After the recent success of my Interview with Ben from the Moving to Portugal blog; I thought it would be fun to select some more of my favourite blogs and ask them to answer the same questions. Here is the first of these interviews, this is with Sami from the wonderful blog Sami’s Colourful World:
Sami has travelled and lived in many countries, including Portugal – on her blog she describes herself as ‘Born in Mozambique, lived in South Africa, Germany, Portugal and now in Australia. Married, with two adult children. I love doing all sorts of crafts, painting, sewing, reading and travel. I have 5 cats which bring me much joy and laughs’. Sami is also currently part of the ‘My Personal A to Z Challenge’ completing her A to Z of Australia.
So that’s Sami introduced to you – and now here are her great answers to my 20 questions – you’ll find lots of useful advice and strong Portuguese links throughout!
1 Why did you start to write your blog?
Originally I planned it as a way to show my arts and crafts and to keep the family informed about our travels. But because I didn’t know much about blogging I didn’t write much. Eventually I did a blogging course, started anew and decided to diversify a bit, posting about our life in Australia.
2 Why did you choose where you are currently living?
Although we were quite happy living in a country town in the centre of Portugal, my husband was always moving around depending on his next project. Eventually after our son finished high school he was going to university in Lisbon and I would be moving too, as hubby was by now working near Lisbon. Living in a tiny apartment didn’t appeal to me, and when a friend who lived in Perth (Australia) offered us the opportunity of a job here, we came to investigate. The offer was good, so we moved.
3 What do you love most about where you live?
Perth has got a great quality of life, reasonably relaxed lifestyle, most people aren’t workaholics, so when they leave work, there is time to go to the beach or do some gardening. I absolutely enjoy the river views when travelling into town by train, and I love the variety of birds in the garden and even in the city, they seem to be so used to the people.
4 If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
Right now I think I would just stick with Perth.
5 Quick choice:
- Mac or PC? PC, I’m afraid I´m not much into technology and new stuff, as long as it’s functional I’m quite happy with it.
- Starter or dessert? Dessert all the time!! I’ve got quite a sweet tooth, and I always get asked to bring a dessert when we get invited to friends.
- Early morning or late night? Late night! I’m quite an owl unfortunately and then have quite a lot of trouble getting up in the morning.
- Air con or log fire? I love a log fire, it’s romantic and gives a house a beautiful atmosphere. Luckily we don’t need log fires here as it doesn’t get that cold.
- Summer or winter? I prefer Summer, I can wear light clothes, be outdoors, and I feel a lot more energetic too.
6 What book(s) are you reading now?
I just finished reading a Portuguese novel that I brought with me when I visited Portugal in November – “Mâe Preta”(Black Mother) by Celeste Cortez, (published independently) about a black servant woman who steals and brings up a white child, when she thinks her “madam” isn’t looking after the baby. And just a few days ago, I started reading “A simpler life” by Peter FitzSimmons, an Australian author, about his youth and growing up in rural Australia.
7 Do you have a role model or someone who has inspired you?
I think my parents are my role models, they brought me up well, with good principles and morals. My Mom has been amazing, in her middle sixties she also started a blog (even before mine), and she has written 2 books after she retired. She has so much energy and has a couple more books on the go.
8 What blogs and web-sites do you read regularly?
I love reading expat blogs and travel blogs. I also follow a few sewing and craft blogs to get some inspiration, although I never find the time to do my crafts…too much time reading all the blogs.
9 For people new to your blog, where should they start?
Right now I think the most interesting bits would be in the “A-Z of Australia”, but I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to start with the first post dated 18th June 2011 – My Interests and My First Blog – Still pretty new!
10 What is your favourite meal to order in a restaurant?
I like anything with “Bacalhau” (salted cod), although here only the Portuguese club serves that type of food. Apart from that I would order fish as I’m not much of a meat eater.
11 What were your best subjects at school, and do they relate to your work now?
School was such a long time ago…can’t remember my best subject. But probably History, I had such a great teacher, she made it all sound so real and interesting, I felt as if I was right there.
I now work as a Practice manager/Receptionist in a General Practitioner clinic, so nothing I studied relates to my job.
12 Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about starting their own blog?
Probably to think of a theme and to make it interesting with lots of photos.
F is for Fremantle – click to read Sami’s latest post
13 Where else can we find you on the web or in print – any books, articles, Facebook or Twitter account?
I haven’t written any books, I am on Facebook
14 Can you share one thing about yourself that we would never know about you from reading your blog?
I am actually quite an introvert, but a few years ago I decided that I had to make a big effort to talk more, approach people with questions. Reason why I’m a lot more comfortable writing than talking. But the efforts have been worthwhile and I feel a lot better and more confident.
15 For people considering a move to live abroad, what would you recommend they do first?
Visit the country first to get a feel about the place, ask questions about cost of living, prices of housing, universities, etc and add all costs up to make sure what you are going to earn will enable you to live the life you would like to live.
Generally when you visit a place, you are on holiday, more relaxed, and from personal experience I always feel I could live in half the places I have visited, but once you live in a place it’s totally different from being there on holiday.
16 Can you name three favourite places you would recommend people visit if they are on holiday in your home country?
In Perth – Kings Park and botanic gardens is a favourite, it’s a huge park and there is so much you can do there.
In Sydney – you cannot miss the Sydney bridge and Opera House, and once again the Botanic Gardens just around the corner is not to be missed.
In Melbourne – a tour of the Great Ocean Road is a must.
17 What would be your favourite way to spend a weekend that you had all to yourself?
Watching movies and more movies with a few bowls of chocolate mousse to hand.
18 Can you speak any other languages and what would you recommend for people wanting to learn a new language?
I speak Portuguese my mother tongue, English of course and a bit of German as we lived in Germany for almost 5 years. I studied French at school, but it’s sad to say I have forgotten most of it, I can understand a little bit if spoken slowly and I can read a bit….I will have to learn more though as my daughter’s partner is French and his family does not speak English.
The best way to learn a language I find is to just “live” that language, you have to speak it all the time, mistakes and all, listen to it every day, from TV, other people. I learned a lot of German by just listening to German TV the whole day, while I was home with the kids.
19 What is your favourite:
- Film? The Sound of Music – I just watched it on TV last week, and it’s so nice to hear all the cheerful songs, such a beautiful family movie.
- Book? No particular favourite book, I like romances from Sveva Modignani, and John Grisham court dramas.
- Album/Music? I like almost everything by Rod Stewart and Elton John.
- Gadget? Not much into gadgets, right now I hate my mobile…hoping to get a new and easier model for my birthday next month. (hint, hint)
20 And finally, where do you think you will be in five years’ time, and what will you be doing?
I think I will probably not be in Perth…yes, moving again…maybe to Adelaide in South Australia, where my husband is working in a project at the moment. In a couple of months we will be making a definite decision. As for what I will be doing…I enjoy the type of job I have, but I would love to study something to do with Natural Medicine, herbs and potions… I might take the plunge one of these days!
Thanks Sami for some wonderful answers – and I really recommend you head over to her blog Sami’s Colourful World to read more from this inspiring, adventurous and colourful blogger.
And there will be more interviews from my favourite bloggers coming soon!