It is no longer surprising that the network brings together, aggregates and gives life to projects that come out of the virtual (but does this universe really exist?) to become real. This is the case of “Women who Emigrate Abroad”, a collection of thirty-four testimonies — excerpts from blogs, posts published on a specific Facebook page, fragments of interviews and diaries — of expat women, i.e. Italians who, by choice, for professional or family reasons, have moved abroad. The authors have very different ages and professions, they currently live in both European Union and non-EU countries. The texts are not accompanied by images and are free, each one tells about what they like best, about very different aspects of life in the adopted country. Many have emigrated because they could not find work here, due to the crisis that has hit us since 2008. Others have sought a less provincial, less moralistic place, and many, finally, have followed a love.
“Expat women, those who find within themselves the determination and courage to leave their places of origin, accepting work assignments elsewhere or pursuing a love in a foreign land, or simply driven by the desire to rebuild a life, have great strength that distinguishes them. They get involved and start from scratch. They face the difficulties of adaptation and cultural differences, not as warrior women, but with the sweetness, the smile and the desire to know the new land that they will call “home”. (page 69)
The concept of “home” is fundamental. For one, it is the one she left behind:
“Today home, for me, means everything: inside it I put all the affections I left in Italy, the trusted shopkeepers, the bar where I took my cappuccino in the morning, the streets and roads I walked every day, everything I left behind the moment I got on that plane. If until yesterday the house was the home of the body, today it is the home of the heart. “ (page 118)
For the other, it is the new one, which she would no longer know how to give up because, perhaps, she is one of those expats who feel stateless and citizens of the world, rather than Italians.
Women who Emigrate Abroad is, first of all, a “coach book” for expatriate women, but also a useful text for us readers who have stayed at home, to help us understand foreign customs and traditions known only by those who live there. Often there is an example to be drawn but we are not necessarily the losers in the comparison.