Ramblings: Children, the secret to expat life

I think back on the last two years, I congratulate myself on being a ‘successful expat‘ here in Italy. I’m here, I’m still here and I’m staying here. I don’t want to leave.

Then I stop to consider why the biggest threat to expat life, particularly in a smaller town, hasn’t yet struck me. I’m talking about loneliness. Sometimes expat life can get lonely, and the thing calling you home – your friends and family – that’s hard to replicate abroad. That sense of home, belonging and comfort.

So why aren’t I searching for that now. Two years later…

The answer is simple. It’s having your child/ren with you. Not only do you not have to miss your family, but – and here’s the real killer secret – kids get you a free ticket into a town, into a community.

There really is no better way to make friends than to bring your kid to a new town, and even better once they’re integrated into the schooling system. You’ll have access to a huge supportive friends network. The younger the kids the better too. There’s no better way to bond than to endeavour on an education journey for the first time – and at the same time – with the locals.

And this will come as no surprise, in Italy having kids is definitely the secret to making friends. Italians adore children, adore it even more if you’re raising your children as Italian too.

And, again what better way to teach your children Italian than to send them to school in Italy. Speaking of school, the new school year is just starting this week. The little ones – for us on the Riviera – next week.

And school – I’m talking about the equivalent of kindergarten or nursery school – is more reasonably priced than any kindergarten or daycare facility in Australia. And the one we are going to is semi-private too.

The monthly cost for La Scuola Materna for us is 180 euros – in Australia we were paying close to this for a single day!!

Why am I talking about schooling and costs… because I feel like the dream of the digital nomad/expat life is often considered over once you have had children.

But I’m telling you the secret to expat life IS children. Here it is even more enjoyable and economical than similar options we had in Australia.

So go on, be an expat. Bring your kids and be a long-term, don’t miss your home kind of expat!

5 Replies to “Ramblings: Children, the secret to expat life”

  1. Wow! You’re paying alot for scuola matterna! We pay €80 but then, we don’t live on the mainland. Hey, if you want another “expat” friend, I’m here. And I have a wee one too! 😘


    1. Hello Sea Gypsy, I just took a peek at your blog. It looks Amazing!!

      We made it to Sardinia a couple of years ago and were met with a ‘Medicane’!! I just know we need to give it another chance.

      I love the comment about your eating schedule – not being Italian. We are the same, much to many Italian’s confusion. Our little guy is in bed by 8pm – long before Italian dinner time.

      Yes, the cost of living in Liguria is high for Italy. But compared to back home it is affordable. We were looking for a place to base ourselves in Italy and fell in love with Liguria…


      1. Sweet! I agree. We moved from LA and THAT was an expensive life!

        I’m always explaining to our Italian friends about our eating schedule. I’ve recently been hit with “oh, but your son’s half Italian. We don’t require as much sleep.” 😂 I’ve learned sometimes to shut my mouth and better not to explain to such strong-opinioned stubborn folk what studies have actually determined in terms of the benefits of 11-13 hours of sleep for young children. Hahaha.

        I love living here, I really do! I have no intention of leaving… ever… but there definitely ARE challenges!

        Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Much appreciated. I’m really happy to make your acquaintance. Tanti baci!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad we’re not the only parents ‘forcing’ sleep on their toddlers 😉

    I had to poke and prod mine to get him to wake up for school this morning, he’d already had 12 hours!!

    We too have no plans on leaving any time soon. We came for a 12-month break, that was 2 years ago. We just signed on for another year….


  3. Great post! I found children opened the door to a lot of friendships before I was an expat, but mine are grown now so aren’t with me on this journey. Still I’ve found volunteering in an ESL class of 8-16 year olds here in Croatia helps me fill the void. How can you be lonely with children asking to stay late in class so they can ask you questions and speak in English? And it’s helped me make friends with some local adults as well so it’s a win/win. Bravo for you for not waiting till your children were adults to live abroad!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s