It’s a Small, Small, Social Networky World

When I first left England’s green and pleasant land, way back in 1990, the only communication I had with my large circle of friends came in envelopes. As an avid letter-writer, I was (and still am) noted for “keeping in touch”. I probably wrote at least one letter a day to someone or other for … Read more

So Long, Farewell? Not Necessarily

There are two types of expat in my opinion – the static expat and the transient expat. I’m a static expat in that I have lived more or less in the same place for years. Transient expats are the ones who move on every three or four years, often bumping into people they met half … Read more

Things to Consider Before Emigrating – The Total Cost

How many people do you know who talk about emigrating? Chances are, most of them have yet to do it, and it’s often because of the huge costs involved. It is crucial to get a detailed idea of these costs in order to avoid disappointment and/or hardship down the line. The costs can basically be … Read more

Knowing Where You’re Going

I was educated in England and have found the American education system to be one of the most difficult “assimilation” areas so far. One thing I have never really done is make comparisons; the two systems are so different it’s not really apples and apples. However I have recently discovered my one exception to this … Read more

It’s All in the Delivery

“I shouldn't be saying this – high treason, really – but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting brilliance that may not really be there.” – Stephen Fry When it comes to accents it’s great being a Brit in the States. OK, let me qualify that. Sometimes I would like … Read more

Something Else to Consider Before Making the Big Move

In addition to the list of things I wrote about last year, there’s another thing to consider before making the big move abroad. Family. (If you’re reading this having just had a tiff with the mother-in-law or a sibling, come back when you’ve calmed down.) But seriously, despite the well-worn adage “You can choose your … Read more

A Very Foreign Christmas

Whether you relocated two years ago or twenty, Christmas can always be counted on to remind you of “home”. Holiday attire in the States does that for me.. Oh yes, it’s not just the people standing in for Santa who dress up around here. For the subtle look we have ear-rings that look like they … Read more

Expat Kids – Missing Out on Traditions?

It’s almost Thanksgiving as I write and we have no plans. Whatsoever. Most American families will have the menus planned down to the cranberry sauce, but we’re still wondering what we’re going to do. Some years we get together with other lonely souls who have nowhere else to go, but we don’t lose any sleep … Read more

Halloween, American Style

Despite having lived in the States for twenty years, you’d be surprised at how many bits of American culture I still haven’t embraced. Top of that list is marching bands, which are ever-present at college football games and positively set my teeth on edge. They’re loud, and not particularly pleasing to the ear – especially … Read more

Expat Living – Lessons in Humility

Whether you move around the world or just to one country, I guarantee you’ll make a fool of yourself at some point. It can be a language blooper or a culture clanger, but it’s there, lurking on your horizon. For the most part too, it’ll happen when you have an audience of at least five, … Read more