Interview with an expat: myself

My name is Agnese and I try to explore what "being abroad" really means; an essence of who I am, where I come from, where I am now and who are the people around me.

This is "an interview with myself" as an expat!

Why did you move?
I moved to Amsterdam to escape a failed relationship; a broken heart without job, house or love that had to re-define itself through a new challenge. Moving abroad was a risk and a necessity.

silhouette woman

Why Holland?
I did not choose Holland. It just happened! After an MA and numerous "low-paid" jobs in Italy, I caught myself applying jobs all over the world. I was desperately looking for a new start, a decent contract, a feeling of safety. But nothing was coming up. I changed my CV so many times that I did not know who I were anymore. And then, I bumped into a wonderful poem from a Polish poet, Wislawa Szimborska.

Suddenly, I knew; I could neither "be selected" nor adapt if I was not myself, if I did not take full advantage of my skills and talents.

And just like that, it happened. I applied for a job at an airline company and three days (plus a translation test, a capacity test and an interview in English and French) later, I was hired.

And it gets even better! One month later, I had new friends, a job training to follow (something never seen in Italy) and a gorgeous apartment on Java Island with a lovely Swiss artist.

Now, one year later, I am writing, following an electronic music production class at SAE Academy, DJing and organising parties among others.

Even though still "fine-tuning," I think I have found my way.

What happened during these years?
I figured out more about me; things I did know and acts I thought I could not perform:
 living alone
 laughing when people do not understand my funny, Italian accent

› enjoying small things like buying flowers, ordering a beer in Dutch or meeting people on the street
 falling in love in English and healing a broken heart with a smile

But above all, I learnt not to be scared of the future and see life as a challenge where you always get something if you look from a different point of view.

How did you develop? What did you find out about yourself?
I struggled a lot in the beginning. I was impatient and stressed; I wanted to grow too fast. However, in order to flourish, you have to wait. At the moment I am mastering how to wait!

How do you feel right now?
More relaxed, more focused on the things I love and on the beautiful people that I meet and am surrounded of.

I learnt how to trust people and have fun. Everything goes: cheap rock bars, vegan restaurants, Chinese massage shops, wine restaurants…

It is so easy to fall in love with Amsterdam. You just have to be yourself!

Any tips for expats?
My Brazilian friend Christie once told me: "Holland is the country of perseverance. If you are good, sooner or later you will discover it, and you will make another step!"

Moving abroad means discovering another you and that takes time.

Agnese enjoys interviewing people with a story to tell, a project to unfold, a dream to share… always with an amazing bottle of wine selected for the occasion.

During this interview, Soglie Vecchie, Rubicone Sangiovese, 2008, Brisighella, Italy was selected. Ancient vineyards and sunny hills inspires the great taste of this main regional grapes Sangiovese. Red, still, herbal, cherry structure with a full body. An intense inspiration!

Agnese Roda


Agnese Roda

The taste of being abroad.

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