At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Slovakia and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Almost Bananas
Canadian Naomi has lived in rural Slovakia for 10+ years with her husband and four children, and her blog mixes Slovak culture, traditions, food and the arts with accounts of everyday family life. Having Japanese heritage and a rural Canadian upbringing, Naomi’s appreciation for other cultures shines through, and she’s especially passionate about the culinary side of things. Her comprehensive collection of recipes includes ‘25+ Ways to Use Sauerkraut’ and sections devoted to Slovak and Offal food, among others.
The World In Between
Julie Callahan and her husband relocated from the USA to Bratislava, Slovakia for work. After 18 months they moved on to Hungary and now continue to mostly live abroad (and budget) as a retired couple, embracing their downsized life. Julie describes her blog as one for the no longer young but not dead yet crowd. Search ‘Slovakia’ to bring up pages of relevant posts, and you’ll quickly be drawn to their experiences as they explore Central Europe and purposefully forgo the expat ‘bubble’ to forge local friendships. If you’re nearing retirement and looking to be abroad economically, you’ll find a lot of valuable, well considered information and inspiration here.
Farm In Slovakia
If you dream of Slovakian farm life or something like it, Dutch couple Arnold Sikking and Bernadette Kuijpers’ blog provides a window into that world (although you’ll find more frequent updates on their Facebook page). They bought their smallholding without ever having seen it in 2008, and documented their progress and setbacks with renovating, learning Slovak and starting to farm their land. They now keep sheep, goats (and various other animals) and produce dairy. It’s a real joy to explore their photo stories and see their property come to life; you’ll also learn a thing or two about animal breeds in Slovakia, milk and cheese production and running a camp site.
Chris Cook Blog
A British couple leave England to start a new life in Slovakia. Chris and Nicci live in the small village of Šintava, he’s an enthusiastic amateur photographer and she’s a keen horse rider. Their ‘occasional words and images’ allow you to discover the country as they do, with Chris providing a little history lesson alongside his lovely photos. This blog is generally less personal and more focused on the places they visit (and Chris’s favourite photography gear).
Expat In Slovakia
20-something Romanian developer Sabina has had a love-hate relationship with Slovakia since moving there for work. Her well-curated blog is intended to help other EU expats work their way through the local culture and system, as she does so herself. Her frank observations are as entertaining as they are informative. Along with insights into obtaining/changing your residence permit and health insurance card, you’ll glean random facts on everything from the correct way to deal with spiders to Slovak lunch times, and why you may decide to quit eating breakfast.
This blog provides beautiful glimpses of a “life less ordinary in the Slovak countryside.” A husband leaves the United Kingdom to come back to his wife’s homeland to experience ‘the real good life,’ or so they hope. Though as he observes the Brexit debate from afar, he wonders if they’ll eventually be inclined to move back to their old life. For now, a cottage is home. His posts often read like poetry, and the writer has a knack for injecting colour into even the most mundane of tales, as he chronicles the changing seasons and highs and lows of establishing a self-sufficient existence in the country.
A couple sharing their adventurous life with no single place to call home. These are Argentinian world travellers who spent an extended period teaching in Slovakia; search their blog to bring up all the relevant posts. Theirs is a mix of reflections, observations and learnings as they settle into new cities and have epiphanies about what it is they value. You’ll also find anecdotes, travel tips and advice (see their clothing pack list for Slovakia) alongside some fun country facts.
The Universe of Hon
“Third culture kid” in Slovakia Hon is a teacher/trainer whose blog and YouTube videos touch on travel, cultures, customs and anything else he finds inspiring. Hon made a list of 33 things he’d like to do by the age of 33, for no particular reason. Among the things: learn Slovak (see his many ‘word of the day’ posts) and speak the language exclusively for 33 hours. Does Hon make it through his list in time? You’ll have to read his blog and watch his videos to find out.
We’re always on the lookout for more sites to feature – if you run a blog about living in Slovakia, leave us a link in the comments and we’ll take a look!