As we waited for our free nachos at Brazen Head Irish Pub after a rough ultimate frisbee game, we started to discuss travelling. Whether someone was describing a work trip or a vacay for pleasure, it all lead to one thing. Daydreaming about where we would rather live…in good’ol Europe.
I know, I know, my Nonnies (grandparents) moved to Canada from Naples, Italy for – you guessed it – a better life. Even though I know Canada has its perks and I’m beyond “proud to be Canadian” when I travel, I would love to move to Italy. Rome to be specific with a little villa in Sorrento or on the Amalfi Coast, either will do. Soon I came to realize that most first/second generation Canadians (around my age, so late twenties) would kill to make the move to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Whenever my Nonna (grandmother) reminisces about Naples, she gets this twinkle in her eye. My Nonno (grandfather), a sensitive man though he doesn’t look it, has a hint of sadness behind his adolescent stories. They’ve visited Italy a few times since they immigrated to Canada, but seem to have wanted to move back ever since. This isn’t to say they haven’t found happiness here in Toronto. They have three daughters and six grandchildren they love very much. But whose to say they wouldn’t go back in a heartbeat if they could. That’s their home.
I do think that travelling somewhere for a short period of time allows us to romanticize a place. The beauty is always new and refreshing even if it looks old to its inhabitants. A traveller’s eye soaks in so much more. Living somewhere new brings with it a lot of adjusting. Yet, whose to say we wouldn’t thrive in the countries our ancestors originated in though? We are accustomed to the traditions, food, drinks, a city lifestyle.
It makes me laugh to think that I’m not the only one who wishes my grandparents stayed in Italy. The lifestyle is vastly different. And I’m well aware of this, but there is something more social and raw about it. Funnily enough we’d much rather live there – despite the economic state, or lesser quality healthcare. Really, if they had never come to Canada in the first place, none of us would know any better.
What a topic for a lazy Sunday. Add it to my bucket list?