image 10 years in the UK

Photo collage by Franz Vitulli

Last 1st July marked the 10th years anniversary of the day Franz and I landed in the United Kingdom.

We bought two tickets for a 7-day vacation in London to “taste the temperature” (pun intended); we were almost broke, with no expectations and no big hopes about building a life and a family in Italy.

We ended up not using our ticket to go back to Italy. We stuck with London, and it’s been the best choice we’ve ever made.

July 2012, at Kings’ Cross.

10 years of ups and downs in the UK

Life in the UK hasn’t been easy: we were far from our families, in a country we didn’t know much about, and looking for a casual job to start our journey. Ups and downs have happened, as normal as they could be. Franz and I realised we were meant to be for real during our first couple of months in the UK: if the acclimation to a new whole world didn’t break up, nothing would have.

And in fact, together we overcame even more tricky situations. The more we spent time in the UK, the more we were sure about our choice.

Life events in 10 years in the UK: a snapshot

Like any other country in the world, the UK is not perfect, but it’s the place we call home. I have rarely felt unwelcome here. During our 10 years in the UK, we changed several jobs, met many people – some stuck with us, some have come and gone – made lifetime friends, moved several houses, and so on.

In 2014, we moved into our first flat, just Franz and I. It was a cosy teeny-tiny flat in Forest Hill, London. Its bathroom got flooded three days after we moved in. On that day, in front of a pint and a steak in the local pub, we decided to get married.

We then decided to grow big and move to Reading, Berkshire. We bought a lovely house, with a sunny living room which is currently hosting this writing.

10 years in the UK, 2.5 being in three

There are so many things about these 10 years in the UK I’m grateful for. One of these is the IVF treatment I have gone through, which resulted in the birth of our daughter Lavinia Olympia.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but I would do it over and over again in all the millions of parallel universes that may exist.

Vinnie and I a few hours after she was out of my womb. She was not impressed.

Hear-hear to other 10 years in the UK

… and even more! This is our home, the place where probably Lavinia will grow up. It’s a place we love, where we have found a nice terrain to thrive, a place where we found peace and serenity.

I will always be proud of being Italian. But I feel like I belong here now.

Home is where your heart is. Home is Franz, Lavinia, and the UK.

I want to end this celebratory 10 years in the UK post with Franz’s Instagram post, which better expresses what I mean and how I feel — his caption is spot on.