Is it possible to be angry with a whole country? At the moment, I am furious with Italy.
It was never particularly my dream to live in Italy. I ended up here because I married an Italian, he got a job here, and it seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. When the going got rough, as it sometimes did, keeping my family together was my paramount consideration, so I stayed on.
My career suffered for it. I have for decades been on the cutting edge of various high-tech trends (I’ve been online, one way or another, since 1982!), but being in Italy considerably limited my opportunities. Not much original work in high-tech goes on in Italy. The multinationals have local offices, but those mostly do local sales and support – not my cup of tea. There are very few Italian high-tech startups, and I’ve been intimately involved with two of them. I had high hopes for TVBLOB when we began, but after a while it became clear that, even if the company does well (and I still hope it does), my personal opportunities within it would be… far less than I had hoped.
So I couldn’t turn down an offer of work from Sun Microsystems, even though it came with the condition that I move to the US. (“But I thought Sun was all hot on remote working?!?” I hear you cry. There are good reasons why working remotely from Lecco won’t work long-term, which I will explain later.)
What’s even sadder is: I’m not the only one. Foreigners who came here pursuing a dream of la dolce vita are giving up and returning home, some because they are afraid of raising their children in a country which offers so little to young people. Even some Italians, in spite of their deep attachment to their hometown, country, and family, are getting out – or at least facilitating their children’s escape.