And lets not forget… arrivederci!
Today I’m letting go of the last fragments of my Padova life and heading off on a grand Aussie adventure. And soon after that, BOOYAH, AFRICA.
Being an expat is weird. The world feels like home, but simultaneously, also nowhere truly feels like home.
I’ll miss Padova. For four completely insane years it has grown into my heart, and now I think we’re intertwined for eternity.
As I leave, I think back on the wonderful, irritating, messy life I’ve enjoyed here.
Cycling an old timey rusty bike with very dubious brakes.
Cycling amongst ancient Italian buildings. Every. Single. Day. (How lucky is that!?)
Cycling into the countryside, past crumbling old villas and wineries nestled in the peaceful rolling hills.
Cycling, cycling everywhere.
Meeting the biggest bunch of international weirdos in my life and experiencing many of the tastes and senses of their homelands.
Being in such a small town that meeting friends for a quick beer after work requires no prior planning whatsoever.
Meeting friends that have become so close that I now think of them as family… leaving them is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But while oceans may separate us, we’ll forever be linked ❤
Having endless access to the best coffees in the entire world.
Shopping in the piazze, chatting with the local fruit vendors, and breathing in the smells of freshly picked fruit while strolling through the open-air markets.
Eating moreish, piping hot chestnuts just roasted over an open fire, in the chilly winter air of the old centre.
Wandering through the town, every winter discovering new Christmas lights strung up between the ancient buildings, illuminating the chilly evenings with a beautiful festive glow.
Chowing down on the best pasta in the world by far!
Eeeee and the pizza!
Oh my, let’s not forget the shopping… Italian leather shoes now have a special place in my world (much to the dismay of my bank account).
Killer BBQ times with my brother from another mother, the first Italian I ever met that loved BBQ as much as me.
Travelling, travelling everywhere.
Experiencing real winter for the first time in my life… Cycling to work on those chilly mornings, rugged up in fluffy scarves and hats, straining to outrun the cold seeping into my bones.
Discovering exactly how much pain can be experienced by exposed cheeks, while cycling through frozen fog on particularly chilly winter mornings.
Rambling idiotic chats over cool beers, continuing long into the nights… nights that were always full of laughter and friendship and sharing.
SPRITZ. Many a spritz.
Hiking the glorious alps, with the burning sun on my face, and feeling the burn of my entire lower body as I reach some of the highest places on land. Then of course,diving into monstrous portions of delicious mountain food.
Meeting the best and weirdest Italian fella of my life, and being introduced to his nutty family. Not only introduced, but welcomed. Welcomed so openly and genuinely that I feel like I’ve found a long-lost portion of my own family.
So yeah, Padova is gonna stay in my heart forever. If anyone ever gets the chance to travel to north Italy, please give my adopted home a massive hug for me. Walk the ancient cobblestone streets, breathe in the smells of the market, and enjoy the bustle of everyday Italian life.
There’s really nothing like it.