This summer was a season of great change for our family. After little more than a year in our flat, my dad had found us a lovely big house with a garden and we were packing again. Moving house can be quite stressful for the healthiest of people, so it can really be a nightmare for somebody with a severe chronic illness like ME.
We actually loved our flat, it was enough for my sister and I, it ticked most of the boxes when we were house hunting a year ago, but there wasn't room for the parents when they came over, and it was starting to get crowded.
It was an icy November evening in 2010, exactly 7 years ago today, when my best friend and I hopped on a plane to London from Milan. I had spent the past ten years living in Northern Italy, literally all of my adult life, and this was the beginning of a new chapter. We landed shortly before midnight.
We both had been unhappy in our jobs for various reasons for quite some time, so when we lost our jobs, which I now see as a blessing although at the time I was devastated, we started looking outside of Italy for new opportunities. By the time we flew over we had researched housing, grocery lists, medical services, transport and even further education. We felt we knew enough to get by and reach our goals and it helped that they speak English in England – that just makes everything easier!
What we didn’t have when we got on that plane was work or accommodation. We were arriving in a new country with only a cabin bag each and hope for a brighter future – a huge leap of faith.