This is a one-on-one interview with Alysa from Paint & Vino. You can read our related review of their events here.
Who are you?
Where are you from?
I’m from the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The land of pina coladas!
Why did you change your mind? I checked your LinkedIn and I have found out that you studied criminal law, but now you do such different activities in your life!
I studied Criminology and wanted to somehow work my way into the legal system. I interned with the Honolulu police, worked as a legal assistant and at a courthouse in Oregon, but the feeling was never right. I felt like a machine where my main purpose was to serve (others, bosses, the government, the rules) with little regard of being seen or treated as a human being. I felt like I was being trained to be an ant and I don’t want to be an ant. I want to make a real difference in people’s lives and I want to be able to choose my own life.
What are you doing in Prague?
I’m trying to do as many things as I can while in Prague. Right now, I’m an English teacher, painting teacher, a technical writer, and a copywriter for a tech/art start-up company. In the meantime, I love meeting new people, attending different events, discovering new things and learning as much as I can.
How long have you been living in Prague?
I’ve been living here since April 2014 — so 2 years and 7 months now. Time flies!
Why did you decide for Prague?
I wanted to give Europe a try in terms of living. What is better than going to the heart of it? Based off of Google Images and some research, Prague had me. I made the move and never regretted it.
Did you know Prague before?
Nope. It was a fairytale land that only existed for me on Google Images.
Do you think that people from the Czech Republic are friendly to people from abroad?
It really depends. For the most part I’d say they are friendly — especially the younger generation. However, from my experience, when it comes to handling any official matters or god forbid if you enter into the bureaucratic system, they can definitely do better.
Do you feel like a stranger in Prague?
Sometimes I miss the convenience of being in an English-speaking country, but no, I wouldn’t say I feel like a stranger in Prague.
Do you speak Czech?
Trochu. I’ve been learning it for the past year and would like to be able to hold a decent conversation one day (soon)!
Do you take any Czech lessons?
Yes, with the help from a great Czech teacher named Svetlana. I would recommend her to anyone.
Is it easy to find friends if you don’t speak Czech?
Absolutely. There are many events held around the city for expats which give you a chance to meet others from abroad. Prague has really great networking opportunities and interesting events.
Is it easy to find a job if you don’t speak Czech?
It depends what kind of job you are going for. But I’d say that you would have a lot more opportunities if you were able to speak Czech.
Did you travel outside of Prague?
Yes, as much as I can but I am also taking my time. I’d like to see all the countries one day but I also know there is no rush.
What places would you recommend to visit?
In Prague, I’d recommend just spending as much time walking around the city as possible. There is no specific place that has it all. Instead it’s best to just walk and get to know the feel of the streets, to admire the architecture and to wind up in a Czech pivovar or vinoteka with some friends to end the night.
As for outside of Prague, I think the countryside is a must-see.
Would you recommend visiting Prague? Why?
Definitely. In my opinion, Prague is different from most cities because it offers a true character. There is an atmosphere about this city that many places simply lack. There’s a certain magic about walking around and being humbled by all of its historical attributes. It’s also a cultural hub of many different cultures and people from around the globe, which opens up a lot of interesting conversations and growth opportunities in general. I think it’s a city that can’t really be explained; it must be experienced.
What are your future plans?
That’s a tough one. For the moment, I’m really happy with where I am, and the goal is to just keep building on it. I see myself settling down in Europe, but all the details are still left up to circumstances.
Visit the Wine and Vino website for more info and enjoy an artistic Sunday night with people from around the world!