As promised, here's my last update.
I've been back for almost two months now and it's been pretty hectic. I've been travelling more than I did when I was travelling! I went to see friends and family all around Italy and it was truly lovely, but I must admit I am now enjoying a bit of solitude at my father's place on the coast, where the surroundings and the pace of the place are giving me the opportunity to leave behind what needs to be left behind and take with me the rest to plan my future with calm and serenity. God that doesn't sound me at all, does it?
The first impression of Italy is very good. I feel very excited at the thought of living here again, even though I can see it's not going to be all crystals and rainbows. The thing that got me the most is an embarrassing racism towards immigrants. I find it doubly unjust as Italians have always emigrated and have always been able to cut their own niche even with a heavy baggage such as mafia, which we unkindly managed to export to all hosting countries. And still people associate us with spaghetti instead, or at least first. How nice of them!
Work wise I have been very lucky as I've already had a good number of interviews. There are a couple of jobs I would really like doing, but we shall see what happens in the next few weeks as salaries are lower than I thought and I still need to work out how not to die of hunger. However, at least the interviews went well and I am glad that my long sabbatical has not been taken as a lazy break but rather as a very good opportunity to learn. Italians are not big travellers so I was a bit nervous about how my trip would have been perceived.
As for how I feel about staying put, I'm sure I'm going to miss the freedom and the privilege of choosing every day where to be and what to do, but I am also intrigued by the choices I can make in a more "normal" life. And I am very free to choose the job I want to do, the activities I want to be engaged with, the friendships I want to cultivate and the values I want to live by. That's a lot of freedom to play with!
So no room for nostalgia as if a journey's just ended another one is about to begin!