After a few weeks of dolce far niente (i.e. Italian style lazyness – but only as far as expat interviews are concerned!), we are back with our expats’ highlights, this time with a sweet teacher from Maryland, Lauren Francis. Lauren is a 28 years old passionate traveller who has already lived in Virginia, Saipan, and Morocco. She is now living in Rome, where she teaches children at the elementary school. Lauren’s recipe for a successful experience in Italy is to stay friendly, happy, and patient! Read closely, as her story could help you get the most out of your Roman adventure!
What inspired you to move abroad?
Needless to say I love to travel and there is a bit of a dreamer in me who wishes to see the world where history has left its marks. My inspiration to move abroad began after college when I had my first taste of visiting overseas. At the time, I did a month long tour of Europe and was floored by what I found. It is difficult to put into words the energy and sense of community I found while traveling. There is a focus on people in the expat community, rather than work or money, which is what made me want to move abroad.
Is there any trait you still find odd or funny in Italians?
I think the funniest trait that I have found amongst Italians is the inability to say I don’t know when asked for directions. I have gotten lost a couple of times and know that I must ask for help but must also take the advice with a grain of salt because it could be just an opinion.
What is your favorite, non-touristy, spot in Rome?
My favorite non-touristy spot in Rome is walking or biking along the Tiber River near the Ponte Milvio area.
Mediterranean diet is known to be healthy, but all this Italian food around can be challenging for a newcomer. Do you have any suggestions for expats on how to keep healthy in Rome?
Don’t be afraid to try something new but everything should be done in moderation. Also, don’t be afraid to take the stairs or clock in a long walk. Your body will thank you for it later.
Is there anything you wish someone had told you before you moved to Rome?
The best way to get things accomplished in Rome is to be patient and persistent.
What is your single most important recommendation to any soon-to-be expat in Rome?
Make sure you do the touristy things because they are beautiful and probably a part of what drew you to this location. However, take the time to discover yourself and find your favorite parts of Rome. Going for a walk with no true destination in mind is one of the best ways to enjoy la dolce vita.
Our time with Lauren is over for now, but we will be back soon with a new, exciting interview with an expat in Rome – stay tuned for updates!