• Most Topular Stories

  • Most Unusual Wedding Venues in the World

    1 Jul 2015 | 11:09 pm
      During this magical wedding month of June, various matrimonial ceremonies happen in different places – romantic getaways, high end, beach and tropical vacations, regal themes, fairytale weddings and, of course, the traditional ones.  But then, some couples opt to take their wedding ceremony to another level – probably to add more excitement, or to(...)
  • More Pix by Erika

    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass
    6 Jul 2015 | 1:27 pm
    I totally stole these pictures from my friend's Tumblr account. She's capturing our summer much better than I am!
  • A Gringo’s Intro to Reggaeton Playlist

    Expat Chronicles
    20 Jun 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Expat Chronicles During the year and a half I spent in the US, I made a critical mistake in trying to turn a friend on to reggaeton. It wasn’t a planned strategy, we were just drinking and talking smack and I saved some YouTube links on his computer. My mistake was I gave him the songs I was listening to at the time. A better strategy, obviously, would have been to put some thought into it. To treat his introduction with kid gloves. So the playlist below includes reggaeton songs to introduce gringos to the genre. I have segregated the lists between boys and girls. For the gents, I…
  • The Cleaning and Perfuming of the Masjid Al Haram in Mecca

    25 Jun 2015 | 7:55 am
    Saudi Arabia Continue reading →
  • Art journalling

    Ruth's Place
    3 Jul 2015 | 11:29 pm
    I’ve been really stalled with playing in my art journal because I am intimidated by the huge expanse of white on a double page spread. Last night it occurred to me that I could do a single page. There was no rule that said I had to fill both pages. (Yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes…). So while chatting with my brother via facebook I got out my pencil and set to work. I was inspired by an image I pinned from Totally Tracy. This is how my page turned out. Yes, I’m aware that it’s highly derivative, but I’m still finding my feet art-wise after…
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  • Most Unusual Wedding Venues in the World

    1 Jul 2015 | 11:09 pm
      During this magical wedding month of June, various matrimonial ceremonies happen in different places – romantic getaways, high end, beach and tropical vacations, regal themes, fairytale weddings and, of course, the traditional ones.  But then, some couples opt to take their wedding ceremony to another level – probably to add more excitement, or to(...)
  • Must-taste Traditional Food Around The World

    29 Jun 2015 | 11:11 pm
      A country’s cultural uniqueness always includes the food that the locals consume every day. The way to prepare these foods may range from simple to sophisticated methods yet the taste is a reflection of the country’s sacred traditions. Here are some must-taste traditional foods for expats to try around the world.   India’s Masala(...)
  • Top Wedding Spots in the World

    25 Jun 2015 | 12:42 am
      Weddings are the most exciting and at the same time romantic event that gets everyone looking forward to it. Many expat brides and grooms spare no expense in making sure that they get to have the perfect wedding. In planning the perfect wedding, the first thing you will need to consider is the place(...)
  • How to Dress Like a Local in Famous Tourist Destinations

    22 Jun 2015 | 11:21 pm
      Whenever abroad, you would always want to blend in and not stand out in famous destinations where everyone seems to be seeing strangers of exotic looks and attires. However, it is a given challenge that you may not have the slightest inch of an idea of what to wear where and when. With the(...)
  • Dances to Learn When Travelling Around the World

    17 Jun 2015 | 11:13 pm
      Dancing is always the most sociable way of welcoming, celebrating, praising, worshipping, and even mourning. There are many reasons and ways people from different places dance and the manner of which they move to a tune is very important. That is why when you are a foreigner in a foreign land; it is crucial(...)
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    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass

  • More Pix by Erika

    6 Jul 2015 | 1:27 pm
    I totally stole these pictures from my friend's Tumblr account. She's capturing our summer much better than I am!
  • Happy 4th!

    4 Jul 2015 | 8:38 pm
    Friends invited us to their family July 4th celebration tonight. It was 20 mins outside of Columbus but felt like we were really in the countryside. We didn't know anyone and I was designated driver and the England:Germany game was happening at the same time so I wasn't really sold but when we got there it was fab! They had recorded the England game for us (we won!), the food was amazing, people were really friendly and they made a big fuss of us, even inviting us to light the first firework to celebrate our citizenship. It was a really great night and I'm hoping they meant it when they said…
  • Jack's 9th Birthday

    3 Jul 2015 | 3:14 pm
    How did he get to be NINE? Those first couple of years were documented and every minute savored and then we did a crazy fast-forward seven years to today. At nine he's a boy to be proud of. He has great manners and an empathetic heart (ok yes, he's evil to his younger brother sometimes) and a great sense of humour. He loves WWE and Minecraft and his friends and sports.  His sensitivity sometimes surprises me because he's so rambunctious. At the first day of camp it was Jack, and not Danny, that was nervous and timid. He's also a complete drama queen when it comes to injury, especially if…
  • Four Boys: Days 3 & 4

    2 Jul 2015 | 9:03 pm
    Finally it stopped bloody raining and we got a day outdoors! I took them to Slate Run Historical Farm and it was, well, all about poo. Every damn animal we looked at was pooing, and because of the rain the whole place just stank damp & pooey. They used the old fashioned privy too - guess what that smelled like? And the boys loved the meat curing shed with smelly meat. So then, poo and smells = heaven for boys. Plus hammocks and an old fashioned water pump. The water pump Nazi told them off for pumping too loudly and pumping too much. It's in the kid's section lady - everything kids…
  • Four Boys: Day 2

    1 Jul 2015 | 6:15 am
    Wouldn't you know it, day 2 it rained 7 1/2 hours out of the 8 that I had the boys. I took them to work again and they ran around for half an hour before the heavens opened. This time I took them to the research farm and I made them chase me on a golf cart (exercise!) then I let them fool around on the golf cart too. They loved playing on the golf cart. Years ago I did the same thing for my nieces and nephew and they still remember it to this day.Trying to do cartwheels. Not very successful. Ha!Speed demonsAt lunch time we had a big party for my boss who is retiring so the boys got to eat a…
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    Expat Chronicles

  • A Gringo’s Intro to Reggaeton Playlist

    20 Jun 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Expat Chronicles During the year and a half I spent in the US, I made a critical mistake in trying to turn a friend on to reggaeton. It wasn’t a planned strategy, we were just drinking and talking smack and I saved some YouTube links on his computer. My mistake was I gave him the songs I was listening to at the time. A better strategy, obviously, would have been to put some thought into it. To treat his introduction with kid gloves. So the playlist below includes reggaeton songs to introduce gringos to the genre. I have segregated the lists between boys and girls. For the gents, I…
  • The Man Behind the Mick

