Do you ever daydream about living abroad? Once the reality of paying the bills hits, most of us let that dream die. But that dream can happen — it's possible if you want it badly enough and you work for it. If you're committed to this dream, work towards it — and eventually, you'll find yourself in a new adventure!
In this episode of The Pollen Podcast, Diana joins two of her closest friends, Emily and Mike, in Italy and talks about their journey to living abroad in the Czech Republic. But it's not all fun and romance though! Emily and Mike share their struggles and some of the cultural barriers they’ve experienced living abroad. Remember: we won't get everything we dream of at first, but the more we work at it, the closer we'll get.
Listen to this episode to gain the insight and courage to live abroad!
Create your own creative entrepreneurship story of clarity, professional confidence, and profit. Join Diana’s 90-day group course Camp Clarity and learn everything you wish you already knew, like how to land dream clients, harness the power of social media, and make the money you deserve. Learn more here.
🔥Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
Learn how my friends Emily and Mike found a way to live abroad and what they had to walk through to make it happen.
Who you become on the journey to making your dreams come true.
Discover the different perks and challenges of living abroad.
Achieve the life, career, and clients you’ve always wanted (and fully deserve!). Sign up for Diana’s Camp Clarity Course now!
Take a week off and join the first Diana Davis Creative Retreat in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, from August 29 to September 1! 🎁 There will be tons of activities, plus you'll get a bonus one-on-one coaching session with Diana after the retreat.
Learn to embrace change by listening to Episode 8: Heartbreak and Expansion 💔🕊️✨
Chef's Table: Season 2, Episode 5, Ana Roš
Access other courses from the Diana Davis Creative
[01:16] Pollen Goes Rogue
Diana recorded this episode from a lemon farm in Sorrento, Italy.
She was there with Mike and Emily - the three of them have been friends since college and travel buddies for several years.
[06:47] Introducing Mike and Emily
Mike lives in Prague, Czech Republic. He has been a biology teacher at an international school for the past 6 years.
He chose his profession because he wanted to live abroad and travel a lot.
Emily, Mike’s wife, works remotely for an American company. She also likes to craft, knit, and sew her own clothes.
[08:55] How Mike and Emily Made Living Abroad a Reality
Both Emily and Mike used to live in Red Lodge, Montana. They thought that living abroad was going to be a retirement goal.
However, when Mike saw a teaching opportunity in Prague, they decided to take it.
For Mike, the scary part of the journey was more about the process of getting to Prague than about Emily's reaction.
When people make big decisions like these, it's easy to be anxious. It's not easy to know the small steps to reach the goal, and it's a steep learning curve.
[12:19] The Challenges of Living Abroad
Emily shares that simple things, like furnishing their apartment, were challenging.
They couldn’t find where pillows were sold and couldn’t even ask people because of the language barrier.
It took a lot of effort to overcome the culture shock and language barriers.
[15:33] Mike: “It's not going to be romantic, it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be great at the beginning. It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort, lots of communication, lots of trial and error, and just keep on pushing until you get to where you want to go.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[15:46] How Mike Plans for the Future
People who work in international schools typically have a lot of mobility.
Mike shares they usually plan in 3 to 5-year increments.
He also shares the importance of being open to new opportunities.
Diana shares that planning for the future required setting deadlines for herself.
Give yourself that space to revisit your plans.
[18:30] What Emily’s Remote Work is Like
Emily's work usually starts at noon, while her meetings are between 5 to 10 pm.
She shares how she’s grown to love and embrace this schedule as it gives her time to herself in the morning.
Her job allows her to work anywhere she wants.
[20:36] Lessons from Remote Work and Living Abroad
When the pandemic began, Emily was already well-versed with remote work and noticed how Mike and his colleagues discussed experiences she already knew of.
Mike and Emily recommend setting boundaries if you’re doing remote work.
Living abroad helped them gain a brand new perspective: there are more cultural opportunities and they realized that other countries have things America does not.
[26:33] The Perks and Challenges of Living in Europe
For Emily, the best thing about Europe is how easy it is to travel because flights are cheap.
However, the language barrier can make you feel isolated.
For Mike, he appreciates how healthcare is so much cheaper in Europe.
His challenge living in Europe was meeting and socializing with people outside his work circle.
[29:08] 🔥 Rapid Fire Question with Emily and Mike
Emily is an Aquarius and Mike is an Aries. Creativity for Emily means connecting with your true self. For Mike, it's being able to do whatever you want.
Emily’s entrepreneur crush is Andrea Maori, a knitting pattern designer. Emily also shares her wool dyeing workshop experience in the full episode.
While Mike doesn’t have a specific entrepreneur crush, he looks up to people who are not afraid of failure and keep bouncing back.
In the full episode, they talk about Ana Roš’s restaurant and her journey to reach where she is.
