Daniel De Biasi, the Emigrant’s Life Podcast voice, grew up in Italy, a country visited by thousands of tourists every year because of its rich culture and history. While many would wonder why Daniel decided to leave his beautiful country, he recounted how Italy’s economic and political imbalance led him to the path of being an emigrant.
With absent knowledge of speaking in English, Daniel bravely began his journey as an emigrant in the Land of the Long White Cloud – New Zealand. Living in New Zealand was Daniel’s eye-opener to the world outside of Italy. There he learned how to speak English and meet impeccable people that showed him New Zealand’s distinct culture.
Despite being absorbed and slowly adapting to the country, Daniel had to leave New Zealand as he could not get a visa to stay there permanently. Instead of living again in Italy, he made his way to Canada – a move he thought would be more relaxed.
Contrary to Daniel’s expectations, moving to Canada was a dreadful obstacle he had to face. Despite these, his perseverance and strong determination led him to finally getting a permanent residency visa in the country. When COVID happened, Daniel started his podcast, Emigrant’s Life Podcast – a platform for fellow emigrants to share their wondrous emigration stories.
I’m an electrician by trade. I decided to become an electrician at a young age after seeing my dad working on electrical panels. I was fascinated by all those wires and seeing him configuring the components using his laptop. It looked super cool and high-tech.
After graduating from high school as a qualified electrician, the biggest telecommunication company in Italy reached out to my classmates and me for a job interview. I went through the selection, and they hired me. That’s when I fell in love with telecommunication. It’s so fascinating how the internet works. The fact that an electrical signal can transit from one side of the world and back in a fraction of a second is still mind-blowing to me. After nine years working for them, I came to the point where I couldn’t grow anymore. I found myself 27 at the top of my career. I wanted more. In July 2013, despite what my peers said, I quit my “secure” job to chase my dreams away from my homeland.
Almost eight years later, I now live in Vancouver, Canada, working as an audio-visual technician. A job that combines my skills as an electrician, telecom, IT, and challenges me every day. Living in New Zealand and Canada made me grew a lot in many aspects of my life. I’ve done things I always dreamt of and many things still to do. My last adventure, Emigrant’s Life, opened up my mind like nothing before and changed my life in ways I didn’t expect.
“I got tho the point where I couldn’t grow anymore. And that for me was a big deal.”
Daniel De Biasi 0:06
Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Emigrant's Life Podcast. This week is episode number 50. And I want to celebrate this milestone by doing something slightly different. I've been asked many times to share my story on the podcast, but I thought I didn't need to. I thought I could just share a bit of my story here and there in the episodes, and that's it. But they convinced me to do it anyway. So for this episode, halfway to 100th episode milestone, I thought I could just share a little bit more about myself. The question I hear the most is, why did you decide to start this podcast? Well, like some of you, when the pandemic started last year, I stopped working. I'm an audio visual technician. And because my job requires me to be on site to do my job, I ended up being at home looking for something to do. I wanted to start a podcast for a few years at that point, but I never found the courage to do it. You have listened to your voice recorded, right? How weird is that? You sound different, and it's so awkward. But I finally found the courage when I come up with the topic - helping others living their own country to chase their dreams. That's exactly what I did back in 2013. And it's still the best issues I've ever made. And I tried to convinced my friends to do the same, but I always got the same answers. Daniel, I just bought a house, or I have kids now, I don't speak the language and my favorite, I'm not as brave as you. So far, I have interviewed 48 people from 28 different countries, each of them with a unique story inspiring in its own way. Some have sold their houses in order to leave their country, some with kids, some without speaking the language, a few with little or no saving. They all made it. Actually we all made it. And the best part is, none of them ever regret their decision. So because the topic was so close to my heart, I finally found the courage to press record. The intro of the podcast came out in April 2020. It took me two hours to record that just three minutes intro. Listening to my voice and my permission was hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. Two months later, I released my first episode. It was my first time interviewing someone. That was so awkward. But 50 episodes later, I'm so glad I press record that day. Probably my second best decision ever made. I met so many great people because of it. I've received some amazing messages from some of you. I still can't believe that someone actually listened to our podcast. If you've been listening to this podcast, first of all, thank you very, very much. It means a lot. And if you listen to this right now, please pause it for a second and send me a quick text via our social media or a quick email, just say Hi, I'm listening to your podcast. It will really make my day. One of the best things about having this platform is meeting people like you from all over the world. Now some of them have become my friend. One of them was kind enough to take the time to interview me for this episode. She's the one and only Louise Ross. You might know her from Episode no.37. She's the author of Woman Walk and The Winding Road to Portugal, two books about emigrants who decides to make Portugal their new home. She recently started her own podcast. It's called The Woman Who Walk Podcast, where she shares the inspiring story of woman who made her way to Portugal. You should definitely check it out. Okay, now it's time to pass the microphone to Louise. I hope you enjoy it.
