long lunch break if you don’t have a meeting to attend afterwards, spend 2 hours at dinner talking with your love. Life is so much better if you aren’t flying through it.
Know your limits
For example: Italians have mastered the art of drinking, but never getting drunk. The Dutch have the “sure, I’ll have another” mindset engrained thinking, what’s really the
harm in one more drink. But Italians don’t think that way. When they hit their limit, that’s it. They are the ultimate masters of consuming copious amounts of wine in the most auspicious and graceful way possible.
But know when not to worry about the limits
As a vegan I have many limitations compared to a non-vegan. Well, limitations in the eyes of others 🙂 Italians learn to enjoy and savor food, and not worry about the saturated fats or calorie count. Food is meant to be relished and Italians do that so well. In my case, even with my dietery limitations, you will never hear me turn down a meal because of the carbohydrate count. Vegan gelato 3 times a day? Why not! Pasta for lunch and dinner?
Sure! Food is a big part of my life. It makes me look good and healthy on the outside from within.
If you’re going to love someone, love them passionately
The couples in Italy are passionate beyond recognition. They love intensely. They will fight at home and then gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes over a café. They aren’t afraid to put their heart on the line for love, something we in the west could use a little more of. The Dutch are cold when it comes to love. Men treat their girls like “bromies” and women don’t bother to look sensual and sexy. They are so terrified to love passionately, they fear it will make them look weak. They fear it will cost a lot of money when there is a divorce, they fear they will miss out on life, they fear they
will turn out boring. If you’re me, you will not fear those things like the Italians do. Just let love radiate.
We can’t all live in Italy and you might not even like Italians. But, we can take lessons from their culture and traditions. So take a few notes, make some changes, follow your passions, spend an extra euro on quality tea or coffee, fall passionately in love, stop worrying, and eat some pasta. 😉