If Emily didn’t have to think about money, time, and resources, she would spend her time knitting. For Mike, it would be traveling and giving back to the community.
[37:39] Mike: “No one just wakes up one morning [and] becomes a Michelin star chef, that doesn't happen. I think everyone probably listening right now knows the struggle and the energy that goes into it. But just because you're not the two-star Michelin chef doesn't mean you've also failed either if you've met your goals or a goal that you've set, and you just might not be there yet.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[40:39] Enjoy Life!
Emily and Mike pair their hobbies and take advantage of their situation. For example, since they like running and traveling, they do marathons in different places.
Living abroad is not an escape from your current life. You will still have the same habits and interests no matter where you live.
If you want to enjoy life more abroad, take advantage of the new opportunities and get out of your comfort zone.
[41:30] Mike: "Your life just doesn't magically change because you live in a new place. You still keep the same habits, you still have the same interests…it doesn't really ever change because you live in a new place. You're still you; your place and your surroundings just changed. So I think that's also really important, to identify and come to grips with every day is not going to be a fairy tale." - Click Here to Tweet This
About Mike and Emily
Mike and Emily are living the life of their dreams in Prague, Czech Republic. Mike is a biology teacher at an international school, while Emily works remotely for an American company. They used to live in Montana, but they finally took the opportunity to live abroad!
Unlike many of Pollen’s guests, Mike and Emily choose to be difficult to find on social media. However, you can check out Emily’s knitting Instagram account here. (Go support her designs!)
Enjoyed this Podcast on Making Living Abroad a Reality?
If you're pushing aside your dreams because you think it's impossible, stop and check this limiting mindset! You may be closing yourself off to opportunities before they even come. If it’s something that you want, like living abroad, you can do it!
Pollen is a podcast for Creative Entrepreneurs — just like you! If you enjoyed this episode of Pollen Podcast, subscribe and help us spread the word by sharing it!
Leave a review and share it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐If you enjoyed tuning in to this podcast, we'd appreciate it if you wrote us a review. You can also share it to help other creative entrepreneurs.
Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram @dianadaviscreative! You can also subscribe to my newsletter for travel updates, learn about special projects, and get tips and tricks for the creative entrepreneur life!
Connect with me on Linkedin: Diana Davis Creative.
Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates, exciting programs, and valuable resources.
Diana Davis: For me with quitting my job, not really quitting my job, getting laid off from my job, I really had to give myself that deadline, like I'm going to be doing this freelance thing, which I thought was freelance at the time, it turned into entrepreneurship until December and if I'm broke and miserable, by December, I will get a job.
Welcome to Pollen, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Diana Davis, multi passionate creative, business coach, Gemini, manifesting generator, macha drinker and travel junkie. I'm also the founder of Diana Davis Creative, where I went from a six figure photography business to coaching creative entrepreneurs like you. If you want to have a career and a life you love, you're in the right place.
On this show, I'll be coaching on all things creative entrepreneurship, and you'll hear stories from fellow creative entrepreneurs that will show you it is possible to do life the way you want to. They'll share the nitty gritty of their journeys, like the real shit, and how they are doing it differently. I'm stoked to have you along on this journey. Let's go.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Pollen podcast. I am recording from the backyard of a lemon farm which if you know me, I cried when I saw this farm. Lemons are just, I don't know, they bring so much joy to me. To be in a place where they grow on trees just feels like a fucking miracle. I am in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. With my good friends Mike and Emily, who I've been friends with since college, I third wheel really, really well with them.
We've been planning this Italy trip since we were 25, literally, supposed to be for our 30th birthday. We're gonna get into that in the episode. Bobby, my partner and my former partner, was supposed to be here. It's been interesting. It's been emotional. Obviously, if you haven't listened to previous episodes, go listen to episode eight about the breakup. Yeah, it's been tough.
Today, actually, was one of my most anxious days and just learning what you need at the time and also learning to be present and being able to hold both the anxiety and the awe and the beauty and the mind-blowing trip that we're on. Without further ado, I want to get into this episode with Mike and Emily and we're sitting in the Lemon Grove together. Probably horrible audio, haven't listened to it yet, but this is what Pollen is on nomad pills, right?
It's just going to be a little rogue. There might be a barking dog. There might be a Fiat honking in the background. We don't know. I appreciate your patience with all the technical stuff. I'm just here for messy action. I'm not gonna wait till I have a good podcast studio or whatever. It's the mic and me and my computer traveling around the world. We're gonna get into this episode about them moving to Prague six years ago, and what their life abroad looks like and what the challenges of that are and just everything so they're amazing people.