    6 Jun 2015 | 4:12 pm
    Expat Chronicles Richard McColl published ‘The Man Behind the Mick’ on MarxRand about his interview with Christopher Kavanagh, which he talked about on his Colombia Calling podcast. Richard gives interesting insights as a more removed observer — as opposed to a friend — than me. If you’re a fan of the book or a fan of The Mick, check out his article here: www.marxrand.com/archives/363 There is a significant revelation in the article about Christopher which I did not know. But you’ll have to visit to see that. Here are some excerpts: I am sharing a…
  • Be a Mindful Expat

    2 May 2015 | 3:19 pm
    Expat Chronicles This article is inspired by the following Amazon review left on Lima Travel Guide: Almost useless. Only superficial information, vague at best. Not enough information about quirks of public transport which ended up costing us more money. Seems to only highlight tourist traps. Keeps suggesting the reader ask their hotel for information. We rent furnished apartments and never stay at hotels. I don’t know why you sell a Kindle version. I have an 8.9″ Kindle. The maps are too small to read and can’t be enlarged. I don’t have access to a printer so info on…
  • Who Spammed Santa Catalina?

    1 Mar 2015 | 8:27 am
    Expat Chronicles I found the strangest thing while researching the Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa. Santa Catalina is a 16th century convent that housed nuns for over 400 years. The walled complex is a city inside a city — a maze of colored hallways, living quarters, and courtyards featuring beautiful gardens and religious paintings. Santa Catalina received over 170,000 visitors in 2014, making it the fifth most visited tourist destination in Peru. I visited Santa Catalina in 2008 and published a blog post and FB photo album. In contemplating a return visit, some…
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts are not Paleo

    9 Feb 2015 | 3:33 pm
    Expat Chronicles Arequipa food punches above its weight. This small city of one million has produced a cuisine that beats the entire culinary output of Colombia (population 48 million). However, some gringos may need a tutorial before digging in. A certain quirk about Arequipeños must be understood. A los arequipeños les gusta chupar los huesos. A good Arequipeño sucks the bones. Picking apart the animal is part of the fun. If the bones were removed from a dish served to an Arequipeño, he would feel cheated. In Arequipa, you are not going to get a simple filet to easily cut up with your…
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    Ruth's Place

  • Art journalling

    3 Jul 2015 | 11:29 pm
    I’ve been really stalled with playing in my art journal because I am intimidated by the huge expanse of white on a double page spread. Last night it occurred to me that I could do a single page. There was no rule that said I had to fill both pages. (Yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes…). So while chatting with my brother via facebook I got out my pencil and set to work. I was inspired by an image I pinned from Totally Tracy. This is how my page turned out. Yes, I’m aware that it’s highly derivative, but I’m still finding my feet art-wise after…
  • A scrapbook page

    27 Jun 2015 | 8:45 pm
    It’s been a long time since I did any scrapbooking, but I couldn’t pass up the sketch on Let’s Get Sketchy this week. Here’s the inspiration sketch. Here’s my take on it. This is an old photo, I’m trying to scrapbook myself more and shift some of the back log of photos. At the  beginning of 2006 we packed up our belongings and moved to South Africa for 6 years. We had a stop-over in Singapore along the way and this picture was taken in the orchid garden. I used a stencil to draw the guidelines for the title and journalling and then hand lettered them. I…
  • Lists

    25 Jun 2015 | 3:19 pm
    In a little while we are due to take our mid-year leave. For the past few years we have headed to Australia. This year things are a little more complicated due to Gorgeous Man having commitments for work here in Papua New Guinea and then in Fiji and the Solomon Islands that make it difficult to take the full leave period in Australia. So after much looking at the logistics and research on Gorgeous Man’s part (he’s a great holiday planner) we decided that Gorgeous Girl and I would accompany him on the Fiji leg of his work trip and we’d all go to Fiji a few days early before…
  • Hexagon update

    23 Jun 2015 | 3:52 pm
    The hexagon quilt has been sadly neglected this year. A few days ago I pulled it out and inspired by Faeries and Fibres decided to try a new (to me) way of adding the hexagons. You see I’ve been adding each hexagon individually and it’s been very slow. However, sewing a strip of hexagons and then adding that strip has significantly speeded up the process. I now have a square top. This is going to be a queen-sized top, so there’s a long way to go. But I’m pleased with how it is coming together. It’s a riot of colour. Gorgeous Man asked if I would be doing another…
  • A card

    20 Jun 2015 | 10:12 pm
    Drive-by post today to share a card I made. Quick and simple, but I think effective.
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    Slow Travel in Europe and Beyond | CheeseWeb

  • Exploring France’s ‘Little Ireland’ in Normandy

    2 Jul 2015 | 9:15 pm
    Flipping through the tourism documentation for Normandy, my eyes paused on a photo of dramatic coastal cliffs and rolling green pastures, captioned ‘Little Ireland.’ We had loved our driving tour of Ireland a few years ago, and an Irish-like landscape in France sounded too good to be true. Besides the lure of beautiful vistas and tiny winding roads, the area had something to tempt each of us: a number of WWII sites for Andrew and the promise of seafood and salty air for me. Although it was out of our way, we decided to alter our plans (the first of many such changes on our motorhome…
  • Puy de Dome – Climbing a Volcano in Auvergne, France

    30 Jun 2015 | 8:51 am
    In the heart of France lies Puy de Dome, an inactive volcano. It is actually one of a chain of volcanos making up Auvergne’s Regional Natural Park of Volcanos. Surprised there are volcanos in France? I was too. The region of Auvergne is a hidden gem in France. Located in central, southern France, it is entirely land locked. I think of it as a ‘fly-over’ region, because people pass through on their way somewhere else. However, for those who linger, Auvergne reveals a rich history, geography, and beautiful landscapes. An important part of this landscape is the volcanos. Thousands of years…
  • Bike Sharing in Belgium

    25 Jun 2015 | 10:19 pm
    Today, guest contributor, Adrian, discusses bike sharing schemes around Belgium so you can explore the country by bike without the need for your own two wheels. Last time, I gave you a step-by-step guide on how to take your own bicycle on the train, in Belgium. For some, this option is too expensive or too much hassle. But there’s no need to give up discovering this country by bike, as there are still a few interesting alternatives. Today I’m talking about bike sharing systems, which allow you to easily rent a bike and give you enough flexibility to enjoy the ride. Of course, it is always…
  • The Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères, Ingrannes, France

    22 Jun 2015 | 10:35 pm
    “An Arboretum?” Andrew asked. “That should be interesting.” His voice dripped sarcasm. “What? You don’t like trees?” I shot back. “Trees are fine but I can see plenty of them all around us.” It was true. We had been spending a lot of time in the forest during the past few weeks and we were driving through the Forest of Orléans to reach our destination. “Well, I’m looking forward to it,” I said. In fact, what I was really looking forward to was not having to get on a bike or paddle a canoe. Our visit to France’s Centre region had been our most physically challenging.
  • Balance, Choices, and Sustainability

