I’m really excited to be featuring the gorgeous Dei in today’s post. I’ve had the pleasure to meet her a few times now and she’s as lovely as she looks! When I first met her, I didn’t know shes originally from Lithuania and I must confess, I had to check which country it is. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always mixed up Lithuania and Latvia. I don’t know why and hopefully one day I never will.
Anyhow, it’s a while back since Dei moved away from Lithuania but she recently visited Vilnius (the capital) and I remember being in awe from all the pictures she shared on social. Read on to find out what made Dei move and what food she’s learned to love since.
Expat Interview with Deimanté from Synnydei
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hey! I’m Deimanté, I live in Leeds with my two adorable cats and my boyfriend. I’m originally from Lithuania but moved to Northern Ireland when I was 12 and to England when I was 18. I work in video production by day and run a lifestyle blog, Synnydei, by night.
2. How would you describe your blog and what can people expect to read about there?
It’s a mixture of food, both restaurant reviews and gluten free recipes, travel and fashion mainly. People can expect photo heavy posts with a relaxed conversational style of writing.
3. Talk us through your thought process and reasons for moving to England and how you ended up in Leeds.
Well my parents kind of made me move to Ireland when I was only 12, but I think it’s the best decision they ever made because it allowed me to get an English education and has opened up a lot of doors. I decided to move to Leeds because as lovely as Ireland is it’s pretty small and I really missed the city life – away from my parents!
4. What do you love about living in England?
I love how easily I can access lots of amazing cities such as Manchester or London. There’s always exciting things going on and I’m spoiled for choice of restaurants and bars.
5. What are common questions you are asked by English people when you say you are from the Lithuania?
Initially, everyone is always very confused about my accent because it’s a mixture of Lithuanian, Northern Irish and English. Then they usually ask me where it is, no one seems to know very much about Lithuania at all!
6. What are the main culture shocks you’ve had moving to England? Is there anything Lithuania has that you wish England had?
Well most of my culture shocks happened when I moved to Ireland. I think the biggest culture shock was the food. There just didn’t seem to be very many options! Also when I first tasted gravy I thought it tasted of pee (or what I imagined pee would taste like!) and I thought salt and vinegar crisps were disgusting. You’ll be pleased to know I love both now!
Another shock was how a lot of people don’t really say what they think, in Lithuania people are pretty blunt and I was so used to saying what was on my mind rather than sugarcoating things. I think a lot of people would think that I was a little rude.
7. Have you considered moving back to Lithuania? Give reasons why you would or wouldn’t.
I’ve recently been back for the first time in 8 years and I have to say that I fell in love with Vilnius. I think I could see myself living there because it’s an absolutely beautiful city and the people are quite friendly. However, I’m pretty settled in the UK so not sure if I will ever actually move back. At this point Ireland and England feels more like home than Lithuania.
8. If you could give your younger self one piece of advice prior to moving to Ireland what would that be?
The first year will be really hard and it will take you a while to adjust but you’ll make amazing friends and fall in love with the country so just don’t worry, these things take time.
9. If people reading this would like to travel to Lithuania and Vilnius, name three things they should do/see/visit
You should definitely stay in Old Town and go try all of the delicious Lithuanian food, in particularly Cepelinai!
Take a walk up to the Gediminas Castle as you can see the whole of Vilnius from it.
Whilst you’re in Vilnius you should visit the Trakai Castle and eat some kibinai while you’re there! If the weather is good have a boat ride around the castle.
Thanks Dei for sharing a little bit about yourself and your learnings from moving to Northern Ireland and eventually beautiful Leeds. I really want to explore more cities around Europe. It’s a fantastic continent to travel to and I’ve got so many places to tick off – Vilnius being very high up on that list!