In my goal to support people with confidence and languages, I take interviews and hope to inspire you to fulfill your goal. This month I introduce to you Alessandra from Italy!
Interview with Alessandra Murmura
Original country: Italy
Expat countries : UK, Germany
Current country: Nederland
Who is Alessandra in a nutshell
Ciao! I am Alessandra, 51 Years old, mother of Gaia, born in Amsterdam. I was born in Vibo Valentia, Calabria. I remained there until the age of 18. Then, I moved to Rome to study, where I also worked. 12 years later, I went to Florence to work as a social pedagogist.
In Calabria I loved the spontaneity of the people; the beach was our playground.
In Rome, in the beginning, I felt like a tourist in my own country. I discovered the richness of the Italian culture, history and art. In Florence, the letter ‘F’ meant for me ‘Freedom.’ That’s where I could leave a lot of me behind and I made a new start for myself. I was at peace with myself and I could make plans for my future .
When I was 17 I had brain surgery. (Talking about challenges!)
Consequently, I had many problems like communication and speaking with people in general. Nobody thought I could go to university but I believed in myself, and especially my parents and my brothers, who supported me a lot.
It was almost an impossible journey: I had to overcome a lot of obstacles at the same time. For example I was following ‘logopedie’ and at the same time I needed to prepare for my last exam at High school. It was a crazy period of my life!
I thought, “Alessandra, do you want to be a victim or do you want to be a winner?”
I climbed the Yimalaya without a proper physical preparation, but I did it!
The impossible is only in our mind!
After one year in Rome, I came into another state of mind and entered a new period in my life.
I decided I needed a break.
I went to London to study English and worked in a hotel.
It was really a great place to work. I met a lot of famous people, like Robert Redford, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Garfunkel and more. (I could tell you so many stories about that period but I respect their privacy!)
That period in London gave me the opportunity to see the world in another perspective and in a new vision.
Because of that, I was full of energy and ready for the next step.
Working practices and benefits in your adopted country
I live in the Netherlands for 17 years now and I came here because I wanted to have a family of my own, I wanted to be independent and I learned the Dutch language.
To work as a social pedagogic was not possible because my Dutch at the beginning was not so good. I decided to follow a Dutch course in my field, with the goal to work with old and sick people.
There, I worked with colleagues who also worked below their training; a neurologist from Pakistan, a pediatrician from Afghanistan and a anesthetist from Belgrade.
There was plenty of solidarity between us.
Because I am flexible, curious and open minded, I adapted easily to the Dutch way of life.
How do you stay motivated?
About 10 years ago I started my own school of language, Altraitalia.nl
I wanted a career where I can express myself. So my everyday motivation is about how to be successful in what I do and to focus on my goals and passion. I want to connect people with the Italian language and culture and travel with a personal and unique approach: Altra (Other) italia.
Was it difficult to start your business?
To tell the truth, it was not difficult for me to start an own company because I was highly motivated.
To integrate here in the Netherlands was not hard either. I got into a relationship with a Dutch man who became my partner; together we got our daughter, Gaia; so I followed the Dutch daily life and my partner helped me a lot.
What are your words of Wisdom?
Just be yourself. Be open and see the chances that come along and work for it!
Do or do not. There is no trying.
I want to share my passion, my norms and values through my company so you are welcome to cross the border of Altraitalia.
I hope to see all of you sometime….
What is your greatest lesson learned as an expat?
Life is one great lesson for me. If you want, there is always something to learn
Please tell us your expat TIPS
Step out of your comfort zone; there is where the magic begins!