An Extended Stay

Let me be frank: repatriation is harder than you think. I’m learning firsthand that when it comes to repatriating, there are many hurdles to be faced: some are expected, others not. We’re busy building a new life in what is assumed to be a familiar place in which it’s easy to navigate supposedly known social, … Read more


The decision to repatriate was not a simple one, but after months of monitoring and evaluating and considering, it became the default choice. All arrows pointed toward it, bright lights illuminated it, sirens blared around it. You couldn’t miss it for the world. Despite all the wondering, the second guessing, and the nagging ‘what ifs’, … Read more

Appreciating The Dust – Repatriation To The USA

We’ve experienced quite a bit of dust in our lives lately. It’s not a symptom of the season or the result of an extreme weather pattern. No dust outside, certainly not in these frigid temperatures, snow and ice of a North American winter. It isn’t because we’re slovenly housekeepers, leaving things be until dust bunnies … Read more

Anatomy Of A Decision

I suppose I should have seen it coming, and perhaps in subconscious ways I did. Still, every time we took stock of the situation, we continued to come down on the side of ‘we’re staying’. That is, until late spring. A few short months ago I was in the final stages of finishing my book, … Read more

Spring In The Netherlands

At first glance you wouldn’t notice anything odd about the title of this month’s column, until you realize that it’s June. Not March. Not April. Not May. It’s June, and Spring has only recently arrived here in the Netherlands. Now I don’t know whether this is a result of global warming, a one-off year of … Read more

Traveling Tightrope

‘Oh how wonderful, think of all the traveling you can do!” It’s one of the first responses expats get when we tell our friends and family we’re packing up and heading overseas. It’s certainly the chorus we heard over and over when we announced we were moving to the Netherlands. Now I know some will … Read more

Passing The Crown

In the family room, gathering up old newspapers for the recycling bin. We tend to remember precisely where we were and what we were doing when we first hear momentous news. I was working my way through the half-read newspaper sections and outdated magazines littering the coffee table, when my husband appeared at the doorway. … Read more

Building My Global Tribe In The Netherlands

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about friendship lately. No one reason in particular. Or rather, there are several. It could be that I’m glad to be back in the Netherlands after being away for a couple of months. Nothing like absence to make the heart grow fonder. I was pretty fond of my … Read more

Stripping Down The Holidays

Early December rolls around and the enormity of both holiday expectations and the accompanying to-do list descends like the darkness shortening our winter days. Christmas is right around the corner: presents must be purchased in person and online, even made by hand, if you’re a far more talented and craftier type than me. Celebratory menus … Read more

Autumn Equals Change

I must confess upfront that autumn has always been my favourite season. I used to think that it was because of the softer sunlight, fields of green and gold, forests ablaze in vibrantly coloured leaves It might have been the weightier bracing air ripe with the mingling scents of pine cones, apple cider and smoke … Read more