• Most Topular Stories

  • Relocating Your Furry Friends Overseas

    British Expatriate Community
    18 Oct 2014 | 5:27 am
    Photo courtesy of Carol Vinzant via CC For many people, their pets are as much a part of the family as any other member. So when considering moving abroad, one of the first questions asked is ‘How can I make sure my pet relocates safely too?’ Focusing primarily on cats, dogs and ferrets, John Morris at Crown Relocations, has put together some practical tips to help your entire family relocate together. Before you leave In advance of setting off on your new adventure, you need to ensure your pet matches the criteria of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This will allow your animal to leave the…
  • No Peakie Panish (Learning a New Language)

    Expat Focus
    11 Mar 2012 | 1:48 am
    by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Angulo There can be a lot of pressure when moving to a foreign language speaking country when only your better half knows the lingo. It puts stress on one side to constantly translate and the other racing to learn the new language as quickly as possible. In the case of my husband (a.k.a. the hubs) and me, he was already fluent in Spanish before moving to Panama whereas my lingual skills were limited to words like fajitas, fiesta, and margaritas... Article continues here
  • Status woes of expat teachers to end

    expatriate - Yahoo News Search Results
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:30 pm
     The Education Ministry in coordination with the Labor Ministry has moved to facilitate the legalizing of the statuses of expatriate teachers working in international schools. It will be done through registration with the "Ajeer Service" of the Labor Ministry.
  • Asian held for stealing quarter million cash

    expatriate - Yahoo News Search Results
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:11 pm
    An Asian expatriate who made off with nearly a quarter of a million riyals in cash in Jeddah has been caught by the police.
  • London Expat Meetup, Oct 24th

    Expat Focus
    5 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Our first ever expat meetup on Friday Oct 24th aims to bring together new and existing expats in London with a view to sharing experiences of life in the capital. The evening begins with a free 3 course dinner as the boat makes its way along Regent's Canal towards Camden, followed by a fundraising raffle for The Samaritans. There is no charge for the canal trip, dinner and drinks but we hope all our guests will be generous in their support for such a worthwhile cause and purchase raffle tickets to the value of £25-£30. As seating on board the boat is strictly limited we are holding a draw…
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    Expat Focus

  • London Expat Meetup, Oct 24th

    5 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Our first ever expat meetup on Friday Oct 24th aims to bring together new and existing expats in London with a view to sharing experiences of life in the capital. The evening begins with a free 3 course dinner as the boat makes its way along Regent's Canal towards Camden, followed by a fundraising raffle for The Samaritans. There is no charge for the canal trip, dinner and drinks but we hope all our guests will be generous in their support for such a worthwhile cause and purchase raffle tickets to the value of £25-£30. As seating on board the boat is strictly limited we are holding a draw…
  • Expat investment webinar - what would you like to learn?

    26 Jul 2012 | 8:24 am
    Expat Focus is delighted to announce that our expat investment partner and Registered Investment Advisor, Tom Zachystal, will shortly be delivering a free webinar (i.e. online presentation) for Expat Focus members who are interested in learning more about the basics of expatriate investment. In order to make the webinar as relevant as possible we're keen to learn more about the specific areas you'd like to see Tom cover in his talk. Please add your suggestions here or email admin@expatfocus.com and we will forward them to Tom.
  • Interview with Lindsay de Feliz, British expat blogger in the Dominican Republic

    15 May 2012 | 4:39 am
    In this interview we talk to British expat blogger Lindsay de Feliz about life in the Dominican Republic, writing a popular blog and her plans for a book. Watch the interview here or download the podcast here.
  • Managing US Pension Accounts When No Longer Resident in the US

    14 Mar 2012 | 9:52 am
    If you have worked in the United States for any length of time (either as a US citizen or a foreign national) it is likely that you have paid into a US pension account such as an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or a 401k (an occupational pension plan). The question arises as to what should be done with such an account once you give up US residency. There are three alternatives: You can transfer it to another pension account, you can distribute the money, or you can leave it in the current account... Read more
  • No Peakie Panish (Learning a New Language)

    11 Mar 2012 | 1:48 am
    by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Angulo There can be a lot of pressure when moving to a foreign language speaking country when only your better half knows the lingo. It puts stress on one side to constantly translate and the other racing to learn the new language as quickly as possible. In the case of my husband (a.k.a. the hubs) and me, he was already fluent in Spanish before moving to Panama whereas my lingual skills were limited to words like fajitas, fiesta, and margaritas... Article continues here
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    International Herald Tribune

  • China’s Guide to Democracy

    Saskia De Rothschild
    8 Oct 2014 | 3:55 am
    From BBC News- Quiz question: What has been the top trending story on China’s social media this week? Wrong answer: Hong Kong. Correct answer: People named “Guoqing,” which in Chinese means “national celebration.” On Tuesday, Oct. 7, China winds up a weeklong public holiday to mark National Day, the anniversary of the 1949 Revolution when the Communist Party came to power. Since then, the Party has imposed tight control over the media, and at times of crisis the room for nuanced reporting shrinks to zero. In the early days of last week, the state propaganda machine met the Hong…
  • The Survivors of the Malta Refugee Shipwreck

    Saskia De Rothschild
    24 Sep 2014 | 8:57 am
    From Der Spiegel Magazine Earlier this month, 500 people, mostly refugees from the Gaza Strip, drowned when their ship sank in the Mediterranean. It was the worst such tragedy in a summer full of them. SPIEGEL traveled to Gaza and Crete to find out what happened. DER SPIEGELShukri al-Assouli was among the survivors of an incident that saw 500 refugees killed after the ship carrying them was deliberately rammed by smugglers earlier this month. It is believed that Assouli lost his wife and their two children. On his third day at sea near the coast of Malta, Shukri al-Assouli began to…
  • China’s Education Gap

    Saskia De Rothschild
    8 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    From the New York Times Every September, the campuses of Peking and Tsinghua Universities, often called the Harvard and MIT of China, brim with eager new students, the winners of China’s cutthroat education system. These young men and women possess the outlook of cosmopolitan youth worldwide: sporting designer clothes and wielding high-end smartphones, they share experiences of foreign travel and bond over common fondness for Western television shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Sherlock.” They are destined for bright futures: In a few decades, they will fill high-powered…
  • Franco-German Decoupling

    Saskia De Rothschild
    4 Sep 2014 | 3:59 am
    From the International New York Times-  PARIS – There is something misleading about the current political excitement on both sides of the Seine. The ouster of three rebel ministers by a surprisingly firm president, a government reshuffle, a standing ovation delivered at Medef, the employers’ union, for the Socialist prime minister who dared to proclaim, “I love business!”: All the action was set in Paris. Yet one could fantasize that, some 900 kilometers away, Berlin’s invisible hand was quietly at play. Germany determines so much of France’s economic life these days that it…
  • Let Us All Bear Witness to the Conversation

    Saskia De Rothschild
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:05 am
    From the New York Times : The spectacle began, as it often does, with a local tragedy. Last month, an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. In a less media-saturated time, we might have gone on to consider this serious news event on its own terms, with journalists providing facts and insights, and politicians pondering a course of action. But in the mixed-up scrum of politics and media that our so-called national conversation has become, a serious news event is only the start of the news. Soon after the shooting,…
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    British Expatriate Community

  • Reforming skilled migration to improve Australia’s competitiveness

    25 Oct 2014 | 5:37 am
    Joint media release from the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister; the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade; and the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Australian Immigration and Border Protection The Government will reform the 457 visa programme for skilled migrants, while maintaining strong safeguards against abuse. The 457 programme must be a means of filling genuine skills gaps in the local labour market while not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on business. An effectively managed skilled migration programme ensures foreign workers supplement rather than substitute…
  • South American Country Tops Expat Location Survey

    24 Oct 2014 | 12:40 am
    It may not be many British people’s first choice as an expat destination, but Ecuador has topped an international poll to find the world’s top country for expats. Conducted by InterNations, The Expat Insider 2014 asked 14,000 expatriates from over 160 countries across the globe a variety of questions about their life abroad. Touching upon various areas of expat living – including general quality of life, working abroad, family life, leisure and making friends abroad, international romance and expat relationships, and personal finances – some 61 countries received enough responses to…
  • Faster, stronger, higher – New Zealand’s Internet trends

    23 Oct 2014 | 12:45 am
    In 2014, New Zealanders used 53 percent more Internet data than they did last year, Statistics New Zealand said today. At a massive 53,000 terabytes, our data use is soaring to new heights. “The amount of data used was equivalent to streaming over 12 million high-definition super-hero movies,” international and business performance statistics manager Jason Attewell said. “Additionally, almost half of all broadband connections have data caps of 50 gigabytes or more. Three years ago, only 4 percent had data caps this large.” Not only are we consuming more data, we are getting it…
  • Relocating Your Furry Friends Overseas

    18 Oct 2014 | 5:27 am
    Photo courtesy of Carol Vinzant via CC For many people, their pets are as much a part of the family as any other member. So when considering moving abroad, one of the first questions asked is ‘How can I make sure my pet relocates safely too?’ Focusing primarily on cats, dogs and ferrets, John Morris at Crown Relocations, has put together some practical tips to help your entire family relocate together. Before you leave In advance of setting off on your new adventure, you need to ensure your pet matches the criteria of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This will allow your animal to leave the…
  • Financial Tips for New Canadians

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:28 am
    Following on from the story on Emigrate2.co.uk earlier this week, which revealed the toughest challenges newcomers to Canada face after arriving in the country, BMO Wealth Institute, who conducted the survey, has released a number of tips designed to help new Canadian immigrants better navigate their new financial landscape. Establish a credit history It is important to start building a good credit history as early as possible after having arrived in Canada. Build a credit score by starting with a small line of credit or credit card, and then paying off balances as required. Build a budget…
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    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass

  • RIP Luke the Hammy

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:31 pm
    We had such a great night tonight at a Halloween event but came home to find that Luke the hamster had died. I told Jack while he was in the bath and his little face crumpled up and he cried and cried, it was awful. To see him so upset and so grieved is really hard. He also said that having Luke in his room gave him comfort, that he liked having somebody else share his room at night when he got scared. I feel so bad for the little guy.Now what to do to make him feel okay about being in his room without his hamster buddy? Getting another one is not an option.
  • Instilling Kindness