I adore them so, so much, some of my best friends in the world. The other thing I wanted to remind you is our retreat is happening August 29 through September 1, so we are less than two months out. There are still a few spots. This is a big retreat so we can actually sleep up to 19 people so we've got space for you, babe. Let's do this. It's going to be in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
One of the best valleys I've ever seen. I've traveled around Colorado a lot. I grew up an hour from this place, Steamboat Springs. It's incredible. I just can't say it enough. We're going to be doing in real life coaching. We're going to be doing natural hot springs. There is a pool on site overlooking the entire Yampa Valley, campfire chats, given that there's not a fire ban, the reality of the West but either way. It'll be amazing gourmet meals by Tiffany Swann.
She's a food scientist and renowned chef. Yoga and meditation every day by our yoga teachers and brand photoshoots. Alright, I used to be a photographer. This is going to be epic. I can assure you, we have two photographers joining this that are going to be doing these brand photoshoots. It's amazing. It's going to be incredible. The other thing is we will be offering, I am offering a bonus one on one coaching session for every single person that joins the retreat.
You will be able to do a bonus one on one virtual session after the retreat, after you integrate, after you kind of work on what you've been working on, the things you learned from the retreat, the coaching, all of that. You can come back with me virtually, and coach on it with a follow up coaching session, so, super fun. I've never had a coach do this before when I've been on retreat.
Honestly, I thought it would be so, so helpful, so I'm offering that. Sign up for that the link will be in the show notes. I can't wait to see you in real life. Seriously, without further ado, here's Mike and Emily and I in the backyard of our Lemon Grove. Alright, welcome to another episode of the Pollen podcast. We haven't had a guest on in a while and Pollen has gone rogue.
We are in Italy, currently in Sorrento, exploring the Amalfi Coast, my first time with two of my closest friends that I've had for a really long time. We went to the same college, have been traveling together every year for several years. I decided that they should be on my podcast because they live a very inspiring life that I could think would be expanding to a lot of you. You might hear some barking dogs in the background.
The audio might be funky because we're sitting in the hot humidity of the porch of a Lemon Grove right now at 10:04pm drinking some wine, clink clink guys. Let's toast. Let’s do this. I want to introduce to you on this very rogue podcast
Mike: Do we not do like audio boomerang, maybe.
Diana: Oh, an audio boomerang, I love that. All right, that was a boomerang. Ready? Go. The boomerang cheers of the Pollen podcast style. Okay, do we have to drink? All right. Mike, why don't you introduce yourself a bit. Tell us who you really are. What do you like to do? What do you do? Where do you live?
Mike: Alright, yeah, I'm Mike. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I'm originally from Cortland, Idaho. Like Dana said, we met in Bozeman Montana University. I'm a biology teacher who works at an international school for the last six years. There's a cat.
Diana: There's a cat visiting us in the Lemon Grove.
Mike: Yeah, I just always wanted to live abroad and travel as much as I could. That's kind of how I chose the profession, and also what brought me to Prague anyways. That's sort of real quick me, I like to do outdoorsy things.
Diana: Okay, outdoorsy things. Emily, my dear, dear friend, who I've known for so long, and we have so much in common and have lived so many lives together. Who are you?
Emily: I'm a designer. I also live in Prague with Mike. He's my husband. I work remotely for an American company. We know each other, Diana, from working together in Bozeman. We had some classes together in school. We used to teach cooking classes together, which is part of what inspired this whole Italy trip that we're on now. Aside from living and working, I also like to craft, as in knit and sew my own clothes. We have two dogs that we moved over from the States with us. Yeah, I think I like to run. We both like to run. We're both pretty big runners.
Diana: That means Mike and her, not me and Emily. I went for a run this morning. It was pretty brutal. I can take it or leave it. Okay, so you both are very multi passionate, which I fucking love. You really kind of – there's the dogs – you really kind of round out your life with all of these things. One of the most respectful thing I think about you, that I love, is that one of your goals was to live abroad, and you manifested it.
By that, I just mean you made it happen. Emily, do you want to tell us a little bit about that story, like how did that come about? You've been in Prague for six, almost seven years.
Emily: Yeah. Yeah. It was all due to Mike's job, luckily. He and I have had a passion for travel in common, since we met. I think we thought that living abroad was going to be a retirement goal. We had been actually talking about it, thinking about it a lot. In our early 20s, we were living in Red Lodge, Montana, a teeny, tiny town. I think we were kind of dreaming a little bit bigger than that.
Mike saw one of his friends posts on Facebook that there was a teaching job opportunity in Prague. This was another college friend of ours. He reached out and one thing led to another. He got the job. Maybe four months later, we found ourselves moving to Prague, which we had never been there.
Diana: Never been there.
Emily: Never been there.
Diana: Okay, so Mike, you see this job posting, what was your reaction like? Were you like, oh, Emily's gonna love this, or were you scared to tell her? Were you sure about it? Like, what went through your head with that?