Daniel De Biasi 3:17
Hi, thanks for taking the time to do the interview with me.
Not a problem Daniel. This is gonna be really fun. And I'm so curious to hear a little bit more about your story given that you interviewed so many people, including me. And now it's time for everybody to hear about you.
Daniel De Biasi 3:31
Yeah, I've been asked to share my story quite a few times. So I think it's time.
Well, I've got some questions here. And obviously, the listeners are probably aware that you're Italian. And you're from a small farm town near Milan. And what's curious to me, Daniel, is that Italy is a huge tourist destination these days, and everybody wants to go to Italy. So why did you leave your birth country? What were the circumstances behind you leaving and what age were you when you left?
Daniel De Biasi 4:02
So I left when I was 27. And one thing that I we need to make a difference is like leaving in the country and going on holiday in that country. It's two different things. Don't get me wrong. Italy's a beautiful place. There's like for tourists. It's a really nice place. living there, you need to deal with the situation with the issues of the country. And the politics, the economic and the mentality for me as well of the Italian people. Yeah, I just couldn't stand it anymore. But mostly, I think I even spoke with you in during your interview that when you getting close to this milestone, getting close to 30 years old. We started feeling like you need to think about what you're doing in life, at what point you are in life and what you want to achieve in life. And at that point, I thought, I know I need to build the base, the foundation of my future, and I can't base the foundation on my future in this economy, in this situation. I didn't trust the government. I didn't trust the whole situation that was going on in Italy, and actually in Europe? And I fall No, no, no, I need to change something. I worked. I got to the point where I couldn't grow anymore. And that, for me was a big deal. It was a big thing. I'm like 27 years, you can grow professionally, like, what are you going to do, just like I can't be 27 like at the top of my career, just like there's must be something better to do. So I decided to quit my job. And for me, I found it easier to quit my job and move to another country than quit my job in Italy and find another job in Italy. It wasn't easy at the time I don't know if things might have changed. By that time, it wasn't easy to find another job. So I thought probably it's like a more safer and easier just to go to another country and start all over. At that point, my goal, my dream was to move to the Silicon Valley, work for a tech company in the Silicon Valley. Because that was for me, that was my career change. Like I want to grow in my career. I've always loved telecommunication, and technology. So I thought I could combine the two things and work for a tech company in Silicon Valley. That was my goal. The problem was that when I decided to leave Italy Actually, I didn't speak any English. I never spoke English before in my life. I studied English for years and years and years in school. But being a bad student, I couldn't speak the language. So for me, finding a job in the US was impossible. Going to the US, I tried to go as a student in the US. It was way too expensive, so I couldn't afford it. So I decided to go somewhere else. So the plan was, go to a country, learn the language as soon as possible, and then find a job in the US and move to the US. That was a goal. I just just put down on the list of the country where English was the first language outside of Europe, because as I said, I wanted to be away from Europe. And the list was pretty short. It was Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I exclude the Canada because I thought it was too cold. Australia, because I thought there were way too many Italians. Because everybody I heard at that time they were leaving Italy, we're going to Australia. Because for me, as I said my priority was learning the language as soon as possible. I didn't want to go with Italians. I just like absolutely no. I just want to be fully immersed with language and learn as much as possible so I can move on. So I decided to go to New Zealand.
Wow, that was quite an answer. I mean, a number of questions come to mind. And I'm just going to backtrack a little before I go forward. You know, it was a really courageous thing, I think for a young Italian man from a small rural town to be so forward thinking and to make the decisions that you made. Was there any pushback from your family regarding your decision to leave and grow your life in another part of the world? And as it turns out, at a great distance from Italy?
Daniel De Biasi 7:45
Okay, I want to start by saying that what I did wasn't fueled by courage, but it was fueled by fear. So I don't think myself as a courageous person, but a fearful person. I was pessimistic of the situation. So for me, the reason why I left Italy not because of courage, I know how to do this. I got this but was like, This is bad. I need to get out of here as soon as possible. So that was the fear of like, running away, pretty much. And support from my family, yes. My mom was aware of the situation in Italy, like, yeah, this is not a good place. So I totally understand. Like, why do you have to go so far? That was the problem with my mom, like, I'm okay, you're leaving Italy, but do you really have to go to the other side of the world to change your life? And I told her, Mom, just like, look at the bright side, everywhere I go from there, will be closer.