    15 Oct 2014 | 8:33 pm
    One of the things I want to install in my kids is kindness. I think kindness comes above any kind of triumph. Kindness to each other and to everyone around them. They aren't kind all the time by any means, in case I'm doing across as a naive fool, but I like to think that the manners and the kindness I'm constantly drilling into them is starting to become part of them, like second nature.  My mum did that to me and Craig's mum did that to him, so we are passing it down, along with always feeling guilty when you see a policeman and never taking the last piece of cake.On Monday Daniel…
  • Wine & Wide Calfs

    10 Oct 2014 | 8:03 pm
    So it'll be six weeks on Sunday since I've drunk wine. One might assume that I am now stick-thin with flawless ivory skin, but no. My body appears to be storing every single calorie I consume and I think it's in shock. I feel great of course, but the weight loss and the skin thing isn't happening yet.  I soooo want to lose weight. Mainly so I don't look huge when I go home to England for a visit next year and I really want a pair of Hunter wellies but they wouldn't fit. If the FBI looked at the history of my Internet searches this week they'd find that "wide calf wellies" appeared quite…
  • September 1-Second-a-Day

    3 Oct 2014 | 8:56 pm
  • T-Shirt Quilt

    28 Sep 2014 | 2:34 pm
    The idea to make a t-shirt quilt came from seeing how fabulous my friend Erika's was. So I read her blog post about it and made one.  I got my instructions from Erika and from other blog tutorials.Her Lazy Gal postings were helpful, especially the  binding  tutorial at the end. I spent five hours binding it yesterday but watched Spiderman with the boys while doing it.I loved making it but I hated cutting up my Dale Hollow Lake tee and t-shirts from when the boys were toddlers. I still have them obviously, so need to stop being a sentimental fool.The whole process took me 3…
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    An Expat Life in Nicaragua

  • The Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur

    6 Oct 2014 | 11:43 am
    Hey everyone! If you are planning a trip to Nicaragua that includes San Juan del Sur, don’t miss out on this awesome e-book. Written by two highly knowledgeable expats (nope, not us) who have lived in and visited San Juan del Sur for years, this guide offers comprehensive information on everything from the best hotels to not-to-miss activities. As explained on their website, the 180 page Ebook includes: -Under the radar, little touted and off the beaten track experiences not covered in regular guidebooks (Miss any one of these and you’ll have to come back) -Practical insider tips to…
  • Casita for Rent!

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Hey everyone – we are now accepting reservations for our fantastic Casita Nacascolo!  Hop on over to Air BnB to take a look: Click to view slideshow.  
  • Baby Gear Rental Business in San Juan del Sur!

    25 May 2014 | 10:40 am
    It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that’s because I’ve been busy developing my latest business venture: Mums and Bums Nicaragua – a baby gear rental shop for those of you visiting San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua with families! My good friend and business partner, Rosi, and I are super excited to introduce this new business to Nicaragua. Please visit and like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mumsandbumsnicaragua to learn more and to stop abreast of new products for rent, upcoming promotions, and more! We can also arrange for babysitting services (with…
  • Help us to fund a new school campus in Nicaragua!

    14 Mar 2014 | 8:21 am
    Dear Readers, As most of you know, in 2008, Justin and I set out on a journey to Nicaragua.  What began as an extended honeymoon has turned into so much more – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua has become our home and more importantly, it is now home to our two children: Lucinda and Theodore. In 2009, our dear friend, Julie Speier, opened the doors to a small ½ day preschool.  Five years later, San Juan del Sur Day School has developed into a pre-k thru grade 2 International English School, educating expatriate and Nicaraguan children.  Julie’s vision does not end there.  By the year…
  • That’s not a bug…

    25 Oct 2013 | 9:04 am
    …THIS is a bug: Click to view slideshow.
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  • Diez.

    16 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    April, 2005.In the Episcopal Church, children are confirmed somewhere between the ages of seven and ten - or, at least, when I was confirmed, that's what it was. You spend weeks learning about the faith with other similarly aged children, learning the Lord's Prayer and the Nicene Creed and what happens during mass and why. If you're really lucky, Mary Wood will teach you about everything on the altar and the different vestments. (But, let's be honest, if you're really lucky at all you get a Mary Wood, "Mean," in your life at all). And you get a Mrs. Knapp to teach you the rest. That is…
  • Typhoid Mary

    15 Oct 2014 | 1:19 pm
    As an American - raised in a country where certain illnesses have been eradicated and medication has done a great job at squelching others - there are some words that make my skin crawl. Scabies. Ringworm. Scurvvy.  Some words scare me. Tuberculosis. Leprosy. Cholera. Typhoid.I never in my life imagined that the creepy-crawlies affected people in real life. Scurvy? That's for pirates. Leprosy? Biblical. Tuberculosis? Doesn't happen anymore.There is no "prick-test" for TB in the DR. I guess it is assumed that most people have been exposed at some point to TB, so the…
  • on socks and hats. (part 1)

    7 Oct 2014 | 8:20 pm
    This one is for you, Fiona!Today, I was in the grocery store. Adiel and I had just enjoyed a nice lunch with our friend Deborah - who Amely calls, "my french teacher, mommy" - and I needed to replenish our pantry.our house is filled with newborns lately - chicks and ducks!lucky animals don't have any rules to follow!This particular grocery store is more like a super Wal*Mart: food downstairs, everything else upstairs.  I had the baby in my mei-tei carrier, snuggled up like a bug and sleeping. Snoring, even. We went upstairs to get some felt-tip pens and foam balls (random, I know)…
  • "El Desarreglo"

    4 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
    When my doctor came to my hospital room to give me my last check-up before I went home, he removed the dressing from my incision, asked me about my milk supply and told me, "Go home and wash your hair. You have my permission to wash your hair. You're a sweaty mess."The nurse looked at me with a "don't you dare" care-bear stare and I felt like I was stuck in the middle of a really contentious cultural battle. Whose advice do I take? The doctor who I trust and respect? Or the nurse, who I don't know and haven't ever met before?I had taken a shower the day before - IV bag hanging from a hook in…
  • Budgets. (an opportunity to help!)

    26 Sep 2014 | 9:31 am
    I love my job. It is stressful and crazy and sometimes irritating, but in the end, I konow that I'm doing something worthwhile. The best part has been that I'm not really responsible for "maintaining" our projects - I can't fundraise a dime to save my life - and I have a really hard time with the missionary culture of personal fundraising, so my salary helps me live within my means and not go overboard. (But that is probably a conversation we should have over coffee and not a monologue I should have on my blog).Futuro Lleno de Esperanza has grown so much - three years ago we started with 23…
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    Expat Chronicles

  • Documenting the Nicaragua Canal Route

    13 Oct 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Expat Chronicles In 1914 the Panama Canal was lauded as the largest engineering project in history. A century later there is a new contender that, if completed, will take the title. The Nicaragua Canal is an ambitious project plans to cut a waterway three times longer (175 miles) and 150% deeper and wider than the Panama Canal and carry 2.5 times the capacity. It also includes building tourist centers, five-star hotels complete with golf courses, an international airport in a free trade zone, new highways running alongside the canal, two deep-water ports, and an artificial lake to support…
  • Acknowledging the Patrons

    13 Aug 2014 | 4:29 am
    Expat Chronicles The Kickstarter campaign for This Mick’s Life was successfully funded. This article is a public dedication of gratitude to my patrons. The word, “patron”, has become confused over time and across languages. In English you may understand it to be a “customer”. But see the patronage article on Wikipedia: Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes and the wealthy have provided to artists…
  • Banging up Girl in Colombia

    8 Aug 2014 | 9:31 am
    Expat Chronicles A major part of The Mick‘s life was his heroin addiction in 1980s Ireland. Capturing that is a challenge for me, someone who’s never taken heroin nor been physically dependent on a drug. ** Today is hte last day of the Kickstarter project to fund This Mick’s Life: Addiction and Underworld from Ireland to Colombia. ** Kendall was also addicted to heroin before coming to Colombia. He identifies a part of the addiction as wanting to get high by injecting drugs into your veins with a needle. He takes to injecting cocaine. This chilling story is about a day…
  • Rock en Español Playlist: Yea or Nay?

    5 Aug 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Expat Chronicles I rant about Latin culture as much as I want here on the blog. But in person I’ve learned to keep the complaints private. The wise expat knows that gringos have been coming to these lands for hundreds of years, telling the Hispanicized how to improve their societies and be less backward. The obvious effect is generations of built-up resistance to gringo advice, no matter how wise it is. I have learned that and subsequently shut the hell up about things, except on this blog of course. It’s my outlet. But there are some subjects I don’t keep quiet on with…
  • Contributed Story: Scoped in Bogota

    4 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    Expat Chronicles This article was contributed by an American living in Bogota. See my article, Scopolamine: Drugged and Robbed in Colombia, if you aren’t aware of its effects and use. [start] There’s a sentiment here in Colombia about papaya. It’s not a fruit or a local delicacy- it has to do with putting yourself in a position to be taken advantage of. If you’re drunk and obnoxious and walking the street with pesos hanging out of your wallet, that’s ‘giving papaya’ to the nth degree. If you’re loosely holding your cell phone by the doorway of…
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    Happy Hamburgers

  • For reals...

    1 Oct 2014 | 6:01 am
    This time it's for real.  I'll write more.  HA!Okay, so who wants to know about my day yesterday?  It was a normal, boring Tuesday.  Michaela did run her first light, but I'll spoil the surprise and tell everyone I forced her to do it.  Yep.  Michaela is driving.  I really do need to write more.... I feel like Michaela driving in and of itself needs some explanation.  Here in lovely New Hampshire a CHILD can drive the day they turn 15 and a HALF.  So on the half birthday during their 15th year of life they simply put their birth certificate in…
  • PPPs

    16 Apr 2014 | 7:04 pm
    I can't even think of anything to write about this; nothing I can come up with really does the event justice.  Sierra is nuts!!  Her friend is crazy too!  This water was melted ice and when I say "melted ice" I seriously mean melted ice!  Ice chunks were floating in the water and that white stuff they are standing on is the lake ...the FROZEN lake ...which is ICE ...FROZEN WATER! It was seriously that cold, don't let the blue sunny sky fool you.  I touched the water with my hand and decided that if I jumped in I would have instantly died, like frozen to death…
  • Tricky Day

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:58 am
    I start off at a very young age fooling my children on April Fool's Day.  It's the day when I spend most of my time smiling and even laughing out loud to myself about the sometimes mean jokes I play on my family and friends.  I have to justify this to my youngest children by calling the day "Tricky Day"... because mommy does "tricky" things to trick you.  It's all in good fun.  Right?...and if you've read my blog before you will know that April Fools Day isn't complete until one of my children cries.  Sad, but true.  I first discovered this unfortunate tradition…
  • Green Day ...about a month late.

