Is living abroad something for everyone? ..Lenah interviews Liana

Liana

How long have you been in Dubai?

I have been in Dubai for exactly a year now. I haven’t travelled outside of Dubai throughout the twelve months due to the nature of settling down in my work. I will be travelling to London for work purposes in two weeks time and I’ll be back home for Christmas next month, followed by New Year in Rome for my well deserved vacation.

What is your job/title main responsibility?

I work presently in a local company where I form part of the Marketing department for high-end fashion brands. In total, I handle twenty brands to date. My position is an Assistant Marketing Operations Manager and I work in the Head Office of the company.

My role includes organizing events hand-in-hand with the events team for individual brands, taking care of marketing & operational activities and other related duties.

What made you take the decision to leave Malta and for how long are you planning to stay?

For the past seven years it was always my dream to leave Malta. I believe that my career was very limited in Malta since it is such a small island, opportunities to grow are scarce especially in the fashion business. The move was always my plan but I never worked on it till summer 2011. During the month of August 2011, I finally took the plunge to start applying in Dubai and got my job two months later. I have no plan as to how many years I would like to stay in Dubai. I am taking things day by day.
After Dubai, I would like to move to Italy or N.Y. and remain working in the fashion field. Dubai is my stepping stone which will lead me to any of the other two destinations in the future.

Did you find it easy to make friends?

Luckily, I am a very sociable person and making friends is hardly ever an issue. I am humble and I get along with almost anyone, with a few exceptions, I guess. Though, to be honest with you it took me slightly longer than I thought to integrate. Coming from a tiny island like Malta, where I only worked and socialized mainly with Maltese, I found it harder to integrate with so many nationalities at one go all of a sudden. I would say it took me a couple of months.

Do you think that moving abroad at some point during your life is something for everyone?

I always believed that moving abroad would benefit anyone in life. Especially living on an island were everything is on a smaller scale, one cannot see things openly. Moving abroad, on the other hand also gives you the chance to appreciate where you come from and the beauty of the island we are born on.

I think Malta is an amazing island and I am proud to be Maltese, though I believe that at one point in your life, it is good to travel and experience new things on a wider scale and learn from different cultures the beauty of the world.

Did you have days of missing home, wanting to pack your bags and return?
I can’t deny that in the beginning, everything was amazing because it was all new. I had my days were I felt lonely and lost. This experience is normal especially at the beginning when you are all alone in a new country to a certain extent. Though, a year down the line, I am content with the decision I have made. I have many friends now, and the feeling of mixing with different nationalities is amazing. Everyday I learn something new about traditions and the different cultures. Family visit me and love the place. The culture is very different since it is an Islam country, though, majority of people living here are ex-pats which makes things easier.

What do you miss most from Malta?
I miss mostly my family and my dog. I also miss the few friends I can count on my fingers who are my true friends which you find out who they truly are only when you live away from them. The beauty of our culture and history is what I miss about the island. It will always be home no matter, where my luggages will take me in life. I am sure I will return later on in my life and retire on our most beautiful island one could ever wish to belong to!