    18 Jun 2015 | 9:40 pm
    We’ve been on the road, on our European Motorhome Adventure, for a month and a half now. We’ve travelled through 24 departments in France and spoken to dozens of fascinating people – chefs, farmers, hoteliers, naturalists, wine-makers, artisans, tour-guides, and more. No matter where the conversation begins, we always arrive back at the same themes: Balance, Choices, and Sustainability. Balance Way back in December, I decided I would choose a theme for 2015. It was something a number of productivity bloggers were recommending. Because 2014 had been my busiest year yet, career-wise, I…
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  • weekend #27 – lupins

    2 Jul 2015 | 10:44 pm
      ‘home made’ lupins for   Paint Party Friday       quick watercolor splashes on my sketchbook and together they look like lupins!   Sorry, no, no, joking…here you see REAL lupins       look at this beauty     What a structure, what a color, just amazing!   Simple but soooo beautiful……..     Have a relaxing weekend!     ps.   I can NOT comment on your blog if you don’t have   name/URL option to leave a comment….    
  • weekend #26 – green June shots

    25 Jun 2015 | 11:54 pm
      but first my entry for   Paint Party Friday       bunch of Dianthus Caryophyllus     In Helsinki it’s green, really green!       Have a relaxing weekend!
  • weekend #25 – Happy Midsummer!

    18 Jun 2015 | 11:00 pm
      Leppoisaa juhannsta kaikille!   Happy Midsummer!         I watched a video on YouTube trying to learn how to paint a cherry,   not perfect but it was good practise!   made with acrylics     Paint Party Friday      
  • weekend #24 – Kaarina Kaikkonen’s art

    12 Jun 2015 | 12:23 am
      but first my entry for   Paint Party Friday   abstract, no name, acrylics       and now Kaarina Kaikkonen´s installation “A Waltz to Life”   in The Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland   ‘In honor of the museum´s 50th anniversary artist Kaarina Kaikkonen has designed an installation of 2000 used shirts, donated mostly by individual museum visitors.’       more about Kaarina and her art here     Have a relaxing weekend!    
  • weekend #23 – black and white

    5 Jun 2015 | 4:53 am
      my entry for   Paint Party Friday   no name, acrylic         two details         I had an eye control today. There’s still a tiny, tiny ‘drop’. Hopefully it goes away and   my sight will get totally sharp with time. No glasses needed but good light yes.   Next control is in August.   Some time ago I sketched this very quickly to remember what a saw – so many bubbles around me…       Have a relaxing weekend!    
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    Australian Daisy

  • 5 facts about Australia you need to know

    3 Jul 2015 | 7:04 pm
    Australia is the largest country in the Australian continent with its Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane as the chief cities of this country. Among them, Sydney is the largest and Canberra is the capital. Australia is bounded by water like an island but is very large in size. With its vast beautiful landscape and city life, there are 5 things that you need to know about this country. Education for International Students Australian Cuisine Lifespan Travel Wildlife Education for International Students Studying abroad as part of your university has a lot of plus points…
  • A guide to Australia’s transportation

    3 Jun 2015 | 6:58 pm
    There are 3 ways to reach Australia first is by air. Nobody is allowed here without a visa. Those who live in New Zealand can enter into Australia simply though with visas issued upon entrance. Most international flights land in Sydney. Secondly, you can come here by land. Get on the bus from London to Singapore with Ozbus and then fly while the bus is shipped over.  Know that if you then intend to drive in Australia the distances can be anything from 10 to 50 hours varying on which cities you want to travel between. Another way is obviously by sea. There are many cruises from Australia with…
  • Best city to live in Australia

    3 May 2015 | 6:53 pm
    Melbourne, which is Australia’s second largest city, is the best city to live in Australia. Melbourne has an amazing history and we can know about them from the sites like the Athenaeum Theatre which is one of the first public organizations and had been the main place of the Melbourne Opera. Conservatory was built on the year 1930. It is comprised of five distinct floral displays. It is thought to be a dynamic part of Melbourne’s promise for horticulture. Flinders Street railway station was the first railway station and the most crowded station in the late 1920s. The La Trobe’s…
  • Tips for studying in Australia

    3 Apr 2015 | 6:36 pm
    Nowadays, students prefer going abroad for higher studies. They explore the several options they have: United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. With a beautiful scenery and peaceful culture, Australia is a standard place hence it is high on the list for international students. The government spends more than $200,000,000 annually in international scholarships. Here are few tips for studying in Australia: Do research online Submit application to University Open a bank account Consider doing part-time job Do research online Firstly, websites will help you a lot like…
  • How to find a great property in Australia

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Do bear in mind the climate factor when choosing the place as some areas are very hot during May, June and July. Some places rain a lot. Australia had to go through from a ‘correction’ around four years ago, but improved to post annual house price rises at a modest rate for the past three years. Property price rises are decreasing but there is less buyer interest in the market, so for those who are thinking of buying, are in luck. Statistics suggest that the rate of economic tightening in Australia is less than in many other industrialized countries, so the recession may be less dangerous…
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  • Introducing the latest country that PAYS you to BORROW money

    Simon Black
    6 Jul 2015 | 3:50 am
    July 6, 2015 Bangkok, Thailand While all eyes were on Greece this weekend, one of the largest banks in Lithuania quietly posted an awkward announcement to its customers. Interest rates are now negative. So negative, in fact, that the bank actually has to pay interest to some of its borrowers. And the bank was totally unprepared for this. Apparently some meaningful percentage of the bank’s loans are on variable interest. This means that when prevailing interest rates go up or down, the interest rate on loan goes up or down. SEB never thought in a million years that interest rates would…
  • The American Dream is still alive… for waiters and bartenders

    Simon Black
    2 Jul 2015 | 11:09 am
    July 2, 2015 Singapore When I was a kid, my friends and I used to cruise around on our Huffy bikes for hours at a time. Often we’d end up on the other side of town in unfamiliar places. No helmets. No knee pads. No reflector vests. No parents. Had I grown up in today’s nanny state, there’s no doubt I would presently be in foster care or the custody of some government ‘Child Protective Services’ agency, and my parents would be in jail for neglect. It’s amazing how many rules and laws exist governing what you can and cannot do with children, as if they’re made of glass and need to…
  • JP Morgan private banker: “We can’t make money anymore…”

