Lisa Jochim

Lisa Jochim
Expat Experiences - Netherlands (Holland)

Who are you?

Lisa Jochim

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved from the USA in July, 2011 with my husband and youngest child who was 15 at the time. My husband took a new job with a new company.
What challenges did you face during the move?

The language difference is a big challenge but we were so happy that most people in The Netherlands speak English.   more ...

  The Christmas Spirit In Xi'an, China

Nicole Webb
Columnists - Nicole Webb

“He’s checking his list, he’s checking it twice, he’s going to find out who’s naughty or nice….."

Sing it with me!

"….Santa Claus is coming to tooooown!!”

No pretending you don't know this one ladies and gents!

It’s one of those traditional, well known and much loved songs you hear ringing out across the radio, TV and in shopping centres and schools at this time of year, every. single. year. Without fail.

But whether or not Santa Claus is coming to this town? Well…..if he is, it will probably be a quick visit!   more ...

  5 Good Reasons You Should Move To Hong Kong (And 1 Reason You Shouldn't!)

Articles - Hong Kong

Hong Kong truly does have a charm of its own, but it’s a city of extremes in many ways and most visitors will either love it or hate it. It’s hard to sit on the fence when it comes to Hong Kong. The city is small but it has a thriving economy that is fiercely competitive and independent. With its recent colonial past, the city has a distinctly East meets West vibe and in more ways than one, Hong Kong is a world class city. Its skyline is dominated by skyscrapers, but it’s also a city of contrasts, with easy access to the outdoors and beaches that are just a few minutes’ drive away. What’s most important to keep in mind when moving to Hong Kong is that it’s a city that never fails to surprise, so don’t move here with any preconceived notions!   more ...

  5 Things You Should Know Before Moving To South Africa

Articles - South Africa

It isn’t entirely possible for a person to be “fully prepared” for the changes that come with moving to a new country, but that doesn’t mean that you should not try! South Africa is probably very different from your country of origin, so you should anticipate and accept the inevitable culture shock and the emotional upheaval that you will face after you move. Try to eliminate unnecessary worry and stress by taking a few precautionary steps to make your transition as seamless as possible. Here are 5 things that every expat should know before moving to South Africa.

1. Visas

The South African Department of Home Affairs is known for what many describe as bureaucratic incompetence, which is characterized by widespread institutional failure and dysfunctionalities.   more ...

  5 Good Reasons You Should Move To Brazil (And 1 Reason You Shouldn't!)

Articles - Brazil

No matter which part of the world you come from, if you are global traveller or expat, there’s a good chance that Brazil will feature quite high up on your itinerary. Brazil has become a global tourist destination over the last few decades, but her beaches and culture aren’t all that’s popular. Brazil’s economy has witnessed tremendous growth and it has also proved to be rather resilient, withstanding and emerging relatively unscathed from the chaos of the global recession that hit every major economy in the past decade. This makes it an attractive destination not just for travellers but also for working professionals and business entrepreneurs.

The Landscape

Brazil truly is an incredibly beautiful country and it is the definition of paradise for any traveller.   more ...

  South Africa Diaries: Part 6 - Mission Two

James King
Columnists - James King

Preparing For England

Within minutes of our arrival I was on the beach and wallowing in the warm, shark-infested, waters of the Indian Ocean. Cape Town beaches are great; with wide open expanses of sand and dunes on the West Coast you can walk for miles and often hardly see another soul. But even brass monkeys don’t swim in the Southern Atlantic. The Indian Ocean on the other hand is so warm and inviting that it is easy to forget the undertow of the huge rollers and the razor toothed predators that skulk nearby. The lifeguards and surfers are watchful and skilled and the shark nets generally provide adequate protection to the beach-goers.

But leisure time is limited now as I prepare to return to England after my first three months at the bottom of Africa.   more ...

  Crackers Christmas

Michelle Garrett
Columnists - Michelle Garrett

One of the most interesting things about living overseas is experiencing the way different cultures celebrate holidays. The Christmas Cracker has become one of my favourites.

Over 20 years ago I spent one of my first Christmases in Britain with my fiancé and his staid relatives. The oldest generation arrived slow and creaking, placed gently in the overstuffed chairs in the living room facing the fireplace. Father-in-law-to-be poured sherry in pretty little glasses on a silver tray and passed them around. Not my first sherry, but I’d only had it once before, the previous Christmas. My nostrils flared and my lips pursed. It smelled of the mince pies I had yet to fall in love with.   more ...

  Panama, Where Friendship Is Easy

Susanna Perkins
Columnists - Susanna Perkins

Since moving back to the US, I’ve become painfully aware of one huge difference between living here and living there.

Meeting people and making friends in Panama was easy. Doing it here is hard.

A vibrant social life was one of our pleasures in Las Tablas. We had plenty of friends, and getting together was easy.

It started within a few days of my arrival in Las Tablas.

Because Panama doesn't really have pet-friendly hotels, I flew down to find us a place to live while my husband and the dogs stayed in Florida to wrap up a few things. Less than 24 hours after I arrived in Las Tablas, I met my first friend.   more ...

  Christmas Birds In South Africa

Marla Sink Druzgal
Columnists - Marla Sink Druzgal

It’s strange to pair the usual commercial Christmas characters with a summertime holiday. Polar bears, reindeer, and a jolly old man in a heavy, woolen red suit just doesn’t feel right.

We’ve seen our share of Santa Clause as adapted for warmer climates before. In California it’s popular to put Santa in swim trunks and have him riding a surfboard. But even in California, December is winter, with its milder weather reminding everyone that just a day’s drive into the mountains could find them in snow. Jingle bells rock the retail stores’ sound systems. Buildings are decorated from basement to penthouse, and if you want a white Christmas without the road trip, there’s always some crazy local with a snow machine who finds pleasure or passion in bringing a mini nor’easter to the crazy town of Venice, California.   more ...

  5 Foods You Must Try When Living In Japan

Articles - Japan

Japanese cuisine enjoys an excellent reputation around the world. While sushi may be the most popular Japanese dish in many parts of the globe, the country also produces many other delectable foods. Sampling Japanese cuisine in Japan itself is a memorable experience, and while there are a variety of must-try dishes; here is our list of the top five Japanese foods you must not miss out on when in Japan.


Tempura are delightfully light battered and deep-fried seafood and vegetables. It was the Portuguese traders in Nagasaki who introduced the dish. Tempura has evolved over the years and today is a quintessential Japanese food.   more ...


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