Hello! My name is Jasmine, I’m a 29 year old second-generation Canadian looking for the dolce vita in Italy.
I live in Bergamo, a small city in the region of Lombardy in the north of Italy. I’ve been
here since 2014 when I moved with my now-husband after six years together working and
studying in Canada.
Bergamo is his hometown which is why we chose it. We met in Edmonton, Alberta (my hometown) because my husband was working on his thesis at the university while I
was still a student. After we met, I started pharmacy school. Four years later, I graduated and worked as a pharmacist for about two years before making the big move.
It was a big adjustment as I had never lived in another country for an extended period of time however, I came as prepared as possible.
I studied Italian while studying pharmacy so the language issue was not as much of an issue as it could have been. I still study and actively learn every day, so that part is a never-ending process for me.
Giving up the profession I studied for was obviously a sacrifice but I thoroughly believe that every person has so many talents that perhaps take the backburner in today’s society that almost seems to applaud and revere certain endeavors and not others.
We are so inundated with climbing the corporate ladder or becoming the best at something very specific that we miss out on the opportunity to pursue other passions.
Moving actually gave me the opportunity to pursue mine, I started the blog Questa Dolce Vita in 2014 because I love writing and I currently do freelance as well as my own content, in addition to working full-time as an in-house language consultant (or as I like to say, the “English” go-to person!).
I think my life has changed for the better, whether that has to do with Italy itself or just becoming an expat, I can’t be sure, but I think it’s the fault of the former.
Italy is a country that gives you permission to be passionate about something and it’s a country that still smiles upon making an honest living and is less concerned with what your paycheck can by.
The Italians and the Italian lifestyle is so much more focused on the simple things like good food, good wine, and good company.
That is what has had the most profound effect on me. Certainly, there are things that I also dislike about Italy. I wish it was more ahead in terms of multiculturalism and at times, the country’s patriarchal tendencies are still evident, but no one is perfect, not even Italy. The bureaucracy is another hurdle. It’s infamous worldwide for a reason, so I don’t have to go into details here, yet somehow, I’ve become a more easy-going person because of it.
In Italy, there’s always time to linger with friends, to drink in a good conversation or to literally drink a glass of wine.
The culture of “busy” doesn’t exist as much here as it does in North America and for me, this is a welcome difference. I think at the end of the day, This place is not for everyone, and you just have to be the right person for Italy.