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Sarah Corbett

Sarah Corbett

Expat stories!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Where do you live now and how long have you been there?

I am living on Lake Como in a beautiful town called Argegno, and have been here for a little over 3 years full time, and before that commuted for 7 years from the UK!

What do you love about where you live now?

The Italian lifestyle is incredibly different – it takes some adapting, and you have to make the effort to integrate, but the Italians are so friendly. The weather is great generally, views spectacular…and of course, the food. Fortunately, I moved for work, so gives you an immediate group of people to communicate with and get to know – it’s down to you how you develop this.

How is it different from your home country?

In Italy, on Lake Como specifically, it is reminiscent of past UK times. You know most of the locals, you greet people and everyone is always smiling! It’s a beautiful environment to live in.  However, it does lack the range of cuisine that’s available in the UK.

church bells

The CoronaVirus

How has the CoronaVirus affected you?

The coronavirus reaction has been quite severe in Italy with the lockdown restrictions imposed. It’s full lockdown with minimal exits from home for essential food shopping and medical trips only.  With the exception being dog walks permitted for short times and within 200m of your home.  Thankfully I have a border terrier called Hugo.  From a business perspective, this has been affected as there are no visits and no tourism currently on the lake, but it’s letting us prepare for what will certainly be a busy time ahead and we’re using the time wisely.

Where are you now and where is the rest of your family?

I am at home in Argegno, Lake Como – and my family are all in lockdown in the UK in varying places. There was an option to stay with them, but I chose to come home to my pets and my partner.  Even in lockdown, there is nowhere more beautiful to be than the lake.

Are you in self-isolation, lockdown or are you social distancing and what rules do you need to follow?

We are in full lockdown, but when I returned from a holiday in the beginning, as a condition of re-entry to Italy I had 14 days self-isolation. Shopping is done as rarely as possible with masks, gloves and full distancing measures. You are only allowed to leave your commune of residence with a good reason i.e. you aren’t able to get the required supplies there.  Police stops are in full force and you must carry a self-certification form with you justifying your reason for being outside your house.

What do you find the hardest about your situation right now?

The hardest thing about my situation is the distance from my friends and family. But the most important thing is to follow the guidelines and decrees and work together to have the outbreak pass so a semblance of normality can return.

Isolation tips

Do you have any tips for anyone in lockdown or self-isolation?

Make a plan and stick to it. Have goals and targets – whether exercise, jobs at home, work goals or even social goals. Remember that everyone is in a variation of this situation, and help others where you can, financially or emotionally.  And follow the regulations of your country/area to minimise the time needed for the world to right itself.

What are you doing differently now compared to a few months ago?

Oddly I now have more structure in my life and am hoping to carry some of it forwards. The exercise is a good thing and keeps me sane – and I’m using the time to connect with friends who I haven’t stayed in touch with as well as I could. But I can’t wait to see my mum, and I’m sure she’ll be on one of the first possible planes out!

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