“My advice to others thinking of relocating is to have about 3 times as much money as you think you’ll need. Also join any local expat groups on social media before you arrive – the members have a wealth of information.” Maya Mackenzie on relocating to Barcelona.
“There are three lessons I have learned about life as an expat. It helps to be adaptable, patient and have a big support network.” Marisa moved to Bordeaux with her husband and young family in 2009 for a 3 year trial period. They are still there today.
“Even though I’m Italian, after many years of living abroad I found returning to live in Italy harder than I had expected. Once again many things were different. I felt the only familiar thing was the language. Anything else I struggled to understand or to make sense of. I had to learn to live in my own country.”
“Whether we’re learning about a famous local artist or an old monument, the kids see the look of curiosity and wonder in our eyes and they become instant students of whatever we’re learning. It’s honestly surprised me how much their love of learning has grown on this trip.”
“Integration is difficult in the early stages and if your French isn’t good it’s even harder. Even though it can be deeply uncomfortable you simply have to throw yourself in at the deep end and try – you will be respected for it and find that you fit in, in no time at all.”
“I’ve always loved wine and innately understood it somehow, and then my years working in the fragrance industry in New York gave me a good basis for sensing different aromas and understanding why things smell the way they do.” Ambika Kumar
“A quote is affixed to my bathroom mirror with the reminder, “we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” I am not there yet but each day here I am able to loosen my grip on “what should’ve been” a little bit more.”
“I dreamt of simplicity, less competition in every aspect of my life and more meaning in my day to day. I craved culture and more experiences, as our plan evolved I realized that I yearned for less stuff and more time without a plan.”
“I designed the company logo. I built a website, all the while settling Enzo in at school and taking Italian lessons and language exchanges and working. We began to make friends and Enzo started to be himself again. One morning he woke up and just started speaking Italian without even realising it.”
“Upon arriving in Italy we had a few days before our belongings arrived and we could access our new apartment. I ironically commented to my husband that I was now homeless, jobless and pregnant. “At least you are married.” he replied with equal irony.”
“Viola doesn’t want me to speak Italian at all. Certainly not in front of her friends. I find this a bit odd! I know some children are embarrassed when their mothers speak Italian as they make mistakes but Italian is my mother tongue!” Paola Wright
“So, I can look back and take comfort in the knowledge that she had lived a full life, based on her core principles of equality and compassion and had continually appreciated the numerous liberties afforded to her. But of course, this does not ever take away the sadness I feel of simply not having her around.” MumAbroad co-founder Carrie Frais