Hello again, nonexistant readers! I have some exciting news to share, and I’m sure this time I’ll actually post this site on facebook or something similar so that I don’t miss telling anyone. So maybe not-so-nonexistant readers is more appropriate.
Anyways, I don’t know how many of you read my last post, but if you scroll down I’m sure you’ll find it. I wrote it at a time when I was dealing with my plans for the year falling through, and so it’s slightly depressing and please feel free to ignore it. It’s also irrelevant now.. I’m leaving it up simply to remind myself how sad I was that Italy didn’t always seem like it was going to work out, and that I should be grateful no matter what happens. Needless to say, shit did, in fact, buff out.
Long story short, I got an email last week that the Eagles may have found funding for the imports. Due to the time difference I got it at midnight, and promptly ran around my house celebrating on silent mode because my parents and sister were asleep. I honestly didn’t really sleep that night because I was so excited. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, in an almost freaky way. My mom had given me a “good karma” bracelet that day, because I was so down about my job search and Bolzano falling through. Who knew just how great of karma was headed my way! I had also just gotten a job and was to begin training in a few days, and was able to let them know my plans had changed without causing problems. The craziest thing was that my family had just put in a down payment on a car that afternoon, and were going to finish the purchase the next day. If I had gotten the email even one day later, my family was going to be paying for a car I wouldn’t have used. My mom says that all this the big man upstairs was looking out for me. I’m inclined to agree that the universe/someone/something intervened, because the coincidences are ridiculous.
So, I’m going to Italy! Manfred, the GM for the Eagles, found the funding through tireless work, and I owe everything to his efforts. He found a marketing firm that was willing to help support the team, and the imports got the green light to come to Bolzano on Saturday! I’ve been working since then on getting my visa processed, and I will likely be leaving Thursday. Gotta love that quick turnaround right? I’ll be in Italy for the next 6 months, and between the hockey and travels, I can’t imagine a better way to spend that time.
Aside from excitement, I’ve been feeling stressed trying to get this visa paperwork moving. Unfortunately the closest Italian Consulate is in Chicago, and as I have no car at the moment the 14 hour round trip drive isn’t exactly going to work out. I have a meeting scheduled with the Minnesota office tomorrow, when my paperwork will be sent to Chicago, and then sent back for my flight. Lot’s of fingers crossed and flight arrangements have been necessary, and again, Manfred and my coach have been nothing but helpful.
Movie set, or actual city?
With my quick departure, I’m sure there are people that I won’t get to say goodbye to. I will miss my family and friends, but I am excited to finally join Mac and Kayla and all the other American imports I know in Europe. It’s nice knowing people playing in so many places in Europe. It makes for a great excuse to visit all of the cities they’re playing in, and a better adventure with friends. Plus, seeing a friendly face on the opponent’s bench is always fun!
I’ve got a couple days of intense packing ahead of me, and some stress will be involved with that. Trying to fit everything I need in a few bags will be a challenge- I’m a notorious overpacker- but I’ll make it work somehow (baggage fees aren’t THAT bad, right?) I might even try to find some red hockey gear, which will be strange as every single one of my teams in the past has been some shade of blue. “First red-themed team” pales in comparison to “first European team,” but hey, it’s an excuse to buy hockey gear so I’ll take it.
I just have to thank the Eagles organization for working so hard to get the imports overseas. Having a team fight for me before I even get to in the country shows what a great experience I’m in for. I can’t wait to get to Bolzano and lace up the skates. The season will start October 3rd, which will likely be the day after I arrive in Italy. Luckily I’ve been skating a bit with MAP, and working as an instructor there has had me in skates at least a couple times a week. I’m excited to get back into the swing of actual hockey, and practicing with a team again. Obviously hockey was the major reason I pursued this opportunity, and Europe just happens to be the most amazing setting possible.
In fact, there are a lot of people I have to thank for helping me get to this point. My coaches at UConn, especially Hawk, who didn’t laugh at me when I said I wasn’t ready to hang up the skates. She worked her ass off to find three of her own players spots, and we all owe a ton to her. (Her website, womenshockeylife.com is an amazing resource and I highly recommend checking it out.) My parents, who had very different opinions about my year abroad, for pushing me to get on the plane and go. My dad was very excited and helped me with a lot of the logistics, and my mom, who wanted me to be home but made a very thorough packing list regardless, telling me that I need to take this opportunity because it will never come again. My coaching and management staff in Bolzano, who as I said worked so hard to get the imports to Italy… the list goes on and on. I’ll stop, because this is the part of the speech when the music starts and the teary actress is shoved off the stage, but know that I am appreciative of everyone in my life for making this such an awesome experience.
GET ME ON THE PLANE
I doubt I’ll have a chance in the coming days to write another post, but I’ll do my best to update this when I’m in Europe! I’m sure you’re all thankful you don’t have to read another rambling post by me anyways, so enjoy your reprieve! I plan on updating as much as possible simply to keep my own memories jotted down 🙂
Here’s to six months of hockey, travel, friends, adventure, and great food!
( Eat, Pray, Love on skates? )