here I am again. I missed updating in here for several months just like last year and for the exact same reasons. In 2018 I was leaving my natal region for few months, because I was done. This year I repeated the experience.
During the course of the time and, even here on the blog, I had the chance to get to know many expats or people who left the countries temporarily for the most different reasons: love, study, work, better living conditions. In my case what I was trying to do was retrieving and nurturing the almost insignificant part of the self-esteem I was left with. Years characterized by disappointment in the work department and struggles in my personal life had done a significant amount of damages, even though I’ve grown a thick skin over time. It was the moment to turn the page and try something new to give myself an opportunity and start anew. We discussed many times about Italy being the ideal place for holidays and not so much in terms of everyday life, didn’t we?
Ultental wasn’t planned, though. The destination was not the one I had planned, but an opportunity came up in this valley of South Tyrol and I jumped in without too much thought.
I don’t know you, but for me the best experiences and the places that have literally changed my life have been the ones that have happened to me by pure chance. Ultental is a good example and there’s just one other place that was such a turning point in my life: Ireland.
The Emerald Island of Ireland and the Greenest Valley in South Tyrol, Ultental
At first I couldn’t pinpoint the reasons why exactly these places have made such a significant impact in comparison with others, but then I’ve noticed a common pattern, that I’ll write down here through a list (mostly for my own benefit and for future reference):
- They both represented a challenging “adventure” and a leap in the dark at first;
- They both have an outstanding natural environment;
- The colour green plays the role of the protagonist;
- The welcoming and friendly people.
I must be honest: the impact of the human factor is the thing that surprised me the most about Ultental. As an Italian, I confess it, I was not expecting to be welcomed by the local community, giving the troubled history between the German-speaking community and the Italian one in South Tyrol. But I was wrong. The cultural differences are definitely there, but one must have an open mind and get rid of the judging attitude that many people, sadly, tend to have when coming into contact with other countries or communities.
The interesting thing is that, if at first you notice the differences between the two cultures, you later start to find the things they have in common. And I have actually found lots of them in Ultental. I could tell from the very first moment: I was witnessing to activities, seeing sceneries and smelling scents that reminded me of my childhood in a rural Veneto, which is no longer here. Such a weird experience for me, like going back in time and finding a part of my roots.
Another very peculiar aspect for me was having to face the expats’s problems and struggles (different language and customs) within my own country. How weird is that? I guess there are very few countries in the world that can offer you such an experience!
All of this, once again, reminded me of the variety of people and cultures present within a country, which is much more than the Colusseum and an aperitif sipped at the shadow of a sun umbrella in the Amalfi coast. It’s a constant discovery even for me that I’m Italian and I’ve been living here since forever. The multitude of things to constantly learn and discover is what makes me love this country despite all the things that make me angry about it. I will continue to explore Italy and I hope you will stay with me in this journey.