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:24 am
    Every year for the past five years I have posted pictures of our Green Food.  I can't believe I didn't do it this year.  OR tell anyone about the super mean things I did to my children on April Fools Day!  (Yes, I made at least one cry.)It is a rule that you aren't even allowed to come to the table if you aren't wearing green.  Happy wasn't here; he was at work.  That's another story.  :)Even Blue has a green collar on.  :)  PS.  Blue is huge.  He's a good dog, for the most part... He does have his moments where he just can't help but chase a…
  • Thursday Night (freezing cold) FUN

    7 Feb 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Scotty looks like a rock star with his ski guitar.  :)I would like some Wonder Mom points for taking four children skiing every Thursday night in below freezing temperatures.  (I would also like to know where to cash in my Wonder Mom points.  :)  I'd like to have a nap and maybe a vacation somewhere warm and sandy.)This whole ski club thing sounded like a great idea before the POLAR VORTEX from CANADA showed up ...now I'm freezing my tushie off every Thursday night because it turns out "ski club"doesn't mean that your kids are in a club that takes them skiing.  It…
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    Ruth's Place

  • Can I ride?

    24 Oct 2014 | 11:23 pm
    I’m entering this layout in the Stuck?! Sketches October 15th Sketch Challenge. Here is the sketch we were given to follow. I pulled out my hexagon quilting template and went to town. Gosh it’s hard to get purples to photograph accurately. Unusually for me 90% of the paper on this page came from a single line of paper: Kaisercraft Violet Crush. Photo was taken at the second wedding that Gorgeous Girl was in last year. She was very taken with the vintage car and was most disappointed that the only the Bride and the Bride’s father got to ride in it to the church and not the…
  • Simple Joys

    24 Oct 2014 | 11:08 pm
    I’m entering this page in the Let’s Get Sketchy Team B October Week 2 Challenge. Here is the sketch we were given. I thought this would be a great sketch for scrapping up a sequence of photos I have. They are not the clearest photos, but they tell a story. Gorgeous Girl received this pool for Christmas last year while we were in Australia, but we couldn’t set it up until we arrived back in PNG as we needed it to stay in the box so we could take it on the plane. These photos capture her much anticipated first use of the pool. I used the frame of a wood veneer I had used in a…
  • Getting organised

    23 Oct 2014 | 11:42 pm
    So, the conference paper for Hong Kong is written, and the shortened presentation is worked out. My presentation for university is done. Travel documentation has been printed and the suitcase is packed except for the last minute things. Handbag has been cleaned out and purse will have Australian money, bank cards and ID transferred across shorty. Hotel for the first night in Hong Kong is booked and transport to the conference location is sorted thanks to the excellent maps of the MTR available online. I’ve also gotten the travelling crafty things ready. Two knitting and three crochet…
  • Baking scrapbook pages

    18 Oct 2014 | 2:35 am
    I’m entering these pages in the Let’s Get Sketchy Challenge. I really liked the sketch when I saw it, lots of white space and simple lines. The colour scheme for this was inspired by the butterfly I used for the embellishment. I was given a 6.5 inch Violet Crush pad from Kaisercraft for my birthday last week and I wanted to break into it. I edged each paper element with stripes and dots. Here’s the page. I then flipped the sketch for the second photo. I’ve digitally erased the names of the kids in the journalling. This was a great way to use photos of different…
  • Seaglass

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:12 pm
    This yarn’s been off the wheel for a few days quietly languishing waiting for a wash. It’s the result of two evenings of spinning. I’m calling it sea glass because the soft gentle green reminds me of the glass you can occasionally find washed up on the beach. The colour is really hard to capture, this is the best I could manage. It’s superfine South African merino that I dyed myself a few several years ago. 19 wraps per inch and 310 metres. It’s not plied as tightly or as evenly as I would like, but the spinning wheel needs a new drive band. I’ve ordered…
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    Clark Nielsen for the Win

  • The Wonderful World of Aquariums

    6 Oct 2014 | 7:19 pm
    Aquariums are some of my favorites places to visit. I think I get more excited to see the animals than any of the kids there. And the great thing about aquariums is that every visit is a unique experience. I always see at least one new thing. There’s always one fish that stands out to me more than any other and becomes my new obsession. For instance, in 2007, my family and I went to the aquarium in Salt Lake City, where they had triops. I’ve only ever seen triops at this aquarium. You could buy a “triops kit” from the gift store to grow your own, though. So I did.
  • China Critics and Apologists

    10 Sep 2014 | 8:00 pm
    I realize I can be very critical of China sometimes. My critiques are often met with a lot of opposition, whether that’s in the form of a negative book review or an angry blog comment. Hey, it happens. That’s the risk you take when you have an opinion! What surprises me are the people who are so quick to jump to China’s defense. I’m not saying that, because I expect every laowai to vehemently hate China. Sure, there are antagonists out there who delight in lambasting China over everything from Tibet to dog meat. But there are plenty of sensible people, too, who…
  • US National Parks from a Chinese Perspective

    21 Oct 2013 | 5:01 pm
    My wife and I just got back from a short weekend trip to Sequoia National Park. This is only the third national park in the US my wife has been to (preceded by Yellowstone and Arches), but I think that’s enough to get a good sense of what parks in this country are like. So I asked her to give me a list of things that stand out when comparing American parks to Chinese parks. Her thoughts: 1. They’re so cheap! A seven-day pass to Sequoia for both of us was only $20. When we went to Zhangjiajie in China last year, one ticket was 250 yuan (almost $40) per person for three days. A…
  • The Joys of Being a Travel Writer

    13 Sep 2013 | 9:31 am
    My first travel book, Yes China!, has been out for little over two years now. I stopped recording monthly sales about the same time my wife and I went to Thailand, though, so I’m not sure how many copies it’s sold overall. What I have noticed is that paperback sales are nonexistent again while e-book sales continue along at 4-5 per month. At one point, monthly sales were in the 20s, but that was right after I did a free promo on Amazon. I told myself I was only going to do one of those. That said, if you haven’t read Yes China! yet, just leave a comment here, and I’ll…
  • Upgrading to a 10-Year Green Card

    18 Jun 2013 | 1:21 pm
    My wife got her green card back in 2011, and while that was a major relief, it wasn’t the end of our immigration journey. The first green card is only good for two years, at which point you’re expected to file for “removal of conditions.” If this is granted, you’ll receive a ten-year green card that, until you become a US citizen, must be renewed every ten years. I feel like this is a “gotcha” step, because I don’t remember ever being officially told to do this. We were just supposed to know and remember. That’s how the whole process has…
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    Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

  • Reviewed: Michelin Starred Restaurant JER (Just Eat Right), in Hasselt, Belgium

    23 Oct 2014 | 9:35 pm
    JER Michelin-Starred Restaurant in Hasselt, Belgium Michelin-starred restaurant JER (Just Eat Right) in Hasselt, Belgium, offers local ingredients in a fine-dining setting and is well worth the trip to Limburg. While most places we want to eat are easy to visit, some restaurants elude us. One-star Michelin JER (Just Eat Right), in Hasselt, was one such establishment. It came highly recommended by friends in Hasselt, as well as foodies around Belgium.  But JER seemed to be shutting us out. The weekend we visited Hasselt, they were on holiday. We tried on a different weekend and they were…
  • The Radisson Blu EU Hotel and Willards Restaurant in Brussels, Belgium

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:26 pm
    This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series BluBloggers.Radisson Blu EU Hotel in Brussels, Belgium In the heart of Brussels’ EU quarter, the Radisson Blu EU Hotel, with its designer rooms, friendly service, and excellent Belgian cuisine in Willards Restaurant, is more than a typical business hotel. Back in June, we had the opportunity to visit the Radisson Blu Royal hotel in Brussels and dine in their Atrium restaurant. But the Royal isn’t the only Radisson in town. The Radisson Blu EU Hotel, beside the European Parliament, is another great accommodation option for visitors to Brussels. This…
  • 9 Top Food Trucks in Brussels, Belgium and Beyond

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:21 pm
    This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Best Restaurants in Belgium.9 top Food Trucks in Brussels, Belgium, and beyond! From burgers to burritos, truffles to toasties, you can find it all in a food truck in Belgium. We share 9 of the best food trucks in Brussels and beyond. Food trucks have been all the rage in North America and the UK for more than ten years now. Belgium, however, was slow to catch on to this foodie trend. Despite having a great street-food culture in Brussels, the closest you could come to a food truck was a waffle van – until now. Over the past two years, we’ve…
  • Review: Corine Styling – Colour & Style Consultation in Brussels

    14 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    Add the right colours to your life with a consultation from Corine Styling Do you know which colours make you look your best or how to choose the right clothes for your body-type? A consultation with Corine Styling will help you look and feel great. Read on for a special readers only offer! I love colour. As a photographer, I work with colour everyday and I have a good eye for shades and tones. However, when it comes to the colours I wear, I instinctively choose the colours I like, and the colours I think look good on me, without any sort of scientific understanding. So when the lovely…
  • 9 Cheap Eats in Brussels, Belgium

    9 Oct 2014 | 9:30 pm
    This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Best Restaurants in Belgium.Our top 9 budget restaurants in Brussels, Belgium If you love to eat tasty, healthy food but are on a tight budget, you’ll love our selection of 9 cheap eats in Brussels, Belgium. Just over a year ago, I wrote an article on Cheap Eats in Brussels for RTW Expenses. It’s been a hit with visitors to Belgium, as Brussels can be a tricky spot to find an affordable meal, if you don’t know where to look. Of course, we’ve always had the Belgian staples in Brussels – waffles and frites. I list my favourite spots to get…
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  • inspirations

    23 Oct 2014 | 11:52 pm
          It started from this pine branch….I got an inspiration     to digitalized it     This digital version was  an inspiration for my watercolor painting, just inspiration.       Paint Party Friday     On Saturday we visited EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art     A piece of art playing with shadows!   Shadow Shot Sunday2       ‘World in Colours of Water’ by Janna Syvänoja.   It’s worth to visit Janna’s blog – her art is really unique and beautiful!  …
  • red splotch

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:36 pm
        MACRO MONDAY 2     I HEART MACRO   RUBY TUESDAY TOO         Have a good week!  
  • playing with colors

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:49 am
        I’ve been painting…a lot!   BUT. I’m still trying to learn how to paint with water and colors Here’s one I did yesterday, ‘dancer’. I wanted to learn how to leave white white….     Paint Party Friday           One of my favorite brushes….     Maple tree leaves are playing with light and shadows…   Shadow Shot Sunday2         Have a relaxing weekend!     ps. I’ll be busy this weekend - I’ll visit your blogs on Sunday evening…
  • eat me! said red apple

    12 Oct 2014 | 10:09 pm
      MACRO MONDAY2     I HEART MACRO     RUBY TUESDAY TOO       Have a good week!    
  • aquarelle painting is so difficult!

