We were very delighted to talk with Jasmine Mah, a Canadian expat in Bergamo, Italy!
Jasmine curates a blog called Questa Dolce Vita detailing her life as a global citizen. Jasmine believes that even though it seems as though it is uncommon for someone not to have a blog nowadays, her mix of writing and imagery is unique. Blogging has allowed her to “connect with a beautiful mix of people- those who've risked everything to live the dream abroad and those still dreaming.” Although Jasmine is miles away from our offices in Canada, Jasmine made the time to speak with us to tell us her story and how she is using her medium as a force for good. Once we had finished talking with Jasmine, her passion for following her dream to live in Italy instead of simply “fantasizing” about it, resonated with our dream of creating MEDIUM Watch Co., and making it a reality.
I am to write a post whenever I have inspiration or a good story to tell, but I think an interesting thing to note is that I also try to write in Italian! There is a lot of stigma around blogs now, the thought being that everyone has one - their own personal soapbox to be Jane Austen for an audience of two. So perhaps that dissuades people from putting their words out there or promoting their blog. But I'm of the belief that if you have something to say, say it. If you think you can help someone through writing, you're probably right. Expat bloggers get e-mails and comments all the time from other expats (often newbies) having the worst day and finding solace and comfort in seeing their exact thoughts shared by someone else in a post.
My main medium is the written word. I had always been very passionate about writing up until taking the conservative, safe route in university and studying pharmacy. When I decided to officially move to Italy in 2014, I took the chance to also rekindle my love of writing by firing up a blog that would chronicle my adventures and misadventures in my pursuit to live la dolce vita. Visiting many places, including Nepal, India, Brazil, China, Mongolia and Russia, my "solo" traveling came to an abrupt stop about 8 years ago when I met my now-fiancée Massimiliano in Edmonton, Alberta. That's when I started traveling to Italy to meet him and explore one of the world's most loved countries. I fell in love (twice, with him and with the country) and made up my mind to move to Europe.
Since moving, I've used the blog as a means of catharsis and a way to connect with the world. Expat life is something unique and very difficult to describe to those who have never moved or never lived abroad but I think it's an experience that is so valuable and the blog has enabled me to communicate that to those who dream about it and those who are actually even living that dream, hence the tagline. What started out as a way to mainly keep friends and family updated has actually progressed and become a community of people who have a variety of things in common; they are: travelers or expats, lovers of Italy, or have a dream to live in Italy or Europe in general. Through the blog, I've been able to actually help people along the way who are in the midst of moving (I've helped a handful of girls sort out their documents and connected them with work or resources in Italy, for example) or those in the midst of a breakdown that sometimes living abroad can instigate. On the more fun side, I've been able to participate in things such as food tours, using the blog to help tourists coming to the country. We've also been featured on House Hunters International (after their head-hunters found the blog). Finally, a book has materialized out of this blogging Medium! I was chosen to be a contributing author to an anthology called Once Upon An Expat that is due for release on Amazon on June 6th.