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  • Writer's picturePaari & Niall

The most perplexing question we have been asked after our move to Italy

Here's the question: 'do you miss it'?

The 'it' is usually:

- living in a big city like Dubai; or

- working in a corporate job full-time; or

- our 'old life' in its entirety.

In short, no.

In long, no and a little bit of yes.

Is there ever a simple answer to the question do you miss the life you had for the last 25 years which you then gave up to move half-way across the world to do something completely different, in a language that isn't your native tongue, whilst having the audacity to think it will all work out? This one is rhetorical by the way.

In our old life

  • we lived in a metropolis of 3 million people and 200 nationalities

  • our home was in the middle of the city

  • we drove our car pretty much everywhere

  • we shopped in malls

  • our daily coffee was at Starbucks

  • we could order pretty much every product and service through an app on our phones

  • we paid way too much for food and wine

  • the bureaucracy was sometimes a challenge

  • we didn't know our neighbours

  • technology was used everywhere to make things more efficient

  • we did our weekly shop at a big supermarket

  • the sun shone almost everyday

  • we were usually breathing in re-circulated A/C air

  • there was hardly ever an insect or animal (other than of course the domesticated variety) in sight; and

  • if we needed help with any aspect of our lives, it was available 24/7.

Dubai skyline
The old new town.


In our new life

  • we live in a town of around 14,000 people and 15 nationalities

  • our home is in the countryside on a white (unpaved) road

  • we still drive our cars everywhere

  • we shop mainly in small family-owned stores

  • our daily coffee is usually in the garden or accompanied by a chat at our local 'bar' (at the counter)

  • we can order pretty much every product online, but usually only on Amazon

  • we pay way too little for amazing food and wine

  • the bureaucracy is almost always a challenge

  • everywhere we go we are known by our first names (or some variation thereof)

  • a conversation is preferred over technology

  • we do our weekly shop at a farmers' market

  • the sun may or may not shine but we breathe in fresh air every day

  • there is every possible insect and wild animal at our doorstep - and often beyond the doorstep - (including of course the domesticated variety); and

  • if we need help with any aspect of our lives, it may or may not be available depending on whether there is a new government-provided Covid incentive payment on the horizon.

Montepulciano landscape
The new old town.

That was exhausting.

So now you know why we usually respond with a 'Boh!' (Dunno!) complete with some very Italian shoulder shrugging when asked 'do you miss it?'.


Paari & Niall


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