    9 Oct 2014 | 10:19 pm
      Heeelp!   Three sessions of aquarelle painting learning behind and I’m totally lost! I’ve tried and tried to learn when the paper is ready to paint – not too dry not too wet, how to leave ‘air’ or ‘space’,  layer by layer…autch! Here’s one work which is not actually ‘my style’ but this is how it became…   Paint Party Friday         Autumn is here with lots of shadows!                       Shadow Shot Sunday2      …
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    Everyone's Expat Blog Posts - Expatacular! - Global Expat Community

  • Recommendation German teacher / Swiss teacher

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:59 am
    Hi, This is to recommend an excellent private teacher for Swiss German and German lessons. She is a very experienced and engaging coach who made my language learning experience enjoyable and did not feel like work at all. She does not impose a one-size fit all program for all students and she made me feel very comfortable during sessions. I found her to be very supportive, highly professional and attentive to my personal needs where I was showing a weakness in my learning of the language. I definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a capable friendly and patient language teacher!
  • Writers

    Dwayne & Samantha
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:25 pm
    I am having a lot of access issues for now for this site and others. Its not fully loading anything but text. But I am sure as soon as i can get time to finish my router and VPN service things will be fine For now i did not recall if there is a jobs in Shenyang section, but i am not looking for any employee's just some skilled folks that want to make a few extra bucks here and there I would prefer putting the money into local pockets of people i meet and befriend here but if cant find what i need i will continue to use the services back in America that i have used over the years Pretty soon i…
  • Arrived, Recovering

    Dwayne & Samantha
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:08 pm
    Well today makes 1 week since i got back here to Shenyang. Gonna be a little longer before i get out to meet with anyone. Lots to do setting up a new place we will stay for at least a year. Just got the internet a few days ago Still have to replace my NEW routers firm ware with one that works better on the VPN service i have If the power hick up's etc during the re-flashing i end up with a very nice and expensive brick (router) to prop the door open But it will allow all our devices to share the one VPN connection so its worth the effort Yeah Netflick's and such Really happy to be back Will…
  • you guys have wechat(微信) software on your cellphone?

    wang ye
    12 Aug 2014 | 10:51 pm
    my dear Shenyang friends,now here in China, wechat(微信),a software on cellphone is quite popular,install it and add me"qitian0007" ,glad to make more friends!
  • Wow, Actor and comedian Robin Williams died today

    Dwayne & Samantha
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:29 pm
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  • This is the only -no risk- way I know about to guarantee a 20% return

    Simon Black
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:59 am
    October 24, 2014 Santiago, Chile I’m going to make you a deal. For the rest of your life, I’m going to be your silent partner. You’re going to pay me 20% of everything you ever make. Forever. In return, I’m not going to do anything. I won’t add value to your life or your business. In fact, I’m actually going to be destructive. For the rest of your life, I’m going to make you fill out a bunch of stupid forms. If you own a business, I’m going to make you hire employees that you don’t need and incur all sorts of costs just to handle all the…
  • New study: the middle class is collapsing in the United States

    Simon Black
    23 Oct 2014 | 11:09 am
    October 23, 2014 Santiago, Chile When I was growing up, my father was able to support his family of four on a single income. And when he was growing up, his father could do the same. This sort of security simply doesn’t exist anymore. These days, it typically takes two working parents just to be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. And even then, just barely. Today people have to borrow on their credit cards just to get by. And young people are forced to indebt themselves decades into the future simply to pay for an increasingly worthless university degree. In 1970, general…
  • New data shows it will take 398,879,561 years to pay off the debt

    Simon Black
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:33 am
    October 22, 2014 Santiago, Chile The US government’s debt is getting close to reaching another round number—$18 trillion. It currently stands at more than $17.9 trillion. But what does that really mean? It’s such an abstract number that it’s hard to imagine it. Can you genuinely understand it beyond just being a ridiculously large number? Just like humans find it really hard to comprehend the vastness of the universe. We know it’s huge, but what does that mean? It’s so many times greater than anything we know or have experienced. German astronomer and mathematician Friedrich…
  • Why did the IRS just threaten me with imprisonment?

    Simon Black
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    October 21, 2014 Santiago, Chile I walked in the door this morning to my apartment in Santiago, happy to be back in Chile after a week away. (One of the things that I really love about this place is the weather. The weather forecast in the entire central region of Chile is typically just a string of yellow circles. Yet it’s not so hot that you need air conditioning. I love it.) But my mood was quickly spoiled when my maid handed me an envelope. “It looks official,” she said, staring at me to gauge my reaction. She was right. The sender was the United States Department of…
  • 021: All the resources already exist for you to take back your freedom

    Simon Black
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:27 am
    For every crisis that strikes, the government springs up to “save” us. Introducing new bureaucratic agencies or an “Ebola Tsar” as Obama has just done, they are constantly adding to the already over-bloated expanse of government today. But when a real danger happens, they completely fail. Repeatedly. The reality is, we don’t need the government to save us from anything. All the tools and technology that are necessary for society to function without government are there. I invite you to listen to this week’s podcast, where I discuss some of the tools that are…
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  • We Wish The White Mom With Black Sperm Said This

    MyBrownBaby Staff
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:01 pm
    What the white mom who accidentally got Black sperm should have said. The post We Wish The White Mom With Black Sperm Said This appeared first on MyBrownBaby. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Mo’Ne Davis Throws Like a Girl In New Spike Lee Documentary (VIDEO)

    Denene Millner
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Mo'Ne Davis throws like a girl with a 70-mile-per-hour pitch that captures American hearts in Chevy ad. The post Mo’Ne Davis Throws Like a Girl In New Spike Lee Documentary (VIDEO) appeared... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • What Blazing Your Own Trail Feels Like and Other Revelations from a Sometimes Okay Writer/Wife/Mother

    Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:01 pm
    When it comes to motherhood and work, blazing your own trail is possible—and necessary. The post What Blazing Your Own Trail Feels Like and Other Revelations from a Sometimes Okay Writer/Wife/Mother... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Truth About Age 46: On My Birthday, So Happy Being Me

    Denene Millner
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:44 pm
    Celebrating my birthday at age 46: it just gets better with time. The post The Truth About Age 46: On My Birthday, So Happy Being Me appeared first on MyBrownBaby. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • New Study Says Labor Pains Don’t Hurt As Much As We Remember. Moms Everywhere Want To Shank Them In the Gut.

    Denene Millner
    17 Oct 2014 | 7:07 am
    Do labor pains hurt? A new study says it's not as bad as moms think. We think the researchers should go into hiding now. The post New Study Says Labor Pains Don’t Hurt As Much As We Remember.... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Monkeys and Mountains

  • The Number One Bird Watching Spot in Finland

    19 Oct 2014 | 11:52 am
    The original can be found here: The Number One Bird Watching Spot in Finland. Please read the original.Liminka Bay is the number one bird watching spot in Finland, according to wildlife photographer Jari Peltomäker, who promises that he's not biased. You can find over 200 bird species there!Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Growing On and Off the Mountain

    14 Oct 2014 | 5:23 am
    The original can be found here: Growing On and Off the Mountain. Please read the original.What happens on the mountain doesn't stay on the mountain! The confidence that you gain carries over to the rest of your life.Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • The Not So Secret Success Sauce for Travel Bloggers

    11 Oct 2014 | 3:09 am
    The original can be found here: The Not So Secret Success Sauce for Travel Bloggers. Please read the original.Travel bloggers are always asking other bloggers What's the secret to being a successful travel blogger? I won't pretend to have it all figured out, but I do know that face-to-face connection is a big part of the secret sauce.Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Kalajoki and Maakalla: Exploring the Lesser Known Side of Finland

    10 Oct 2014 | 9:33 am
    The original can be found here: Kalajoki and Maakalla: Exploring the Lesser Known Side of Finland. Please read the original.Kalajoki and Maakalla may not be well-known outside of Finland, but that’s what makes them so special! Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of them either until recently, but that’s what draws me in. Remote can be difficult to find in our ever connected world – especially in Europe  but that’s what I found in Maakalla. I […]Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • X ALP by Salomon: A Review

    8 Oct 2014 | 4:04 am
    The original can be found here: X ALP by Salomon: A Review. Please read the original.A review of X ALP, a new line of outdoor gear by Salomon that I personally tested in the mountains.Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
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    The Expat Coach Association

  • Coach of the Month: Magda Theodate

    30 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Name:  Magda Theodate Title:  Attorney, International Development Professional, and Expat Coach Business Name:  Global Executive Life Client Testimonials:  http://www.globalexecutivelife.com/clients-testimonials/ Niche/Specialties: Diplomats/International Civil Servants International private sector (e.g., IT, financial services, education, etc.) Foreign Service US Military Expat Experience:  My expat experiences began more than two decades ago. My first experience was in Bogota, Colombia with a non-profit group. After working in South America, I leveraged that international experience…
  • Coach of the Month – Magda Theodate

    30 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Name:  Magda Theodate Title:  Attorney, International Development Professional, and Expat Coach Business Name:  Global Executive Life Client Testimonials:  http://www.globalexecutivelife.com/clients-testimonials/ Niche/Specialties: Diplomats/International Civil Servants International private sector (e.g., IT, financial services, education, etc.) Foreign Service US Military Expat Experience:  My expat experiences began more than two decades ago. My first experience was in Bogota, Colombia with a non-profit group. After working in South America, I leveraged that international experience…
  • Coach of the Month: Kirsten de Greling – Visman