Mike: Yeah, I mean, Em and I communicate really well together. It's always been something that we wanted to do. I knew when I saw it, and I knew the school and I knew the person who was who was offering it that it was going to be a really good opportunity. I'm not really scary to bring it up to her. I think the scary part was, like, once going into the interview process, and get everything all together real fast, having to send this away to people I've never met before. I think that's always scary for everybody. Putting together resumes isn't exactly a fun thing to do.
Diana: The unknown.
Mike: Yeah, just just the overall process, I think is pretty terrifying itself. Sometimes, you can get bogged down on as you have like a big mountain to climb, and sometimes, you just don't even want to start it because it's way up here, but you just kind of continue on the trail and see what happens.
Emily: Because there's like, visas and hoops.
Mike: We had no idea about that though. Like, it was such a pie in the sky idea of like, oh, yeah, we got all romantic thinking that we could go live abroad, and then, it happened. Then, I think this is what happens to a lot of people. You have this big goal that you want to meet, but you're not quite sure what the little steps are in the way to meet that goal. It's a big learning curve, a lot of stress, lots of sleepless nights.
I mean, it wasn't easy. I remember there was one point where Em and I looked over each other, like three in the morning, both awake, like, what have we just done?
Diana: That was actually the story I was gonna bring up because Emily told me the story quite a few years ago. First of all, a big part of it’s, you were never even in Prague to begin with. You didn't even know what it was like. You'd never been there until you moved to there. I think you were shopping for like, pillows or something very simple stuff, and you maybe had a little bit of a breakdown.
Diana: Tell us about that.
Emily: It was pillows, and we just couldn't find them. In the States, it's part of the culture shock, you go to the places where you think you would find pillows in the States, like Target and Target doesn't exist in Prague. We gave it our best shot. We spent like four hours on Sunday, going around to a bunch of different places that we had found on Google. None of them had pillows. None of them had hangers. None of them had these basic things that we needed to furnish our apartment.
Mike: They tell us where to go to get pillows.
Emily: Right. Yeah. Because language barrier, we couldn't ask for it. We went back to our hotel that we were living in at the time, pillowless and hangerless, and went to bed. We were still both a little bit jet lagged, because we were only on like day three or four at this point. Yeah, we both woke up hot, PS they don't have air conditioning in Europe, basically. We had no air conditioning. We woke up at three o'clock in the morning jet lagged, hot. We didn't have anything that we needed.
Mike: Didn’t have a place to live yet.
Emily: Didn't have a place to live yet.
Diana: Oh, wow. I didn't realize that at that time.
Emily: We also had all of these places that we went around to, were like these sort of cheap, sad, depressing malls with like, the fountain in the middle and like all of the,
Mike: The mall music.
Diana: From the 90s, because Prague is a little bit behind.
Emily: A little bit behind, yeah. I was like, I don't need to move over here to do this. Yeah, that was tough. That was a tough experience. There's also been some food stuff like, I really like to cook and bake, and so trying to find different things at the grocery store with the language barrier, in addition to the, they don't organize their grocery stores the same way that you do in the States.
Diana: Right, and you can't just get like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or like.
Emily: Brown sugar or peanut butter. Yeah, there's all these basic things, graham crackers, like you want a s'more, it can’t happen in Prague. Yeah, so there was a big learning curve with all of that. A lot of growth, I think through that experience as well. Yeah. Now, we know where to buy pillows and hangers.
Diana: There you go.
Mike: I think, that's it too is like it's not romantic right away.
Diana: Is it ever?
Mike: Well now, it's amazing. Besides COVID, but for the last probably three or four years, I think the first year was hard. Making friends was difficult, but that kind of just worked itself out. I think now, it's exactly what we want to do, but it's not going to be romantic. It's not going to be easy. It's not going to be great right at the beginning. It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort, lots of communication, lots of trial and error, and just keep on pushing until you get to where you want to go.
Diana: Night three, maybe you were waking up in a cold sweat, talking to each other being like, what the fuck did we do? Right? Was there a time, anywhere after that, like your four or anywhere down the line that you were thinking, what are we doing? What's the next step when, I know, you guys maybe have other plans coming up? Where does that come in? Like, when did you start thinking, oh, maybe it's a good idea to change paths? What does that look like?
Mike: I think in the international school teaching community, you have a lot of movement anyways, so it's sort of like you kind of get marinated in it and start thinking about other things. We knew we had set a goal, so we knew ahead of time that we know, five years, that's how it goes and then make another decision about what might happen. I've been kind of thinking three to five year increments.
I think that's probably like said that open communication just made things really easy. You just kind of you've talked about it, and then maybe, you table the discussion for later. Then, you just keep on living your life because it's really good. We're very happy. Then, it's always had something there that you always kind of come back to and and just thinking about and looking at other opportunities that might come into play, just trying it out and see what happens, make connections with people, stay in contact.
