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Derek Knight

Expat Focus Columnists



Derek Knight

Derek Knight

All The Fun Of A County Fair In Rural Illinois

by Derek Knight, Wednesday September 02, 2015 (23:11:40)   (11 Reads)
Derek Knight
One of the summer traditions in both the UK and the USA is the County Fair. In my time living in the UK, I’d been to a couple of these, the most recent being in Norfolk. So it was with interest that I attended a County Fair in rural Illinois. I wasn’t sure if there would be any differences apart from the accents and the place names; after all, isn’t farming still farming, wherever it is practiced?

The weather was ideal when we visited, not too hot, but a pleasant warm and dry day towards the end of the fair week. As we were nearing the grounds, I had a call from a friend who had just arrived at the show, and we arranged to meet at the race track, where the horse races were just starting.   more ...

Alka Chandiramani

Alka Chandiramani

A Global Nomad Living Life In The Fast Lane

by Alka Chandiramani, Tuesday September 01, 2015 (23:02:05)   (59 Reads)
Alka Chandiramani
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Life is the most difficult exam during every transition. Many people fail because they try to follow others without a clear reflection on their own journey. With experience we realize that everyone has a different question paper to answer on his or her unique experiences.   more ...

Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

Why Moving Abroad Is Just Like Having A Baby!

by Clara Wiggins, Monday August 31, 2015 (23:02:19)   (125 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
While writing my book the Expat Partner’s Survival Guide, one of the things that struck me over and over again were the similarities between becoming an expat and having a baby. Okay, I admit, there are lots of differences too (after all, how many nappies do non-parent expats have to change?

Hopefully not too many!) But bear with me on this one.

I suspect that one of the reasons I kept drawing comparisons was because I was training and working as an antenatal teacher at the same time as writing my Guide. Time and again the same issues would come up – from the parents I was teaching and from the contributors to my book, giving me their experiences of moving and living abroad.   more ...

Jennifer Burge

Jennifer Burge

A Double Life

by Jennifer Burge, Friday August 21, 2015 (11:51:37)   (595 Reads)
Jennifer Burge
As this is my first column for Expat Focus, I wanted to say “Hey!” to all my fellow expatriates around the globe. You might have read the review from my recent memoir The Devil Wears Clogs posted here. If you have, you are already aware that I don’t sugarcoat the truth of life overseas. In all its exciting glory, living on a continent far from home can be confusing.

Navigating the culture gap takes time, experience, and skill. I’ve been trying to do it right for fourteen years, yet new situations arise constantly to show me I still have room to grow. If you haven’t read the review, get ready for an injection of honesty and I apologize in advance for not contributing to the illusion that this life is all glam all the time.   more ...

Piglet in Portugal

Piglet in Portugal

The Algarve Is Buzzing But Are The Residents?

by Piglet in Portugal, Friday August 21, 2015 (08:20:55)   (627 Reads)
When buying a permanent residence in the Algarve, it may be an idea to consider the following points and minor irritations of living in a popular tourist destination during the high season.

Taking a vacation for a few weeks a year is not the same as living in a tourist hotspot. For most people it is a fun experience but for those who don't embrace the holiday spirit it can be hell on earth.

It’s August. School’s out and the tourists have arrived in their droves: all nationalities and all shapes and sizes.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

July In Tuscany: How To Keep Your Cool

by June Finnigan, Sunday August 16, 2015 (15:26:26)   (436 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat. July Reflections

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, there was no other way to describe July other than baking hot, stifling and humid. So much so that at times it felt like the oxygen had been sucked out of the air and replaced with a sleeping drug. Despite this we had a lot of fun moments.

In the first week my man decided never to wear his cherry red Doc Martens again.   more ...

Meredith

Meredith

5 Southern German Towns To Visit

by Meredith, Saturday August 15, 2015 (22:55:08)   (2075 Reads)
Meredith
Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg – the big cities usually jump to mind as top German travel destinations. While I love the hustle and bustle of any European metropolis and the countless sightseeing opportunities they offer, there’s something to be said for the smaller, quainter cities and towns scattered all across Germany. The pace is slower, the streets are less crowded and the Old Towns are overflowing with history and charm. Here are five of my favourite southern German towns and cities that are definitely worth a spot on your German travel itinerary:   more ...

Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

New Expat Arrival: Settling In To South Africa

by Clara Wiggins, Saturday August 15, 2015 (20:33:56)   (610 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
It’s been a long, long time coming – but here we finally are: South Africa. And what a relief it is!

The last few weeks in the UK were, like I am sure it is for most expats, quite exhausting. We had planned our getaway well – the packers came the day the girls finished school; we moved into temporary accommodation near our house for a week while the decorators painted it from top to bottom; my husband left for Pretoria at the end of that week while I took the girls to spend a week with my parents; we then had a few days in Devon with my extended family (and a hire car – after I sold the second of our family cars to a friend); we drove up to Heathrow and flew out here a week last Tuesday night.   more ...

Sarah Ryrie

Sarah Ryrie

Good Goodbyes

by Sarah Ryrie, Tuesday August 11, 2015 (23:17:45)   (497 Reads)
Sarah Ryrie
Following advice from a seminar that I attended at the children’s International School (essentially to make sure that we all got closure), the last two weeks of our time in Switzerland have been spent saying “Goodbye”. The children have had playdates galore whilst, as a family, we have been enjoying the most of Switzerland’s greatest asset - the Great Outdoors.

Now, we are not a hugely adventurous/outdoorsy/active family yet we have been profoundly touched by the beauty and adventure presented in the backdrop to our daily life.   more ...

Derek Knight

Derek Knight

Life's A Beach at Lake Michigan

by Derek Knight, Saturday August 08, 2015 (22:30:23)   (488 Reads)
Derek Knight
The last place I lived in the UK before emigrating was on the North Norfolk coast, about 5 miles from a most pleasant beach. I would often just go there for on the spur of the moment just to walk on the sand or enjoy the seascapes. Before that I lived in a London suburb, and although a visit to the seaside needed to be planned, it was still only a couple of hours drive at most before I found a beautiful beach by the sea. In other words, to someone like me, brought up in a country where nowhere is more than 150 miles from the sea, it is incredible that my nearest ocean is something like 600 miles away.   more ...

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