    Simon Black
    1 Jul 2015 | 6:51 pm
    July 1, 2015 Singapore Yesterday over coffee, a friend of mine leaked the news that JP Morgan’s private banking division here in Singapore is going to start charging negative interest rates. I almost fell out of my chair. He’s a successful hedge fund manager and one of their best customers. So when he received the notice, he rang up his private banker and demanded to know why. Between ridiculously low interest rates (banks are closing loans here for 0.9% or lower) and the increasing costs of compliance, “we can’t make money anymore…” was the response. It certainly paints a…
  • “Boots on the ground” report from Greece

    Simon Black
    30 Jun 2015 | 7:58 pm
    June 30, 2015 Piraeus, Greece [Editor’s note: This letter was written by a Greek-American friend of Simon’s who is currently living near Athens.] Since my arrival into the country late May, the topic of most discussions I overhear everywhere are naturally about the debt negotiations. I’d call opinions in support or against the Tsipras governments’ activities pretty sharply divided. Tsipras supporters are generally fed-up with 5yrs of blood-letting “from the Germans”. Critics, on the other hand, see the euro as some sort of abstract membership in a club that must be retained at all…
  • Project “Make Everyone Germany” has failed.

    Simon Black
    29 Jun 2015 | 2:39 am
    June 29, 2015 Singapore It is somewhat amusing that the word ‘crisis’ originates from Ancient Greece. It’s actually a medical term; Hippocrates wrote extensively about ‘crisis’ being the key turning point in disease progression– the time at which it either overcomes the patient, or it subsides. And though the word ‘crisis’ is thrown about routinely these days, it’s safe to say that Greece is now truly in crisis in the purest sense of the definition. Same with the euro, for that matter. A century from now when future historians write about…
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    Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog

  • How To Be A Responsible Traveller

    29 Jun 2015 | 11:07 am
    The original can be found here: How To Be A Responsible Traveller. Please read the original. These tips from travel experts compiled from #AdvTravelChat will help you become a responsible traveller and contribute to sustainable tourism initiatives. Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • Unexpected Travel Highlights in Crete

    24 Jun 2015 | 5:55 am
    The original can be found here: Unexpected Travel Highlights in Crete. Please read the original. Travellers can expect incredible richness and diverse landscapes when they travel to Crete, but perhaps just as importantly, open people and delicious food! Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • Why Today is the Best Time to See a Saimaa Ringed Seal

    22 Jun 2015 | 10:55 am
    The original can be found here: Why Today is the Best Time to See a Saimaa Ringed Seal. Please read the original. Today is the best time to see a Saimaa Ringed Seal in Savonlinna, Finland because with only 300 remaining, they are critically endangered...and may not be around tomorrow! Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • How to Get Stranded on a Thistle Field in Crete and Have Fun in the Process

    3 Jun 2015 | 12:09 am
    The original can be found here: How to Get Stranded on a Thistle Field in Crete and Have Fun in the Process. Please read the original. If you are anything like me, Crete makes you think of beautiful Mediterranean coasts, Olive Oil and Ouzo. I had no idea just how rich and diverse Crete’s insular landscape is. Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • The Most Captiviating Wildlife Adventures in Yala, Sri Lanka

    28 May 2015 | 2:55 am
    The original can be found here: The Most Captiviating Wildlife Adventures in Yala, Sri Lanka. Please read the original. Everyone goes to Yala in Sri Lanka to see a leopard. But to make the most of your visit, focus on the wildlife that you do see. I guarantee there will be some happy surprises! Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
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    Expat Ukraine Forum

  • Re: Buy $ Dollars

    6 Jul 2015 | 4:26 am
    ...dollars @ kiosks should be fairly easy...though not likely to find a single buyer to exchange so much in one go...
  • Re: Buy $ Dollars

    6 Jul 2015 | 1:56 am
    Yeah I know, but leaving the country soon, so I'm trying to get rid of all the UAH I have at once.So anyone?
  • Re: Buy $ Dollars

    6 Jul 2015 | 1:33 am
    Just checking - but, you have 200,000+ UAH hanging about? Isnt that a fire risk?
  • Re: Buy Canadian Dollars

    6 Jul 2015 | 1:14 am
    What about US Dollars? Anyone out there selling some (around 10k)?
  • Re: Greek Crisis in a nutshell

    5 Jul 2015 | 12:19 pm
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginAt last all this dithering  - will soon be over - maybe ? ?  Here's a brilliant video - which focuses on Greece's Argie bargy with the Germans.[url=http://www.yo...
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    [MM] Muscat Mutterings

  • Happy Canada day!

    30 Jun 2015 | 11:30 pm
    Just a quick one to wish all the Canadians a happy Canada day because its July 1st!I'm celebrating Canada Day this year by flying there for a summer vacation!I hope you all have a great day!le fin.
  • How long have you been in Oman? The answers...

    23 Jun 2015 | 3:30 am
    Well, it seems that a lot of you expats have lived in Oman for a really long time. It seems that people tend to stay here for at least 3 years... and would you look at the number that have lived here for more than 20 years? 20% of you!Well that's the new thing I learned today!le fin.
  • Want to buy a Ford Focus for RO 2750?

    22 Jun 2015 | 7:30 am
    Someone emailed the blog with the following pictures, it seems that they're leaving Oman in a week and want to sell their car. They tell me that the car is a 2011 model, they were the second owner and that the car has 70,000km and has a full service history from Ford.They also advise that the car has no mechanical or electronic faults and hasn't been in any accidents. The battery, tired, oil and filters were all changed recently (receipts available) and with full Oman & UAE insurance available until March 2016.The price is RO 2750 if you're interested, you can call 9407 1843.le fin.
  • lunch options during Ramadan

    20 Jun 2015 | 11:30 pm
    Last year I made a list of places that were open for lunch (mostly take out) and I've started the list again this year, if you know any places that are open for lunch, please comment! Please note, all places are for TAKE OUT (or delivery) only. Obviously, supermarkets have food for take away as well, with extensive options available from most of them (hot and cold food).Here's the list:1. The Grand Hyatt - Tuscany - 12:30 - 3:30pm (dine in)2. The InterContinental - Musandam Cafe & Majlis al Shams - All day (dine in)3. The Chedi - The Restaurant - 12pm - 3pm (dine in)4. Mackenzies - MQ -…
  • Happy Ramadan!

