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Nicole Webb

Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Why Every Expat Needs A Blind Date

Posted by: Carole on Thursday April 16, 2015 (01:48:34)   (2377 Reads)
Nicole Webb
Those dam butterflies in my stomach… they're persistent buggers!

I try to catch my breath, inhaling, deeply… as our car crawls slowly in and out of lanes, jammed with thick Saturday evening traffic.

We are late. Naively forgetting about the headache of weekend traffic in China, we've severely underestimated how long it will take to get to our destination, normally a 20 minute drive across town.

This was going to make it harder to arrive 'inconspicuously' let alone the nagging fact, the small, subtle bunch of flowers we'd ordered for the birthday girl was China-sized, China-decorated. This means big and garish. Even less opportunity to slide in, in low key style. I breathe.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Four Good Reasons Why You Need To Put China On Your Bucket List!

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday February 17, 2015 (19:16:20)   (4846 Reads)
Nicole Webb
If you've never been to China (and maybe you never want to) I'm here to convince you to give it a shot, to put it on the bucket list!

I'm not promising a picture perfect paradise that will blow your mind but I am pitching a place that is predominantly laced with a fascinating past intertwined with an equally intriguing present. It's a unique combination that may well give you one of your more priceless 'holiday' experiences.

I've been living in Xi'an, north west China for around five months now and whilst I lived in Hong Kong for four years and had a reasonably good induction into Asia, (naively) I assumed I was prepared for a move to the motherland. I wasn't.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

The Christmas Spirit In Xi'an, China

Posted by: Carole on Sunday December 21, 2014 (03:44:45)   (3838 Reads)
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 ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Expat in a New Country? My Top Ten Survival Tips

Posted by: Carole on Friday October 17, 2014 (03:09:31)   (7100 Reads)
Nicole Webb
I've been living in the middle of China for almost a month now.

It's my second expat posting, so while I'm not a newbie to "expat life", having bandied about the term 'culture shock' on this column many times, I've got to say, in all honesty I had rather naively forgotten how confronting moving to a new country could be.

Arriving in Xi'an, North West China last month, I knew no one - not a single soul, bar my husband and 3 year old daughter. We arrived at the Westin Hotel - our new home, in the middle of a grey, wet night.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

The Expat Club: The Membership That’s For Life

Posted by: Carole on Monday August 11, 2014 (17:33:28)   (4444 Reads)
Nicole Webb
I now know my departure from Hong Kong is (sob) imminent. After calling this foreign frenzy of bright lights, burgeoning buildings and bustling bodies my ‘home away from home’ for four years, we are heading north… to China. Yes! (gulp) real Mainland China (but that's a story for another day, you can read about it here!)

While I can’t deny I've fallen madly in love with Hong Kong, having found myself caught up in its dazzling web of intoxication, I've always known the toughest goodbye wouldn’t be to the city itself, but to my family, my 'expat' family.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Red Taxis, Chopsticks And Chinglish: 10 Things That Make Me A Happy Gweilo In Hong Kong!

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday June 10, 2014 (03:18:38)   (5939 Reads)
Nicole Webb
I know eventually there will come a time when I am (through no fault of my own) forced to (with a very heavy heart) pack up my chopsticks (just kidding I don't really own a pair), put away my Octopus card and leave those clean, clean (did I mention clean) toilets behind for less superior greener pastures.

With the notion that relocation comes to all hotelier's wives at some point on my mind (no matter how long you try to hide the passports) I started thinking about what I would really miss most about Hong Kong. No really miss!!    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Help! I'm Moving to Hong Kong - What to Expect

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday April 08, 2014 (03:30:25)   (5925 Reads)
Nicole Webb
As an expat blogger in Hong Kong, I get all sorts of weird and wonderful requests to collaborate. Everything from joining a 'baby formula selling' business in South Africa to taking part in travel focus groups in the US, to write ups for removal companies and health bar reviews come my way. Naturally some things are better suited to Mint Mocha Musings than others. But mostly, I get asked about living in Hong Kong.

Usually from people in the West who're considering taking the plunge and relocating to the far East.

"Is it really that expensive to live there?" "Will I make friends?" "Can I still walk my baby in the stroller?" "Will I be able to get 'normal' food in Hong Kong?" Just to name a few.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

I Come From A Land Down Under…

Posted by: Carole on Thursday February 13, 2014 (04:28:17)   (5463 Reads)
Nicole Webb
G'day,

If you're a regular reader of my ramblings, you probably know I've spent a fair bit of my writing time, wearing expat shoes and being quite vocal about the thrills and spills of culture shock - you know - stuff like: what happens when you find yourself catapulted into the arms of another country, anxiously wondering if this is simply a fling or a lasting love affair?

Well, in answer to that - Hong Kong has me in its clutches, but Australia you'll always have my heart. (Awwww.)    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

The Expat View: Why Traveling Will Never Be The Same

Posted by: Carole on Thursday November 21, 2013 (13:43:42)   (4439 Reads)
Nicole Webb
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


As an expat, my arrival in any country (these days) brings with it, the steely eyes of a super sleuth. The minute I step off the plane, I'm giving my holiday destination the once over! Judging, comparing, making rapid assumptions from the cleanliness of airport toilets, I'm sizing up the place for its 'liveability.'
You see, living the expat life, almost every city has the potential to be your future home, which makes any foreign locality fair game. Who knows when or even IF, but as an hotelier's wife, there's ALWAYS a chance this unfamiliar neighbourhood will arrive on your radar at some point in time.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Moving To Hong Kong? 10 Things You Can’t Leave Home Without!

Posted by: Carole on Monday October 14, 2013 (16:23:07)   (37536 Reads)
Nicole Webb
When you get the call to uproot your life and relocate to a new, foreign country, the shellshock of packing up your ‘life as you know it’ and heading into the unknown abyss, is more often than not followed by a fast and furious ‘Google’ of the new ‘home’ in question.

First things first:

Location: Check! (Yes it is right where you thought on the map; or Surprise! who knew it was so close to Timbuktu!?)

Population: Check! (Mighty important to know what you’re dealing with here - are you one of hundreds, thousands or millions?)

Language: Check! (Just how much brainpower is this assignment going to require?)    more ...