Martina Bonini is 26 years old Italian girl. She works as a Barista in Westbury hotel. She’s also a freelance illustrator. She loves art, travel and discovering new places.
Where are you from originally?
I’m Italian, I was born in a little town called Canelli, Piedmont, in the north, one and a half hour from Turin. It’s famous for the wine and landscape.
Why and when did you relocate from your country?
I left my town, my job and family because I wanted to do a different experience, meet new people , see other country, learn English . It was a period in my life when I felt lost, I was not happy. So I decide to start my adventure and do some travelling.
Have you lived anywhere else beside your native country and Ireland?
How did you like it there? Yes when I left Italy I lived in Spain , near Cadiz and I really enjoyed my time there, but after a while I decide to moved to Ireland. I was always fascinated about that country. When I first came, I’ve travelled around Ireland for one month, to discover the nature and landscape. After that, I decided to live in Dublin because it is a city, but not really busy and chaotic like some others. I m feeling good and people are always friendly and want to help you 😊
What made you choose Ireland?
Maybe because I was born on St. Paddy’s day!
I am joking. I chose Ireland because of the nature. It started as an adventure, but then I realised Dublin could be my city for a while, so I started looking for a job, house…
Are you happy with your job? What do you like/dislike about the environment at work, relationships with colleagues?
I work in Westbury hotel in Grafton Street, in the centre of the city. I m happy with my job, the only thing I don’t like it is that I am always in a room to make coffee and tea, I never see my guests. I work with people for many years, and I need that contact with people. But here I can’t go on the floor because I have a tattoo on my arm. That makes me sad. I love my colleagues we have a good relationship, and also with my manager! Everything is good! Maybe I’d like one day to do more art 😊
How do you like living in Ireland?
I like to wake up in the morning, take my coffee, and do some drawing before going to work. Twice per week I go out with some friends to enjoy. Actually I don’t know, maybe I miss a bit my little town.
How different is Ireland from your native country, what do you miss, tell me a little bit about the economy, lifestyle and cultural differences in both countries?
I miss food, coffee, my landscape, my friends and family but that is normal! Dublin offers many opportunities for everyone.
Less taxes, more jobs, but the city is too expensive and also it is so difficult to find a house when you arrive!!!! That’s crazy. I was surprise to know that the women can’t do the abortion. But now there is a referendum, so let s see. Also the healthcare is different in Italy. You don’t pay for a regular visit to your doctor. Here if you go to the doctor you know that you need to pay at least 60 euro. I like it for the music, for the multi ethnicity. In Dublin you can meet people from all around the world!
How did being an expat/immigrant change you? Do you think you’re a little bit different now? Do you think it changed your ways, moved some boundaries?
It changed my mind; I have a different vision about things.I’m a little bit different; It thought me to be more passionate and to dream more, not always thinking about my job and be stressed. I appreciate the little things now.
Have you ever experienced discrimination, or someone being rude to you because of your nationality or race? Do you think you have equal chances when applying for a job or promotion as native Irish people?
No , never! People at work want to learn Italian, and we talk about cities, wine, food! I think that depends on your job position. Sometimes Irish people want to hire Irish people, sometimes the opposite, so it depends. But here we have a lot of opportunities to find a job and to change it!
How do you like Irish people? What are the biggest differences (habits, traditions, lifestyle)?
I love Irish people because they are so friendly, I feel like at home! Irish guys are sometimes shy! In Italy is the opposite! Irish guys can also be a little bit rude, when they drink too much! In Italy we don’t have this kind of lifestyle to always drink like here. But overall, Irish people are always trying to help you.
Did anything surprise you since living here?
Negative: healthcare, abortion law, problem with homeless people and drug addicts, expensive city. Positive: people, security, jobs, less tax, more opportunity, you can find all the things that you need, music , culture, quiet city.
Do you think you’ll stay in Ireland in the next 10, 20 years, or permanent?
I’d like to stay one year. Maybe because I need more sun! I d like to study illustration and the University is full time, so with a part time job I couldn’t pay here for my rent and the University! To expensive.
Do you think Ireland has a lot of job opportunities? How do you like the nature, lifestyle?
Yes I think it is a good place If you want to find a job. I like the atmosphere !!!! I feel good and peaceful. In my vintage house, with my roommate, musician!
Do you have favourite place/s in Ireland (or Dublin area) that you go to when you want to relax (your happy place).
Stephen Green, in the nature, with animals. I like go the library, do some shopping in George’s street arcade market. Or do a tour in a vintage shop! I love drawing around the city and the best thing is that I can go when I want to the national gallery, it’s a free entry and I live close to it 😊
How often you’re feeling nostalgic? Sometimes when my friends or family call me. We have to mention the weather. Your thoughts about it?
It could be sunnier! I need the sun, for my mood!!! The winter it s not to cold like in the north of Italy, so that great!
Would you recommend to other people to relocate to Ireland? Why?
For sure. It’s a good experience if you want to learn English and work.
Do you ever regret moving here?
No, never. I m very happy with my Irish experience. Anything else you would like to mention? I’m working on a personal project about Dublin. Illustrated book about my vision of the city. I like to express myself with visual communication, drawing.
I hope you enjoyed Martinas’s story, the next one coming up soon… Yours, Ana-Marija Hota…
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