    17 Jun 2015 | 9:00 pm
    By now everyone will know that we're in the Ramadan month now - I hope you have a good month, wherever you are!le fin.
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    Expat Explorer

  • Get out and explore - How to get the most out of your experience

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:50 am
    So you’ve moved abroad – congratulations! Perhaps you’ve now established a pattern in your new home or immersed yourself in a new routine in your new surroundings, which is great news. However, feeling a little more settled sometimes means you might start to feel the initial excitement and curiosity wearing off.  While this is good – as it means you’re feeling more at home in your new country – there’s an argument which says there’s always something new to see or experience, wherever you are and however long you’ve been there for. Here are some top tips for breaking out…
  • Summer Solstice – Celebrations around the world

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:48 am
    All around the world, you’ll find different countries are celebrating the Summer Solstice in a number of weird and wonderful ways. With the 21st of June just around the corner, the long night of celebrations is a fantastic way to get to know your new hosts’ culture. Here are just a few ideas of how to celebrate this year’s solstice where you are. If you’re an expat from the UK living in Germany and you’re yearning for a little taste of home – why not celebrate Summer Solstice at the Externsteine Rock in Horn-Bad Meinberg, commonly known as the German sibling of Stonehenge.In…
  • Six Celebrations of Father’s Day

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:47 am
    Father’s Day is a much-loved tradition around the world celebrating the father figure, and often involves the giving of cards and presents on a particular day.  However, certain countries have more specific customs and traditions that take place on Father’s Day.  Here’s six ways of celebrating Father’s Day wherever you are.The UKFather’s Day in the UK is coming up this Sunday 21stJune.  Occurring on the same day as Summer Solstice, some historians believe that Father’s Day in the UK originated from the Pagan worshipping of the Sun.  The event is traditionally…
  • 5 Things only an Expat in Germany Will Know

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:46 am
    If you’re moving anywhere new, it’s unlikely to be a walk in the park – and it can be easy to underestimate the colossal length of the organisational checklist that comes with relocating abroad. Sometimes you just can’t prepare for everything, and you’ll wish you’d known some of the things before you got there! So with a little help from some fellow expats, we’ve put together a quick guide to help your transition to Germany go without a hitch. Suss out the costs Something that may either seem obvious or not even cross your mind at all is the salary to cost of living ratio. Food…
  • Six ways to explore a new city

    24 Jun 2015 | 4:43 am
    Arriving in a new city is an exciting time – but with so much to do and see, where do you start? After all, you probably want your new city to feel like home, rather than somewhere you are visiting.  Here are 6 great ways you can explore to really get to know a city, and familiarise yourself with areas tourists often overlook.Trails left by othersDiscovering cities through street art and graffiti is becoming an increasingly popular as an alternative way to discover a city.  Some of the street art in many cities is really incredible, and can give insights into the multiplicity of…
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    Le Franco Phoney

  • How sport is done in the French Alps

    6 Jul 2015 | 12:08 am
    There’s no shortage of sporting challenges in the French Alps. There’s the standard snow-related sports in winter, and cycling and running in summer, but some other sports that aren’t quite so obvious. Let’s start with Le Grand Bornand, where families can enjoy air rifles! The description in English starts off well enough: Discover biathlon, shooting on 10 metres away target with air rifles. Then it gets weird. Funny activity for family. It allows you to improve your concentration and your way to handle stress. Right, so it’s a funny activity and a great way to…
  • “I’m just popping over to Italy”

    26 Jun 2015 | 4:27 am
    When I was growing up in Australia, I was impressed whenever someone said they were “going overseas”. Indeed, the only way to leave the country is to fly over seas (and usually oceans too). Other countries are a long way away. Years after moving to France, it’s still a novelty to me to be able to switch countries without getting on a plane. And I’m not the only one. When family visited from Australia last month, they were keen to visit Lake Como in Italy. We left the morning after they finished a quick European cruise. One of them remarked how in 24 hours, they had…
  • Unsafe road safety in France

    9 Jun 2015 | 1:47 pm
    Just in case it wasn’t obvious that there’s some roadwork going on, here’s some overkill. This cluster of road signs is right here in Saint Jean de Sixt. It starts with a roadworks sign, then a ‘circulation alternée‘ (changed traffic circulation) sign, followed by a sign to give way according to the traffic lights ahead, then a no overtaking sign, then a speed limit of 50 (which is the impossible speed limit on this windy back road anyway). And if all those signs don’t take your concentration away from the road long enough to cause an accident, that A4…
  • The best way to visit Versailles Palace

    16 May 2015 | 1:41 pm
    Summer is coming and that means tourists are already flocking  to the Chateau de Versailles on the outskirts of Paris. Getting there is easy once you’ve boarded the right train, but the place itself is so big that further transport is available once you’ve made it there. Here are my top tips for spending a day at Versailles. 1. Do your research before visiting Versailles Make sure you check the palace’s ticket website to see a full list of ticket options, as there are plenty of options. There are also maps and information on each of the options. Know what you want to see…
  • No, this really is a new French product

    20 Apr 2015 | 12:32 am
    Does anyone sound more attractive than a French person talking about something they love? Take food, for example. Dine with a group of French people and you can be entertained for an entire evening just by listening to those smooth accents discussing whether that tarte tartin was properly caramelised or whether the pastry was overcooked. The conversation really can last all night. In more private settings away from the dinner table, pillow talk in French is the stuff movies are made of. We love the French! We adore their language, we love their food, and we want to hear them whisper sweet…
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  • Making A Meal Of Ramadan

    Aisha Ashraf
    22 Jun 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Is it just me or does Ramadan seem to get more air-time and column inches with every passing year? The post Making A Meal Of Ramadan appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Doing Autism Differently

    Aisha Ashraf
    2 Apr 2015 | 11:41 am
    With a lump in my throat I described my beautiful, clever, mischievous daughter and discussed all the ways we could help make her future the antithesis of my past. The post Doing Autism Differently appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • An Apologist’s Apology

    Aisha Ashraf
    12 Mar 2015 | 8:54 am
    Instead of building intercultural bridges as I imagined, I was adding my bricks to the prisons so many are walled up in by their own communities... The post An Apologist’s Apology appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • The Coldest February Since Eighteen-Something

    Aisha Ashraf
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:57 am
    They said on the radio today this was the coldest February since eighteen-something. After a certain point cold is cold is cold. The post The Coldest February Since Eighteen-Something appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Accepting Disability – A Work In Progress

    Aisha Ashraf
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:11 am
    I don’t need to take on the responsibility for changing other people’s misconceptions. Learning to be honest and authentic - standing in my own truth – is more important right now. The post Accepting Disability – A Work In Progress appeared first on EXPATLOG.
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  • Replacement Card Scammers Target Expats

    Jim Atkins
    6 Jul 2015 | 12:29 am
    Expats leaving the UK to start a new life overseas are falling victim to fraudsters stealing their bank cards. Action Fraud, the UK’s online window for national fraud investigation units has found three out of four people moving home fail to redirect their mail, leaving them vulnerable to scams. Crooks are targetting apartments in blocks without CCTV to steal letters from banks and credit card companies. They then call the provider posing as the account holder and order new payment cards. Action Fraud says many banks fail to cancel cards when a replacement is ordered so the customer is not…
  • Philippines QROPS? Yes, Pensions Can Go To Paradise

