I’m Frankie, a Scottish expat teacher living and working in Milan, Italy.

I used to spend hours on social media enviously trawling through an endless amount of travel accounts; people ‘living the dream’, exploring the world, getting lost in a new city or sipping a Pina Colada on a white, sandy beach…whilst I was stuck in a cold, dreary, wet Glasgow feeling sorry for myself.

As a teacher I was always excited about my career, as it could take me anywhere in the world!

So why hadn’t I done anything about it?

One day, I grew a set of balls after getting fed up with teaching in Glasgow after a short 2 years; and I applied for a teaching job in Milan.

Three months later I was on a flight with all my belongings crammed into one suitcase, off to start a new life in Italy.

And it has been the best decision I ever made!

Expat Living In Milan: A Culture Shock For Sure!

Milan as a city, and Italy as a country was a purely random choice. I had visited Italy several times when I was younger with my family and really enjoyed the culture; and with an Italian name I guess it was always meant to be. I chose Milan purely because I liked the look of the school I applied to, and I got a really good vibe from it…plus I LOVE pizza!

An Italian Pizza

An Italian Pizza

I must admit, leaving home is really hard. Even after two years living with my boyfriend in our own place. It was also hard saying goodbye to my family who had always been a wee five minutes up the road. I guess this is the beauty with Italy. Home isn’t far away, and I’m only three hours from home if I take a plane to Scotland.

At first Milan was a big culture shock.

To start with I had never lived in a big busy city before; but you get used to the pushing and shoving eventually. The school I work in is bi-lingual, so at work there is absolutely no need for me to speak Italian. However, this isn’t the case everywhere else, which I am still finding hard to adjust to as I don’t know much Italian; and with a strong Glaswegian accent you can only imagine…

Expat In Italy: Enjoying All The Travel

Rome, Italy The beautiful Trevi Fountain at night

Rome, Italy Trevi Fountain at night

The best part of being in Milan, without a doubt, are the travel opportunities in Italy alone- never mind Europe. Everywhere is so easily accessible with road and rail links too. So far, in four short months, we have visited Rome, Venice, Verona, Lugano, Monza, Como, Lecco & Bellagio…and even better, none of these places broke the bank!

Lecco, Italy

My plan for 2016, is to finish my year teaching in Milan with LOTS more travelling in between. I’m hoping to stay there during 2016-2017 as well.

I love how I can lead a normal life, have a stable job with great money, and still have amazing travel opportunities  here (especially with school holidays.) In the future I hope to do some travelling with no work or ties needed; but for now I’m very happy with my decision and glad I took the plunge after years of deliberation.

Now, I’m one of the profiles people trawl through wishing they could grow the balls to do the same thing.

I used to be sitting there thinking it myself; convincing myself that I could never achieve any of those things…and look how that one turned out!

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

After I arrived here, I started a travel blog called ‘Frankie Goes to Milano, where I explore places that are easy to visit from Milan; and give my readers a unique insight into expat life abroad, by providing a resource to help inspire, intrigue and inform them.

You can also follow my travels in Italy and Europe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Be sure to read some of our other expat stories about New York, Melbourne, Dubai and London right here.