±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get expat health and financial news, interesting expat articles, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!



We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

±Financial Advice / Services

Expert advice from professionals you can trust

Judi Lembke

Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Expat 'Mom Of The Year'

Posted by: Carole on Saturday July 18, 2015 (21:44:14)   (1006 Reads)

Judi Lembke

When you’ve lived the expat life for a long time and don’t get back to your home country very often it can sometimes feel like landing in a place you visited a long time ago: you know a bit about it, recognize some familiar things, but you aren’t quite on firm ground, because things change and you’ve not been around to see it happen in real time. This can lead to some interesting holiday adventures.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Spring Has Arrived In Stockholm

Posted by: Carole on Sunday May 31, 2015 (21:30:31)   (844 Reads)

Judi Lembke

Spring has arrived in Stockholm and while that means more sunshine (hello 4am !) and slightly warmer days it also means noise – and lots of it.

Stockholm, for as long as I’ve lived here, has seemingly been under permanent construction. More than twenty years ago, during my first stint in the city, the lovely Kungsträgården, in the center of town, was under renovations for a decade or so. Kungsträgården means ‘King’s Garden’ and is just a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, with the Opera on one end, and edged with lovely little cafés, and boutiques as it leads up to one of the city’s main shopping areas.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Vinterkräk ....WHAT??

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday February 11, 2015 (19:29:29)   (2096 Reads)

Judi Lembke

My column is late. Actually, it’s more than late but I have an excellent excuse. No, my dog didn’t eat it (I don’t have a dog) and it didn’t get lost in the mail. Instead, I was struck down by one of the most vile experiences known to woman or man: Sweden’s dreaded ‘winter vomiting disease’ (yep, that’s a literal translation).

Before moving to Sweden I, like pretty much everyone else, had suffered through my fair share flu attacks. Never fun and certainly filled with a few days of misery but before you know it you’re right as rain and carrying on as usual.

And then I moved to Sweden and discovered – or rather, I should say I was forcefully introduced – something the Swedes like to call vinterkräksjuka.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

The Road Chosen

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday January 06, 2015 (00:20:20)   (1510 Reads)

Judi Lembke

The leftovers are finished, the old year is gone, and now we’re already three days into 2015. Three days! Yikes! This means I’m late writing my column but I have my excuses.

My only excuse, really, is that I was out of town celebrating the New Year. I visited some old friends in London, where a very sweet (and alarmingly short) stranger attempted to spark some sudden romance atop a hill beneath a shower of fireworks as the clock struck midnight. He didn’t succeed but he did make me smile.

As I spent a few days cooking and chatting (and drinking the odd bit of wine) with my friends one discussion in particular had me reflecting on the more than twenty years I’ve spent abroad.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Celebrating The Holidays At Home ...Or At Home

Posted by: Carole on Saturday November 29, 2014 (20:11:35)   (1281 Reads)

Judi Lembke

As I sit here in Northern Europe on the fourth Thursday in November, I’m scrolling through the many social media postings that have been littering my feed over the last 24 hours or so, drawing my attention to Thanksgiving.

There are the nice ‘I give thanks for my kids/partner/dog/life’ postings, and then there are the ‘Here’s the best way to stuff a bird’ ones. I’m thankful for lots of things but when I start to read exchanges about the feasts that await everyone I not only start to get homesick, I start to get hungry.

Each holiday season so many of us face the same dilemma: should we head ‘home’ and celebrate with those who live so far away? Or should we stay ‘home’ and celebrate with those we’ve grown close to?    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Hello Old Friend!

Posted by: Carole on Sunday November 02, 2014 (19:17:47)   (1211 Reads)

Judi Lembke

Those of us who live in the expat world know the joys – and the struggles – of making new friends regularly. We also know the pain of saying good-bye, not knowing whether we will ever meet again.

If you’ve been on the expat circuit long enough you know it’s a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to keeping contact with the friends we make along the way. There are usually loads of promises to keep in touch, and while social media and Skype certainly make that easier it’s often the case that we lose touch. Sometimes this happens because we’re so busy settling in to a new place and trying to make new friends that we don’t make our old, left-behind friends as much of a priority as we should.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Sweden’s Other Season

Posted by: Carole on Friday October 03, 2014 (11:45:06)   (1331 Reads)

Judi Lembke

Here in Stockholm, when Swedes start discussing the ‘changing seasons’ we ex-pats look at one another knowingly and have a secret giggle. Why? Seasons in Sweden are broken down into ‘cold’ and ‘not so cold’.

Not to say that we didn’t just have one of the most fabulous and lengthy summers in memory, because we did. The summer of 2014 was so fabulous and lengthy, in fact, it only really ended well into September. This was a complete aberration, as summer and the accompanying warmth usually lasts for just a few weeks in July and by the time August rolls around it’s not unusual to see scarves and gloves making their appearance across the country.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Tattoos and Abba

Posted by: Carole on Thursday August 28, 2014 (22:33:26)   (2830 Reads)

Judi Lembke

Tattoos and Abba – not two words you’d normally would – or should – hear together but they pretty much sum up my Swedish summer, which came to a screeching halt in mid-August when everyone returned from holiday and the autumn weather slowly started creeping in.

Let’s start with the tattoos: in between working a lot this summer I took my boys on a two-day jaunt to Scandinavia’s largest water park, Skara Sommarland. Or, as we like to call it, TattooLand.    more ...


Columnists > Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke

Going Clubbing

Posted by: Carole on Sunday July 20, 2014 (14:26:37)   (1782 Reads)

Judi Lembke

Like most of us in the expat world I have joined, for a variety of reasons, many a club over the years – usually when the summer holidays come to a sad end, life gets back on a normal schedule and the kids are no longer underfoot. Women’s clubs, expat clubs, professional clubs, book clubs – I’ve joined them all. While I’ve enjoyed most of my clubbing experiences I’ve been looking around for a club that offers something a little different as we prepare to leave the all too short Swedish summer behind.    more ...