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:01 pm
    Name: Kirsten de Greling – Visman Title: Certified Career and Expat Coach Business Name: Road Map to Your Dream Career Client testimonials: http://roadmaptoyourdreamcareer.com/success-stories/ Niche/Specialties: I work with expats, accompanying partners, and busy professionals who are balancing their job and their family who feel like they have lost control of their lives, and maybe even lost their sense of self along the way, to refocus and find work that they are passionate about and a life that fulfills and excites them. Expat Experience: I have been moving around the globe,…
  • Coach of the Month – Kirsten de Greling – Visman

    1 Sep 2014 | 6:53 pm
    Name: Kirsten de Greling – Visman Title: Certified Career and Expat Coach Business Name: Road Map to Your Dream Career Client testimonials: http://roadmaptoyourdreamcareer.com/success-stories/ Niche/Specialties: I work with expats, accompanying partners, and busy professionals who are balancing their job and their family who feel like they have lost control of their lives, and maybe even lost their sense of self along the way, to refocus and find work that they are passionate about and a life that fulfills and excites them. Expat Experience: I have been moving around the globe,…
  • Coach of the Month: Cha Jones

    31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Name:  Cha Jones Title:  Founder & CEO Business Name:  Expat Women of Color & The Nomadic Chick Blog Client Testimonials:  http://www.chajones.com/#!meet-cha/c10m2 Niche/Specialties:  Transition Coaching, Intercultural Awareness, Student Success Coaching, Expat Reediness, Study Abroad Prep, and Intercultural Training & Development Expat Experience:  I am a lifelong traveler and lover of cultures. I became an expat after moving to Seoul, South Korea in 2009. I found myself in Korea after sitting on my coach dreaming about seeing the world. In two days, I had manifested an ESL…
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    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?

  • Floating in the Dead Sea – Aqaba, Jordan

    21 Oct 2014 | 6:23 am
    Spotted on the drive towards Aqaba Floating in the Dead Sea has been on my bucket list for a very long time, so I was excited to finally get the chance to visit. Our hotel had a private beach and people on hand to dig out pots of black mud. We were a bit unsure what the protocol was, so sat back for a bit and took our lead from the Jordanian families. The process is quite simple really: Shower, get covered in mud, float in the water till the mud comes off, have another shower and repeat if necessary. In reality it’s a little trickier than that – the mud is massively sticky, the beach is…
  • Jordan’s Desert Castles – Qasr Kharana, Qasr Amra, Qasr Al Azraq

    25 Sep 2014 | 6:20 am
    Qasr Kharana Our final day tour from Amman was a visit to the various castles in the deserts to the east of town. The drive there is lined by numerous Army and Air Force bases, each with gates guarded by watchful soldiers. Any quiet moment in the desert is punctuated by jets overhead, always in flights of three. Qasr Kharana The desert there is remarkably flat and featureless. There are no little cracks or dried river beds – it’s just an endless plain of rocky soil. Within the plain the easily spottable landmark is Qasr Kharana. It sits on the plain like someone dropped a brick from a…
  • Playing hide and seek in Jerash – Jordan

    5 Aug 2014 | 6:37 am
    The archaeological site lies right next to the modern city of Jerash After a long route driving to Umm Qais and Aljun castle we arrived at the Roman city of Jerash at about 4pm. Our driver told us we’d need about 3 hours to look round properly. Sunset was a long way off, so I suggested “OK, so it’s 4pm now – shall we meet at 7pm?” “No, it closes at 5pm” “…” Hadrians Arch – the entrance to Jerash Not having much choice, we got a move on and met our guide at the gate. He seemed in no rush at all, so we sauntered through the impressive Hadrian’s Arch to arrive at…
  • In pictures: Qa’lat Al-Rabad – Ajlun Castle, Jordan

    8 Jul 2014 | 2:20 am
    Ajlun Castle (from the carpark) On the way back from Umm Qais we stopped at Ajlun Castle. Known locally by its original name of  Qa’lat Al-Rabad, most guides and books just reference it by the nearest town of Ajlun. Approaching the castle from the car park it looks very European. Four walls, cornered by four towers and a deep moat. It was actually built by one of Saladin’s generals to protect against the European crusaders in 1184AD. Ajlun was of strategic value as it contained numerous iron mines, so the castle to defend the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and the…
  • Standing at the border of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel – Umm Qais, Jordan

    12 Jun 2014 | 6:55 am
    Our first day trip in Jordan was barely in Jordan. Driving to the extreme north west of Jordan from our base in Amman the road signs often listed as many countries as cities. As we passed through Irbid, the last major town before the border, the signs read turn left for Israel, turn right for Syria or straight ahead to Lebanon. Arriving at Umm Qais, or Umm Quays as it’s often spelt, was a bit of an anti-climax. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, the initial view is piles upon piles of boulders. Beyond that are more boulders lining a short road up a hill. Cresting the hill reveals the rest…
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    The Displaced Nation

  • GLOBAL FOOD GOSSIP: Solving the obesity problem with LBDs for all

    The Displaced Nation Team
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    Joanna Masters-Maggs, our resident repeat-expat Food Gossip and Creative Chef, is back with her column for like-minded food lovers. * * * I’ve come to believe that it would be possible to stem the tide of world-wide obesity with the standard issue to all women of a beautifully made, French, Little Black Dress. You know […]
  • CHUNKS OF DRAGONFRUIT: A tale of an Australian expat navigating her own way in Japan

    The Displaced Nation Team
    23 Oct 2014 | 10:01 am
    How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit? True Stories of Expat Women in Asia is a new anthology edited by columnist Shannon Young. For the benefit of Displaced Nation readers, Shannon has generously carved out a few tasty morsels from the writings of the collection’s 26 female contributors, highlighting their feelings of displacement within Asia. […]
  • LOCATION, LOCUTION: Fran Pickering, London-based crime writer and Japanophile

    The Displaced Nation Team
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    In this month’s “Location, Locution”, expat crime writer JJ Marsh interviews Fran Pickering, a London-based crime and mystery writer who has lived and travelled extensively in Japan. Her experiences there provide the inspiration for her Josie Clark in Japan mystery series. She also writes about London art and events with a Japanese connection on her blog, […]
  • For this global nomad, botany buff and blossoming novelist, a picture says…

    The Displaced Nation Team
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:01 am
    Welcome to our monthly series “A picture says…”, created to celebrate expats and other global residents for whom photography is a creative outlet. The series host is English expat, blogger, writer, world traveler and photography enthusiast James King, who thinks of a camera as a mirror with memory. If you like what you see here, […]
  • BOOKLUST, WANDERLUST: Lawrence Osborne’s haunting tale of expats and travel in the Moroccan desert

    The Displaced Nation Team
    10 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    Attention displaced bookworms! Our book review columnist, Beth Green, is back. An American who lives in Prague, Beth mixes booklust with wanderlust in equal measures, which gives her just the right background for reviewing recent book releases on behalf of international creatives. —ML Awanohara Thanks, M.L.! And, hello again, Displaced Nationers. With the arrival of […]
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    [MM] Muscat Mutterings

  • Pink afternoon tea at the Grand Hyatt, Muscat

    22 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Keeping the cancer charity theme of the blog posts for today, the Grand Hyatt are repeating once more their annual Pink afternoon tea at the Sirj tea lounge in the picturesque grand lobby. They are taking part in raising awareness for Breast Cancer throughout the month of October. On Wednesday, 29 October between 3pm to 8pm they're offering a fancy afternoon tea along with a glass of bubbly as well. The cost is RO 8.800 If you'd like to make a booking for this, please call 2464 1234 or email muscat.dining@hyatt.com.More soon!le fin.
  • Cancer awareness carnival tonight

    21 Oct 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Tonight between 6:30 and 10pm there is the Cancer Awareness Carnival taking place at Love at first bite in Shatti al Qurum. There will be live music, stalls selling stuff, games and prizes on offer.le fin.
  • Fury ticket winners

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Thanks to all of you that entered to win a pair of tickets for an advanced screening of Fury at VOX cinema MCC location tonight at 9pm. The five winners (each to get a pair of tickets) are as follows:1. Lorraine Sovereign-Smith2. Fazal Mohammed Ajmal3. Erin Yard4. Shoma Guptaroy5. Kate MaherThe movie will be premièring this Thursday 23rd October at cinemas across Oman, and the world!More soon!le fin.
  • WIN tickets to premiere of Fury at VOX Cinemas tomorrow night!

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Well, the free tickets fairy at VOX Cinemas just visited me and gave me 5 pairs of tickets to go and watch the advance premiere of Brad Pitt & Shia LaBeouf's latest flick, Fury, tomorrow night at 9pm in their MCC location.Fury is testing well with critics, and currently has an 8.3 rating on IMDB. It looks like a fun movie, and I do like lots of explosions, so easily entertained.So, here's the drill, you have to answer a question in the survey box below, along with your name (so I can give it to VOX to add you to the guest list) and your email address (so I can notify you if you win). As…
  • Another tale of woe with HSBC Oman

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:30 am
    A snapshot from a recent HSBC customer service review meetingSome years ago, I wrote about my tail(s) of woe with HSBC here in Oman. I'm sorry to report that my experiences with HSBC here have gotten no better, and was just wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same ridiculousness as me?So in my last post about HSBC, back in 2011, I swore I'd never take a loan from HSBC Oman again, and I've stuck to this, and have largely had a pain-free experience with them. They're still sending a monthly transfer to another account in my name in another country, 7 years after I setup the transfer…
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  • Finding Home

    6 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    We sold our house this week. No, we’re not moving overseas again, not even across the country, in fact we may well end up living within walking distance of where we live now. We simply decided, for a number of reasons, that now is time to move from a house to condominium apartment. Deciding to sell the house was probably one of the most difficult decisions we’ve made. But why? We’ve owned this house 26 years, but almost half that time we were overseas. We owned 4 other houses before it, and have rented 7 other homes since. And yet this house held a special place in our hearts, which…
  • Expat gone soft

    26 Jan 2014 | 2:48 pm
    How soon we forget!  A couple of days prior to Christmas, Toronto was hit by a major ice storm.  The weight of the ice broke many power lines, as well as trees overhanging the power lines, resulting in a major power outage affecting 300,000 customers for several days.  As we awoke to a cold, dark house, my heart sank as I realized how poorly prepared we were. When we lived overseas I’d always had a back-up plan for water cuts, power cuts and even, heaven forbid, an evacuation plan, but settling back into a comfortable life in Canada, I’d oh-so-quickly let myself backslide. All I had at…
  • The Repairman Cometh (again)

