Hi, my name is Teresa, and I’m a Europhile.
Born to a Chinese immigrant family in inner-city London and growing up speaking Chinglish at home, my Europhilia grew organically. I had always been interested in languages from a young age, though I never became fluent in German or French from classes at school.
However, at the age of 19 I decided to pursue a degree in French & Classics (one subject never was enough). Having forgotten my abysmal school French, I started ab initio. Three years plus an exchange year in Switzerland later, I graduated with a prize for French, the ability to fool French people that I was one of them, and a horde of multilingual friends from around the world, mostly Europe.
It was during my year in Lausanne, Switzerland that my love for Europe and its languages exploded, and when I began my first blog, The Fondue Files. I met my South African polyglot soulmate best friend there, who is equally afflicted with Europhilia. She has dragged me on trips around the world when I ran out of energy to propel myself, and my life was never the same again.
I have since studied German (again), Greek, Spanish, Slovene, Dutch and have been to 17 of the 28 countries in the EU, and it’s my goal to have visited them all before…..
With this looming, I feel like a part of my soul is being ripped from me. My British passport has always been my pride and joy precisely because it meant I was a citizen of the EU. Having the planet’s most diverse, multilingual, culturally rich continent on my doorstep has been my lifelong privilege, and our cultural and political ties have allowed me to live, study and travel there with ease. I have felt like, though separated by the Channel, Europe is my home.
Whatever happens, Europe will always be my Promised Land, my one true love. The Europhilia endures.