If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

27 April 2005

No turning back now...

$1000 and a mouseclick later, I've got the ticket: May 18th I'm outta here. Whew. Deep breaths... 22 days!

As it's turning out, the adventure is mostly in the getting there. I'm giving up my beloved United Airlines in order to switch loyalty to Delta (coupled with the requisite begging them to honor my premier status for the year while I prove my loyalty to them. Wish I could have gotten around it, but with Alitalia and AirFrance as partners, Delta really was the only way to go. Plus, as one of the few of the 'big six' not having declared bankruptcy yet, seems a comparatively safe bet. So, I leave on the 18th but I'm not actually flying into Rome, I'm flying into Nice -- where I have to pick up the leased car. This handy trick will cost me an additional 2 1/2 hours of driving, but will save me $550 over the life of the lease... (I have to pick it up in France or pay a 'drop charge' since it's a French govt. subsidy tourism promotion program, pretty interesting actually - www.europebycar.com - long term leases for tourists, business travelers.) It comes out to about $650 a month, gulp!, for a car with all the taxes, registration, insurance, etc etc etc - I figure I'll do this for the first 6 months and go from there. The office is offsetting a piece of the costs, since I would have had to rent a car anyhow for the tour management stuff, so that helps soften the blow a bit. After that, I'm sure I'll buy something - but need to have something to drive when I hit the ground. Self sufficiency is key, especially in the early days.

I head back to the Italian Embassy on Friday to figure out what advice they have about who I need to talk to in Italy to try to get the labor ministry or whoever to bless the deal so I can come BACK here with the stamps, forms, whatever -- to get the official visa after the first trip once I have run the gauntlet of bureaucracy over there. Yeesh.

After the first emotional rush of it all, getting rid of the STUFF at the house is proving much easier than I thought. Momma's gonna have one heck of a yard sale (or rather a 'giveaway to anyone at the office who needs stuff') the first weekend in May, which will hopefully clean me out. Yee-haw. Unencumbrance - while initially scary - is a pretty alluring feeling!

Off and running now for drinks with friends, which is becoming a nearly daily occurance on the 'farewell tour' this month. Bad for waistline, good for emotional stability. It's really gratifying to look at the life I've built here over 12 years. Will be tough to leave, but even harder to stay with this opportunity sitting in my lap.


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