What a good son, what a great thing to say to your mom. That's great. Well, for people who are fascinated by Italy and want to travel there one day, you're painting a very different picture of your country. Maybe we'll get into that at some point. But let's move on. My next comment actually, was that you're quite right. There's an enormous Italian population in Australia, which is where I'm from, and particularly in Melbourne. In fact, there's an area of Melbourne, where maybe it's the whole city of Melbourne, which is the Melbourne is the sister city of Milan, so a very buzzy Italian community and culture in Melbourne. So, you know, one of the things interesting to me as I talk to other internationals, people who've left their country of origin and lived abroad, is this commonality of finding yourself in a new country but not really wanting to immerse yourself in the community of people from your country of origin. Why do you think that we do that? Why do you think that we would prefer to immerse ourselves in a new country and culture and not be a part of the immigrant or expat community?
Daniel De Biasi 9:47
I don't know. I find it like a lot of people to try to stick with their own culture, their own people from the same country because for some people, it's easier. Because you speak the same language, you got the same cultural background, they got the same kind of understanding and like a culture. For me everything as I said it started because I didn't want to I want to learn the language. I wanted to be like a fully immersed with the language. But also for me, that's the beauty of moving to another country. You want to have the full experience. It's like going on holiday, somewhere exotic and never leave the resort. Like, what's the bloody point? Yes, be in the resort. People speak they all lead, you're saying the same language, you get the same food that you got home, it's comfortable. But what's the bloody point? Get on the plane and then travel if you are the same experience at home. And so for me, that was the beauty of traveling, the beauty of experience with the culture and integrate with the people. So you got understanding and for me, probably even depends on what kind of mindset you have. Are you living your country for being an experienced abroad, just to have fun, just over like a year away, or you're leaving your country to build your life somewhere else? Because for me, if you're trying to build your life in a new country, automatically, you want to integrate more because this is going to be my new life. This is going to be where I want to build my home. That's where I want to create my circle of friends. And I think you're more, you kind of need to be integrated, just to even to understand the culture and have a better experience overall.
Absolutely. Yeah, I agree with you. So it sounds like you kind of ended up in New Zealand by default. Because your intention really was to just go to an English speaking country, learn English, and then find your way to Silicon Valley. But you end up in New Zealand and you didn't speak English, you had to learn English. So how did you learn English?
Daniel De Biasi 11:40
At the beginning, I think I was using an app called Babbel. It was great because you could listen to the different words. And also it will record your pronunciation and they will give you like a rate for your pronunciation. One other app and I don't remember the name was actually pretty good because it was a different way of teaching you English. It was like teaching you the sentences would use in a normal situation like, Can you take a picture of me? Or where's the restroom? All like the phrases, not just the words, just phrase that you will commonly use. And that for me was like a good way to move around English language. But also, I have to say that, in my mind, I thought I could learn English, I could be fluent in English in only two weeks.
Daniel De Biasi 12:23
That's from a person that never learned a language and when I went to England like a few years before I decided to leave Italy, I was there for a couple of days. And as an Italian speaker and probably other languages as well, we don't pronounce the 'H', we don't have 'ha' sound. So when I went there, and say just normal "Hi" for me it was, "I" and after a few days, I could feel the the pronunciation from- I went from "i" to "Hi" like, oh, if it's I can see like so much improvement in only a few days. Imagine what I can do in two weeks. And for me, it was like, I can just repeat what they're saying. Use their sentences just to reply back. And I thought I could use that as a mechanism to speak the language. The problem I didn't take in consideration was in New Zealand people speak much differently. And I couldn't understand a conversation and probably took me like six months before I could even understand a conversation. I still remember the first time I could understand the conversation. It was in the kitchen in my apartment with my friends. And they were talking. I was just sitting there trying to pretend I was understanding the conversation. You know, I said, Okay, okay, not knowing whatever they were talking about. At some point, I was sitting there, and in my mind, like, I can understand what they're talking about. And I started celebrating my own head like a yes, I can understand what they're saying. And then I started I lost the track of what they were talking about because it was celebrating in my own head. But for me that was the first time I could actually understand a conversation and even from then, I was like I could understand songs, the songs that I used to love and songs that I knew before now I could understand what the singer were saying. It was like a totally good experience. But that get to the point it took me a good six months. I wasn't expecting that.
It wasn't two weeks?