    3 Sep 2013 | 5:10 am
    I’ve written about repairmen before, but reminiscing with someone about our life in Cairo reminded me of my year–long struggle with air conditioning which, as the summer here in Toronto draws to a close, seems like a fitting topic for a blog post. We were fortunate to live in a brand new apartment building for the year we spent in Cairo.  It sounded great until we got possession and I realized all the construction debris had been left behind for us to deal with … but that’s another story. While in Azerbaijan we had the old-style window air conditioners and in Dubai full-on…
  • Taking a career break as an expatriate partner

    12 Aug 2013 | 5:36 am
    If you’re interested in the topic of accompanying partners and their careers then I’m sure you’ll find this article in the New York Times (The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In) to be of interest.  It’s a follow-up piece to an article written 10 years ago about high-powered women who gave up their careers to become stay-at-home mothers. Although it’s not about families that relocated, I couldn’t help but see many parallels with expatriate partners, whether or not they have children. Giving up careers Creating meaningful lives around volunteer work and child rearing…
  • The Magic Socket

    22 Jul 2013 | 5:00 am
    The Magic Socket was located just beneath the water heater We had a 7-hour power outage the other evening due to a bad storm, which is pretty unusual for Toronto. In the late 90s in Baku power cuts were a regular event, usually lasting several hours and sometimes days.  Coupled with daily water cuts, it made life rather complicated, but you learned to cope.  We had several large rechargeable lanterns, a battery radio, a gas stove for cooking and a gas fireplace for heat.  But our real savior was the Magic Socket. We discovered it soon after arriving.  Our washer and dryer were located in…
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    In Search of a Life Less Ordinary

  • Playing to Australia's Sport Obsession

    Russell Ward
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:57 pm
    I've never been that great at team sports.It pains me to put those words to paper but it's true. I love sport like any red-blooded male. I watch it at every opportunity. I've been known to play a mean game of tennis, golf or squash. But when it comes to team games, I'm just not that good.There was the time I tried out for the local football team.I ran myself ragged around the pitch for an hour and a half, chasing the ball, tackling left, right and centre. The problem wasn't the other players or even the ball, but the fact I didn't get near either for a 90-minute match. One of only two boys…
  • Positive Habits Can Make a World of Difference

    Russell Ward
    13 Oct 2014 | 9:46 pm
    We travel. We visit. We explore.For most people, this starts out as a dream and often without a concrete plan.For the lucky few, affording the dream isn’t a problem but for the rest of us, embarking on an international adventure – whether it be a holiday, long-term travel or moving abroad – has a price tag.I believe in seizing the day and chasing an opportunity, wherever that might take you and whatever that might be. That’s my definition of success.But what’s the point if we can’t afford it?To make the adventure realistic and achievable, we need to plan and we need to save.And we…
  • What Does Success Look Like to You?

    Russell Ward
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:37 pm
    I always wanted to be the high-flyer. I saw myself as someone who would excel in the corporate world or become a leader in international business. But I eventually accepted that being a major corporate bigwig wasn't my thing.So I dropped the idea.I've wasted too much time trying to impress others and gain the respect of people who feel that money and jobs and houses and cars are the be-all and end-all in this life.I towed the line and I never challenged the status quo.Then one day I realised how much time and energy I was spending on seeking the approval of others for ambitions I wasn't even…
  • Best of Both Worlds: Why Australians Love Snow in Summer

    Russell Ward
    28 Sep 2014 | 8:49 pm
    It's that time of year when anticipation grows as Australians gear up for the start of summer and almost six months of sunshine, blue skies and summer sports.You might be surprised to learn that while most of us are looking forward to the dog days of summer, others are waiting in eager anticipation for a taste of the cold.They're not waiting for the Australian cold, which is far from now and, even then, not easily found. They're looking forward to the mid-winter climates of Europe, North America and Japan.It's yet another quirk of the Australian psyche, much like Christmas in July and…
  • It's Time To Give This Blog A Makeover

    Russell Ward
    25 Sep 2014 | 12:23 am
    I nearly quit blogging last year.The average blog has a lifespan of two or three years and I thought it might be time to retire In Search of a Life Less Ordinary.Because the blogosphere can be a lonely place. You never can tell if what you're doing truly works. Feedback is rare and the reaction to your work doesn't always makes sense. A post can bomb one week but a similar one will excel not long after.And it's a hefty commitment. Keeping that well of inspiration full, drafting, writing, editing, tweaking the site, updating the content. We do it because we love it but it can often feel…
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    Le Franco Phoney

  • ‘Lac en Partage’ fun in Annecy

    24 Oct 2014 | 2:06 am
    Cruising around Lake Annecy on a large boat has an air of glamour, especially if you’re watching from solid ground. Last weekend, I finally became glamorous, stepping onto one of the famed red and white boats to cruise the lake at a discount price of €5 for the entire day. The special deal was part of an event called ‘Lac en Partage‘ (‘Shared Lake’) which combined the discounted boat service with free shuttles, hikes, plants, cake, brochures galore and local information stands at each port. Although the event started early on Sunday morning, I arrived…
  • Learning first aid in French

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:25 am
    Meet Anne. She’s a very important mannequin: she saves lives. Anne was given to me at a short first aid course here in St Jean de Sixt after a friend talked me into going. As always, I was apprehensive about making some big faux pas in French and looking like a complete idiot. The start of the course about heart attacks involved croissants, pains aux chocolate, juice and black coffee (hey, this isn’t a prevention course: let’s stuff our faces on fat!). This welcome should have made me less nervous, but watching the other participants walk in and greet everyone else with…
  • And then suddenly, France seems logical!

    13 Oct 2014 | 3:25 am
    France, I’m sorry. I’ve made light of you many too times and questioned why you do things in what seems to be the strangest of ways. I take it all back after visiting the Italian island of Sardinia. Looking for late summer sun, I took a road trip around the island. The first sign of oddness was the car hire man, who upgraded me from a Fiat 500 to — wait for it — a Fiat 500. Maybe the upgrade was the dusty finish, or the unnecessary bumper parking in the half-empty parking lot. Thankfully, the car exceeded its ‘Fix It Again Tomorrow’ label and I whizzed around…
  • When ‘forbidden’ doesn’t really mean it

    2 Oct 2014 | 12:06 am
    The sign in this photo translates roughly to “No public entry on work site”. Yes, on the left of the photo is a new building development. On the right is a picturesque view of the village of Les Plombieres les Bains in Les Vosges. Two members of the public are visible, and another four were standing in the unfinished building. Despite the warning sign, the four people in the building were looking at plans for its completion. Normally, if you didn’t want people poking around your building site, you wouldn’t put up plans. You might even fence off the area. But this is…
  • Vegie burgers hit La Clusaz!

    25 Sep 2014 | 11:02 pm
    France is many great things, but it is not known for its friendliness towards vegetarians. As a non-meat eater, I’ve been offered fish galore, and even chicken — “because it’s not meat”, (“Yes it is”), “No it’s not” (and so it went on). In La Clusaz and the Aravis area, vegetarian options usually revolve around cheese, regardless of rennet content. Raclette and fondue is available for indulgent vegetarians, and goats cheese salad for those being healthy. Pizza and pasta are sometimes available, but they get boring after the first few…
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  • Leaving Islam – the greatest jihad?

    Aisha Ashraf
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Zealous muslim converts strike out for Syria in droves answering the Islamist call to jihad, but this one’s eyeing the back door... The post Leaving Islam – the greatest jihad? appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Butterflies in the Canadian Classroom

    Aisha Ashraf
    9 Oct 2014 | 11:57 am
    The Monarch butterfly's migration is one of the most amazing in the insect world - which makes for a fascinating school science project. The post Butterflies in the Canadian Classroom appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Blame It On The Bipolar

    Aisha Ashraf
    3 Oct 2014 | 11:22 am
    How much of my father’s behaviour was a result of his illness, and how much was his real personality? The post Blame It On The Bipolar appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Point & Shoot: Family life – everyday, like no other

    Aisha Ashraf
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:37 pm
    "Good weekend?" ...and you stand there vacant as a sixties flowerchild - mind scrabbling for a trace, a scrap, a glistening nugget of memory that will bring the two-day void back into focus. 'What DID we do?' The post Point & Shoot: Family life – everyday, like no other appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Point & Shoot: The scramble to school

    Aisha Ashraf
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:28 pm
    The weather has steadily grown more humid in the past week, as if to taunt us. The first day of school dawned a sticky 30 degrees on the humidex... The post Point & Shoot: The scramble to school appeared first on EXPATLOG.
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  • Fleeing Debts Is No Escape For British Expats

    Jim Atkins
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:48 pm
    Expats who escape to a new life overseas leaving a pile of debts behind in Britain may be in for a nasty financial shock. Many believe that if they are outside the reach of British courts, they are also beyond the reach of their creditors. But this is not necessarily the case, depending on who they are. The first problem for debt-laden expats who see fleeing to another country as their only financial solution is that British courts can make orders to put charges or seize any assets left behind, such as a house or other property. Judges will also grant creditors county court judgments that…
  • Big Investments Can Blur The Vision Of Entrepreneurs

    Jim Atkins
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Bringing in high-powered investors can blur the vision entrepreneurs have for their start-up businesses. One successful businessman who has been through the seed capital and rounds of growth funding from investors argues the experience brought chaos to online freelance portal people Per Hour. Xenios Thrasyvoulou set the firm up and within a year raised £500,000 funding from business angels – and five years later had around £6.5 million sitting in the bank to finance global growth. He argues that thinking small and keeping control is much better than taking wads of cash and orders from…
  • GAD rates to disappear with pension reforms

    Lisa Smith
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:50 pm
    The fall-out from the government’s new pension rules taking place in April 2015 includes the abolition of the notorious GAD rate that caps how much income retirement savers can take from their pensions. The GAD rate is set by the Government Actuary Department (GAD) and reflects standard annuity rates and limits how much pension cash is available in income drawdown or a fixed term annuity. Because the rate is based on gilt yields – the rate paid by UK government bonds – the returns are low as gilts are performing poorly against other investments mainly due to Bank of England fiscal…
  • World’s Wealthiest Are Giving Away Their Fortunes

