Living Abroad Chat

It’s always interesting and worthwhile to have a little reflection time.  So, when Sarah from Endless Distances answered these questions and tagged me, I thought I would give them a whirl.

1.Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I was born and bred in South East London where I lived in my first home until I was one, then we moved to another house very close by where I spent my whole childhood, and a few years of my adult life too.  Just last year my parents moved house after 27 years in my childhood home.  My parents aren’t originally from London, they both grew up in the north of England and met at uni in London.  They then never looked back and have made London their home ever since ~ they definitely passed on their love of London to my brother and I!

Since November 2015, I have lived in Santiago, Chile.  This is actually my second time living here, I spent ten months living here in 2010/11 too.dsc077782. What made you leave your home country?

Love!  It was never a dream of mine to live abroad.  Travel, yes, but I didn’t have any plans or desires to move away from England.  That all changed while I was travelling around South America in 2010, when I met my husband, Carlos.dsc07522dsc07632

3. What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

People are generally very curious!  They usually ask me the second I open my mouth where I am from, I obviously haven’t nailed that perfect Chilean accent just yet 😉  As Chile really is at the end of the world, it isn’t the typical place that people decide to move to, so I find that people just want to understand why.

My friend and I always laugh about how we then get asked a string of the same questions by every person we meet.  How long have you lived in Chile?  Do you like it?  Have you adjusted to life here?  Is it really different to England?  Which parts of Chile have you travelled to?  etc…DSC06006

4. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

The easiest would be that Chilean people are very very welcoming, hospitable, friendly and kind.  When you are so far from home, that’s the most important thing.

The hardest was the language.  Chileans joke about how other native Spanish speakers often don’t have a clue what they are saying since it’s known as being the fastest type of Spanish where lots of letters are omitted.  However, with time and patience, language isn’t a big barrier for me now.DSC05734

5. Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.

Images: Mountains

Words: Cachai?  (You know?  or Did you understand? in Chilean slang)

Sounds: Reggaeton music, all day everyday.DSC06509

6. Your favourite food or drink item in your new country?

Chilean food is generally very meaty, which means that as a pescatarian, I can have a bit of trouble.  But the seafood here is just delicious as are porotos (beans).  I would say that my favourite dish is probably porotos con reindas, a dish of white beans, pumpkin and spaghetti cooked in a broth.  It’s delicious, especially when cooked by Carlos.DSC06984

7. What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?

Climbing mountains!  I live in a country with some of the most amazing in the world so I say “yes” to climbing them at any given opportunity.  Nature in Chile really does blow you away and I try to take advantage of it as often as I can.DSC06381

8. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?

Being late!  Chilean time is often referred to a as a thing, and I know that it’s common all over Latin America. That’s not to say that all Chileans are late all of the time.  But there is definitely a more relaxed approach to time, and one that I cannot get used to as a very punctual person from a very punctual country.DSC06482

9. What do you enjoy doing most in your new country?

Exploring nature.  Chile really does have everything to offer in terms of nature; beaches, mountains, forests and deserts.  You can’t really beat  a weekend away or a longer trip to really appreciate all of the nature that surrounds us.dsc08255

10. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

I get asked this question all the time.  And, my answer: London is where my heart is, and will always be ❤

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions too!

Marcella xx

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38 thoughts on “Living Abroad Chat

  1. I had such fun answering these questions last week, and as I’m naturally nosey, I loved reading your answers! We’re both from London and are living far from home, although I’m from north of the river. I need to know more about that pumpkin and bean dish, it sounds amaze!

  2. Yay! So happy you decided to do the tag 🙂 It’s funny how life has a way of working out – living abroad definitely wasn’t my dream either, up until I studied abroad for one year, met my boyfriend, and fell in love with travel. If things can change that suddenly, who knows where we will be in the next 10! As for that pumpkin, bean and spaghetti dish… I can’t imagine what it tastes like!! Guess I will just have to go to Chile (or make a Chilean friend) to find out aha.

  3. I enjoyed reading your answers. We’re working on making the move abroad in the next few years so I love reading about other people’s experiences. #wanderfulwednesday

  4. So fun to read your answers to this, Marcella! A lot of people say the Czechs have a penchant for always being late, but I personally have not really experienced this myself. (shrug) So many beautiful images and words! I feel the same about my home… I guess as expats we are allowed to have our heart in more than one place now.

  5. It sounds like Chilean cuisine is very much like Norwegian! I was still pescatarian when I moved here too but after a year when I started dating my Sami boyfriend, there was just no way I could stay away from meat anymore 😀 I still only eat reindeer eat in tiny portions and generally stick to chicken but still 😀

  6. This is great fun and so interesting – I am moving to Australia later in the year (country number 7 for me – spread out over 50 years though) so will have to give it a go! #wanderfulwednesday

  7. This is so cool. Chile is a place I would absolutely love to visit! It’s awesome you made the move and are loving it so much. 🙂 I really hope to live abroad someday. ❤

  8. Although I feel like I already knew a lot of this about you, it was still really fun to read!! 😀 I can relate to almost all of this (besides the husband thing haha), but Reggaetón and Cachai definitely sum up my time in Chile. I also always laugh when I hear the same line up of questions and can’t get enough of the Chilean mountains ….. Great post Marcella!

  9. These questions are so fun, and I loved learning a little bit about you. One of the things that I love seeing on your blog and Instagram is all of the beautiful pictures of the Chilean countryside. You’ve really inspired me to visit Chile one day!

  10. Always so fun to read these! Loved getting to know more about you 🙂 I had never heard how you and your husband met! I also enjoy hearing how different people who live abroad have different feelings about their home. You obviously still love London, but I’m not sure I would ever move back to America if I had a choice!!

  11. Loved reading this interview and finding out more about your experience living in Chile Marcella 🙂 It’s so fascinating! Porotos con reindas sounds totally delicious and I must try it next time I’m there too! 😀

  12. Such a cool post to read! haha oh Chilean time…my dad hates it and I think he’s the exception to the rule. Once a cousin of mine said he’d drive us to the airport – just imagine the debacle when he showed up nearly two hours late… And I also struggle with Chilean food, though I love empanadas de queso and sopaipillas and desserts of course (my grandma was a baker after she retired from being a teacher 🙂 ) xx

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