Claire: Run Brit Chick Run
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Rome, etc.
My name is Claire and I’m from England. I moved to Rome about 6 years ago from London. I moved to Rome as I fell in love with an Italian and then in love with his City. We are now married and have a little girl.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I decided it would be nice to blog about my experiences first of all with fitness, my running and races here in Rome and other places (UK) a few years ago. Then as time passed I started to enjoy blogging about places to eat here in Rome and places we visited as I thought it might be helpful to others. I’m also starting to blog about things to do with kids here in Rome and other places we visit in Italy good for children.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
- Our first time in the hot springs in Tuscany: Tuscany wild Hot springs & Saturina SPA/Hotel pool
- The Street food festival at Eataly here in Rome: Street Food Festival Eataly
Tell us about the ways your new life in Rome differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I didn't know the language when I first moved to Rome and it took me 6 months to get used to leaving the house alone. Not knowing the language made me feel isolated and alone. I also missed comfort food I could get back in the UK I couldn't at first find here. I also found trying to find groups or places where I could meet other expats going through the same things as me quite hard.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Rome? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I would learn the language beforehand as best I could and also join some expat groups online and research groups and places I could go to make friends. And then join as many activities as I could. Also ask questions of expats already living in Rome and get their advice and friendship.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Beginning of this year, I was ready to run the Corsa dei Santi non-competitive 3km race which was to start at the same time as the 10km race. Lining up I had my music going and a little nervous as I hadn't run in over a year or much since giving birth 2 months before. When everyone in front of me started running I went with them and started to walk/run. It came apparent as I hit 3km's I must have started running with the 10ker's by mistake as there was no finish-line in sight and we were up near the colosseum miles from where we started! I managed 4 miles all together before I had to give up and limp to the nearest metro station and all I could think was thank god it hadn't been a half marathon!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Rome?
- Learn the language
- Research groups and make friends online with expats already living in Rome
- Read as many Rome expat blogs as possible so you find your feet quicker when you move
How is the expat community in Rome? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I have found it hard to find like-minded people as a lot of expats are just passing through or are here for a few years. But a lot of the Rome/Italy expat bloggers are really nice and there’s a growing community on Facebook and Twitter. I have quite a few expat friends throughout Italy now who are like-minded :)
How would you summarize your expat life in Rome in a single, catchy sentence?
It's hard at times but worth it.