Tag Archives: housing

Panic attacks: a history.

Ibiza lasted less than 48 hours.

And now that we’ve got the suspence out of the way, let’s proceed.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my stay in AA, is that you should always plan an escape route.
This very bit of common sense is supposed to make yourself feel better about facing social gatherings without a drink in your hand, and it does. Which is why you might be tempted to boil it down to something like “never attend a party in an isolated location without a fully charged mobile, a bona fide chaperone, a list of excuses for disappearing, an overabundance of cab fare, a .45 and a shovel”.
But it also comes with a sliver of abstract truth in it: no matter where you go, you’re bound to be fucked over again and again and again.

Many missteps were made during the planning of the trip.
First of all, I trusted a network of acquaintances over photographic evidence, and I found myself in quite an undesirable situation.
You’ll understand why I’m wary of whipping out details in a blog post – suffice it to say, there was no way I could live there for five weeks.
Second, I assumed that the sheer newness of a place was worth any possible discomfort, if only for the experience points.
I underestimated my need for comfort.
“Comfort” has become such a bad word lately – maybe because we’ve come to associate “comfort” with “luxury”, “overspending”, “narcissism” or, Heaven forbid, “bling”. (Textbook Depression mentality, if you ask me, but the next couple posts will prove how much of a Regent junkie I am, so there we go.) It’s a slippery path: if you’re not willing to make a few changes, you’ll never experience the pleasure of roughing it out; if you can’t rough it out, you’re bound to get over-attached to material items, never enjoying any peace of mind; and if you can’t deal with the healing powers of poverty, then you better take your ungrateful ass home. (Spoiler alert: why, yes, I did. But hear me out.)
Third, the world’s grittiest display of disposable-camera pictures would have never prepared me to the ugliness that we call Ibiza Town.
The first waves of anxiety hit me exactly 24 hours after landing.

And now, our feature presentation.
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Drugged-up wandering suicidal search of the self fuck-ups don’t have families.

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For the past six weeks, I had a date and a note that said thisistheday.

I’m leaving tomorrow.

For the next five weeks, I’ll be staying in Ibiza.

Ibiza (noun): Mediterranean island, home for the past 40-odd years to an assortment of burnouts, hippies, acid casualties, club fiends, weekend scenesters, aimless people, directionless people. And supposedly James Blunt.

I’m looking forward to all that.

Reasons to try it on: out-of-season vacation spots always had a powerful hold on me; obvious semi-historic appeal, check; the only people living there in Nov./Dec. must be truly committed to the island, capable of dealing with a semi-regular job aside from summery delights, very keen on the peace-and-quiet element, or insane.

Prep work: Italian HMO card should work fine for emergencies (thanks to the T.E.A.M – Tessera Europea Assicurazione Malattia); medical checkups confirmed I’m good to go; Euro-valid ATM card was obtained in five minutes, tops.

Morale-boosting pre-move move: finally got around to replacing broken eyeglasses; the haircut is down to what it was supposed to be in the first place; this morning I caught a look in the mirror and went all “goodness, I’m a passable hot boy. Only my gender gives me away”.

Oh, and my landlord is a trumpet player. Figure that out, you lucky so-and-so.

 

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Rules of engagement.

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Well well well.

It’s been a while, and I’m really sorry – got caught up in that big ol’ pile of Things You Should Do Before A Trip (which in my case included getting your eyesight checked and getting an Unintentional Shauna O’Brien haircut – draw your own conclusions).

I think it’d be wise of me to start explaining a few guidelines for what I’m about to do.

So, join me in the FAQ Master List.

——–

Why are you leaving?

See here. (And here, if you’re up for some nation/gender moping.)

How long will you be traveling around?

At the very least, I’ll be on the move until late 2010. By then, I hope, I’ll have landed on a better planet. Some place I feel ok living in for a couple years, if not until the day I die. Also – I’m not planning on meeting my uber-fabulous maker soon.

How long will you stay in a single place?

Depends. One-two months’ stays are probably the best fit for me: just enough to get a feel of different cities and neighborhoods, without beating yourself up too much if things turn out to be less than ideal.

How many countries will you visit?

I’m curious about it myself.

…Huh?

I’ve made a list of places and cities to spin, but I’m trying to be a c’mon-will-it-kill-you-to-broaden-your-horizons-just-a-little gal here – so, while I’ll watch out for anything that might pop up, say, in Barcelona, Portland or Brighton, I’ll also let fate decide for me. When it can be bothered to intervene.

Fate.

Dude, I know.

How are you going to support yourself?

Glad you asked. Money’s an obvious issue here – international travel is way cheaper than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take budget into consideration. (And no, I am not living off a trust fund.)

That said, I’ve saved up enough for an ok year – this means subletting an apartment when/where I can, a single room when/where I can’t, keeping up with the freelance work (the past couple of years I’ve been hired by Rolling Stone, Wired and a number of local magazines) and at least taking into consideration any steady gig that won’t force me to get back in Italy.

I also swore to my agent I’ll be done with Novel Number Two by the end of May. So.

And I do work from home, so I’ll tend to avoid what we like to call “the Erasmus kiss of death”. (As far as I understand, ageism is serious business in several metropolitan areas, so it’s not like I’ll be breaking any hearts here.)

Will you be able to come and go as you please? Seriously?

The subtle beauty of being a UE citizen lies in not having to fill out a gazillion forms. Most of the time. Any visit to the US falls under the Visa Waiver program: should I opt for a 3-month-plus stay, I’ll have to apply for a tourist visa. (Also: Latin American countries follow different rules, but right now the chances of me successfully negotiating a Buenos Aires sublet online are pretty slim.)

Hey, I live in an interesting city/town/village/’hood/hole in the wall, I think you should give it a try.

Drop me a line: violettabellocchio at gmail dot com

Anything else?

I’ll be applying for a couple artists’ residencies here and there: getting in is a whole other matter, so I won’t be placing all my eggs of ZOMG stability in that basket, thank you.

I’m questioning your badassness.

Don’t.

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Filed under note to self: remember why you're doing this

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s ON.

stealthdisco1

Found on choiresicha.com - do not sue.

Hey y’all,

just a quick update for today – I finally found a place to stay for my first foray into self-exile.

Destination: Spain.

Exact location: will be revealed only after my friends stop laughing at me.

Will be posting the Master List of Rules and Regulations on Friday – that should help explaining just how I’m doing it, with “it” being “travelling around for 14 months in search of a new country to live”.

Until then – I am so happy. I am.

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