Daniel De Biasi 14:11
Absolutely no, absolutely not. I made like a lot of mistakes. But going back to your question like how did I learn the language? I think the best advice I can give to people is a one to one session with a teacher. That's for me that will help me the most. Because what I will do was during the week, maybe I can hear a way or like some slang or what people will say and just write it down on my phone. And I go to her like oh, I heard like this person says this, like, oh, and she will explain me what they meant. Or probably I will like writing down as I thought they will say and she was like No, Daniel, it's not actually this word, it's that one. Because he sometimes you associate what you're hear with what you know, but if you don't know a word, it's hard to put it down into like spell it right. And for me that was like a huge huge help. That's what the good thing about one to one, she understands the way you're learning. And it's like there's a one to one conversation so you can bring to her or to him, in my case it was her. Like all the questions I have, all these doubts that like why people they're saying this, and also the person was like Kiwi, was from New Zealand. So she'll give me even the insides of the culture and teach me a lot about the culture. So that for me was a big change. That I think was the most helpful thing I've done, the investment property I've done to myself to learn the language, because you can learn through apps, but if you have any questions, there's nobody to talk to. And if the pronunciation is slightly off, I don't think an app can tell you that, because there's so many mistakes that you can make with English language, just because the pronunciation is slightly different. Like, what I did right away, I left and I got on the plane, when I left Italy, I went on the plane, and I wanted to order something to drink, I wanted to order some coke. But instead of coke, you know that the pronunciation can be different. And it can sound completely something else. In English, there's so many different of these words that you pronounce it differently, it can be a completely disaster. So having the person that can teach you those little things, how to pronounce it correctly, to not make those big mistakes. That's a huge help.
It is. I totally agree. Because as you know, I live in Portugal, and I work with a number of different tutors, to help me get used to the language and begin to learn the language. But those tutors also helped me with a lot of the cultural differences as well, they would, I mean, almost like a language and cultural teacher. And to put the language into the context of the culture is is very helpful. And particularly in New Zealand, where the accent is really different. I mean, if you went to London, and you're hearing and speaking English there, that's vastly different from being in New Zealand. And hearing and speaking English there. It's a very different accent. So to have someone that you then go to on a regular basis to say, Well, I heard this. Is this what I was hearing? I think that that sounds like that would have been enormously helpful. So then you you used a tutor, you used apps, and then in six months, you felt like you had a grasp of the language. And then in previous conversations we've had I know that you've loved New Zealand, what is it about the country that you really fell in love with?
Daniel De Biasi 17:27
I think the beginning I think I fell in love with landscape when I call my mountain bike, because so when I landed in New Zealand, I landed in Auckland, which is the biggest city in New Zealand. And I went there because it was like this agency that helped me setting up my bank account, that helped me pretty much to get ready to start working in New Zealand. Then this guy that actually, Robin, that I interviewed and in the show as well. He told me like if you want to find a job in your field, you need to go to Christchurch. Christchurch and the big earthquake at the time. And they needed to rebuild the whole city so they were looking for people was easy to find a job and finding a sponsor and get a visa there. So he recommended me to go there. So I did. I landed and as a person coming from Europe, the first thing is you got to check out the city center that's where usually where things happen where the beauty of- that's the city the heart of the city, but the problem is the city center was destroyed. It was completely destroyed. Looked unreal through like a set of an apocalyptic movie, a zombie movie, everything was like a shutdown, there was fences all over the place, building falling down. It's like awful. I don't want to live here. Like I left Italy I want to chase like something better like this is not the place I wanted to be. So I was like not feeling it. Like no, this is not the place for me. In fact, I started looking into moving to Wellington which is the capital of New Zealand. Everything changed when I got my mountain bike. When I got my mountain bike and started like exploring the outside of the city. That's where the beauty is. That's where the beauty of New Zealand is. It's not the city, it's the outside is like the outdoor the nature and that's where everything, the perspective completely changed. This is the place I want to be. And for me, it's a great city for the lifestyle. You can go surfing in the morning, you can mountain biking, you can go skiing, it's like not too far away, and the people. The people are- they don't claim to be the best country in the world. They're not the richest either. And they don't take themselves too seriously and for me that's a way of being humble and being like okay, this is what we are and that we're good with that. I felt like even like the way of joking, their way I'm making like a teasing each other that's very similar to who I am. And I really felt connected with the people and the fact that you can start a conversation with anybody on the street. They are like a super open, super friendly and safe. It's a super safe country. I keep saying it to my even my friends in Italy that in Italy you've pretty much got bars on the windows and bars to the door just to be safe. In New Zealand, we never locked the front door. We went to bed with the front door open. That that's just the norm.
So it was the outdoors and the safety, and the people, and the culture really. And you loved New Zealand and yet, you're in Canada. So what happened in New Zealand? Or what were the circumstances that then caused another country move?
