Restless and unwavering, my pursuit of my dream travel job overseas has landed me in Rome of all places, home of the richest history – and the fattest tourists – in the whole of Europe. I have been in Rome for a few days now and much to my surprise, this place is expat central. Apparently I am not the only American disenfranchised with the American life (genetically modified food and social network overload). Much of the tourism industry seems to welcome foreigners who are eager to hustle, engage tourists, and wake up before 10am. And by tourism industry, I mean the operators/owners who make money from employees who aggressively drive sales rather than sip espresso all day.
However, it’s not all delicious gnocchi and heavenly meatballs here – especially when it comes time to find employment or get permission to do anything.
If you have spent anytime in Italy, you would understand me when I tell you that there are some difficulties when it comes to bureaucracy. You gotta know a guy who knows a guy who might know a guy but we cannot say for sure if he knows him or not. How do you know him again? But that isn’t necessarily the first hurtle when it comes to job searching in Italy. No – that organized chaos is manageable and part of the deal once you decide to immigrate. The first challenge for the majority of people who live half way across the world is how do I even begin to look for work in Italy.
As I previously mentioned when you are job searching in a new country, one of the best ways to go about it, particularly if you are not inclined to shower the internet with resumes and pray that you stand out from the other 1.5 million other applicants, is to network with the local expat community in your desired location. These are the guys that have been on the scene and can help steer you in the right direction, hopefully toward your dream travel job, or equally important, help keep you clear of swindlers (shady characters, sometimes law enforcement). A mere night’s worth of hustle and bar chat with local expats led me to my next travel job in Rome: street tour touting, or in Roman – Gathering.
Could this be my big break? A chance to live in a country surrounded in such rich historical treasures – the artistic genius of Michelangelo to the divine brush strokes of Raphael and Leonardo to the hand work of Bernini. To live and work abroad in a place where one’s pallet is drowned daily in divinity with food worthy of Jupiter, Juno and the rest of the immortals.
I don’t know – I gotta go talk to a guy and find out.