This is the first post of a series looking at some of the lives changes I went through so far. Stay tuned for part 2 on Why I decided to move to Seoul.
When I was 16 I visited the UK for the first time.I went on a school trip of a week in Oxford where I attended language classes.
Needless to say I fell in love with Oxford. I didn’t know back then that I would one day move there to study – that’s a story for another post – but I just felt weirdly at home there.
6 years have passed. I have now graduated from university and I actually have a job in Seoul. But every time I meet someone knew and I say I’m Italian, but I’m also from London, I always get asked why I decided to move at age 16.
From an early age I knew I loved learning. I would devour books in the library and would always be curious about things. I knew I was going to go to university once high school was over for pretty much forever. My parents always encouraged my ambition to continue learning and did everything they could to help me get there. The move to London was not as carefully planned as one would expect, but the main drive was the educational opportunities I would be afforded there. I would get the benefit of an education in English that would make me more international.
2. Family friends
I had my life planned out already at the age of 16. I was going to go to med school after high school and I would then either become a trauma surgeon or a brain specialist in Italy. I would live in my small town until the end of my days.
But then some family acquaintances had moved to London. They had come back to Italy for a visit and they waxed poetics about the city and the opportunities it offered to young people who wanted to make something for themselves. The bug was planted and in the space of a few months we packed and left.
3. My parents’ sacrifices
My parents’ willingness to make sacrifices is what got me to London.
My mom spoke no words of English when we moved to London, and my parents found themselves together but living in two different countries for almost 6 years. But they made it work, they made the move possible. When I started considering moving, my parents thought long and hard, and we ended up taking that decision as a family.
We made the move. I would go to school every day and my mom would spend her day in the room that we were renting in a house share. She left behind the life that she knew for me. My dad saw his wife and daughter go for me. They had plenty of people asking them if they were crazy for doing this and for what – my education. At times I wonder why they did all this, and whether what I got out of it was really worth the pain and the suffering…
But then I remember that I have amazing parents who would sacrifice everything and more if it meant that their child would achieve, would have a better chance in life. They did it out of love and the tears at the airports, their proud words and smiles as they saw me graduate are all worth it.
6 years ago on August 27th 2010 my mom and I boarded a plane to London. I did not know then that I’d be a changed person by the time I would leave London in August 2016. There were no dreams of Oxford and no understanding of what my life would lead me to do. I got more out of those years that I would ever imagine. My expectations were exceed as well as at times disappointed. But I will forever be grateful for my years in London. They made me who I am today.
Have you ever thought about moving abroad? If yes, why? I’d love to know!