    Lisa Smith
    5 Jul 2015 | 9:42 pm
    The cost of living and beautiful sun-kissed paradise islands of the Philippines are an irresistible pull for expats looking to take a breather from the rat race. Living in the Philippines is cheap by US and European standards. Although the nation is the world’s 12th largest by population and home to almost 100 million people, expats like to keep the charms of the country to themselves. What makes the hundreds of islands that make up the country so popular is money – specifically spending it. Learn more about QROPS Find out more information about the basic features, benefits and advantages…
  • What HMRC Knows About Expat Financial Secrets

    Lisa Smith
    5 Jul 2015 | 2:44 am
    A top secret HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) computer system is revealing hidden financial information about expats and their money. Thousands of expats live abroad but still keep property, bank accounts and sometimes claim benefits in the UK while failing to declare any earnings from their assets on tax returns. Now the long-arm of the tax man is aided by sophisticated technology that identifies and builds a financial profile of suspected tax avoiders. CONNECT is a software system that can piece together a full picture of expat finances from billions of fragments of information collected…
  • Grim Greeks Face Bleak Eurozone Future

    Jim Atkins
    5 Jul 2015 | 2:42 am
    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pledged pensions and salaries will be paid despite bank cash machines starting to run out of cash. Displaying a siege mentality, he made a defiant speech to the nation that was aimed more at Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund. He wants to renegotiate Greece’s debt repayments for the bail out of billions of euros and the country is heading to a referendum on whether to impose spending cuts demanded by the foreigners holding the country’s purse strings. Tsipras would likely want to save face by meeting with those…
  • 10 Tips To Stress Test Your Pension Savings

    Lisa Smith
    4 Jul 2015 | 3:06 am
    Pension freedoms are opening the door on a huge source of wealth for many over 55s with money locked away in retirement savings – but sometimes accessing this cash can mean losing valuable benefits. Financial firm Standard Life has put together a 10 point checklist that reveals the dangers of eagerly taking pension cash without considering the consequences. Here’s a run-down of their advice: Before making any plans, find out if your pension provider supports flexible access. Many small workplace pensions do not have the resources to manage flexible access Check if your pension has any…
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  • Two jailed for Bali expat murder

    Steph MacDonald
    6 Jul 2015 | 7:00 am
    Two men who fled Bali have received 15-year jail sentences for killing Australian businessman Robert Ellis after being convicted of premeditated murder. Martin Ngongo Bili and Adolf Malo Rangga were handed 15 years in prison for the role they played in the killing of the 60-yrar-old expat. However, the defence reacted angrily after the... Expats Blog -
  • Kuwait: Pakistani expat disguised as woman detained in Kuwait

    Louise Baldwin
    6 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    A Pakistani expat in Kuwait has been arrested after being found disguised as a woman near a mosque in the town on Jleeb Al Shuyukh. Authorities became suspicious about the man, who was dressed in black, had his face covered and was talking on the phone outside the Al Shuyukh Mosque in the town, which has a large population of expats from... Expats Blog -
  • US expat missing in Costa Rica

    Steph MacDonald
    24 Jun 2015 | 10:00 am
    Police in Costa Rica have launched an investigation into the disappearance of a Californian man who is thought to have gone missing in the Caribbean coast province of Limon. Sixty-four-year old Brian Lynn Hogue was last seen in the capital San Jose on 1 June before leaving the city to drive home to the farm where he lives in the slope town... Expats Blog -
  • Lloyds announces London Expat Service expansion for non-doms

    Louise Baldwin
    24 Jun 2015 | 10:00 am
    Lloyds Bank is to expand its London Expat Service to allow the increasing number of non-domiciles moving to the UK to access it. The London Expat Service launched last year in one of Lloyds’s offices in London, and is now available in various locations across the capital. The initiative aims to offer the bank’s day-to-day retail... Expats Blog -
  • British expat dies in Cadiz paragliding accident

    Charles Smith
    23 Jun 2015 | 10:00 am
    A British woman has been killed in a tragic paragliding accident in Spain’s southern Cadiz province. The 48-year-old expat, who lived in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, died when her canopy folded in midair shortly after taking off on Sunday. Sources said that the Brit, who has so far only been identified by her initials L.P.,... Expats Blog -
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    impressions of an expat

  • white nights and no place to go

    6 Jul 2015 | 5:23 am
    The nights are bright, and cold. The drapes flip around like the ocean, drifting in and out of the windows and door frames. Trees bend heavily in a strong wind, brushing against the balcony sometimes like an intruder scratching on the glass. The rooms are fresh and clean, but the walls are somehow closing in on us. We are at the threshold of full-on summer, and we will walk these rooms until school starts.Everyone is away, or about to be away on beaches and boats, waking up in unfamiliar beds. Summer holidays, a guaranteed trip to somewhere, if only to a shed in the woods surrounded by…
  • threading the needle (the birds)

    29 Jun 2015 | 6:30 am
    That familiar feeling washes over the morning  - of being pulled in opposite directions. At one end, the petty, twisted mechanisms we cross paths with in life, the foul, grotesque result of miserable people trying to make sure everyone they encounter feels the same as them. It is a form of narcissism, this selfish cloud. It is hard to outrun a cloud, sometimes. At the other end is a tiny creature, a growing ball of new smiles, hands outstretched, eyes that grow curious, an enduring stare that does not blink. This little person that was not here a few months ago, at the center of our…
  • toys

    22 Jun 2015 | 5:11 am
    We were walking on the street and there was a toy gun on the ground. I saw no children around, and in one action snatched it up. E looked at me."Isn't that someone's toy?" She asked."We'll bring it back when we are done with it." I explained.She shrugged her shoulders."I think they didn't really want it anyway." She said.The plastic gun with its bright yellow handle sat on the windowsill by my desk for a few weeks. I used to shoot a BB gun when I was a boy. My brother had one too. My father had guns in the house, for hunting. Sometimes the only reason there was meat on the table was…
  • the tiger in Spring

    15 Jun 2015 | 5:17 am
    N and E wished me luck before going to sleep. I made sure the pen had been filled with that bright blue ink from Florence. V was already snoring lightly with her hands curled to her chest, all cherub. There was ice in the freezer, in alphabet molds. I filled a short glass with everything left from A-J. A good splash of the Adega Veha and it is time to look down at the trees bending in the night wind until I am ready.And then all in one motion, I open the big black book. The notes in the grey journal are on the white table and the dog-eared page reveals itself, the scribbles I have read…
  • dusty pianos (far from home)

