When you walk out of the door, the entire world is in front of you.
I grew up in Italy, in a wonderful family. Lombardy is my first home – with its lakes, its hills, its hard-working people. Lombardy is basically a friendlier version of Switzerland, and Milan is the heart of Lombardy.
I went to university in Milan, and got myself a degree in finance. And everything about Italy started to feel somewhat small and tight. I was very young and ready for an adventure.
I have always been quite industrious and disciplined, and had good grades. Before even graduating, I got a job in finance in London.
I remember the excitement, which also comes with a good measure of fear, of learning a new language, especially for business, and exploring a wonderful new city. It was going to be for just a couple of years, and of course I would have gone back to Italy right after. Who wouldn’t want to live in Italy?
And then a year became two, and three, and four, and five, and six. Until London started to feel a bit tight also, and pretty plain. I never got to really love it back then, I was too busy with my career. And suddenly, work took me to New York City.
Another adventure had just begun. I was still single, I had friends there, and it was easy enough to settle in. Americans are a lot of fun, and incredibly different from Europeans. It’s something about their country – it’s too young, compared to the old cultures of Europe, and its people are also somewhat younger in spirit, possibly merrier.
Working in NYC as a foreigner, was also pretty challenging. Americans in finance assume they are the best and know better, and someone coming from Europe with a funny accent probably doesn’t know what he’s doing. It was hard and it was a pleasure to win the trust of my new co-workers.
I had an amazing time in the US, and finally found my wife. After some time, an opportunity came that I couldn’t refuse, and work took us back to London.
When I came back, I saw London with fresh eyes. New York is intense – tall buildings, no view of sun and sky, very modern, pretty dirty and always packed. London seemed like an old village with a lot more beauty and peace.
The years continue to go by in London, where we built our home. I love this remarkable country, its very unique people and their somewhat delicate culture. We are happy here, and we don’t know what comes next. What I know, is that I have lived in very different Western countries and learned to appreciate their unique features.
This is my first post – I will be commenting on things of Italy, UK and US – anything from current affairs, people, politics, religion. Milan to London via New York – MLNY.
All views are exclusively mine. And yes – my name is not really Matthew H. Clarke. But this is an English blog, and that is the English name I have chosen for myself.
Have a wonderful day,