Get to know our Travel Insurance Master Affiliates, Emmanuele and Eugenio of The Overseas Dream. By creating a community of immigrants, expats, refugees, and more, these two Italian brothers educate others on the challenges of living abroad. They inspire others to find the motivation and courage to leave her/his/their comfort zone.
Emmanuele and Eugenio, I understand you are both oceans apart from one another right now. Where are you based currently?
Emmanuele is based in New York City
Eugenio is based in Paris, France
Can you tell me about when you initially emigrated? How did you land where you are?
Emmanuele initially emigrated in 2012 for his undergraduate studies at a college located in Upstate New York. Eugenio followed Emmanuele in 2014 also to begin his undergraduate studies, but in the NYC area.
What is one the biggest challenges you have faced living overseas?
There are various challenges that we faced when initially emigrated overseas:
- At the beginning we felt a bit lost, both as a result of the language/cultural barrier and because we did not know anyone;
- We missed our loved ones back home, and the long distance would not allow us to see them frequently (probably once/twice per year);
- Soon after arriving in NY, we realized that life there was (and still is) much more expensive than back home in the South of Italy. This meant that what we initially budgeted before moving out was not enough to make it, which forced us to “tighten the belt” and cut everything down to what was strictly necessary.
What is your favorite tip to overcome these challenges?
Starting from the first challenge listed above:
- Throw yourself out there as much as you can. Many times our fear to say something wrong stops us from learning new things and meeting new people. Nobody is perfect, and making mistakes is key to integrating a new culture/learning a new language.
- Make that call once a week to check-in with your loved ones, but also make sure to not rely completely on that. What we means is: learn to appreciate your individuality, this will help you appreciate and enjoy more your loved ones those few times that you’ll be able to see them.
- Many times back home we were not aware of how much we had and how much we actually did not need. Living abroad is a good exercise to learn what you actually really need. Track your expenses regularly and ensure that you have a clear and set budget for each type of expense. Once you have your budget, make sure that you don’t exceed it (be strict about it!).
Is the term overseas the same as abroad? How do you define them?
We believe that everyone sets his/her/their own definition of what “abroad” means. For us, abroad means “overseas”, since it linked with the idea of the American dream (which is overseas from Italy/Europe). For someone else, their “overseas” might be something completely different.
When did you start your community, The Overseas Dream?
The Overseas Dream started over a year ago, in 2020.
Walk me through how or why you started? What inspired you? Where did the name come from?
When we emigrated to the US, we felt that there were many things we did not know, and that many times it was difficult to find an answer to our many “general” questions about living abroad. We realized that it was not easy to find someone with the same background and experiences as us who could guide us through how he/she/they made it.
Consequently, we felt motivated to start a small community where all those who identify themselves as immigrant/expat or anything else could share their individual and authentic experiences with the world out there. Everyone has experienced living abroad in his/her/their own individual way, and we want to make sure that that person is able to share that story and indirectly help someone who might come from a similar background and who could benefit greatly from the learnings of that story.
Do you have a favorite place you have lived?
Eugenio loved living in New York and would go back tomorrow if possible. Emmanuele lives in New York but has actually always dreamed to live in the West Coast (more specifically in Los Angeles).
What is your favorite travel tip and/or expat life tip?
Set yourself a goal, do not just move abroad without an objective. We all have a life-goal, it is just not easy sometimes to stay true to ourselves and be honest about what we really want. Sometimes we give up something especially because of pressures that we might have back home. Leave those pressures behind: you are now alone in a completely different country, you can do whatever you set yourself to!
What other suggestions do you have for those with the dream of living abroad?
Create your own eco-system: find your favorite barber/hairdresser/grocery shop/gym/hobby etc. Whatever you had back home can be found (or created!) anywhere else. Don’t just wait to be back home for that haircut!
Do you have a tip for anyone struggling to leave their comfort zone?
Do not believe that it is a fast process: it is not a sprint but a marathon. It takes time, and there will be difficult moments. What we believe is important is to understand the growth process hidden behind your comfort zone. Leaving a comfort zone means growing by challenging yourself, and there is no better antidote to a boring life.
As long as you are aware of the challenges that you might be facing, you’ll be more confident to take that difficult step. Talk to those who have done it before you: if someone did it before, you can do that (or otherwise, be a pioneer!).
How can our readers follow you?
You can follow us on:
Instagram: @TheOverseasDream (https://www.instagram.com/theoverseasdream/)
Be sure to follow Emmanuele and Eugenio on The Overseas Dream!