Daniel De Biasi 20:16
Rejection, I think will be the right word. So yeah, I was trying to build my life in New Zealand. I thought this is a good place I want to be. So I applied for the residency in New Zealand. The fact is that while I was traveling, I was in Italy at the time for my brother's wedding, my application for the residency got denied. And that's triggered something in me that says that I'm building this life, which I don't have control over. The people that can kick me out of the country at any time. I don't have control over it. So I'm still building the foundation, my future, it's something that- it's unstable. I don't have control over it. So I decided, Okay, I don't have control over it. How can I have more control to my life? And I thought, okay, so if they kick me out of the country, what can I do? And, if you get kicked out of the country, you need to move to another country. And you need to start all over. Start finding another job, and all of that. So if I can work from anywhere in the world, I got my computer, that means that even if they kicked me out of the country, I can go somewhere else, and still able to work, still able to have an income. And then like, okay, that's for me, it's a way to have some control over my life. And that's where I started figuring out, okay, how can I make money on my computer? So I started decided to running apps. And for me, that was like, Okay, I'm a tech person, I love iPhone, I love apps and all that. Learning how to code and make apps for iPhone, that's something that I enjoyed doing it. So I taught myself how to code. I was working, like on this side project, like crazy hours. And I need to take this to the next level. So for me to take this to the next level, it's like working for a tech company. That's for me, like, Okay, let's go there, learn as much as we can, and then go on our own way and just build our own apps, build our own businesses and all of that. And I tried to do that in New Zealand, but I was still on a work permit, which is locked with my field. So I can only work in telecommunication. So I thought it would be hard for a company to sponsor me if I'm not that good. I just learned. But I know I'm willing to learn. So I thought I could give opportunity to the company to like, I'm going to work for free. Just give me the chance, I'm going to show you that I'm capable, I'm willing to learn, I'm eager to learn. So just give me a chance I'm happy to work for free, I just want to learn. So I sent a bunch of email to the old tech companies in New Zealand, at least in Christchurch. And nobody ever replied to me. And I thought, Okay, I got to the point where I need to renew my visa in New Zealand. And I thought that might be good chance that my visa will be denied. Because of the same circumstances, my PR was denied, which was the company I was working for. So I thought I need to have a plan B. I don't want to go back to Italy. I need to have a plan B. And everybody always say like Canada is like New Zealand but bigger. And I know British Columbia, here in Canada and Vancouver is one of the best places in the world for mountain biking. So I thought, let's give it a try. And the good thing, also with Canada, has a working holiday visa up to 35 years old. Most of the country, you can apply for a working holiday visa up to 30 years old, and I was already 30 something. And so I thought, it was one of the few countries I could actually apply for a working holiday visa. And my plan was like Okay, let's go to Canada, it's got great mountain biking, great snowboarding, and Vancouver's got a big huge tech hub, I can find a job as a software developer. Learn as much as possible and then go on my own way. Yeah, things went sideways when I landed in Canada.
What went sideways, what happened?
Daniel De Biasi 23:51
So when I landed in Canada, I thought I had like a one year of working holiday visa, because that was the same in New Zealand. But when I landed here, I found out I only have six months of the visa. Because of that was really hard for me to finding a job because nobody wants to train somebody that only can stay for six months. And also as I said, I'm not a good software developer. I taught myself so, working in an environment in a company is different than working from your for yourself, you need to deal with other people, the way you work and show your work is different. So I didn't have that experience. So that's something that people are looking for. I don't have any qualification. I taught myself over YouTube how to learn to code. So it was a really really hard for me. So, I had to move down on the side and go back to my old skills like a telecommunication and then I found like this job, which was closer to what I was doing something that I was able to do. I'm pretty good at it. And yeah, I've managed to stay longer because of that.
Okay, so in other words, your your visa was extended or you were sponsored by the company that you're working for?
Daniel De Biasi 24:54
I was sponsored. Yes. I managed to find like this company a few months before my visa ran out. And like my bosses like they're great. And they we're happy to sponsor me because they probably they saw the potential in me. I don't know. Or were just like desperate I don't know to ask them. Yeah, we managed to we managed, I managed to find a sponsor.
That's fantastic. And lived up to your expectations, the mountain biking, the environment, the outdoors lifestyle, are you loving it? As much as you loved New Zealand?
Daniel De Biasi 25:24
It's different. So for the expectation, because one of the things I didn't mention is was that when I decided to leave New Zealand and move to Canada, one of the other big reason was that, at that point I was like, I felt too comfortable. Even though I was working crazy hours, but I was I still have my income, I have my job during the day, my side hustle where I was doing great. I have my circle of friends, I felt comfortable. And for me, I wanted to put myself in a situation the same situation I was in when I moved to New Zealand, like completely out of my comfort zone in a new country. And that's where I think where you get to you're 100%. That's when you give everything you have. When you're in your comfort zone, you're just cruising. You don't give your 100%. So I wanted to be in that situation again, put myself in trouble. That's what I like to call it.
Okay. In trouble, huh?