I think that's kind of been what we've been trying to do is just just keep things open and available, but also realized that what we have right now is really, really great as well.
Diana: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that was for me, too. Maybe, you can hear the Italian screaming in the background. We don't know, but we're just gonna roll with it. For me with quitting my job, not really quitting my job, getting laid off from my job, which I traveled to Prague, actually, weeks after that, maybe a week after that. That was my first real like international travel with you guys, and in general.
I really had to say like, give myself that deadline. Like I'm gonna be doing this freelance thing, which I thought was freelance at the time, it turned into entrepreneurship until December, and if I'm broken and miserable – they're really screaming – if I'm broken, miserable by December, I will get a job, right? That being said, deadline was really important, giving yourself that space to just be present saying, hey, I'll revisit this later.
I'm not going to worry about it every second of every day, what the next step is, or then you're totally taken out of the present, right? Emily, you work for an American company as a graphic designer. You work from home. You work different hours than a normal American would. Can you tell us about that?
Emily: Yeah, it definitely took some getting used to. I usually try and start my day at the latest by noon, my time. All of my colleagues are based in the Mountain timezone and West Coast timezone. Usually, they're logging on like four or 5pm. All of my meetings happen between five and 10pm, my time, so I think when I first explained that to people, a lot of the reaction is kind of to recoil and be like, oh, that doesn't sound great.
I actually have come to really embrace it and really love it because I get a carve out my me time in the morning when I'm fresh, when I'm awake, when it's cool outside if it's summer. I give my work the rest of the time. I never have a situation where like, work has gotten crazy and I have to stay an extra couple hours or I am too exhausted and so I'm not able to work out after work. I'm really able to sort of designate that time for myself in the morning which I really I've come to really enjoy.
Diana: Yeah, you have a full time job like a lot of the people listening work for themselves or working on a side hustle which you have many, many, many side hustles as well, in my opinion. Mike loves the lingo, side hustle. I think it's really cool. Like, you also have that freedom to go to a yoga class at 10am if you wanted to, even though you have a full time job, and you have the freedom to literally work wherever you want, like you met me in Venice, Italy a couple of days ago and you worked that night.
Diana: We traveled from Venice to Slovenia. You hopped on the internet, and you worked and you did your thing. No one gives two shits where you are, which is really cool. Do you have any advice for people doing that sort of thing? Like, have you had big lessons that have come out of this that you recommend?
Emily: Yeah, it's interesting, actually. Two years ago, now, I guess with COVID, when Mike started working from home as a teacher, there were all of these things that he started talking about with his colleagues that were like, things that they were learning, and I was like, oh, yeah, I knew about that. Oh, yeah, I went through that, too.
Diana: As far as everyone working from home.
Emily: Yeah, right. I guess that's more than working from home thing. Not necessarily the,
Diana: No, but that works, too.
Emily: Yeah. Working in Europe are a different timezone thing. As far as advice goes, I don't know. I mean, everybody.
Mike: Set boundaries.
Emily: Yeah, I guess setting boundaries is yeah. No, that's true. Yeah, setting boundaries for yourself, I mean, that was way back at the beginning. But yeah, having either like a room for work, or setting specific timeframes for work.
Mike: We always have dinner together.
Emily: Yeah. Yeah, I always make sure that we have dinner together. We have two dogs. I always take time out to walk the dogs at lunch and dinner.
Mike: Yeah, just set setting your own schedule, and really adhering to that schedule, which is really important. Sometimes, meetings come up or whatever might be.
Emily: Yeah, sometimes, we have to flex it one way or the other. That's probably it because everybody is different though. It's hard to like unilaterally make advice.
Diana: I think during COVID, that was interesting, because we had been, you and I had been, working from home for years. Everyone's like, first of all freaking out and then thinking it's the best thing ever.
Diana: You're like, yeah, like I'm an OG, I don't know what you're talking about. This is totally my norm.
Emily: One thing that was nice, I think during COVID, was that everyone else was also kind of working in their pajamas, or sweats or whatever. I was like, okay, I don't feel like I have to, now, do my hair and makeup every time I have a meeting. No one else is doing it either.
Diana: COVID casual.
Diana: The new dress, I love it. Mike, after all this time, like six years is a really long time. What would you say your biggest learnings have been with moving to another country up ending your life where you were for literally your entire life, Idaho, Montana area, like family dynamics, social, getting to know people, what sticks out to you? What comes up top of mind?
Mike: How long is this podcast?
Diana: Yeah, right. 3 hours.
Mike: I think we've been really lucky, because we've been on the same page, Emily and I, about what we wanted in our life and what we want to do. That's always kind of whenever you pick a partner, or whatever it might be like that was high up on the list. Then, our parents have been super supportive, which has been really, really helpful that they haven't made us feel guilty. They haven't tried to pull us back home or anything like that.
