Five Reasons to Move to Italy

Five Reasons to Move to Italy

This is a guest post contributed by Guiomar Ochoa. If you’d like to blog for NOIAW, e-mail with your ideas! 

My New Year’s resolution in 2001 was to move to Italy and so I did in February of that year. I was 25 years old and needed a change. As a child, I had spent my summers near Umbria but something inside me needed to experience living in Rome as an adult. I wanted to work there and make a life there. It’s one thing to vacation in a country — but another thing entirely to spend long periods of time and actually set down roots there. I had nothing tying me down in the U.S. so I decided to dive into Italy!

Naples 2003

If you’re considering boarding a one-way flight bound for la dolce vita, let me give you these five reasons to buy your ticket.


Life is short. The older I get, the more I realize it. If you have a dream, you need to pursue it. None of us know how long we have on this earth, so make the most of every day and learn how to take risks. Be cautious, smart, and prudent — but take the leap of faith! You will thank yourself later.


I tried to nail everything down….job, housing etc….before arriving in Rome, and it was disastrous. In my rush to try to find a job before leaving the U.S., I ended up accepting a position that was not where I wanted to be in Italy and working for someone who was abysmal. Luckily, I got out of my sketchy situation quickly, took a train to Rome and started from scratch as I should have from the beginning.


When I arrived in Rome, I gave myself a minimum one-year time limit to see how I adjusted. I left a great job in the States and didn’t want to retract too much professionally but, at the same time, I wasn’t expecting to replicate my career. I also set a strict budget for myself as it took a few weeks to find a job and start making money. Things worked out well, but it took a little while to get my bearings and nail things down perfectly. Give yourself time and allow for mistakes.


Be creative and open to new possibilities. Especially with modern globalization, there are an abundance of opportunities both professionally and personally. Explore hobbies you’ve never had time to develop like photography or writing, and see if you can find ways to financially profit from them. Join an online group in your new city and do something you like to do while meeting new people. You took the risk to move to Italy, so make sure you step outside your comfort zone once there.


If you move to Italy, learn to enjoy it! Enjoy the quirks and nuances and really learn to go with the flow. You’ll have frustrating days, as we all do, but try to overcome them and not let them get under your skin. Really learn how to embrace the beauty of the country, its people, and its culture. Savor that fresh mozzarella and sip lots of wonderful wine.

Moving to Italy was the best decision I ever made in my life! It was something I really wanted and needed to do in my mid-20’s. I spent four amazing years in Rome and the memories and friendships I made there will last me a lifetime. I am a better woman, wife and mother today because of the leap of faith I took 15 years ago. I have no regrets and you won’t either!

Guiomar Barbi Ochoa is a freelance writer who currently works in International Affairs. She is passionate about the arts, wine, food and Italy. She contributes regularly to Walking On Travels so as to spread her infectious love of travel to other parents. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two young children.

Photos courtesy of Guiomar Ochoa
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