    Lisa Smith
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:49 pm
    The world’s richest people give away more money than most average workers can ever dream of earning in their lifetime, according to new research. Profiling wealthy philanthropists, the report reveals these rich do-gooders hand out an average $25 million, are aged around 64 years old and have an average net worth of $240 million. The study, by financial marketing firm Wealth-X, reveals wealthy philanthropists are switching their attention away from gifting to financing self-sustaining projects and entrepreneurs. Facts and figures Some of the report revelations include: Educational gifts…
  • British Expats Still In Love With Australia

    Lisa Smith
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:45 pm
    British expats still rate Australia as the best place to live in the world – but other destinations in the Asia Pacific are seeing a surge in expat popularity as well. Australia was voted top by 90% of British expats who have moved out there. They told researchers for the NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index that their health and standard of living improved once they moved Down Under. 82% believed Australia provided a better lifestyle and environment for their children 73% reported they were in better health 68% had more money to spend 88% rated the Australian better…
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  • How to avoid the fees and frustrations of conventional currency exchange

    Steph MacDonald
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    One of the most trying aspects of living overseas is currency transfer between your home country or offshore bank account and your account in your host country. Whether you’re retiring overseas, working for a company which pays salaries from the UK, freelancing, or just touring around the places you’ve always wanted to see before you... Expats Blog -
  • Foreign Office urges research before choosing an overseas retirement destination

    Louise Baldwin
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is urging retirees heading for life overseas to look carefully and plan ahead before they leap. Millions of UK nationals are now aiming to relocate or retire abroad, with the tempting prospect of warmer weather and a better lifestyle the main reason for the decision. However, it seems that... Expats Blog -
  • Expats in New Zealand falling foul of cold calling and overseas investment scams

    Steph MacDonald
    23 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Following on from reports of vastly increased numbers of financial scams in Europe, the Gulf States and Asia, today’s warning to citizens and expats by the Kiwi Financial Markets Authority (FMA) comes as no big surprise. Expats across the world are now being ripped off via an unprecedented number of financial fraudsters lurking in expat... Expats Blog -
  • UAE recognition of overseas medical degrees results in more health professionals

    Louise Baldwin
    23 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    The UAE’s new unified professional qualification requirement scheme came into force earlier this month, and has resulted in a larger pool of qualified medical professionals in Emirati hospitals. The new requirements now recognise international medical degrees from a number of countries worldwide, and are attracting experienced expat... Expats Blog -
  • Survey results shock reveals pension fraudsters targeting retirement savers

    Steph MacDonald
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    The results of a recent survey prove that increasing numbers of pension liberation crooks are operating onshore and offshore, defrauding retirees confused about the new pension rules. The research, undertaken by financial firm Fidelity, revealed that 66 per cent of retirement savers are still uncertain about their rights under the new... Expats Blog -
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    impressions of an expat

  • Rocco (please take a moment to vote for us before midnight Oct 22)

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:32 am
    A few weeks ago I saw an invitation from Daniel Lanois, asking for filmmakers to create imagery for a handful of his newest songs. The films would be projected during live performances all over the world.I chose the song Rocco, because it felt like breathing to me, and the concept came quickly. Windows, E' s face...Today I was told that our film is one of the four selected by the judges, and they are looking for the votes and opinions of everyday people like you to help them understand what film is the best one.Please visit http://fleshandmachine.com and by all means vote for our film…
  • normal

    13 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    A woman sits on a scrap of cardboard on the cold, wet floor. Her head is wrapped in a scarf. A boy, not older than two teeters on short legs, hands stretching out as people pass. His tiny palms are filthy from the dirt and wet grime in this tunnel. I pass them, as I have countless times. She has new shoes. They have Chanel logos on them, and are crusted with rhinestones. The pink of the slippers is barely visible past the tiny sparkles.She could be in her thirties or she could be barely twenty and I would not know the difference. She appears with different children on random days. It is…
  • manhattan (and a jasmine sazerac)

    6 Oct 2014 | 4:01 am
    It is difficult to understand that you have been poisoned, if it happens drop by drop. Life trickles past windows. You take your child to school in the cold air. You make lunches. You pay bills. Money is made, and wasted. The transmission is grinding. A dry burnt electric smell hovers in the air. Everything needs oil. Everyone needs rest.The neighbors have their tv on loud, all night long.It sounds like an argument.E is crazy about mortadella sandwiches, with grainy mustard. We make up a song about them and sing it in the street and on the metro."Morrrrrrtadellaaaa." She croons. "More…
  • passing Gagarin (the Americans)

    29 Sep 2014 | 3:59 am
    It has started to rain just a little. We are in the car, and even though I have passed this intersection countless times, I take another picture of Gagarin. He is frozen, arms at his sides just like Superman, but he is not flying. He is a man above so many others, a man to be compared to. "You are no Gagarin." I can imagine someone once said, to someone, at some moment in time.I was asked to do an interview a few weeks ago. The questions were good ones, not the typical fluffy excuse for light-hearted anecdotes. I told the reporter I was not going to candy coat my answers. "Oh no." I was told.
  • the props make the character

    22 Sep 2014 | 4:26 am
    We do not need to change trains. The one next to our apartment takes us all the way to Partizanskaya. E rests a hand on my elbow, her head against my shoulder. It is not so early, but it is Saturday all the same. I know she would rather be in her pajamas, with a plate of French toast next to her. Outside, it is warming up already. I pay ten rubles to enter. She is free. I lead her through the first aisles, the rows of matroshkas and t-shirts, the shiny drinking flasks, the tables full of knives. We are going up and to the left, to the people with piles of junk, the strewn bits…
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    Earth Laughs in Flowers

  • UK Visitor Visa Applications for Turkish Citizens

    Kerry Arslan
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:07 am
    Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey A hot topic on my blog right now is UK Visitors Visas for Turks to visit the... Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey
  • Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

    Kerry Arslan
    14 Oct 2014 | 6:46 am
    Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey Is it safe to travel to Turkey, with the current unrest and conflict in Kobane? Well in... Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey
  • Marrying a Turkish Muslim, should I convert to Islam?

    Kerry Arslan
    9 Oct 2014 | 3:30 am
    Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey You have met your the love of your life, he has asked you to marry him and... Earth Laughs in Flowers - A Guide to Living in Turkey
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    Cartus Blog

  • Relocating to Singapore: Seven Tips on Schooling

    Ronnie Ng
    23 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    With education such a critical issue for families relocating with children, parents face a range of key decisions to ensure their school choice is the right one. The Cartus Singapore Schools Overview offers insights into making the best choices when relocating to the city state of Singapore. Boasting a level of education recognised worldwide, Singapore offers a wide variety of schooling options. There are more than 38 international schools (including those that offer the International Baccalaureate [IB] program), country-specific schools and high-attaining local schools that specialise in the…
  • Changes in Brazil: What Can Expats Expect?

    Pawel Wojnowski
    22 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    With the World Cup behind it and the 2016 Olympics ahead, Brazil is undergoing yet one more major event: one of the most tightly contested presidential elections in decades. The election is partly a choice for the future path for the country, and partly a referendum on how the current government has handled the World Cup and the requisite infrastructure investments. The Brazilian government reports that in all, R$17.6 billion Brazilian Reais (about $8 billion USD) were spent on infrastructure, with about half of that amount spent on urban mobility and the rest divided among improvements to…
  • How Can You Manage Risk for Your Mobility Program?

    Don Briggs
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    When you’re moving employees around the world, the stakes are high, and so are the challenges. The Cartus Supply Chain team works with those challenges firsthand and on a day-to-day basis: how to evaluate – and secure – the right housing; how to address issues such as security, schooling, and transportation. These issues can quickly turn into cost, compliance, and risk for companies, especially for moves into unfamiliar locations or those with particularly daunting challenges or complex regulatory requirements. Our first issue of Supply Chain News discusses how our global team responds…
  • Two Deed or Not Two Deed: Information for U.S. Relocation Managers

    Pam Uhl
    15 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Relocation programs are commonly structured to take full advantage of tax laws affecting the purchase and sale of employee homes. At the Federal level, in Revenue Ruling 2005-74, the IRS validated tax protection for an amended value program using a deed-in-blank. As welcome as this ruling was, it suddenly brought state tax issues to the forefront because, regardless of any federal tax rulings permitting use of a single deed, some states require two deeds. Based on new information provided by Worldwide ERC, changes have recently been made to the two-deed process. Four states and the District…
  • Cartus Earns Third-Straight Relocation Management Company of the Year Award

    Jane Bergman
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    We are delighted to announce that for the third year in a row, Cartus has won the prestigious Relocation Management Company of the Year Award at the Asia Expatriate Management and Mobility Awards (EMMAs)! The Relocation Management Company of the Year Award (over 10,000 moves a year) recognizes the strategic partnership we have with our clients that enables us to transform mobility services and drive greater business growth. The award also acknowledges our ability to manage complex global engagements and our flexibility in meeting clients’ changing relocation policy and program needs. Hosted…
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    Mingalapar - All About Myanmar ( Burma )

  • Season of Kathina, Season of Giving

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:23 am
    Picture: http://www.phyosithu.com/   This month is a very auspicious month because of Kathina festival that is held from the full moon of Thadingyut to the full moon of Thazaungdaing. Of course every month in Burmese calendar have a special festival or a ceremony, but this month, is very special to Buddhists because of the Kathina festival of Thazaungdaing, which is originally specific to the well-being of the sons of Buddha, monks. But nowadays, most of the people participate in this festival not only to donate to the monks but also for the ordinary laymen in need. Therefore, the month…
  • A sign of Peace and White Elephant (Sin-Phyu-Daw, ဆင္ျဖဴေတာ္)

    10 Oct 2014 | 2:52 am
    Photo: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun   Of the many things that intrigue the visitors who come to Myanmar, nothing is as complicated to understand as why the white elephant (albino elephant) (sin-phyu-daw ဆင္ျဖဴေတာ္) is very precious in our country.   In Burmese tradition, white elephants are considered not only as a symbol of good luck but also strength and power. In the ancient Burmese world, if one king possessed the white elephant during his ruling period, he was considered and believed by the people as the right king who will bring peace and prosperity to the country.
  • Nats, traditional belief of Myanmar

    29 Sep 2014 | 12:34 am
    Picture: http://www.buddha-buddhism.com   When you come to Myanmar, you will see so many awesome things which are very different from other parts of the world, not even similar to Asian countries. If you see the shrines (small houses) at the base of banyan trees or at the entrance to villages while you’re walking alone, usually small wooden structures with crossed roof beams, young bamboo shoots and incense as offerings, and sometimes a small empty bed inside, don’t think so much. It is Nats (Spirits) traditions.   Nat belief is somewhat different from Buddhism. The…
  • Myanmar’s Economy and Investment

