From Seattle to Prague: The Europhile
My name is Bailey Alexander and I'm originally from Seattle. Since sailing across the Atlantic I’ve lived in Rome, Paris, Malta, Geneva, Amsterdam and now Prague; it’s been quite the nomadic life, it’s been a trip, eternally grateful for the opportunity.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I married a European while still living in Seattle and we bought a sailboat. Perhaps fate was in play as it made sense to sail across the pond, so we did. We packed our belongings and shipped them separately then set sail with my husband and two little papillons aboard our Nauticat 43. It proved to be a magical, slightly scary and very memorably voyage.
2. How do you make a living?
I’m a writer. I had an IT company for several years but now focus full time on paid freelance writing. I’m getting ready to market my travel essays on iTunes and will complete a series of vignettes to explain away my nomadic lifestyle.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
Thanks to social media; often. Facebook can be static but it allows you to keep in touch with everyone and podcasts are a wonderful way to keep on top of the political environment within the left-right paradigm. I tweet, tumble and have a pretty nice following on my blog.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Prague?
Learning and absorbing otherly cultural realities, the architecture, the emotional environs, most everything as it still feels new, we’ve only been here for a few months. The most educational book I have in my personal library is my passport; terrifically grateful for the luxury it provides.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Prague?
Learning the language is a far greater challenge than learning the romantic languages.
6. What do you miss most?
My North American west coast accent.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
If you live in a major city there’s so many meet-ups and expat events, the choice to be alone is all your own.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
It’s back to a smoking culture which is kind of a drag. You have to wash your clothes if you hang out at a party or bar for several hours and hey, who doesn’t want to hit the Bohemian culture; it’s gorgeous!
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
I find the people particularly kind. I’ve been the recipient of several small and thoughtful gestures. For example, just the other day I bought a large easel and several pieces of cardboard that proved impossible to walk home on my own. After about 5 minutes of trying to put them on my head, under my arm, suddenly a student came up to me and insisted she help. It was a half hour walk home and she was just happy to do it. Perhaps it has something to do with their Bohemian ideals. This happens on a fairly regular basis. It’s nice.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Living in Rome and Paris were anything but cheap. Rome had fantastic food at a great price always, Paris was hit and miss. I found Amsterdam to be surprisingly expensive but Prague provides far greater value ad for your money regarding rent, food sundries in general.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Project less and absorb more. If you open your heart and mind but stay focused and sensible the experience will be deeply profound. You can then enjoy your travels to the max.
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in 2006. It’s a terrific way to write in a concise fashion. I can play with various writing styles and keep it simple. The best messages are the most obvious; simplify, focus and persevere. My travel essays provide a vehicle to write about travel in an emotional way, the blog is just an exercise in writing about topical ideas, politics and idealogical concerns. At least that’s the plan...; )
Bailey's blog, Europhile
Find out more about being an expat in the Czech Republic with Easy Expat's
To be considered for an interview (as well as other articles), add your blog to BlogExpat!
It was fun! And now I can see what you look like.
btw, you look great. ; )
Did remind me I'm a country behind on your site, will address.