The idea of Moms & Boxes has been in my mind for a few years now. The trouble was that each time I got started, my husband would come home announcing a new international move. Finally, I made up my mind to take a shot at starting it irrespective of when the next call for packing would come (and where to).
My name is Anna and I really hope to meet or hear from you soon. My journey around the world started about 17 years ago when, one warm day of May in London, I’ve met the man I would later marry and join our ride around the world. Growing up in two different countries—Italy for me, Israel for him—travel became, right from the beginning, an integral part of our story. At the beginning, it was the long distance package. The real deal, pre-Skype, pre-FaceTime, long distance call rates. But once finally reunited in neutral Geneva, where he started his first job in a renowned multinational company, we relaxed for five years. I have not lived in a single place for full five year ever since. With his second job, we moved to Milan. Incidentally my hometown. But by then, at least initially, I felt like a stranger.
Less than 3 years later, with only few weeks after our first boy, Matteo, was born, he came home one evening with a sort of a smile that I’d later learn to detect. “We are moving to Taipei” were his words. I felt like crying and almost filed for divorce. Having done a few moves prior in my life, I did not want to move to the other side of the world with a little baby and also, back then, quit my job.
A couple of months later, we boarded a plane with a one way ticket to Taipei.
Those 3 years in Taipei have been the most fascinating in my life.
An unforgettable experience, not without difficulties, but extremely enriching and formative for who I am today. I met wonderful and good hearted friends I am still in touch with now who helped me a great deal getting by and understanding a different culture, different language and, more generally, a different way of life. From the world’s biggest skeptic, I became so happy and comfortable in Taipei, that, there, I "designed" and "manufactured" our second boy, Tommaso.
As comfortable as I was, and just 5 months after Tommaso was born, my husband came home from the office one day with that suspicious smile I had not seen for a while—“We are moving to Montreal”.
Time to pack up again, ship our stuff, buy a one way ticket and board the plane. In the first few days after landing in Canada, French and English spoken, I felt very happy to be back in a familiar environment. But I kept going for strolls in the local Chinatown to get a “homey” feeling of familiar scents and sites. This time it was a thermal more than a cultural shock. My first winter was 4 months (well) below freezing point after spending almost 3 years in the tropical climate of Taiwan.
We quickly fell in love with Montreal, its unique atmosphere, a perfect blend of both European and American culture and its seasonal breathtaking colours. This time we wanted to stay longer. We bought and redesigned a house and just when we were about to finish, during a short break with the kids in Italy—my husband on Skype with the same old suspicious smile, “We are moving to New York”.
I loved my life in Montreal, I made fabulous friends, designed our own family home, I wanted that to last. But could I say no to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in the Big Apple ? Few months on and I was again a on a plane, with a one way ticket to New York City, two kids and lots of good memories stored in my boxes
We have been here for eight months now. Every evening when my husband comes home, calls me on the phone or Facetimes me, I shake a little because I know it could happen again. However, instead of worrying about the future, I decided to put my present time to the use of other women who are trying, like me, to figure out their life in a brand new place and, more specifically, in the city that never sleeps.