    9 Jun 2014 | 1:30 am
          Foreign entrepreneurs are getting into Myanmar as its doors open to outside investors. But while the country is seeking to modernize, are the country’s changes proper? That’s the question economic experts are wondering about.   IMF (International Monetary Fund) sees a good potential in Myanmar’s budget as the GDP increases 7.75 percent from 7.5 percent. If Myanmar can keep it up properly, it will be more and more developed in investment and trading in ASEAN countries. The country’s big potential is reflected in the Asian Development…
  • Myanmar: Kayan ( Pa-Daung)

    2 Jun 2014 | 1:03 am
        Source http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1215788796/photos/2504434/kayan-cm   Kayan Beauties directed and produced by Aung Ko Latt won the awards for Best Cinematographer and Best Sound in 56th Myanmar Academy Awards in Yangon in 2013. Besides, it won the Special Jury Award at the inaugural ASEAN International Film Festival held in Malaysia. Kayan Beauties provides a theme of human trafficking based on the cultures, customs and daily life of Kayan people. The screenplay and co-producer, Hector Carosso, Aung Ko Latt and four main female characters who are Kayan women with…
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    Expatriate Connection

  • True Story: 4 Lessons To Prevent Burn-Out Or Depression In Your Expat Family

    15 Oct 2014 | 5:54 am
    Ashley is the leading spouse — (aka the expat employee) — of an American family.  I met Ashley on LinkedIn a few months ago when she commented on “3 Myths About Self-Care That Make You Gamble With Your Life”. She wrote: “I’ve been living and working in France for almost four years and between moving, setting […] The post True Story: 4 Lessons To Prevent Burn-Out Or Depression In Your Expat Family appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • How Being A Multipotentialite Can Help You Be More Successful As An Expat

    24 Sep 2014 | 7:01 pm
    I have a confession to make: I’m a multipotentialite. A what?? A multipotentialite. Or a scanner if you prefer. Your eyes are still inquisitive. I hear you. The term is not common. This is how Emilie Wapnick, founder of Puttylike, a community dedicated to the flourishing of multipotentialites, defines it:     Barbara Sher, renown author […] The post How Being A Multipotentialite Can Help You Be More Successful As An Expat appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • To Have Or To Be – That Is The (Expat) Question

    11 Sep 2014 | 12:54 am
    “We need to sell the house.”   The children looked at me in disbelief. Did they hear it right? “I don’t want to”, said the little one. Selling the house?! Our house? No way. I have to tell you: it’s not any house. We built it 10 years ago. Our two oldest children saw the block […] The post To Have Or To Be – That Is The (Expat) Question appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Expat: Can’t Keep Up? One Way To Take Care Of Yourself

    25 Aug 2014 | 7:41 am
    Expats often don’t take care of themselves. It’s a shame because we need it most due to the emotional turmoil we’re going through when relocating abroad. A few weeks ago I talked about the 3 myths that make us gamble with our life. No doubt you recognized some of the 9 excuses we all tell ourselves […] The post Expat: Can’t Keep Up? One Way To Take Care Of Yourself appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • What Trailing Spouses Can Learn From Mahatma Gandhi, Viktor Frankl and Tasmania

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:48 am
      “Trapped. Caught. Stuck”  This is what so many trailing spouses feel after some time living abroad… The situation is painful, I agree.   But bear with me. Let me help you view this condition with new eyes and spark some reasons for hope.   Why you feel trapped…   When you made the decision […] The post What Trailing Spouses Can Learn From Mahatma Gandhi, Viktor Frankl and Tasmania appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
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  • The Top 10 Expat Destinations For Health And Wealth

    24 Oct 2014 | 4:53 am
    Living and working in another country is something that many of us consider for a variety of reasons, but how many of us actually take the plunge? Figures show that around 7% of Britons currently live abroad, with the majority staying put for more than four years. But are some relocation destinations better than others? According to the seventh annual NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index, carried out by the Centre for Future Studies, the answer is ‘yes’. The study, which collates the opinions and attitudes of 1,800 British expats living and working abroad,…
  • Fundraising Goal Surpassed For Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:40 am
    Almost everyone has been touched by breast cancer in some way, whether personally fighting or helping a friend, family member or colleague through treatment and survivorship. This is why  staff at Cadogan Tate’s New York Office decided to make a difference by fundraising for their local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. On Sunday October 19th, 15 team members from Cadogan Tate Fine Art New York headed to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to participate. With a goal of raising $1,000, Cadogan Tate is delighted to announce that the team surpassed their fundraising…
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

    16 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    On Sunday October 19th 15 team members from Cadogan Tate Fine Art New York will take to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to raise funds for American Cancer Society, as part of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The team is aiming to raise $1,000 for their 5 mile walk, as well as being joined by over 5,000 other participants come rain or shine in a bid to raise awareness and vital funds for the very worthy cause. This year's event has the theme of 'I'm creating a world with more birthdays', a sentiment that especially touched Cadogan Tate Fine Art New York's HR Manager, Andrea Mosley,…
  • Montreal - The giant magnet for culture-loving expats moving to Canada

    13 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Despite being the second largest country in the world, British expats moving to Canada have recently said they feel happier there than anywhere else in the world (read the full article about it here). Montreal is one of the most cosmopolitan and culturally welcoming cities in Canada and is home to many happy expats - it isn't hard to see why. The majority of Montreal is located on an island within the St. Lawrence Seaway in the Province of Quebec, just 40 minutes away from the nearest US border and about 6 hours drive from New York. As well as being just 2 hours away from Ottawa, the capital…
  • Outsider Art Fair 2014

    13 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Taking place on 23 - 26 October at Hotel Le A in Paris, the Outsider Art Fair is the pre-eminent exhibition celebrating self taught artists from around the world. This highly recommended art fair is one of the most intriguing in the Paris calendar as it takes a closer look at the artists that have not come up through the ranks of art school or have had professional training, instead their raw talent is on show in the pieces that have been created. Cadogan Tate is proud to have been named as the official Customs Broker and Shipper for the event, ensuring that all pieces of art, along with many…
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    Los Gringos Locos

  • Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Week #4

    Tina Ernspiker
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Los Gringos Locos Los Gringos Locos - Living Abroad in Latin America Weekly Life Lessons with a Mexico Mom – As a wife of one and a mom of four, it seems like I am always learning and discovering! I know I am not alone. Let’s just admit it: The world is Continue reading → Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Week #4 Los Gringos Locos.
  • Social Media Saturdays #3

    Tina Ernspiker
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Los Gringos Locos Los Gringos Locos - Living Abroad in Latin America Welcome to Social Media Saturdays, the one and only linkup sponsored by the International Bloggers Association, where bloggers grow together. Have you joined yet? If not, go there now!   We’re all about making new friends and finding each other Continue reading → Social Media Saturdays #3 Los Gringos Locos.
  • Wordless Wednesday #17

    Tina Ernspiker
    21 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Los Gringos Locos Los Gringos Locos - Living Abroad in Latin America My Wednesday’s are not going to be completely wordless. Maybe I should rename these weekly photography posts of mine. What do you think? Give me some suggestions. Make them short and catchy :-) Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone! Signing off, Tina Wordless Wednesday #17 Los Gringos Locos.
  • Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup #5

    Tina Ernspiker
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Los Gringos Locos Los Gringos Locos - Living Abroad in Latin America Welcome to our fifth week of Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup! Join us in the fun and help us spread the word! Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup will be open by 6 am every Continue reading → Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup #5 Los Gringos Locos.
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    Ogles & Observations

  • Images of Ta Prohm – the Tomb Raider Temple in Siem Reap

    Jan Blanton
    6 Oct 2014 | 5:15 pm
    Ta Prohm is a one of the three temples on the Grand Tour in Siem Reap.  Like many of other temples, it was built in the 12th or 13th century.  The main difference with Ta Prohm is that it has been left – intentionally – in its more natural state like when it was first discovered. That means it is still covered in the aggressive Cambodian jungle banyan trees….and is an incredible example of the power of nature over man’s work.   This temple was built to honor the king’s mother has every inch of it covered with intricate details – are carvings,…
  • Images of Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap Cambodia

    Jan Blanton
    5 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am
    Angkor Wat is the largest religious temple in the world and it was built in the first half of the 12th century – it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It was rediscovered in the 17th century by a European and has since been the source of much intrigue, research and reconstruction. It’s said that the locals there still used Angkor Wat as a temple, while nearby temples laid in ruin.  Local lore also thought that the temple had been built overnight and/or by giants.  More is known now about the kings and empires that built the temples – imagine Warren…
  • Kaiping Diaolou – Eccentric watchtowers from bandit days

    Jan Blanton
    23 Sep 2014 | 11:13 pm
    In the early 1900s, there was a large group of Chinese nationals who ventured out and lived overseas, making fortunes, collecting objets d’art, and soaking up culture in in lands far away. Many of them, at least those with money, set up businesses, trade routes and other establishments in the Western world. Then, years later, some returned to China, with their newly acquired fortunes….but perhaps more importantly, brimming with a new taste for interesting architecture. Many of these “overseas Chinese” (as they were named by their hometown friends), congregated here…
  • Mid Autumn Lantern Festival in Guangzhou

    Jan Blanton
    9 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    It’s Mid Autumn Festival season here in China and we’ve all had a great time staring at the big beautiful full moon (it actually appeared in a partially cloudy sky!). This year I had the itch to “go local” and find out what Guangzhouians do for the festival that involves an archer and the lunar diety, Chang ‘e.  Here’s what Wikipedia says about Chang ‘e. Before we went local, I asked my nanny what they do in her hometown.  She painted a picture for me of children running through darkened streets that were lit only by their lanterns on a foot-long…
  • Hong Kong’s Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

    Jan Blanton
    4 Sep 2014 | 9:06 am
    As I waited for the car’s temperature gauge to sink below 102 today (it never did), I tried to transport myself back to our trip to see Hong Kong’s Tian Tan Budda Statue and the Po Lin Monastery.  It’s (obviously) AKA THE BIG BUDDHA.  When it’s so hot outside, it’s always fun to think of times when you were cold. Like frigid. Like being so cold you were tying to think of a time way back when it was 102 degrees outside. Wait. I guess you know where I’m headed with that one… We visited the notorious statue (well, notorious since 1993) in December…
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