    8 Jun 2015 | 9:14 am
    Somehow I know that if I walk into the best restaurant in town, there will be a place at the bar for me. In between the thunder and the clouds I find the address and at the next seat is a woman with a fountain pen that has leaked all over her hands as she calculates the final grades for a class of tenth graders. The bartender is her friend and within minutes I am sipping a Dusty Piano, which is not on the menu. It has some barley whiskey and absinthe and many other ingredients. Sweet, sour, cool on my tongue I feel it wobble around my mouth as the sky grows dark.I eat salami and homemade…
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    Cartus Blog

  • Relocation Policy & Practices: The Raw Materials Sector

    Jennifer White
    2 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    How do specific industry sectors approach management of their global mobility programs and policies?Cartus Industry Profilespresent snapshots of the different ways in which individual industries approach key issues related to the handling of their relocation programs, based on data compiled for the Cartus 2014 Global Mobility Policy & Practices survey. An Inside View of the Raw Materials Industry Our profile of the Raw Materials industry provides a summary of responses from individuals in that industry and compares them with overall survey responses. In our Raw Materials industry video,…
  • Relocation to Greece: Current Challenges and Impacts

    Rob Abbott
    1 Jul 2015 | 6:37 am
    With the continuing economic challenges in Greece resulting from the current debt crisis as well as the Greek government’s closure of banks this week, the situation in the country remains uncertain. To minimize the impacts upon clients and assignees in the country, Cartus is following the situation in Greece closely. We are proactively managing all expense payments to assignees in Greece to ensure any impacts of the bank closures are minimized. Latest updates from our destination services providers in Greece indicate that currently the impact on home finding and area orientation is minimal…
  • Successful Cross-Border Relocation: Delivering Service Excellence

    Dee Ryan
    30 Jun 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Last year, I wrote a blog post about setting expectations for successful cross-border relocation. Following on from this, I thought I would take a look at service excellence best practices across cultures after the initial expectations have been set. Cross-Border Relocation: Service Best Practices Anyone involved in relocating assignees across borders should remember these important best practices: •  When interacting with assignees from other cultures, don’t assume that their perception of service excellence is the same as yours, or your own cultural norms of service. •  While the…
  • What’s New in the Canadian Housing Market

    Linda Lachapelle
    25 Jun 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Low interest rates and balanced market conditions across Canada have combined to provide a stable real estate market in recent years. Cartus’ Canadian Real Estate Market Overviewprepared by Andy Puthon, president of Coldwell Banker Canada, provides valuable information for companies relocating employees to and within Canada. Industry forecasts on Canadian real estate markets are generally positive for this year and are expected to further improve in 2016. “It is important to remember that, while real estate activity is forecast nationally, it is transacted locally,” said Puthon.
  • Sharing Relocation Best Practices in Asia

    Audrey Sim
    23 Jun 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Cartus is pleased to announce the dates of our 2015 Asia Roundtable series. We host three events annually in the APAC region to enable relocation managers and HR professionals to: •  Gain important insights from Asia’s corporate relocation leaders on managing mobility programs effectively •  Keep up to date with the latest relocation trends •  Listen to leading relocation experts, who will share their mobility challenges and best practices in lively panel discussions •  Network with industry leaders and peers to share solutions to relocation policies and programs Sharing…
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    Mingalapar - All About Myanmar ( Burma )

  • Wut Thin: Burmese volunteers

    28 Jun 2015 | 10:03 pm
    Burmese volunteers in Shwedagon pagoda, helping to sweep dust away and clean the sacred place.   There are many salient features in our Burmese community, especially in the rural areas. But in this article, I would like to bring forward one important feature in small town communities. It is Wut Thin (၀တ္သင္း), which is a volunteering or service group in a town. Actually, Wut Thin is not related with any government activities and its function is similar to the one of NGOs in recent days. However, they are very different in several aspects. Wut Thin is essentially a religious…
  • Novitiation Ceremony in Myanmar

    24 Jun 2015 | 4:51 am
    Children to become Buddhist novice monks gather for a novitiation ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on Full Moon Day of Tabaung, the last month of Myanmar calendar, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win) Novitiation ceremony is important and essential for all Burmese parents, and as the vast majority of Myanmar is Buddhists, it’s not surprising that the novitiation ceremony is a national characteristic. Actually, novitiation is the initiation of a boy entering into monkhood and Buddha’s order, or in other way, it is the ceremony of a boy’s becoming a son of Lord…
  • Myanmar sacred stone believed to foretell future

    15 Jun 2015 | 12:00 am
    What if you could know about your future with Myanmar sacred stone?   Most of people would be curious to know about his/her future if it’s possible to do so or if they have a chance they would be tempted to give it a try. Some people take it seriously to predict ‘What the future holds?’ Such desire to know has spurred human to come up with means of predicting or fortune telling. This is why astrology, palmistry and astronomy have been developed for thousand years around the world, including Myanmar. The predicting methods vary based upon techniques. Sometimes the prediction…
  • Tha Gyar Min, please appraise my good deeds!

    10 Jun 2015 | 10:12 pm
    Tha Gyar Min statue at a pagoda in Myanmar.   Tha Gyar Min: Guardian of the morality in Myanmar During my childhood life, my mother liked to bring up a story of Tha Gyar Min (သိၾကားမင္း) when I did something wrong. She told me that He will record every good and bad deeds that human commit. “Son, don’t you do bad things even when nobody’s around. In fact, you’re actually never alone; Tha Gyar Min’s always there to keep an eye on you”, said my mum with her finger pointing upwards.   Who is Tha Gyar Min and where is he from? Legend has it that…
  • Myanmar stone carving: The stone art of Mandalay

    3 Jun 2015 | 12:18 am
    Marble Buddha statues at a stone carving workshop in Mandalay Do you know why Myanmar stone carving is so popular and abundant around Mandalay?   For centuries, most of villagers from central Myanmar have carved a life out of stone. Why? The reason is simple. Many villages around Mandalay, especially in the north, are surrounded by a mountain range with a large quantity of marble. An abundant amount of marble, ‘Sa’kyin’ (စက်င္) in Burmese, is considered Myanmar’s pride as a natural resource and the villagers are proud of themselves as craftsmen. Most of the families…
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    Expatriate Connection

  • Expat in a country that speaks the same language as you – Blessing or curse?

