Italian Expat Living in Ireland, Interview with Marta

Published: 9 Dec at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Ireland
Marta is Italian but left home 10 years ago. In 2003 she moved to Brussels, where she met amazing friends and then the Irish man who became her husband: she loved the feeling of being an expat and when work allowed, they both moved to Dublin, where they are currently living and where they are raising their 2 kids. Marta is a study abroad consultant, recommending every day the experience of being an expat to all her clients! She writes a cookery blog with Italian family recipes. Marta's expat blog is called The Sleepless Cook (see listing here)

Meet Marta - Italian expat living in Ireland
Meet Marta - Italian expat living in Ireland

Here's the interview with Marta...

Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Rome, Italy

In which country and city are you living now?
Dublin, Ireland

How long have you lived in Ireland and how long are you planning to stay?
I moved here in 2005, so it's 8 years now. At the moment, I have no plans to leave, I really love it here

Why did you move to Ireland and what do you do?
I decided to move to Ireland because my boyfriend (now husband) is from here. At the time, we were living apart, me in Rome and him in Brussels, and Ireland seemed to offer good job prospects for both of us. We were lucky as we both got what we were looking for very quickly: I started working with an English language school and still now work in the sector: I am a study abroad agent, representing language schools and helping Italian students to chose the best course for them here and in the UK, so I work in both Italian and English

Did you bring family with you?
No, but my boyfriend moved with me

me and my husband -fancy dress
Me and my husband -fancy dress
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I had already lived abroad for over a year before moving here so the transition for me was easy. I moved here already with good English and that helped too. Also, sharing a house with a local made everything smoother: Ireland is an easy place to live, I think, I never found it hard to be away from home.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I know a mix of expats and locals. I met both through work and partially through my boyfriend who grew up here. To be honest, I didn't find it very easy to make friends at the start: everyone is friendly in the sense that it is easy to have a chat with almost anyone, but people seem to belong to their school/college groups and do not really let you in easily. Of course there are exceptions and slowly I made excellent friends, especially after I become a mother and met other girls going through the same experience. Ireland in this sense is great, the infrastructures for parents are just amazing.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Dublin is a fantastic city: it's not big but it's really dynamic and there's plenty to do: food, music, theatre... the countryside and the coast are easy to reach and stunning, you can honestly never get bored

What do you enjoy most about living in Ireland?
I love how easy everything seems to be and how helpful people are. I find a mix of efficiency and friendliness here that never ceases to impress me

How does the cost of living in Ireland compare to Italy?
Everything is more expensive than in Italy but salaries are higher too

History in the west or Ireland
History in the west or Ireland
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Ireland?
I know how this might sound, but the weather sometimes gets to me. The winters are not very cold but they are long and you can never count on a rain free summer: when it's grey and cold in June, my Italian soul is not happy! The other problem is that its an island and it means that everytime you want to go away even just for a week end, you have to fly, which of course has a cost.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
My advice would be to invest some time in learning English well and then look for a job in an office with locals. I think it's the best way to really become part of the community

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I think I am lucky as I never found living abroad hard, I love that sense of not belonging that comes with it. It did take me a while to get confident with the language though and still now sometimes I find myself a lot more shy that I would be at home

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. If you're not a native English speaker, invest some time in becoming fluent here or even before you move
  2. Try and relax about the fact that things are different than at home
  3. Get involved in some local activity that can put you in touch with locals
  4. Be prepared that it might take time to make friends
  5. Try meet other foreigners who moved there before you in person or even just on the web: they are an amazing source of knowledge

The western coast
The western coast
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I write a cookery blog with recipes I make for my family. I cook Italian food and it's a strong connection with home, for me: food is such a big thing for Italians and I love that my kids are growing up familiar with the same things I had as a child.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
My blog is probably the best way to contact me or twitter @martainirlanda

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMarta is an Italian expat living in Ireland. Blog description: A sleepless mother of two bringing a taste of Italy to her Dublin kitchen. My family food blog.
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