Arrivederci Italy, Hello Isle of ManArrivederci Italy, Hello Isle of Man. My story... where do I begin? I'm an Italian expat who moved to the Isle of Man in 2015 to pursue a less travelled road.
In this post, we welcome Marta Bellamoli to write for us and share her insights on the journey to the Isle of Man from Italy via Dubai.
At the time I was fresh out of a Master Degree and Italy was in the midst of one of the worst recession ever. I wanted something different for myself and looked forward to having the chance to show my real value, so I made the leap to the Island and the rest is history. After seeking a challenging position, I have been given the opportunity to join Abacus Trust Company Limited as a Marketing Coordinator.
That's the short story.
The long story is that I had harbored the idea of moving out of Italy for years. Since I spent much of my childhood and adolescence traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures, I started daydreaming about living abroad.
Years of dreaming, pining and planning all came to a head when I was about 24. In fact, during my Master Degree studies, I had been given the opportunity to live in Dubai and work at ENIT and at the Italian Chamber of Commerce in UAE. That was an incredible experience as Dubai has much to offer. There is something surreal about Dubai. It paints a picture of perfection, blemish free. On one side, you can easily overlook a lot of things, and start believing in perfection and developing a sense of entitlement. You can also easily overlook a lot of issues that in any other country would consistently gnaw at the back of your mind. I am sure that people who experienced the Dubai lifestyle know what I'm talking about. On the other side, Dubai opened up doors for me, helped me create a network of contacts and gave me a lot of opportunities which I would never ever get from my home country and I am really thankful for that.
Moving forward, once I was back in Italy and completed my Master Degree, I started looking for an English-speaking country where I would have the chance to improve my language skills and find interesting job positions. I had been surfing the Internet searching for a good opportunity, and just came across the Isle of Man website and the Isle of Man JobCentre. After some research, my fiancé and I decided to move to the Isle of Man. I gave away most of my stuff, packed up my luggage and bought a one-way ticket.
It's been more than 18 months since we moved to the Island and since moving here, I have met some incredibly creative and entrepreneurial people who have also chosen to set their lives and businesses within this idyllic location. It comes as no surprise; do you know that the Island has some of the world's leading businesses ranging from financial services to the yachting industry, aircraft management to e-gaming and e-business?
What I wasn't prepared for was how much this amazing country would get a hold of my head and my heart. The motivation for my move was basically "work" and I wasn't really sure what to expect from the area in terms of "life". I did arrive with an open mind though and I haven't been disappointed. It has been a rewarding personal challenge – being naturally a little shy I have discovered a new side of myself that looks to make connections wherever possible, and as a result, I have a lovely new network of friends and contacts.
If you know you want to live abroad but you are not sure where to go, have a look at the little Island. Getting curious?
Here my top 5 things to do in the Isle of Man:
- Sitting under the stars: low levels of light pollution give the Island dazzling night skies. The Milky Way, the Great Andromeda galaxy and, occasionally, the Northern Lights can be seen with the naked eye.
- Enjoying the delicious local eateries: let's try tasty local delicacies such as locally made ice cream, kipper (smoked herring), locally caught seafood and reared meat.
- Experiencing traditional transport: electric railways, steam trains, and horse-drawn trams. I don't think I can really add much to this. It's the perfect way to make moving easier and more fun!
- Seal-watching from the Sound: travel to the South of the Island to watch seals on the Calf of Man, where seals often bathe on the rocks or frolic in the water. There's a cafe and visitor's centre, and it's the perfect spot for a bit of seal-watching and bird-watching. Can't believe it? Watch videos on Youtube!
- Making a wish on Fairy Bridge: on an Island full of folklore like this, there are treasures hiding around every corner and Fairy Bridge is one of them. It is considered bad luck to pass over the tiny white stone bridge without saying hello to the fairies, or 'laa mie' in Manx.
Again, my advice to anyone thinking of moving to the Isle of Man would be to commit and go for it.
Dear Italian compatriots, a final note for you only. Please note that you can easily find espresso in the Isle of Man... and where there is espresso is, there is life!
Are you feeling inspired by Marta's story and ready to make a move to the Isle of Man?
Then check out the job opportunities here.