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Toni Hargis

Expat Focus Columnists

(meet all our columnists here)


Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis

Expat Life Keeps You Humble

by Toni Hargis, Friday April 18, 2014 (21:36:54)   (226 Reads)
Toni Hargis
I suppose the same can really be said of travel in general, but with expat life, you don’t have the protection of the tourism status - “I don’t know what the heck I’m doing but that’s OK, I’m only here for a week”. And boy, there’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end and making a fool of yourself on a daily basis.

When I first came to the States back in the dark ages (1990, to be exact) a lot of things were completely new to me. Like walking for miles (it seemed) to find a mailbox when I could have just put my letters in my own mailbox as out-going mail.   more ...

Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

A Fashionable Château In Nice

by Kim Defforge, Friday April 18, 2014 (21:17:38)   (21 Reads)
Kim Defforge
One day, some friends and I decided to get out of the city of Nice! We decided to have lunch in the vicinity of a nearby castle, where we had planned on doing a guided visit and dégustation (wine tasting). I drove into the heart of the Bellet vineyards, which took about 25 minutes, as my ten year-old car meandered its way up into the hills behind Nice. Stopping in Colomars, we meandered, as well, and discovered a hotel/restaurant nestled into a hillside and its magnificent gardens - L’Auberge du Redier. Although we had arrived about ten minutes before lunch service, the staff was very welcoming, suggesting that we linger in the beautiful gardens while they prepared a table for us. We were quickly seated at a table in front of one of the large windows in the luminous and spacious dining room.   more ...

Susanna Perkins

Susanna Perkins

The Language of Expats

by Susanna Perkins, Friday April 18, 2014 (20:41:48)   (124 Reads)
Susanna Perkins
“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Susanna.”

“Where do you live?” I told her, and mentioned we’d been there for two years.

“Oh,” she replied, “my mother lives in that neighborhood.”
Realization dawned. “Yes, she’s my next-door neighbor,” I responded, beaming.

We talked about her family, and her nephew, Cyril, who runs a hostel in Panama City.   more ...

Anne O'Connell

Anne O'Connell

Yoga And Writing… My Winning Combination For A Happy Expat Life

by Anne O'Connell, Thursday April 17, 2014 (22:40:47)   (80 Reads)
Anne O’Connell
As I look around me, more and more people are turning to yoga for overall health and well-being and general fitness, me included. Several years ago, after working 14 years in the PR business, I hit a wall and was diagnosed with a chronic illness for which the main symptom was bone numbing, mind-fogging fatigue. I was in a trough so deep I had to have weekly iron injections along with vitamin B-12 shots three times a week, which I eventually gave myself to save on travel time to the clinic (talk about overcoming my fear of needles for the greater good). I also took daily doses of extra vitamins that came in the form of about eight pills. I kept working… long hours… although some of it was because my pace had slowed down from what I normally could sustain.   more ...

Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead

Tales from a Spanish Village: Two Old Fools and Spanish Dogs

by Victoria Twead, Wednesday April 16, 2014 (20:45:20)   (59 Reads)
Victoria Twead
"I can't concentrate! Why don't the Spanish stop their dogs barking?"

I was trying to write the next chapter for my latest Old Fools book, but the constant background noise was spoiling my concentration.

There are plenty of dogs in our village, all shapes and sizes.

There's a Jack Russell that never stops yapping, a German Shepherd that guards one of the big houses and looks as though he'd enjoy tearing an intruder apart, plus numerous mongrels that roam the streets freely.   more ...

Marla Sink Druzgal

Marla Sink Druzgal

White Eggs and Ham, American I Am: Seeking A Yankee Easter In South Africa

by Marla Sink Druzgal, Wednesday April 16, 2014 (19:47:27)   (399 Reads)
Marla Sink Druzgal
“I wish I could find white eggs in South Africa” I complained to a South African friend one day. I had spent the previous week going from grocery store to grocery store, finding nothing but brown eggs.

In the states I loved seeking out brown eggs to add variety to our colors of dyed Easter eggs. Brown eggs take on pretty earth tones in the dye. The Easter before we moved to South Africa, I even found a local farmer with eggs from an Americaus chicken (aka the “Easter Egg Chicken”) which naturally produces eggs in shades of blue and green!

She looked at me incredulously: “But white eggs are everywhere now, because of Easter!” My eyes lit up and I began interrogating her on where I might find them. She pointed to the nearest grocery store.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

A Month in the Life of an English Writer in Tuscany - March Reflections

by June Finnigan, Wednesday April 16, 2014 (12:24:16)   (49 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Benvenuto to all my Loyal and New Followers

On the 2nd March, I returned to beautiful Tuscany, after a brief visit to the London Author Fair, loaded up with a bag full of leaflets and new ideas for marketing my books. I quickly cracked on with my second novel ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and by the end of the week had enthusiastically written two more chapters. Over coffee in Fiano, I told my man about the cost of having my books translated into Italian and that they calculate the price on the number of characters, not words!   more ...

Shannon Enete

Shannon Enete

Costa Rica vs. Ecuador, Which Country Is Your Best Retirement Option?

by Shannon Enete, Monday April 14, 2014 (20:17:59)   (270 Reads)
Shannon Enete
Part I - Immigration

Year after year, International Living, Forbes, and hundreds of other publications release a list of the best places to retire. Do you believe that one retirement destination fits all? Where you spend your golden years is an extremely personal and variable. One expat-to-be may place a warm climate at the top of their list. Another places cost of healthcare above all. Ever since I published Becoming an Expat: Costa Rica, the questions have poured in.   more ...

Courtney Martin

Courtney Martin

Deconstructing Denglisch

by Courtney Martin, Saturday April 12, 2014 (18:31:54)   (1033 Reads)
Courtney Martin
Most Germans begin learning English in school at just six years old. This means that by the time they reach their teenage years, many Germans are fluent. Add to this the popularity of American films and music throughout this country, and it is completely natural that Germans have begun to use so many English words in their day-to-day speech.

This German/English mashup is known as Denglisch, which is Deutsch (German) and Englisch (English) squished together. The biggest culprit of using Denglisch in Germany has to be advertisers. Although, do not be fooled into thinking it is only the American companies that do this. For example, this is a line from a famous commercial that my German boyfriend likes to sing:   more ...

Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

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

by Nicole Webb, Monday April 07, 2014 (22:30:25)   (745 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 ...

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Bupa International

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