Meet our Property Consultant at Foreigners Brno office, Lucie Bargaoui – a strongly motivated woman who lived abroad for more than a decade. She studied architecture in France, participated in multiple international projects, married a foreigner, and newly got two little kittens. Let’s get to know her better!
Tell us more about yourself… What motivates and inspires you?
Originally I am from the Czech Republic, but I lived for the past 10 years abroad and due to this, consider myself an international and multicultural person. I am a very sociable, open-minded, goal-oriented woman, who enjoys meeting new people, dealing with challenges, and finding the most appropriate solution to any problem. I am very inspired by the owners of Foreigners who managed to start their own business and maintain it throughout these hard times caused by the coronavirus. Andrea and Vojta always served as a good example for me and an additional impulse to continue and strive for perfection. I go through the hard times with the motto “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and that is mainly why it’s very important to me to know that the things I am doing lead to a beautiful output.
That’s very nicely said. Do you have any short-run goals?
I think that the current situation is pressing most businesses nowadays. As a member of the Foreigners family, my short-run goal is to have more clients. The agency is dependent on many external factors and I really wish everything would stabilize shortly and it will start blooming again. My short-run goals for this summer regarding personal life would be to settle down in our new apartment and enjoy our stay in Brno!
… and what about the long-term ones?
As for the long-term goals I always counted to find the job which makes me happy. I believe this is the only way to feel satisfied and enjoy what I’m doing. Even though I joined Foreigners a couple of months ago, this work brings me self-fulfillment and I am happy to be a part of this environment.
You are a passionate traveler, what other activities you used to do in your spare time?
When I cannot travel, like during the coronavirus time, I like to learn new languages. I continuously improve my French and Arabic languages. Other than that, I enjoy reading books and meeting new people and my prime hobby is yoga. Also, I got two kittens recently, so that’s my passion now – the creatures I give most of my attention and love.
That’s lovely! Congratulations. How did your life change so far when having kittens?
It seems like I have a baby actually. We got them a few weeks ago, they are still little and they require a lot of attention, care, love, and food. It is interesting. It was our dream to get them, but it was more difficult in the past as we were traveling a lot. Initially, we wanted just one cat, but then we decided to take two so they wouldn’t feel lonely and actually, they are brothers.
I see. Let’s turn to your work. Your current position is Property Consultant… How is it? Do you have any struggles?
I like it so far, still, I believe the situation will improve and more clients will need our help after coronavirus passes. My role is to stay in touch with the owners of the apartments and explain to them our contribution, inform about the new offers, and provide consultant assistance. People I contact are each different from the other. Sometimes it’s challenging, but most of them are open-minded and ready to collaborate. At the very beginning, I thought that I won’t manage to deal with this position because of my tendency. I like to interact with expats more, while 99% of the property owners are Czech people. Now I am happy to be a part of Foreigners. I feel like my work has a bigger impact on society as I try to make them more open-minded to globalization.
Where did you find out about Foreigners and how did you manage to get into this environment?
While moving to Brno, I was looking for some opportunities to meet international people and this is how I found Impact Hub where a lot of events and conferences take place. I went there and met a lot of new local companies and one of them was Foreigners. Their formal presentation of the company seemed interesting to me and this is how I got to know about them. I liked the Foreigners’ idea, the field of development. Next, I started following their page on LinkedIn, and then I saw their offer and applied for this position. This is how my journey within this company started.
Why did you choose to live in Brno instead of the capital city?
As I already mentioned, I am not a regular tourist. I like to travel to experience other cultures. After my studies in France were finished, I applied for an internship in Tunisia and then moved to the Netherlands. I traveled quite a lot and it was surely worth it! Within this time, I managed to meet my husband. It was sometimes hard because he was working in Ireland and I was in the Netherlands. One day we decided that we need to settle down. We decided to move to the Czech Republic because it was complicated to move to Ireland because of Brexit, also I was not feeling happy in the Netherlands. We chose Brno because the previous company that I was working in the Netherlands had an office here so I didn’t have to quit my job. That’s how it all started from scratch.
Wow. What a journey! So you live in an international marriage. How is it?
Yes. I met my husband in Tunisia, during my internship. He speaks fluent French and me too so that’s how we were able to establish a connection and, to be honest, I always felt like I would be part of an international couple as I was traveling a lot. I am very happy to have him. I enjoy his culture, I like the Arabic and French language, so it’s a very nice combination. For him, it was a little bit difficult to move to the Czech Republic, but now he is continuously improving and learning the language intensively.
What do you like the most in Brno?
I like this location because it has a pleasant vibe and it seems familiar. Even though it is considered to be the former capital city of Moravia, it’s a very vivid, peaceful and accessible place worth visiting and even settling down. Prague seems a lot more tourist-oriented, but Brno, I feel like it’s a place with a soul, with a very nice environment. Walking through the streets of Brno makes me feel like I’m on a holiday. I really like it… It seemed boring to me, but since we moved here, I looked at it with different eyes and it comprises the perfect mix of culture, peace, events, and leisure spots.
…and if you had to choose any other city which one would you choose?
Well… it would most probably choose either Brno or Prague. For now, I don’t want to move to a smaller city. Brno is the most optimal option. Maybe I will once decide to move to a village, but I don’t think this will happen soon.
You lived in many other countries … which one impressed you the most? Does it have any tangibility with the Czech Republic?
My soul belongs to France. I like it because it represents the perfect location. Starting from its geographical attributes – it has sea, ocean, mountains, forests. Also, it has well-developed neighboring countries, good universities, amazing culture and it’s very international. It was easy for me to integrate there. For sure nature, the architectural aspect of enormous buildings and statues are very close to the Czech ones. Still, their gastronomy cannot be confused with anything else. It is something I really miss here – their specific gastronomical tendency. I truly aspire to go back there sometime in the future, it might be even one of my long-term goals.
All in all, how long have you been abroad?
Right after high school, I left to do my university studies in France. I was 10 years abroad, somehow everything went one after another. I moved back to the Czech Republic just in October 2019. I feel that I am still integrated here, maybe mostly thanks to the Foreigners environment. Also, I am maintaining the connections with my foreign friends and I don’t miss anything major about other countries. I am happy where I am now. I believe that you are always surrounded by people you wish for, or aspire to be with, that’s why I enjoy my friends, my environment. And of course, Brno.
Do you have any special favorite cafeteria, places to work, and relax in Brno?
Not yet because I have been with Foreigners just for two months now, but from my experience, for sure it’s nice to work from a coffee place. I love Starbucks, I know it’s a cliché, but I love their chai latte. I don’t have a specific favorite coffee place, maybe also because I am not a coffee drinker, I drink more tea, but I like the cozy atmosphere of these places.
What is your advice for the people who would like to relocate to the Czech Republic?
Contact Foreigners! We can answer all the questions, solve any problem, and make you feel like home in the Czech Republic. But a piece of general advice would probably be: Don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone!
In case you own apartments for rent but don’t know how to get successful in leasing them, don’t hesitate to contact our Property Consultant – Lucie Bargaoui, who is always ready to help and assist!
Pictures source: Lucie’s Bargaoui gallery