I still talk with them weekly, and so that has been really helpful. There’s not a lot of pressure there. I think living abroad gives you a brand, and this is gonna sound really cheesy and cliche, but like, gives you brand new perspective. I don't know how many of your clientele are just like just based in the US.
Diana: Probably about 90% of them.
Mike: Yeah, 90%. Like the US isn't the whole world, I think we get told that or kind of fed it. As we go through school and everything like that, and where there are other people out there living their own life, enjoying themselves, having freedoms, being able to do whatever they want, being able to go where they would like and make their own decisions. I think we can get really focused on ones like this American ideal and this American news network, things like that, but like there are other people living fantastic lives outside the country and being free to be who they are.
I think that we, as Americans, I think just kind of get too focused, too American centric, and we don't consider the whole world aspect. That really opens up your other perspective. Like, oh, I don't have to watch the news all the time. I can just pick and choose because there are other people out there. They're living fantastic lives wherever they are. There's a lot available to everybody else. In the other aspect, it's also not easy, I mean, the language barrier in Czech Republic is very difficult, but still, you make do and you're friendly and you're kind and you're respectful and that gets reciprocated back to you.
I think that's probably one of the big keys, coming from small town, Idaho and Montana and maybe bigger cities, you have a lot more cultural opportunities there. I think that's the big one is that we're not the whole world. Other people live fantastic lives and can do things that a lot of Americans actually can't do, talking about childcare, talking about health insurance and health care and everything like that.
There's a lot more freedom to really be who you want to. You don't have those financial overhang. Just hang out there, and those decisions, because they're a little bit more focused on, especially in Europe, definitely more focused on family and the social services that are offered.
Diana: Yeah, I think, New York, we have a lot of people in New York, and of course, I lived in New York, and there's so much culture there. However, we have still so much privilege by even knowing the language. I think that's been a huge one for you guys. Going to someone, or somewhere totally out of your comfort zone is just, that's a growth portal for sure. Okay, best thing of living in Europe.
Emily: Oh, man, best thing about living in Europe, I think probably the travel opportunities because airline flights are cheap. It's like we can go to Paris for the weekend. In fact, we've done that with you.
Emily: Just being able to hop around these amazing, amazing European cities for not a lot of money.
Diana: Like you drive to Wyoming.
Emily: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I think that's probably best.
Diana: Worst thing about living in Europe? Hardest maybe? Or living in Prague specifically?
Emily: Yeah. The language barrier can be tough. I mean, I think that's a really good learning opportunity, as well, just to put yourself in that sort of minority space. I mean, that can make you feel a little bit isolated, sometimes. Yeah, the language barrier.
Diana: Okay. Same questions, but you can't answer the same. Sorry. What's the best thing about living in Europe, Mike?
Mike: Okay. Can I say healthcare?
Mike: I mean, I don't know. It sounds boring. Yeah, I talked to my family at one point time, I was like, I picked up a prescription I needed. They asked me how much it was, and I told them, it was 49 crowns, which is, less than $2, for a month's worth of medication. It's just like, the same medication because my sister works in health care, would have cost 50 bucks. It's just that that discrepancy is really frustrating at the same time, right?
Diana: Hardest thing?
Mike: Hardest thing? Yeah. I'm a pretty social person. I always thought my main goals is like, don't just conform to the bubble, and the international teaching bubble and try and make friends outside of your social, work circle. I think that's probably been the most difficult part is trying to branch out and meet people outside of it. I always tell people that's not who you're going to be, and I've kind of turned into that. I think that's on me to try and change that. That doesn't mean that you can't do it. Two years working from home wasn't easy.
Diana: Yeah, teaching from home, let alone.
Mike: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know how many parents you have?
Diana: Yeah, quite a few, and a lot of teachers, actually.
Mike: We all know that that was terrible. That was a rough two years.
Diana: Okay, we're gonna wrap this up so we can go drink our bottle of wine. We're going to ask you some rapid fire questions, whether you like them or not. Mike and I have an interesting relationship. We banter a lot. Emily and I have a lot more in common, I think than we even realize. These two answers are gonna be pretty different. But Emily, do you know your astrology?
Emily: I mean, I know like my zodiac signs, based on my birthday, which I think is Aquarius. Okay, great.
Diana: Actually, we've never talked about this. We're gonna totally dig in later. I wasn't into astrology at all, when we really like, we're in the same location. So Mike, do you know your astrology?
Emily: What is it?
Mike: It's an Aries.
Diana: Oh, yeah, so we've talked about this. Oh my god, didn't we talked about this in the road trip to Slovenia because it's the baby sign? It's like the baby zodiac sign and you're kind of like a child. A child trying to put his finger in the outlet like, yeah. Yeah. Great. Okay, moving on. Emily, what does creativity mean to you?
