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Columnists > Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins
Born an expat, in Cuba to British diplomat parents, Clara Wiggins has travelled all her life, and has lived in 11 countries on 5 different continents. Clara has used her extensive experience of living overseas, as a child, as a diplomat and as an accompanying spouse, to write The Expat Partner's Survival Guide. From how to organise an overseas move to what to do in the event of an earthquake, The Expat Partner's Survival Guide is a light-hearted yet in-depth guide for anyone considering moving abroad.

Clara Wiggins

Why We Need More English Words For “Home”

Posted by: Scar on Monday April 11, 2016 (11:25:07)   (2514 Reads)
We all know that Eskimos have many ways of describing snow – I am assuming because snow is such a huge looming part of their lives. But as an expat I have started to wish there were more words in the English language for “home”.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Why I’m Writing About Expat Depression

Posted by: Scar on Friday March 11, 2016 (13:26:56)   (28446 Reads)
I am running a series on my blog at the moment about expat depression – posting roughly once a week on the subject and working my way through what it looks like, when and why people might experience it, the association between depression and culture shock, and how people have helped themselves get over it. I can’t pretend this has been an easy topic to blog about – it certainly isn’t what people associate with the expat life.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Making Friends With The Locals (Or Not)

Posted by: scar on Tuesday February 02, 2016 (14:59:33)   (2089 Reads)
I was in the gym the other day, trying out a new class. The name of the class was “Shape” but to be honest I had no idea what I was getting myself into. One of my new year’s resolutions was to try out some new exercise routines and find one or two that I could stick to – so here I was.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Living The Multicultural Life

Posted by: scar on Monday December 07, 2015 (14:28:36)   (1607 Reads)
One of the things I have loved most about living overseas again is meeting such a huge range of people from all over the world. When you move somewhere, you expect to meet people from the host country – in my case, South Africa. But what you sometimes forget about is how enriched your life will become by being surrounded by people from so many different cultures and backgrounds.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Making The Most Of Expat Life – Or Spoiling My Future?

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday October 27, 2015 (05:49:41)   (2798 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
As an expat in South Africa, life is pretty good. I can afford to join a good gym, we have someone clean our house and do all our ironing. We eat out every week, often more. We can buy very good wine for a fraction of what we would pay for it in the UK. Not to mention the incredible travel opportunities we have here – just last week we were walking with penguins on a beach and watching whales breach just metres from our boat. Next month we are off to a game lodge and then in December we are visiting Namibia. All places we could only dream of seeing if we were still living in England.

Yes, the expat bubble is an easy place to be.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Why Time Flies In Pretoria!

Posted by: Carole on Sunday October 04, 2015 (03:51:29)   (2175 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
As I was driving home from the gym today I suddenly remembered I hadn’t written an October post for Expat Focus. It has completely passed me by that it even was October at all, to be honest – despite being “pinch punched” by my daughter the other morning.

The days are passing me by because, for some reason, I am even busier here in Pretoria than I was back home in the UK. Which is hard to believe because my children leave for school before 7am and don’t come home until gone 3.30pm – giving me an extra two hours of free time a day. Ten hours a week. So where on earth are those hours going?    more ...

Clara Wiggins

Why Moving Abroad Is Just Like Having A Baby!

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday September 01, 2015 (04:02:19)   (3506 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 ...

Clara Wiggins

New Expat Arrival: Settling In To South Africa

Posted by: Carole on Sunday August 16, 2015 (01:33:56)   (2503 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 ...

Clara Wiggins

What Is Your Experience Of Expat Life?

Posted by: Carole on Monday July 06, 2015 (02:17:15)   (3014 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
This month, the deadline to write my Expat Focus blog has crept up on me so stealthily that I can’t believe I really need to get this post written so soon. We returned from a much-needed holiday in Florida just three weeks ago. Since then, I have been playing catch-up with both work and blogging – and at the same time, preparing for our now very imminent move to South Africa.

In other words, I have run out of time.    more ...

Clara Wiggins

It’s All About Perspective

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday May 20, 2015 (03:29:06)   (1873 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 ...

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