My Expat Story: Jasmine C. Mah

My Expat Story: Jasmine C. Mah

A Canadian expat in Italy 

At Global Living Magazine we want to connect with our readers — know what you’re all about, what you love, where you’ve been and where you’re going. The best way to do this? Hear it straight from you!

We received an email from Canadian expat Jasmine C. Mah who lives in Bergamo, Italy. Jasmine grew up a second-generation Canadian on the Western part of Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. A city girl with a love of country music, she is a true romantic, freelancer, foodie and fashionista. Jasmine studied Italian and Pharmacy at the University of Alberta and was a practicing pharmacist for just more than one year prior to packing her bags for Italy. Here is her Expat Story.

JasmineMahWhat’s your favorite part of expatriate life?

My favorite part of expatriate life is when you have a moment of being utterly out of your comfort zone, which is something that rarely happens if you live all your life in the country you were born in. In order to have those gut-wrenching experiences, you need to be in a place where the spoken language is your second-language and where you can’t just take a taxi back to your parents’ house should you get lost. I love the rush that comes with daily challenges in a new country, perhaps that makes me some kind of travel-related adrenaline junkie. The best part is when you succeed, it’s like the first time you sputter out a sentence in Italian and the person across from you doesn’t furrow their brow in frustration.

What’s been the hardest part?

Hands-down, the hardest part is being away from friends and family. While you forge your own path and find your own crew in your adopted country, in many ways they will never know the former you like your childhood friends or family do, the you who only spoke one language and never knew what a Spritz was.

Where have you lived around the world? Favorite places?

Right now, I live in Bergamo, Italy, which is my ‘home’ for the moment. Prior to moving here, I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta in Western Canada. While I can’t say I’ve lived other places, the countries where I have spent longer periods of time include Nepal and Italy; Nepal for a summer while doing volunteer work and the island of Ischia, Italy for a study abroad program with the University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy.

Where do you want to move to eventually?

I am where I wanted to move to eventually – Italy.

What’s your sense of ‘home’?

I’m a romantic and I still believe home is where your heart is, although once you become an expat, your heart is always going to be split in two between your native country and your adopted one.

Share anything else you’d like us to hear!

The only advice I have for current or future expats is to try to embrace the culture by learning the language and traditions. Seems simple, but I’ve met many who don’t succeed at this simple concept. The most miserable expats are the ones longing for home and comparing every last detail of their new life to their old life.

Jasmine2Keep up with Jasmine’s expat adventures by following her on Twitter @questadolcevita and check out her blog, Questa Dolce Vita (This Sweet Life): www.questadolcevita.com.

If you’d like to be featured on our ‘My Expat Story’ section, send an email to Alison at info@globallivingmagazine.com and tell us about your experience as an expatriate by answering the above questions. Don’t forget to include a picture of yourself, your website/blog information, and/or Twitter handle so we can help you connect with other expats from around the world!

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