From Sweden, Finland, France, Morocco to Peru - Expat Interview With Anna

Published: 12 Feb at 10 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Peru
Anna was born in Sweden, grew up in Finland, studied and worked in France and Morocco before moving to Lima to join her Peruvian fiancé, Juan Martin, who is a professional photographer and video producer. After studying sociology and cultural anthropology, Anna worked as a researcher before moving to Peru, and at the moment she is working on her doctoral thesis, while freelancing for international affairs, travel and lifestyle magazines. Apart from blogging, her hobbies include ashtanga yoga, running, cooking and traveling. Anna's expat blog is called Academic Troll (see listing here)

Meet Anna - expat living in Peru
Meet Anna - expat living in Peru

Here's the interview with Anna...

Where are you originally from?
From Finland, although born in Sweden and lived previously in France before coming to Peru

In which country and city are you living now?
In Lima, Peru

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
For about a year, future is still open.

Why did you move and what do you do?
I am a researcher aiming for a PhD, but moved to Peru not for work or studies (my area specialization is Maghreb!) but because of my Peruvian fiancé

Crafts market in Pisac
Crafts market in Pisac
Did you bring family with you?

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I think it was easier for me, having already lived and spent longer period in foreign countries and culturally distant places such as Morocco. Also my study back ground in cultural anthropology gives me a great advantage of understanding the cultural adaptation process and theoretical tools to adjust to a foreign culture.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I socialize mainly with locals, although I have some expat acquaintances. Meeting people is easy, making friends takes time.

Beach in Máncora
Beach in Máncora
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Travel and explore Peru! Many people do not know that Peru has fantastic beaches, especially in the North of the country, but even the beaches near Lima are full of surfers throughout the summer season. In general, people who like outdoor sports are spoiled with choices in Peru: you can surf, body board, rock climb, ride horses, hike, kite surf and lot more. Also the gastronomy is something that you must get to know. Ask tips from the locals (or me!) as the best spots are hidden.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
Pleasant weather, beach nearby, people know how to enjoy life and although Lima is a big city, people seem considerably less stressed than in Paris where I used to live.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Certainly more affordable than Europe, but the local salary level is lower and due to the economic boom prices are going up.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
Safety is a big issue. The second thing is that as in many developing country, people working on different sectors lack know-how and this can be frustrating when you need services. Third thing is low ecological conciousness, but I am trying to change this by setting an example and increasing awareness!

Anna is a fan of Peruvian gastronomy
Anna is a fan of Peruvian gastronomy
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Have a project. I think you can live anywhere if you have your own intellectual/professional/hobby/family project that keeps you busy and helps you to integrate.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Trying to re-adjust my professional skills.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Learn the language
  2. Have a project
  3. Get to know people and eventually, make friends
  4. Be aware of all possibilites your experience can open up for you
  5. Try not to generalize if you have negative experiences. Be objective.
  6. The last one is not perhaps the best tip but I must admit that having a local partner helps enormously.

There are always new places to explore in Peru
There are always new places to explore in Peru
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog sarted as an experimentation. I have done magazine writing and published academic texts, but blogging was new to me. As my friends all around the world and family in Finland were curious about my travels, I decided to start blogging. At the same time, I want to give ideas for people who visit Peru, how to travel ecologically and also about the things to do in Lima. Too many travellers dismiss Lima, because it is too big and chaotic, and nice spots are a bit hidden. I hated Lima on my first visit, but my opinion has completely changed by now!

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Leave a comment to my blog.

Anna blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Academic Troll has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Anna, please also drop her a quick comment below.

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