Name: Olivia Merchant
Occupation: Executive Consulting and Organizing
Passport Country: USA
Current Country: Florence, Italy
How long have you lived in your present country?: 3 years
Where else have you lived abroad?: Haarlem, Netherlands
How many years have you lived abroad total?: Nearly 4 years
Where can we find you? On IG @oliviassliceoflife OR Oliviaseyeworldwide.com
I moved to my current country because: As a single Mother raising twin boys on one income I knew that it would be advantageous for me both practically and financially to uphold my values and vision for family. I desired to live a place where I didn’t have to worry about food quality or crime. And last but not least, I wanted to be someplace beautiful that had a variety of cultures in 1-3 hours via travel by train or plane.
The three things you need to make it here is: Patience. Native friends to call upon when you need to negotiate or understand the bureaucracy. A sense of style and taste in clothing.
My favorite experience living here has been…Going to the market each week to shop for produce. Allowing my 11-year old sons to leave the house by themselves and go to the store or park without any real concern. Day trips to Paris after school drop-off.
If you’re considering living here, you need to leave this at home : Self-doubt and the idea that living in Italy (or any foreign country for that matter) will solve all your problems. When the honeymoon phase ends, you’ll likely find that who you are in your native country is going to be who you are in your new one. Definitely leave American politics and social norms at home – comparison will either greatly dampen or kill completely the possibility of joy.