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Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary
Barry O’Leary has been an expat in Seville for nearly ten years. When he’s not teaching English, he describes how he sees life in Spain on his blog A Novel Spain. He has also lived and taught English in Brazil, Ecuador, Australia and Thailand and travelled around the world in the meantime. His non-fiction travel literature book, Teaching English in a Foreign Land, about his adventures as a TEFL teacher, has sold over 2,500 copies.

Barry O'Leary

How You Know When You’ve Become A Life-Long Expat

Posted by: Carole on Monday November 03, 2014 (00:37:10)   (4800 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
Are you wondering whether you’ll be an expat for the rest of your life? Until about a year or so ago I was, but now I’m sure I will be. After living in Sevilla for nine years it’s been a constant battle in my mind whether or not to make that permanent plunge and be an expat in Spain forever. I still get that odd craving to quit my job, pack up everything in a caravan and drive around the world, I still might one day, but I belong here now, at least for the time being anyway.

How do you know whether you’ve become a life-long expat?

Here are some sure signs.    more ...

Barry O'Leary

5 Things I’ve Learnt In My First Year As An Expat Dad

Posted by: Carole on Sunday October 05, 2014 (16:30:10)   (4368 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
I made it through the first year and my hair still hasn’t gone grey. My son was one last week, it’s amazing how the year has flown by, but at the same time I’ve learnt loads being an expat Dad. A lot of what I was worried about before the birth was true: we had a lot of sleepless nights, the first year is expensive, and it’s easy to get poo on your hands while changing a nappy. However, there are a few things that I wasn’t expecting being an expat parent.

Life goes on

Everyone says that your life changes; and it does, but not as drastically as you may think.    more ...

Barry O'Leary

Could You Ever Return Home For Good?

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday September 02, 2014 (03:57:00)   (5548 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
Do you ever wonder whether you would be better off back in your home country? I guess it’s only natural that we do. In previous blogs I’ve talked about how I often compare my life here to my home country. I’ve just returned from a month in England and had a great time catching up with family and mates, which was the main reason I went, but if I had to return for good, I’m not sure I could.

I do miss certain aspects about living in England, so here are a few reasons why I could possibly move back there.

Reasons why maybe I could    more ...

Barry O'Leary

How Has Living Abroad Corrupted Your Mind?

Posted by: Carole on Monday August 04, 2014 (12:24:40)   (4270 Reads)
Barry O'Leary
A bold question. I’m not trying to imply that by becoming an expat you’ve turned into a bank robber, a fraudster, or even a money launderer. Maybe you have; plenty of people live abroad and move over to the dark side. I’m asking more about the everyday habits that you wouldn’t have dreamt of doing when you first changed countries. I’m asking about what used to shock and annoy you, but now you’re doing it as it’s become second nature. Here are a few examples of how living abroad has corrupted my mind.

Being false

I was unaware that people did this, until I came to Sevilla. I’ve always tried to be honest and upfront. If I dislike something, I say so. If I’m angry, people know.    more ...

Barry O'Leary

Do Expats Ever Stop Comparing?

Posted by: Carole on Sunday July 20, 2014 (18:31:12)   (3207 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
Is it normal for expats to continuously compare everything to their home country? If so, does it ever stop? I’ve been an expat in Seville, Spain for nine years and still find myself wondering whether certain things would happen differently back in England. It’s funny, but even though I’ve lived in Ecuador, Brazil, Australia and Thailand, I still bypass those memories and compare aspects to good old Blighty.

I used to compare an immense amount more than now. Especially in those first couple of years when the learning curve was steeper than the hills in the Andalucían countryside. I used to wake up and think “I’m living in Spain.    more ...

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