Daniel De Biasi 26:11
So for that point of view, Canada, definitely exceeded all my expectations. It's been challenging from the moment I got here. From that point of view, it definitely got me off guard and definitely challenged myself in a way that I wasn't expecting to be. But the outdoor is pretty good. It's not as safe as New Zealand, because you probably know there's nothing that can kill you in New Zealand. Here the situation is a little bit different, you to be more cautious with nature, you are a guest. In New Zealand, it's safer, you can do whatever you want. But here when you go into the forest into the outdoor, you're a guest. And at least for me that I don't know much the outdoor, I definitely feel like a guest. I feel like this is not my place. I'm just here for a little while and just like be aware of what's going on out there.
It's really an interesting perspective. So when you arrive, it was challenging. You really pushed to your limit by the sound of it. So what was the biggest challenge you you had to face?
Daniel De Biasi 27:08
There are many challenges the fact that I couldn't find a job because when I left New Zealand, I thought, how hard can it be? I moved to New Zealand without speaking the language. I managed to find a job and a sponsor within six months I was already got my work permit. And everything was easy. So like how hard can it be? I go to Canada, I already speak the language, it will be much easier for me to communicate, finding a job and even get to the next level of jobs because now I can communicate. I can prove that I know what I'm talking about. But the thing is, when I got here, the things were different. It was hard to find a job, the city was way more expensive to live than I was expecting. I don't know life in general was much harder, even just getting a visa to stay in Canada, the process was atrocious. Honestly, if it wasn't for my job, and my girlfriend at the time, I probably would just like went back to New Zealand. Because you probably know you're an immigrant as well, if you- when you move to a new country, and they put you like obstacles in the way to make you feel uncomfortable or actually unwelcome. Like guys, if you don't want me to be here, I can just go somewhere else. I'm here to provide something and then trying to do my best to provide something to the country where I'm moving because I'm a guest and I'm grateful for you to give me this opportunity, but at the same time like if you guys don't want me, I can go somewhere else, right? And for me, if they make you feel unwelcome and all of this like the process of getting a visa was like, it took me like six months just to figure out how to get it done. We started the processing. I think it was the beginning of September. And I got my visa in January. Like the whole process just to get a visa, which in New Zealand took me two weeks. I applied and two weeks later, I had my visa.
Daniel De Biasi 28:46
So maybe if you're coming from other countries like six months, Daniel, this is totally normal. But my perspective I came from New Zealand where everything was easy. Even when I left Italy apply for the visa, it was just like some clicks away. I pay what I have to pay, and they give me a visa within two weeks. It was easy. So for me like a waiting for six months, I wasn't able to work because my visa ran out. So being in a city where it's expensive to live, not having an income and see your savings coming going down down down and even then you still don't know if you are going to be able to stay in the country and start working or you have to leave the country. So, if you leave the couch you have to start all over again, but with much less savings. So that was like a tricky situation and also at the time I had my girlfriend which I met in New Zealand which was from Canada. So we moved here together and even for her, like, Daniel I don't even know what to do. It's just if you're staying in the country then I can find a job but if you can't stay in the country, we need to find a different situation so my situation was affecting two different people. It was like for me because I knew I was affecting her life. For me, it was like putting even more pressure on my situation and was just a very stressful situation, atleast the first year was pretty stressful.
Yeah, yeah. I hear you. I don't think that's unusual. And I'm sure that you can concur with that, given the number of people that you've interviewed who emigrated to a new country and had to go through the process to get a visa or a working visa, etc. I think that you're probably right. I think that countries receiving new immigrants do make it difficult in order to deter you. I think they're looking for people who are really willing to jump those hoops to stay. And it happened to me moving to the US, I couldn't get my student visa, it happened moving to Portugal, it continues to happen in Portugal, every time I try and renew my visa. It just it's so difficult. And like you, I think, Well, okay, if you're gonna make it that difficult, maybe I won't stay. However, this is about you, not me. So what was the big positive thing about emigrating? You've shared some significant challenges. So there's got to be something really positive about this experience, because you're you're still in Canada, you're still out of Italy, you haven't returned to your home country. So tell us a bit about that, the big positive.
Daniel De Biasi 31:10
I mean, the biggest positive about emigrating for me was learning the language -learning English. That was for me is still to this day, the biggest upside of moving like to another country, moving away from a valley. Because if you're speaking English, as the English is your first language, you don't really get it. But if English is your second language, the number information you can get just knowing the language, It's unreal. Because for me, if you only speak Italian, if you only speak a language that is not English, the amount of information you get and the information you get are second-handed. So there's some people translated this information and translated to you in your own language. But when you speak English, you can have access to all the information. It's like having cable TV or television and you got packages. Like if you're like speaking Italian, speaking like a language that is not very common, you only have like I don't know, two channels, on your on your on your TV. But once you get to English, you get all the packages, you can watch sport movies, everything you want, you pretty have access to everything on television. And it's great. And the fact that you can I mean, this podcast, I can communicate with everybody around the world. And with the same languages, we have one common language and we can communicate and learn from other culture. It's, it's amazing. It's a gift. Honestly, it's a beautiful gift. That's for me is the biggest upside about immigrating and moving to another country.
