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

The World at Your Fingertips

If you’d moved thousands of miles across the Pond in 1990 like I did, it wasn’t such a big deal. Television had given us details about many countries around the world so it was hardly an unknown quantity; even less so for me as I was moving to the USA. Although I now know the … Read more

Expat Parenting – A Surprise Element

As an expat, it’s all very funny when you have little children, born and raised where you weren’t. They often have a different accent from you, a slightly different vocabulary, and they invariably make fun of your pronunciation. As they get older, and closer to leaving the nest however, things take on a more serious … Read more

Framing Your References Abroad

When I first moved to the States from England in 1990, people used to ask me what I missed or what I thought was really different. Yes, family and friends come top of my list every time, but even after twenty years, one of the biggest things I still miss is my frame of reference. … Read more

It’s Life (Jim) But Not As We Know It

It’s strange moving from the UK to the US. It sort of looks the same, and in some of the older cities you feel you could almost be in England. The flora and fauna however, are a constant reminder that you’re in strange territory. Gardening is a different kettle of fish in the States – … Read more

Expats – Unlearning All the Time

When you move from one country to another, you sometimes have to unlearn subjects that you were quite happy with, such as education systems. I grew up with the UK system, which is so different from its American counterpart I have almost had to erase it from my memory to survive. They start school a … Read more

Learning the Lingo

How long do you have to live in a country to feel like you know what on earth everyone’s talking about? In my case, there’s not even a second language involved as we’re all supposed to be speaking English. I’ve written at length about the vocabulary differences between British and American English, but in my … Read more

Some Things to Consider Before Making the Big Move

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, approximately 172,000 Brits left their homeland in 2008, with only half leaving for work reasons. The rest were accompanying someone, looking for work or just travelling around, presumably in search of a better life. It’s more difficult to get US figures, as the government measures immigration but … Read more