Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free
Insurance, FX and international movers
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!
From our tax, investment and FX partners

Columnists > Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis
Toni Summers Hargis is the author of The Stress-Free Guide to Studying In the States; A Step-by-Step Plan for International Students (Summertime). She is also the author of 'Rules, Britannia; An Insider’s Guide to Life in the United Kingdom' (St. Martin’s Press) and blogs as Expat Mum.

Toni Hargis

How Non-American Families (Legally Here) Are Being Torn Apart

Posted by: ToniChicago on Sunday July 31, 2016 (23:32:00)   (2924 Reads)
Most people aren’t aware of a shocking situation that some non-American families, legally in the USA, find themselves in. Although the DREAM Act aims to help undocumented children gain continuous residency in the US, children of legal “aliens” (E2 Treaty Investment visa holders) still face deportation.    more ...

Toni Hargis

When Americans Come Home

Posted by: ToniChicago on Monday July 18, 2016 (01:33:46)   (3223 Reads)
We hear a lot about repatriation being just as difficult as re-locating in the first place. Usually I wonder how I would fare, moving back to England after twenty six years in the USA, but a comment on a friend’s Facebook page made me wonder what it’s like for Americans moving back to the States after years abroad.    more ...

Toni Hargis

Being a Houseguest - How to Make Sure You're Invited Back

Posted by: ToniChicago on Thursday June 16, 2016 (00:33:26)   (2958 Reads)
It’s traveling time for many expats - that means, long journeys to see friends and family, and staying in their houses (possibly sleeping on their floors), sometimes for extended periods of time. Many of us also host friends and family in our current location, which I wrote about back in 2014. This time I’m sharing some suggestions on being a good house guest and making sure you don’t end up on anyone’s black list.    more ...

Toni Hargis

Having An Un-American Moment

Posted by: ToniChicago on Tuesday May 17, 2016 (23:24:03)   (2755 Reads)
In my last post I discussed how Brits in America often play up their British-ness depending on the circumstances. Most of us have received preferential treatment, or at least a flurry of compliments, purely because we're British, or British sounding. (“It sounds so much more intelligent when you say it”. “You could read the phone book and I would listen”.) Most of us also know exactly how to make our national identity work for us too.    more ...

Toni Hargis

What’s Your National Identity?

Posted by: ToniChicago on Saturday February 27, 2016 (21:56:29)   (2143 Reads)
I’m reading a rather interesting book at the moment about Brits in America. Called “Accent on Privilege; English Identities and Anglophilia in the U.S.” by Katherine W. Jones, it talks about the privileges white (usually) Brits experience in the USA, often on account of the Anglophilia here. Throughout the book the author interviews a handful of expat Brits and a number of very interesting questions arise. One that particularly caught my attention was whether or not you can have more than one national identity, or, whether you can identify with more than one country? (Which raises another question - is that one and the same thing?)    more ...

Toni Hargis

Long Haul Flying - Travel Advice To Ignore When Flying With Kids

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday October 21, 2015 (21:58:40)   (3870 Reads)
Toni Summers Hargis
The other day I read a very sensible post by a seasoned traveler, giving advice on what to take and what to omit when flying long haul.

Unfortunately, the first item on the list prompted a response that many of us might have had - “Oh yeah, when travelling on your own maybe”. Let me explain.    more ...

Toni Hargis

Wheelie Bins - The Plague Of The UK

Posted by: Carole on Saturday September 12, 2015 (03:58:41)   (2018 Reads)
Toni Summers Hargis
I was lucky enough to spend almost a month in the UK this summer. It was a joy to be back in an English summer garden - nothing beats that smell -and a treat to wander around gleaming grocery aisles, salivating at all the new flavours of Branston pickle, and marveling at the Marmite range.

Truth be told though, there was one thing I didn't miss at all -
Gestapo rubbish collectors and the stress that comes with them.
Yup. They’re still at it. We had a rather large party at my mother’s house, and paid the price for weeks in terms of rubbish pick up, or the lack thereof.    more ...

Toni Hargis

Expat Packing (Say That Six Times Quickly)

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday April 29, 2015 (02:06:22)   (2837 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 ...

Toni Hargis

What’s So Wrong With Looking Like A Tourist?

Posted by: Carole on Sunday March 22, 2015 (00:26:29)   (2620 Reads)
Toni Hargis
Like many expats, I do a fair bit of traveling but it has never occurred to me to try to look like a native at my destinations. Who am I kidding? With my lily-white skin and fair hair, I stick out like a sore thumb in some countries. I came across this article however, which seems to suggest you don’t ever want to look like a tourist when traveling. Hmmm…did I not get the memo?

The writer claims – “The consequences of looking like a tourist in a foreign place can range from serious (becoming a target for theft and scams) to humorous (awkwardness, frustration, public embarrassment). Here are a few of the most blatant ways that your lack of familiarity with local culture in Europe can bring you public shame and humiliation, plus advice on keeping it cool while abroad.”    more ...

Toni Hargis

What’s Your Travelling Strategy?

Posted by: Carole on Monday January 19, 2015 (04:42:48)   (2361 Reads)
Toni Hargis
I recently read “Maeve’s Times – In her own words”, selected writings from the late Maeve Binchy’s pieces in the Irish Times. Whether you’re a fan of her novels or not, I recommend this book as it shows what great a journalist she was, writing eloquently on everything from her days as a teacher to weight loss, abortion, and arthritis. One post was all about the people she ended up sitting next to on planes, and one sentiment, I could have written myself:

“I often hear people saying they sat beside a frightfully interesting chap on a plane, but I just don’t believe it. The only people I sit beside are people who read the safety card with an intensity that could only come from certainty of disaster.”    more ...

Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy