Marta has been living in Vilnius already for seven years. The woman explains that her friendship with Lithuania started unexpectedly.
“When I was living in Spain I had an opportunity to do an internship abroad. At the time I was working in a public entity and could choose the UK or Lithuania for the internship. I decided to go to Lithuania”, Marta remembers.
Still remembers the first interview
Living in Lithuania was not the first living abroad experience for the Spanish woman. She had already lived in Italy as an Erasmus student while she was studying. Also, she stayed some time in London to improve her English.
Nevertheless, her life brought here to Lithuania.
“I was working in Spain in an innovation center in a public entity. I came here to do an internship in the same field. I remember that people were so amazing and friendly here. After the internship, I came back to Spain to look for a job but at the time we had a crisis in the country. One day I found out that “Western Union” was hiring in Vilnius. So I decided to try applying”, continues Marta.
“I still remember the day I had my first interview. I was going to the interview at “Western Union” and I took a bus. The bus was going along the city and I felt that Vilnius is a very beautiful city”, she smiles.
It is not only Marta that sees the beauty of Lithuanian capital. Her family from Spain comes to visit her every year and they also agree that the place Marta chose is lovely: “They are very happy that I work and live here”. It did not take a long time for Marta to establish a strong circle of friends in Vilnius. She was lucky to meet people that she could cook traditional Lithuanian dishes like “cepelinai", “saltibarsciai” or “kibinai”. By trying to experience Lithuanian culture fully the expat also tried to dance Lithuanian dances.
“And about the weather. I prefer cold to hot and the air is so clean here. I do not have any allergies in Lithuania that might occur in other countries”, shares Marta.
Despite the fact that Marta has a lot of close Lithuanians friends she still notices that people in Lithuania sometimes might be colder. “But it lasts only till you get to know them better. People here need more time to get to know you and after you can have a very nice friendship”, she adds.
Tips for learning Lithuanian
Lithuanian dishes, dances, and friends. These are not only things how Marta tries to get closer to a full Lithuanian experience. She also learned Lithuanian language that she knows in B1 level now.
“I would not say that I am fully fluent but I can make phone calls, talk to a doctor in Lithuanian”, Marta says. Adding to that she admits that learning Lithuanian was not so easy. According to her, the most difficult part was pronunciation.
“For example, “skanaus” (eng. enjoy your meal). In my language, we do not have “s" and “k” construction. So I needed to repeat every day to many people “skanaus" till I could pronounce it easily, gives an example Marta. She also shares another tip on how to make learning a new language easier - try to make analogies in your own language.
“In Lithuanian “bala” means a morass and in Spanish “bullet”. So I to remember this world I get it linked to Spanish bullet word”, explains she.
No winter sleep
Although Marta enjoys cooler weather that burning heat she admits that life slows down in Lithuania during winters. Nevertheless, she still feels that there are many things to do during the cold time of a year.
“For example, I go dancing salsa. And there are many other activities to do - go to a gym, a pub or meet people, play board games. In the office, we also go bowling. But personally me, I like to read a lot and watch movies. So winters do not annoy me”, she says.
During her seven years in Lithuania Marta also tried to explore the country more. Her most favorite places are Nida, Klaipėda.
Also, she really enjoys Druskininkai and Birstonas. “Every place here have something unique. And there are so many forests and trees here”, she notices.
Despite the green nature, she adores in Lithuania Marta also are very happy with life in Vilnius. During the years she managed to make good friends not only among Lithuanians but also Spanish speaking community.
“Seven years ago one Lithuanian girl that wanted to improve her Spanish language started organizing meetings in Vilnius for Spanish speaking people. After this time we are still meeting and I found very good friends there”, sums up she.