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Meredith

Expat Focus Columnists



Meredith

Meredith

Keeping In Touch As An Expat

by Meredith, Wednesday May 20, 2015 (07:39:34)   (272 Reads)
Meredith
One thing that can be especially challenging after moving abroad is keeping in touch with your loved ones back home. Of course you want to stay connected and maintain your relationships, but how can you keep the level of closeness you once had with your friends and family when you can’t see each other very often? When you’re living far away, you want to share all the adventures you’ve been up to abroad while at the same time keep up with the goings on at home. Now that I’m living in Germany, I try to keep in touch as much as possible with my family and friends back in Canada. Here are some of my favourite ways to stay in touch:   more ...

Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

It’s All About Perspective

by Clara Wiggins, Tuesday May 19, 2015 (22:29:06)   (56 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
A few years ago, in pre-children days, I went travelling around the world. I was a little older than your average back-packer (29 when I left, 30 when I returned) but nevertheless followed a typical backpacker route through Hong Kong, to Australia and on to New Zealand. To be honest, despite my, err hum, advanced years, I had the time of my life.

But one of the things that niggled in the back of my mind the entire time I was in Australia was that country’s abundance of dangerous animals – ranging from the tiny redback spiders that I thought I would find in my shoes every morning, to the nasty sharks we saw circling in the water off the coast of Fraser Island.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany - April Reflections

by June Finnigan, Tuesday May 19, 2015 (21:53:10)   (304 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

The first week of April was enormously satisfying for me as my new novel The Bolivian Connection finally went live! This novel is part two of the series ‘The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde,’ part one being My Father, The Assassin. A week later, a five star review was posted and the sales began to soar!

By the second week the dust had settled and I had written another chapter of The Italian Connection, which is the third book in the series. Joanna is continuing her exciting adventures where else, but here in Italy.   more ...

Ivanka Di Felice

Ivanka Di Felice

Getting To Paradise is Not Always Easy - Byzantine Bureaucracy

by Ivanka Di Felice, Sunday May 17, 2015 (21:12:35)   (214 Reads)
Ivanka Di Felice
MY ITALIAN PRINCE HAS BEEN won over! He has unexpectedly received the most unlikely news: the furniture-making shop that employs him is moving to a new location an hour and half away. Not having the inner demons of retirement charts to contend with, he agrees to take a year off and go to Italy. His parents will soon return to Canada, so their house in Italy will be empty. We embark on the colossal task of getting the necessary documents in order, so that this dream may come to fruition.

Italy is equally as famous for its labyrinthine bureaucracy as for its pizza, wine, and grandeur. Still, a North American mind can never really be prepared.   more ...

Dr Allana Da Graca

Dr Allana Da Graca

Portugal - The Land Of Discovery

by Dr Allana Da Graca, Sunday May 03, 2015 (19:31:43)   (608 Reads)
Dr. Allana Da Graca
Portugal is a unique place to live. It offers artistry, warmth and opportunity for new discovery.

Finding a New Artistic Voice

Yesterday I had the pleasure of singing with the Bandalhos band for a birthday bash of a dear friend. At the onset of joining this band I was a bit intimidated because rock music was not necessarily my forte. Ask me to sing the Jazz of Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn and I would do so without hesitation. When I heard that the set list would include songs from the likes of Gary Moore and Guns N’ Roses I almost said no altogether.   more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Murmurs From The Morvan

by Rosemary Border Rabson, Sunday May 03, 2015 (12:54:43)   (428 Reads)
Rosemary Border Rabson
I have almost finished compiling Murmurs from the Morvan, a miscellany of articles about our life in this beautiful corner of Burgundy. I have drawn on my Expat Focus pieces and my articles in the Daily Telegraph Expat section, and added a wealth of new material. I hope to publish this book in aid of Combat Stress, the charity which helps combat veterans whose battle wounds are not visible. My 'regulars' will know all about Charity Cottage, and new readers can read the blurb at the end of this piece. Incidentally, we recently had our first visitors since the Christmas period, when friends and neighbours borrowed Charity Cottage as overflow accommodation for their guests. On 11 April nine young people were in the area for the Rallye de l'Anguison. Five stayed in the cottage, four in the guest suite in the main house, and Combat Stress is £100 richer.   more ...

Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Hats Off To Spain’s Baby Popping Out Team

by Barry O'Leary, Saturday May 02, 2015 (12:19:24)   (321 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
Whether you’re a future Mum or Dad to be, nine months is a long time to play with ones uncontrollable imagination. The older I get, the more I worry. I suppose because you realise just how cruel life can be at times, so I rarely let my guard down these days. So when my wife announced that we’d be expecting our second child nine months ago, the neurotic part of my brain started going into overload. Will the birth be okay? Is it worth going private, or should we choose the NHS?

Just to fill you in on the first birth. We decided to go private with a company called Sanitas, which towards the end of the nine months I was calling Cacitas (caca = poo). What exactly did we get for €90 a month?   more ...

Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

A Tale of Two Expat Spouses

by Clara Wiggins, Tuesday April 28, 2015 (21:37:06)   (308 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
I’m later than normal writing this post because this month has been a little hectic: I have finally launched my book, the Expat Partner’s Survival Guide.
In the making for the past three or four years, the Survival Guide is aimed at anyone accompanying their partner on an overseas posting (I use the word ‘posting’ fairly broadly here; what I mean is, someone who is moving somewhere overseas with the intent to eventually move on and at some point return to their home country). The reason I wrote the book is because I myself have been an expat partner – and I know how hard it is.   more ...

Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis

Expat Packing (Say That Six Times Quickly)

by Toni Hargis, Tuesday April 28, 2015 (21:06:22)   (576 Reads)
Toni Hargis
A recent article about smart packing got me thinking about my packing list for the annual, month-long trip to the motherland. With weight restrictions these days, any kind of packing requires some forethought but for many expats, staying with family for extended periods of time and often attending a variety of events, throwing items into a suitcase and hoping for the best doesn’t work.

In addition to the tips in the article, I would add the following gems –

Make a packing list – this is essential if you want to get as much packing bang for your buck. In the time leading up to your trip, make a note of garments that go well together, including shoes, so that you’re not staring at a rack of clothes when the time comes to pack. Think about what you’re going to be doing on your trip to avoid having to “panic shop” at the other end.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany - March Reflections

by June Finnigan, Friday April 17, 2015 (20:16:11)   (439 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Now you probably think that life in the Chianti Hills in Tuscany is very quiet and relaxing. Well, sometimes it is, that is as long as we are not being shaken by an Earthquake, which is so violent that you sleep walk out of the villa and take refuge in the car! Yes, the first week of March greeted us with an almighty rumble and a nerve racking hour sitting in the car, waiting for things to settle down. When we gingerly returned to the villa we were lucky enough to find only little bits of masonry on the landing that had fallen out from between the ceiling tiles.

Then the following night the tempest hit. Horrible strong cold winds that rattled the shutters and brought down trees.   more ...

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