Emily: I think just connecting with your true self.
Diana: I love that. Okay, Mike?
Mike: There are no mistakes in creativity. I know, the designer here would be like, you can't do that. But I think that's kind of the beauty thing about creativity is you can really, truly do whatever you want. It might be bad. It might be good, but there are no mistakes.
Diana: Yeah. Ooh, that's good. Leave it to the non creative entrepreneur to like really give it a beautiful, truly, I mean, I'm not bantering with you a beautiful analytical answer. I love it.
Mike: Okay. I'll be fair, there is a lot of creativity in science.
Diana: There is. You have to be creative. Yeah.
Mike: You do have to come up with your own experiments.
Diana: We're all creatives. We're all creatives here for sure. It's so true. You have to, again, like we were saying we about the Italians, maybe you have to learn the rules to break them. That's kind of very similar in science and stuff, too, I think, Okay, do you have an entrepreneurial crush you can think of?
Emily: I do, actually.
Diana: Right on top of her head.
Emily: She's a knitting pattern designer who totally supports her family with her passion. As I mentioned, I'm passionate about knitting. Her name is Andrea Maori.
Diana: Beautiful. Can you give us a little tidbit of the wool dyeing workshop you just went to?
Emily: Oh, sure. Such a niche activity, so cool. I will be thrilled if anyone listening is interested in this or knows anything about it. Basically, I went to, it's called G-uld, which is G dash U L D, and it's a play on the Danish word for wool, which is uld, and the Danish word for gold, which is guld, so it's like gold wool. Anyway, I went to a little farm in Denmark, where they dye their own wool using plants.
We did a four day workshop. We harvest. We like foraged our own plants, some of the plant matter they had there already. We use these old vintage Danish washing machines, and use them to just dip dye a whole bunch of different yarn. We made this little color wheel of 71 different colors of yarn.
Diana: 71 is a lot. That's so cool. Someone will be obsessed with this. I'm obsessed with it just because it's making something from scratch and getting, I think, I aspire for this podcast to be how I built this for creative entrepreneurs. I love hearing how things are built, like we got to see sandals being built today in [inaudible], right? Did I say that right?
Emily: I don’t speak Italian. Yeah, it sounds right.
Diana: Do you have an entrepreneurial crush? Like someone you look up to?
Mike: I was like, what are you talking about?
Diana: You had a lot of time to think.
Mike: I think anyone who kind of like, sort of pushes, isn't afraid to like, set their goals, go for it, crash and burn and keep on going and not just stopping. I think that's pretty. I think that's very impressive, because it's not gonna work out the first, second, third time, but you can just kind of keep on going with it. I think anyone who I think like kind of small business owners, I guess, like coffee shop owners or bakers or, I love beer, so breweries.
I think those people, they're so passionate about what they do, and I love those things as well. I think those are the ones that I think are pretty, pretty impressive because they just started one day. They went worked at a shop. They went and got involved. Maybe, they read a book, and they let that drive them and they would have made mistakes, but they kept on going and sometimes they produce some really, really amazing things.
Diana: Okay, perfect segue. We have to talk about Hisa Franko, really quick. Okay, we're in Italy. Emily and I stood in her laundry room when we were 25 and said, we are going to go to Italy for our 30th birthday. Well, that was 2020, so that didn't happen. We are now doing that trip. Mike and Emily, as you can maybe tell from their Prague experience, are amazing planners and logistical people. They're great communicators.
They're just the right amount of creative and analytical where they can make shit happen. They plan these trips that I go on with them. I always feel really guilty that I'm not doing any of the planning and I get to just take advantage of their skills.
Emily: Then, you take all the pictures.
Diana: Well, I do take a lot of pictures. Thanks for giving me a little bit of a job. It's like a dog with a backpack on a hike. I have a job and I feel really good about it. Okay, great. They text me and they say, hey, like, instead of going the Dolomites, we could just pop up to the chef's table restaurant, Hisa Franko in Slovenia, just casual pop up for a Michelin star restaurant, and do that.
I just want to say really quick, give Anna a shout out, the chef from Hisa Franko. If you have not seen that episode, I think it's like season two, episode five, maybe. Anyway, Google it. Mike, it changed your life. You talked about this the other night. Can you just give us like a quick 30 second synopsis of your experience of her and what you just said like how brewers or coffee shop owner, they just go for it.
Like she really went for it and didn't have the skill set at first to do this restaurant, and then we just experienced one of the best meals of our life. Can you just like dote on her a little bit?
Mike: I think the most impressive part of that entire Chef's Table, I've probably seen it three times now, is that it took so much time and energy to get to where she is. I think that has to be celebrated more than anything else. It's not just like her at this peak level, two star Michelin restaurant, incredible scenery, great staff, beautiful food, like bring back memories of never had one bite, just take you back 10 or 15 years into a single location.
