"London? It was the place to be and work. If you made it in London, you could make it anywhere - and so I did just that." Isadora Wildmore fondly recalls her time working as a marketing executive in a major global agency in the British capital, which was also a great access point for travels to visit friends in her native Poland and "adopted" home country of Sweden.
With a fascinating global life that has taken her across many careers on three continents, she now resides in Sitges, a coastal town south-west of Barcelona, a place she describes as "the world at its best".
Poland in the 70s under Soviet occupation provided a happy but restricted childhood. Her father was one of many who fled the country, so unpleasant questions were the order of the day for young Isadora.
Moving with her mother to East Berlin in 1976 was a huge upgrade. Isadora fondly reminisces about how freeing it was to not need to use coupons or oblige by a rationing system. There were inter-shops to buy exclusive foreign goods - Coca-Cola, Levi's jeans, chewing gum. But only if you had foreign currency!
From there, she moved to Sweden at nine years old, studied and eventually became a photographer for a fashion magazine. Life was better - plenty of food on the shelves, no state monitoring, quiet and clean streets.
In London, Isadora found herself loving the vibrant buzz of the city but it was Sitges where she really found what she calls the world at its best.
Delivered. spoke with Isadora to find out more about what makes her still so in love with Europe.
Was it always a goal to live in so many countries or did it just happen?
It wasn't planned, I had parents who traveled a lot, especially as they were of different nationalities.
What does being a European mean for you?
It means being free to move and work wherever I'd like, having opportunities.
The EU motto is "United in diversity" - what has this diversity taught you?
Living in Sitges really is a great place to experience diversity. It's a mixed expat community, a microcosm of Europe. Different nationalities, religions, sexualities, all living together, with children all going to the same schools - that’s what I appreciate the most about the EU: the mixing of cultures, marrying between nationalities, everyone melding together and accepting one another.
In the wake of nationalism waves in the EU countries, how would you like the union to look in the future?
We are all one big nation, half the people are expats with mixed marriages. I'm not worried about nationalism because people are so mixed, this will maintain the peace.
Looking to the future, where do you plan on going next?
Travel and living are two very different things! For travel, I'd love to visit Russia in the wintertime, and to revisit some former Yugoslavian nations. To live, I considered returning to the UK for a while, but with its political difficulties, I'm not sure it's such a good idea at the moment! I could happily imagine moving to a nice villa in Ibiza, but for now, I'm happily settled here, for the first time in a decade!
The European Parliament election takes place on the 23rd to the 26th of May, 2019. To find out more information on how to vote, click here.
Published: May 2019