Marta – explorer, and insurance broker

Your story in few lines

It all started in Milan, the place that I still call home because this is where my heart is. In 25 years I met amazing people that taught me so much, and gave me strength to go and conquer the world.

Since Chinese was part of my university studies nobody was surprised when I left to study there for 6 months. Again the heart lead the way, and I landed in the crazy metropolis of Shanghai. 6 months then turned into12, then I found a job I liked and…there I stayed for 5 fantastic years.

Then being so far away from home became unbearable, and my company proposed me to move to Dubai: a place so far form my imagination I had to use a map to locate it precisely! But at least it’s “only” 6 hours by flight from Milan.

…and here I am, with my love and our cats, in a place that could be part of Calvino’s ”Le citta’ invisibili” for its supernatural flare.


It has been not a chance: you’ve decided to work and live abroad. Any remark about what you achieve once you return back in your native country? And any remark when you go back to your actual country after a vacation or some time spent in Italy?

When I signed up to study Chinese I knew I would have lived abroad for a while, but I never took the conscious decision of leaving Italy to live abroad. I just happened to love living in Shanghai, and when I found a job I liked I decided to stay.

Now the time is coming for me to come back, and since it’s a team decision now (in the midst of 28 million people that is Shanghai I met the man of my life) I need some time to plan it right…


Which encounters do you normally have in your daily work routine?

I mainly work online sending countless emails, every day I usually speak with at least 40 clients and meet one or 2 in person. Though we get in touch for work related matters, we often spend some time chatting about common interests, their life, how’s living in the UAE. My clients come from literally everywhere in the world, their lives and dreams are so many and diversified and I love listen to them sharing.


How and where do you see yourself in 10 years – and if you see yourself working for your own company, what is it dealing about?

Italy!..or somewhere else in Europe? Honestly I find it very hard answering to this question, but my heart screams “Home”, and this where I daydream to be in 10 years. I‘m no entrepreneur, but I started imagining opening something from scratch, a school perhaps? We will see, will keep you posted 🙂


What your city is giving to you and vice versa? 

This is the most difficult question to answer to: though it’s one year that I live here I just started to live the city, I will tell you more in the next interview 🙂


Describe a fantastic happening you have had in recent time?

I saw the echography of my very good friend Giada’s baby sucking his thumb…it was just FANTASTICO!


Can you share your favourite cooking passion?

I’m a passionate vegetarian, and I love cooking so…I could write a poem! 🙂 But I will chose one speciality from each country I’ve lived in: from Italy, I must chose my mum’s pesto pasta, unbeatable.

Here in the UAE I fell in love again with falafel and hummus: every country in the Middle East has a special variation, and they’re all super juicy.

Choosing the dish that will represent China is almost too difficult… but after careful consideration I will chose spicy hard tofu cooked Hunan style in clay pots. Basically it\s 50% tofu, 50% chillies chopped and fried….100% delicious!


Which is your favourite wine or drink?

Water 🙂

I don’t drink much and for being Italian I’m very ignorant when it comes to wine, though the ones that make my taste buds happy are Morellino di Scansano, Nero d’Avola and whatever red wine that is strong and with a round taste.


Which is your music or the book(s) with you now?

“Conversazioni in Sicilia” by Elio Vittorini.


In which way do you try to live “slow”, if you like to do so, in a city as yours?

Since moved here I’ve started to dedicate at least a couple of hours a day to myself: it can be practicing a sport or a dance, reading, studying, or even playing with my cats, as long as there’s no stress involved and I feel that it’s something that is good for me..


Which is a talent you have and the one you miss? 

I can definitely learn to listen more 🙂 as per my talent, I think my awful sense of humour wins. I’m really not funny in a traditional way, but somehow my jokes are so terrible that people end up laughing anyway!


What have you learnt from life until now?

To take every opportunity given us, and make sure to make the best out of it. Regrets are our worst enemies!



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