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No Peakie Panish (Learning a New Language)

Sunday, March 11, 2012 (09:48:38)
by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Angulo

There can be a lot of pressure when moving to a foreign language speaking country when only your better half knows the lingo. It puts stress on one side to constantly translate and the other racing to learn the new language as quickly as possible. In the case of my husband (a.k.a. the hubs) and me, he was already fluent in Spanish before moving to Panama whereas my lingual skills were limited to words like fajitas, fiesta, and margaritas...

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France Springs Into Life

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 (09:35:29)
by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Dagg

I love March. Rural France suddenly springs into life again as the temperatures rise. Here in Creuse we normally have long winters that last from early November until well into March. However, this year we swapped long for intense. The four weeks of le grand froid, the big freeze, were painful with temperatures down to minus 19 degrees C, and three weeks without them going anywhere near zero. January and February are usually quiet enough in the countryside, but everyone practically disappeared this year. Caiti and I visited Paris during the cold snap and life seemed to be hectic and carrying on as usual up there, despite the chilliness. That’s certainly not the case in the paysage. It’s a time of hunkering down and keeping the farm and the fire ticking over.

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The Space Between

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (19:09:19)
by Expat Focus columnist, Evelyn Simpson

The initial flurry of unpacking and getting settled has passed, the excitement of the holidays is over and a more normal routine has begun to prevail.

For many accompanying partners, the realisation of what “normal” life will entail in a new country comes hand-in-hand with a true understanding of what overseas relocation means for their lives on a personal day-to-day basis. Many, even the strongest proponents of the decision to move, find that reality significantly different from expectations and many may doubt the wisdom of their decisions...

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Conquering My Driving Demons

Saturday, January 07, 2012 (17:17:39)
by Expat Focus columnist, Aisha Isabel Ashraf

For a long time, before exchanging my British driving licence for a Canadian one, I would mentally rehearse driving here. Closing my eyes, I would imagine every part of the journey into town, all the intersections, traffic lights and lane changes, haunted by the fear I would end up on the wrong side of the road and terrified of the potential carnage...

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Missing the Movies?

Friday, December 30, 2011 (21:20:55)
by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Angulo

Just because you move abroad doesn’t mean that everything in your life is suddenly 100% different. You will find yourself partaking in many of the same activities you did back home, like going to the movies. The hubs and I have always been avid movie goers and didn’t let moving to Panama, a Spanish speaking country, slow down our movie date nights. Waiting in line to see midnight showings of Lord of the Rings, all the Matrix movies, and Ironman 2 barely scrapes the tip of the iceberg. Since our big move in January of this year, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to enjoying our movie theater experience in Panama.

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