That's a marvelous little snippet. Thank you for sharing that. My next question then is, do you feel lucky to be an immigrant?
Daniel De Biasi 32:45
Oh, absolutely, absolutely.
Daniel De Biasi 32:49
Because when you are an immigrant, I actually talked to we spoke about this with Zara my previous episode. And she said, like we are like a trees. So a tree grow stronger with the wind. And when you were an immigrant, even even in life, I mean, in life, if something challenges you, usually if something bad happens to you in life, that's where you grow, you become a stronger person, a better person in a way. And, for me like to be an emigrant, is putting yourself in that situation. You're putting yourself to go through challenges. And those challenges, usually they just just make you a better person, more resilient. Just like the challenges. And for me, even now, when I found a new challenge in life, I can look back and say, Daniel, we left- because I always talk to myself as two people. Like we went through so much in life, we left Italy, we went to another country on the other side of the world, we managed to find a job, learn the language, survived in a way. Like, these challenges compared to what we've been through this nothing. And there's more in my life that for me that was life changing. Because I said, like usually it's the bad things that happen in your life that make you, that transformed you into the person that you are today. It's not the easy things that usually makes you understand more in life and make you a better person. Unfortunately, they're the bad things so.
Well, they're not necessarily bad. But that the challenges as we've talked about, and one of the things that sounds to me, that you do is that when you find yourself in a place of complacency or comfort, you have this awareness that you're really not going to evolve and grow into your full potential if you accept that place of comfort, and it's like you keep sort of choosing the prickly bush to throw yourself into. Cause it's those those thorns and those prickles that cause you to grow and evolve.
Daniel De Biasi 34:46
Yes. And another thing I'd like to share. I don't know if I ever shared this on the podcast, but I lost my dad when I was 12. And for me, I became the person I'm right now, I'm today because of that. That's what I'm saying like the things that but things change in life, they usually changes you. And for me, even my mom told me like, I changed like, overnight. I was like, a super bad kid, not bad, it was like she was like going to school every week talking to the teacher, because I was doing something stupid. And overnight, I completely changed. I was more-
Daniel De Biasi 35:20
More matured, exactly. And all of that. So for me, like even the decision I made to leave Italy and go to another country, I'm pretty sure I would be in Italy if my dad was still around, because I would have like a much more comfortable situation. My dad had a company it was like started growing, started making- being successful. So I wouldn't have much more comfortable life in Italy. And probably because of that, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have left Italy. So for me, the person I became, and the person I am, like I am grateful for the person I am is because in a way, my dad died. And for me, I see that as I know it's not correct but for me it's like the way I like to believe it is. So it seems like he sacrificed his life to give me a better future, a better life for myself. And that for me, is my perspective. I don't know, of course, it's not- there's no, he didn't kill himself to give me a better future. But for me, that's the perspective I'd like to have. And for me, like having that perspective, I can't not live my life to the full potential. Because my dad sacrificed his life for mine. So I can't just sit on my bum, and not doing anything with my life, I'd have to do the best I can to have the best life I could have. Because he sacrificed his life for me. So for me, that's something that always keeps me motivated to do something new or something better or just not I don't know just not living my life or just live my life to the full potential.
Well, you've been in Canada for about three years now. Do you see yourself staying there long term or do you see another move?
Daniel De Biasi 36:56
I see- I don't think I will be here for very long. Canada has been a great home. It has been a great place for me to grow. There's so many opportunities, much way more opportunities than I had in New Zealand ,as a country. Just because North America, the economy is different. It's like there's way more opportunities out here. So I'm grateful for that. But the lifestyle that I miss from New Zealand, the people that I miss from New Zealand, it's something that I haven't found here in Canada yet. Things constantly change in life, you know, things what you think today is what you want tomorrow, it's something else, at least for me. So today, I think, my heart and my home is still in New Zealand. So that's the place I wanted to go to. But it's still challenging. Going back to New Zealand is definitely challenging, especially right now. But if somebody will say, Daniel, pick a place where you're gonna leave the rest of your life, definitely New Zealand.
Hmm. Interesting that you'll find your way back there, by the sounds of it.
Daniel De Biasi 37:53
Yeah, one way or the other, I will, I will go back there. Not illegally. That's not what I'm saying illegally. But I will find a way to go back.
