Meeting the Neighbors

Hello, my name is… As there are more people hitting the follow-button on my blog, I wonder more about who these people are. And though I always make sure to check their blogs and follow them if they look interesting, I still wish to make a little presentation round (I am a typical teacher ;)), so I can have a more personal image and connection with those behind the user names 🙂 So I will start with myself, and if you wish, join me!

Hello, neighbors! Ding-dong

Basics. My name is Marina, 36, I was born and grew up in Lugansk, Ukraine, and have lived in Norway for the last 10 years. What I like about living in Norway: the society built on trust and respect to each individual, the possibilities for work and education, stability and social security, a lot of beautiful nature, relaxed and cozy culture, very good water from the tub. What I don’t like about living in Norway: the climate, off course, hehe (I grew up in the steppes and can survive a cold harsh winter, though not as long and dark. But I miss real spring and autumn, and a long hot summer too), the introverted culture, the quiet vibe of Oslo. I miss the vibrant life of big cities, the sun, the small talk with the strangers, and tomatoes with a taste and smell of a real tomato as I know it. And yes, my first education is a teacher, and this has been my work for the past 4 years (my second education is culture and communication, with the major in sociology).

Gypsy soul. This is how I define myself. I lived in Slovakia first 5 years of my life and travelled to Ukraine every summer – this is when the train became my second home. I have always had a dream of living around the world, not being a tourist, but living the life, learning how the locals speak, shop and if they cross the street on the red light. In my twenties I chose au-pair as a good way to learn the language and culture, and I spent a year in Germany (in Gernsbach, Schwarzwald and in Hamburg) and in Austria (in a countryside 30 km from Salzburg). Then I came to Norway as au-pair: a year in Haugesund, and a year in Oslo. It’s been a long stop in Norway, but I don’t want to pitch my tent here yet :)). I hope once to live in a Mediterranean country and to make a road trip through the USA and the South America. My points of attraction are Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and India (I would list every country of the Latin America if the list would allow me :)).

Channeling my inner Frida Kahlo. The Mexican and the Ukrainian elements look the same to me

Passions. My passion above all passions is dancing. I have danced all my life, though never in a course or in a club, but at home with my LP-player or radio. I started taking courses first as an adult. I used to do samba and even danced it through the main street of Copenhagen during the carnival, as a part of Oslo Samba School (not in bikini ;)). Now I dance salsa, bachata, zouk and kizomba. My paradise on Earth is the salsa festival in Rovinj, Croatia, which becomes a crazy place with 4.000 dancers from all over the world. I love the Afro and the Latin beat, and I hope to dance and learn more Afro. And when I get older and more mature, my intention is to travel to Argentina to learn tango. And flamenco in Andalusia too. My other passions are: reading (I learnt to read when I was 4, and the books have been my companions and friends since then), writing (journaling, blogging) and photography. I don’t mention travelling cuz that’s obvious :))

Blogging. I started blogging 12 years ago, while my au-pair stay in Austria, because I grew tired of writing newsletters to my friends in Ukraine. That’s when my friend gave me advice of starting a blog. Which was very new back then (no popular blogger names, no one making a career out of it), but I loved it. I always loved sharing – before Instagram I would post stories in pictures on my Facebook, and before Facebook I wrote letters to my family (not e-mails), drawing the houses I lived in and sending postcards of places I visited. Writing a blog was such a pleasure in itself, I even forgot I was doing it for my friends and found joy in making up sentences while I was walking around the forests and meadows of the perfect Austrian landscape (just as in “Sounds of Music”, if you wonder ;)). My first blog was on some forgotten Russian platform, then it was on Livejournal, which I keep until now, but I made a 3-year long break there. I blog in Russian which is my mother tongue, but something always pulled me towards doing a blog in English. This is how Mexploring came into existence. For me blogging is about expressing what I have inside and what wants to be expressed, about sharing my thoughts and finding the people for interesting discussion and a sense of community. And I love the idea that you can make friends around the globe and, maybe, one day you will meet them!

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Favorite things: Spanish paella (the reason why I will not go vegan)

Things I love. I love Spain and the Spanish language, it’s been my affection since the very young age. I love flamenco dresses, the sound of Spanish guitar, dark-eyed ladies, big red earrings, narrow streets of white villages in Andalusia, and how the Spanish words roll and taste in my mouth. Add to it sangria, some tapas and the red wine from Rioja, and that will be the recipe for happiness. I also love the wellness trends and mindful eating, yoga and meditation. I try to keep my habit of sun salutations and short morning meditations, I am into avocados and curious about vegetarian recipes, but I wouldn’t want my life to be all around healthy food and workouts. Balance is important for me, and I don’t like the word “workout”, there’s too much work in it :)). I love being in the nature, as I love to feel the big city vibe, I need talks and friends, and I appreciate my solo time as a source of energy and inspiration. The art of life, which I am a diligent student of, is all about balance for me. And yes, I am Libra, maybe, that’s the reason for it 🙂

So now it’s your turn! Who are you and where do you come from? What do you love and what makes you curious? Share it in the comments below or make a post on your blog and let me know!

and maybe one day we will share a glass of red on a sunny terrace in Barcelona…;)

12 thoughts on “Meeting the Neighbors

  1. Oh, I should have read this post ages ago! Lovely post and I’m so happy to have gotten to know you online 🙂 Maybe someday we’ll share a drink – at the salsa festival or in Scandinavia, who knows? 😉 I used to write looong letters as a child to my childhood friends in Australia, after we moved to Finland, and later on, when I moved to France, Italy and Greece as I grew up, I wrote long emails! Blogging is a natural next step! 🙂


    • Thank you! I am also glad to have you as a neighbor, your enthusiasm is contagious. Maybe, now you will want to write a post like “meeting the neighbors”?
      Isn’t it funny how this urge to share has always been in you – and we didn’t realize it? This understanding helps me to stay in touch with my real reason and motivation to blog (bc I get caught up in numbers sometimes ;)).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, getting caught up in numbers isn’t good!! Since that isn’t the reason we started.
        I might do a post like that at some point, though I’ve already done a few similar ones here and there… but maybe new followers haven’t seen them 😊 good idea!


      • I know! But the numbers has become like money in our days, likes, followers, I notice that especially on Instagram. I would love to read those posts here and there 🙂 what is the tag?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I realized my tags and categories were all over the place so now I organized the posts under the category “Blogging”… thanks for the idea! 🙂 If you go to any post of mine, scroll down to the very end of the page, there is a category cloud… click “Blogging” and voilà! (There were too many posts to link them here!) What about you, which posts of yours would you recommend to know more about you? Besides this one 🙂


      • Great work! I will sure navigate your Blogging-tag! As for me, this is the first and only one, next to the About-page. My personal tag will be Marina 🙂 I don’t post so often, as this blog is not so personal as my Russian one – so far there are not so many posts (as I wished there were ;).

        Liked by 1 person

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