to be a woman

to be a mother

to be a professional

to be educated and ambitious

to be in a relationship

to have children

to be an expatriate

to be who you are

where you are

 you find yourself making choices

your life is a pile of puzzle pieces

you think and look and you shuffle the pieces

you try and go to work and it doesn‘t work

there is no work for you in this city

you have children

you have no childcare

you stay at home 

you are miserable

you stay at home 

you are happy

you go to work and it works

there is no work for your partner in this city

you are an expatriate



Junling, China

Chinese teacher and stay at home mum

Italian Partner

Mother to a 7 year old boy and a 5 year old girl

My life was completely different when I was in China. I worked as a Chinese teacher at a Military Academy. It was a very enjoyable life − I had only three mornings of teaching a week and the rest of the time I was free. I had dinners out, met up with friends and travelled. As an officer, I had many social privileges, too. 

When I moved to Geneva, my life became absolutely quiet and lonely all of a sudden. Although I tried very hard to know and integrate into this new world, learning French while doing my PhD, participating in social activities in order to learn how this society works… but my mind was always lingering between East and West…until my children were born. Then I realized that my life was right here, I decided to build my own world and make myself happier.

I have changed. Since moving to Geneva, I’ve become family, not career oriented. My husband works a lot and if I did the same, we wouldn’t have any quality of life. Now, that the children are older, I am enjoying my free time – practicing the piano, learning French. I know that I am doing good for my family − my children are looked after, my husband has favorable conditions for his career and I am not wasting my time, either, I keep my options open in the future.


About Marina Cavazza & Egle Kackute

Photos by Marina Cavazza, texts by Egle Kackute.

Marina Cavazza and Egle Kackute, expatriates from Italy and Lithuania respectively, have been photographing and interviewing other expatriate mums (and s…Read more


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