Yeah, you'll find a way back there. Interesting. Well, listen, as we finish up, I know that there's a standard kind of series of questions that you ask your guests. So I'm going to go ahead and ask you those two. Is there anything you would have done differently? Or do you have any regrets about leaving Italy, about leaving your country of origin?
Daniel De Biasi 38:20
Absolutely, no, not at all. Most of my guests would say, there's no regrets, but just you messed up people, you missed the family and friends, of course. And as for me, it's another motivation for me to do a better job. Because if I can start this online business I've been trying to build for years now, if I have the capability to work from anywhere in the world, that means I can spend more time with my family and friends in Italy. So for me, that's a big drive. If I get to that point, I'll be able to spend more time with them. So for me, that's another motivation to do a good job. But no regrets. Absolutely not. I don't miss the life in Italy, even though the last year has been like challenging, being in another country, being kind of alone. And it was like kind of challenging, I fought about going back to Italy. But at the same time, I don't see myself going back to the life I was living and just I can't see myself doing that. So no, would I have done something differently? Probably not, even though I made so many mistakes that I could avoid. But at the same time I'm happy where I am. And I couldn't be here if it wasn't for all the mistakes or the things that I have done wrong, or the things I've done right. I'm happy where I am and I wouldn't change a thing.
And that's fantastic. And then if you could go back in time to when you left Italy, what would you say to your young self?
Daniel De Biasi 39:37
Learn the bloody English. It's gonna take more than two weeks.
That's funny. Yes, it does take longer than two weeks to learn a new language. Well, I guess to all your listeners, that's a really good advice. Learn the bloody language.
Daniel De Biasi 40:01
Yeah, it takes way more than two weeks.
Well, this has been great, Daniel, thanks so much for sharing your story to your listeners. I'm sure that they'll be really curious to hear more about the story behind the voice.
Daniel De Biasi 40:14
Oh, thank you so much for taking the time and interview me. That was like, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. Usually, I'm on the other side of the microphone, and hearing interesting story. It's kind of weird to tell my own story this time.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, what I meant to say actually, is the story behind the voice of Emigrant's Life. Now people know what that story is.
Daniel De Biasi 40:34
Yeah. And hopefully I can inspire somebody, which is at the end of the day, that's the goal of the whole podcast, trying to inspire other people and make the same decision. As we know, it's not an easy decision to make. But I never found somebody that say like, you know what, I wish you didn't do it.
Yeah, yeah. Well, from the stories that I've listened to you on your podcast, they're all incredibly inspirational. I mean, it's just some amazing people that you've interviewed, they've come from all sorts of circumstances and situations, perhaps grown up in war, and have found their way to a new country. And, like you, they've made the most of the situation and growing a life for themselves, outside of their country of origin. And yeah, this story is a really inspirational. So well done you for collecting those stories on your podcast, Emigrant's Life.
Daniel De Biasi 41:26
Oh, thank you so much. And you also have a podcast where you share other people's stories. So that's why I decided to ask you if you were wanting to interview me, because I knew you're a great interviewer, a great host. So if you're listening to this and enjoying my podcast, you definitely need to check it out her podcast because it's just as good, if not better.
Thanks, Daniel. Thanks, Daniel. I interview women and my podcast is Women Who Walk and I interview women who've moved country to country looking for a new life and I find the women I'm interviewing incredibly inspirational as well. It's great fun hosting a podcast and having these conversations with extraordinary people.
Daniel De Biasi 42:08
Yeah, like this story like hearing like these stories are, I'd never found like a somebody that loved this country that doesn't have an interesting story. I've never found somebody. Even like my story, I don't think is that interesting but pretty sure if somebody listened like Oh, actually, that was interesting. If I talk to somebody that never done it before, my life sounds interesting to them. But now on my perspective, I can hear how other people I interview so many people with way more interesting story than mine. My story is like, that's not really interesting. But I never found somebody that doesn't have an interesting story. And it's so cool that we have the chance or the opportunity to interview those people. It's a blessing.
Yeah, yeah, it is.
Daniel De Biasi 42:48
Okay, Louise, thank you so much. Thank you so much for doing this. I really, really, really appreciate it.
Thank you, Daniel. You're welcome. It was lots of fun.
Daniel De Biasi 42:56
Yeah, yeah, it was. Awesome. Thank you so much.
Daniel De Biasi 42:59
Thank you so much for tuning in this week. And sticking until the end. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to get in touch with me, and please do, you can DM me through our social media. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Emigrant's Life and Facebook at Emigrant's Life Podcast. And my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed this episode and wants to support the show, you can share with your friends, and you can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser. One more thing, as I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, my goal is to help you to move to a new country. And if you need any help, feel free to reach out to me at any point. I look forward to meeting you. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao.
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