She was able to do that. You can't just talk about that without also talking about the struggle she went through and how she had support from her partner at the time, not really much her family. I think, like Olympic athletes, we always say like, oh, they did so well. They got the gold. They got the silver. They got the bronze, whatever it might be, but you don't know about all that extra energy effort that went into get that point and that needs to be celebrated more so then, I think personally, then like this end result of who they are because they struggled so much and everyone does.
No one just wakes up one morning and becomes a Michelin star chef. That doesn't happen. I think everyone probably listening right now knows that the struggle and the energy that goes into it. Just because you're not the two star Michelin chef, doesn't mean you've also failed either if you've met your goals, or a goal that you've set there.
Diana: You just might not be there yet. Also, she really, really failed a lot like hardcore. That's really portrayed in that episode. Anna, if you're listening, you're gonna be on Pollen someday, your story. Her story is just such a winding road. What I love about her, as a chef, is she's not traditionally trained. She's not like the story of I went to France and I've trained here and XYZ and then, studied under whatever chef and then, got to the top. She really did it in a very different way. Any thoughts on Hisa Franko and our experience during this trip?
Emily: I think you guys pretty much covered it. It was magical.
Diana: It was magical. It really was. Okay. Last thing I'm gonna ask Emily, I think I can know some of the answers. If money, time, resources, all of that, it just didn't matter, like you didn't have to have a job just to have a job and pay the bills and the groceries and the rent and all this stuff. What would you do with your time?
Emily: Definitely something related to yarn knitting. I mean, honestly, I could see myself doing this yarn dyeing thing that I just did in Denmark as a hobby side hustle career, whatever, just like really immerse myself in dyeing a whole lot of yarn.
Diana: That would take in Bozeman so well. I'm just putting that out there. Putting that out there. Mike. Same question.
Mike: Money didn't matter.
Diana: Money didn't matter. What would you do with your time? You could do several things. It's more like what wouldn't you.
Mike: Yeah. I don't want to do that, because that's so stressful for you guys. I would do travel myself, that just hop on my own private jet. I could fly around the world, go skiing when I wanted to, go hiking where I want to, go eat the food I wanted to, that didn't matter. I think a lot of people have that sort of dream as well. This is gonna sound very corny, but you don't become a teacher for the money. You do have to give back to the community in some way.
I think that's really important as well as that you're making connections, and know that, as a teacher, you don't get a lot of like fulfillment right away, it's always going to be long term. You're trying to set these students, these people to be successful, not just in school, but also to give them some sort of tools to be successful humans. I think that's ultimately wherever I was, that's my way of trying to, something along those lines.
Diana: Yeah, giving back in some way, as well as enjoying your life. I love that. One of my favorite things about you guys is just how spontaneous you truly are and how much you take advantage of your situation. Like there's so many times, when people live in a cool place, and then they just don't do the things. What I love is you pair your hobbies, like you both run marathons, or ultra races or biking, whatever, and you pair that with travel. You'll go run a marathon in Venice, and then, go to Greece afterwards, or whatever, which I think is really cool.
Mike: I think it's important to note, we got this piece of advice for anyone who wants to live abroad or move or anything like that. When we first moved, we had a friend of ours come visit, an old roommate of mine, and he had been living in Korea and doing some Vietnam or living in Vietnam and things like that. He was like, look, your life just doesn't magically change, because you live in a new place. You still keep the same habits.
You still have the same interests, like your day to day, whatever the day to day boring, whatever you want to call it, doesn't really ever change because you live in a new place. You're still you. Your place, your surroundings just changing. I think that's also really important to identify and come to grips with is that, yeah, it's not going to be every day is not going to be a fairy tale.
Diana: Yeah, totally. If you want to make change, you can't just escape to a new place. You have to change yourself. I love that. Beautiful. Well, this was impromptu. I'm so excited that we did this. The audio might be awful. We don't know. Thanks for rolling with us here on the rogue version of Pollen in Italy. The road trip. Yeah, it's just the road trip. What's hilarious is we can't really find you. I would say how do we find you but there's not a lot of ways to find you which is beautiful.
I also really respect that, that you live lives the way you want to and not on social and all this stuff where a lot of people listening are going to be very heavily on social to promote their businesses and such. Emily, I know you have your knitting Instagram.
Emily: Oh, I do with like 10 followers.
Diana: It’s all good. We want to know. We want to know about it.
Emily: It’s just a record of all the things I've made. Yeah, so it's named after my dogs. It's @huckarue.
Diana: Cool. We will link all of this stuff in the show notes. Mike, where can they find you?
Mike: On your stories.
Diana: You can find Emily and Mike tags on my stories through me. All right, over and out. Thanks everyone for being here and listening. Thanks, Mike and Emily. This was amazing.