Today we hear from Marina Jorgensen, a  Russian mumma, who is in transition in Denmark  awaiting the family move to Portugal. Marina is an author of an upcoming book  and an expatmumma fan. Welcome to WIIYKF Marina. 

Marina Jorgensen

Where were you born and where are you currently living?

I was born in Novosibirsk (third Russian biggest city). Right on the moment our family is in a kind of “transition phase” – we are moving to Lisbon, where we have actually lived before.

What brought you to this place and how long have you lived here?

Well, we love Lisbon and Portugal. Really. So this is, probably, one of the main reason that “brought us” to our “come back” to the country. We know Portugal for about ten years and our love for this place is still strong. 

What other places have you lived?

We lived in China, Singapore, England, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Portugal. I can name some other countries if several months are ok to define it as “lived”, not just “stayed”.  Denmark of course. Probably, Denmark doesn’t have to be mentioned as it is a native land for my husband and for my son.

What languages do you speak?

English, Danish, Portuguese (going to improve it as my Portuguese is quite basic). Russian language is my native. I know some Arabian and Chinese words and phrases, but it could not be counted (unfortunately :)) as “I know the language”.

How many children do you have and who are they?

Our 5 year old son, Nikolai.


What do you love the most about your child?

Nikolai is curious, creative and cheerful. He is quite a logical for his age. He speaks 3 languages on the same level and with the same enthusiasm.


What shits you the most about your children? sorry inappropriate question!

Well, if he ate more vegetables and if he was not so focused on getting sweets, he would be probably “too good to be true” 🙂

What school does he go to?

In September Nikolai is starting in a British bilingual school (Queen Elizabeth’s School)   

In Lisbon the school is very good, but is only elementary, so we are going to move him to the International School in four years.

What is your job? If you are lucky enough to be a lady of leisure then what are your hobbies?

I’m a writer. As a text writer, I have been writing for magazines for more than ten years. I am very glad to announce that my first book, “Лиссабон. Счастье как способ путешествия”  (“Lissbon: Happiness as a way of traveling.”)  will be published by the end of the 2014 by the biggest Russian publish house, Ексмо( Eksmo).  The book is a fictional travel log, smart chick-lit .

I’m writing my second book now. To be very honest with you, I truly love my “a lady of leisure” moments, but I’m happy, that my hobby has been transformed to the job of my life. I have PhD in economy, my professional background is consulting (accounting and audit), but my new occupation fits to the lifestyle of our family much better. Do not mention the pure joy of creativity. 

  What was the easiest thing settling into a new country?

To get to know new people. My good rule of thumb is: more “irregular” country is – more easygoing and open for a new contacts expats are”. I lived in Sweden and I lived in Saudi Arabia. I stayed in Germany and I stayed in Bangladesh. So I have really spotted the difference :). 

What was the hardest thing settling into a new country?

To find out where and “where are the best” a small but important daily things, such as a dry cleaning, a butcher, a water delivery, an internet provider and so on. Including the “best International School”. To find out thing like that as quickly as possible could be a bit challenging some times. 

Describe a usual day?

Of course, there is a certain amount of routine things, when you became a parent, but my “usual day” could be quite different from one day to another. “Pure work” on Sunday, “pure pleasure” on Monday and something “in-between” on another day.  

What is the best thing about living in this place?

Actually, I am a kind of a person, who is always trying to focus only on the “best things”. In case of Portugal, there are climate, food, people and culture. Sounds pretty much like “everything” :). 

Where would your ultimate expat posting be and why?

Back to Singapore :). For me Singapore is the most and the best “truly international place” on the planet. Singapore is a country of the multicultural balance and the values of the place are very similar to my values.  

What is it you simply KHAN’t Face about living in this country?

In Portugal it is, probably, their “amanhă” attitude. I.e. “don’t do it now, if you can do it a day after tomorrow”. Probably, this is not only Portuguese, but more south European thing (don’t mention places like Saudi Arabia :)). On another hand, such a way of thinking has its perks as it definitely helps “to stop and smell the roses”. 

Best regards,

Marina Jørgensen

Portugal Map 


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