    17 Jun 2015 | 6:04 am
    The netball game just finished. Olivia is in tears. Her team lost 10 to 0. Sandra, her mum, is fuming on the bench. ‘Why is the game so violent, the referee so biased, the girls from the other team so aggressive? The lack of sportive spirit is obvious. Some of those girls had knives in […] The post Expat in a country that speaks the same language as you – Blessing or curse? appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Expats – The News You Dread (Part II)

    30 May 2015 | 12:02 am
      Lisa just lost her Mum. It was totally unexpected. They lived 15000 km apart. Once she can cry no more, her numb brain emerges back into practical reality. Beyond the pain of loss, Lisa needs to think about the logistics:      Will she go alone to the funeral? The trip is expensive.      When and for […] The post Expats – The News You Dread (Part II) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Expats – The News You Dread (Part I)

    11 May 2015 | 12:52 am
      The news came by email. Like a punch in the gut. ‘Mum died last night.’ Lisa is stunned. She can’t detach her eyes from those four words. Her brain understands the meaning too well. Her senses can’t grasp its reality. Living 15000 km away, she has no chance to jump in the car and […] The post Expats – The News You Dread (Part I) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Jet Lag – 7 Ways For Your Traveling Partner To Avoid Becoming A Moody Sloth

    19 Apr 2015 | 6:48 am
    Sally is pulling her hair. The kitchen tap is leaking, Max is sick and Sarah has a performance at school this morning. Murphy’s law. As usual, Harry is travelling for work. Since they came to this new country, he’s been away half of the time. He wasn’t even around when she moved in with the […] The post Jet Lag – 7 Ways For Your Traveling Partner To Avoid Becoming A Moody Sloth appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Trailing Spouse: 12 Reasons You Weep And Laugh At The Same Time (And Why It Matters)

    26 Mar 2015 | 4:49 pm
    Moving abroad — leaving everything behind — feels like jumping into the void.  It’s both exhilarating and scary. You feel at the same time excited by the adventure and guilty for this opportunity some will never have. You find yourself filled with joy at the prospect of broadening your horizons and loaded with sadness when […] The post Trailing Spouse: 12 Reasons You Weep And Laugh At The Same Time (And Why It Matters) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
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  • Expat's guide to working in Canada

    18 Jun 2015 | 5:00 am
    Canada has long been a favourite destination for expats seeking employment on new shores and it looks like the country is losing none of its shine. Not only has the robust economy weathered the storm of the global recession but the number of available jobs has increased; the country offers a range of solid opportunities to professional, qualified expats with the right sort of skillset. The country has a long history of welcoming expats – the government recognises that bringing in skilled workers from abroad is key to the expansion of the economy. In the past, the country has experienced…
  • Moving To Singapore With Children

    10 Jun 2015 | 3:00 am
    Singapore has blossomed over the years, shedding its reputation as a slightly sterile gateway into Asia, to become a cosmopolitan city of legendary shopping, mouth-watering food, and a unique ability to offer a landscape of both cutting-edge modernity and traditional sensibilities. Here, where exotic temples sit alongside glittering skyscrapers, a huge expat community has chosen to set up home, regularly voting Singapore as the top city in Asia in terms of quality of life. Of course, relocating is a major decision for anyone, but for a great many expats who need to consider bringing a family…
  • City Guide: Milan

    4 Jun 2015 | 9:00 am
    It's no wonder that so many expats choose to move from London to Italy. This is a country of intense beauty, both of the man-made and the natural kind. Awe-inspiring historical monuments and beautiful artworks stand alongside romantic, scenic landscapes that can't help but capture your heart. And that's not to mention the universally adored cuisine – trust us, you haven't tried pizza and ice-cream until you've tried authentic Italian pizza and ice-cream, along with the seasonal salads, wines, cheeses and extensive menu of national dishes on offer. Introducing Milan As the second largest…
  • Future Expat Hubs - Where's Up And Coming For Expats?

    29 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    For anyone who keeps up with the popular expat hotspots in the world, a few names may sound familiar – names that can usually be counted on to make a cameo on the various annual quality of living surveys providing valuable insight from expats out there, living on the frontline. For anyone who keeps up with the popular expat hotspots in the world, a few names may sound familiar – names that can usually be counted on to make a cameo on the various annual quality of living surveys providing valuable insight from expats out there, living on the frontline. The golden sunshine of Australia and…
  • Why Move to Canada?

    22 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    You can always rely on Canada to come up trumps amongst expats when the annual quality of life surveys are published. According to Mercer's 2015 Survey, which assesses a city's quality of life to ensure employer compensation packages remain appropriate, Vancouver was sitting pretty at number five; Toronto scooped number 15; and Ottawa sneaked in at number 18 – thus ranking three of Canada's cities in the top twenty in the entire world. There are a whole host of excellent reasons why Canada remains one of the most popular places in the world for expats, but perhaps one of the stand-out…
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  • Bible Ministry Adventures in Mexico #5

    Tina Marie Ernspiker
    2 Jul 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS Participating in our Bible ministry in Mexico is always an adventure. First we meet at our local Kingdom Hall or a friend’s home. Then we make small groups and leave for the territory or our Bible studies. These photos are … Continued Bible Ministry Adventures in Mexico #5 LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup 39

    Tina Marie Ernspiker
    30 Jun 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS Welcome to our 39th week of Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup!  Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup will be open by 6 am every Tuesday morning. NEW: Come back Friday and vote for your favorite two … Continued Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup 39 LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • 5 Things I Learned About Homeschooling

    Tina Marie Ernspiker
    29 Jun 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS We have been homeschooling for two years. Despite the short time I have learned many things as a homeschooling mom of four. Some are good and some not so good. Either way I am glad to learn as it can … Continued 5 Things I Learned About Homeschooling LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Climbing Paricutin Volcano

    Tina Marie Ernspiker
    26 Jun 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS   Life Lessons with a Mexico Mom – I have been posting these lessons weekly but I am going to slow down a bit. Life Lessons is one of my favorite pieces but I have other things I need to … Continued Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Climbing Paricutin Volcano LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
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    My Heart in Two Places

  • Achieving balance in Florence

    25 Jun 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Friday, June 26, 2015 When I began this blog, I initially imagined that I would write about what I love in my two cities and share the magic of each one. I had been happily going back and forth between Florence and Paris for a year and a half before I claimed Paris as my second home almost three years ago. The decision to make Paris my home was precipitated by my divorce and my decision to move in with my beau. It wasn't until recently that I realized that my life was out of balance and I needed to do something to get it back into balance. Paris has always been my first love. It was the city…
  • Diving back into my local life

    15 Apr 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Thursday, April 16, 2015 When I arrived in Florence, I dropped my bag off in my apartment and rushed outside to embrace my beloved city. I walked briskly along the Arno with no destination in mind. I headed toward the Ponte Vecchio and let my inspiration guide me to where to go next. People were strolling along the narrow lungarno in both directions. It was impossible to stay on the sidewalk so I stepped onto the street when I heard that there weren't any cars coming. I turned down via de' Tornabuoni so that I was really in the thick of it. The streets were so crowded that it felt as if…
  • Savoring the moment

    26 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Friday, February 27, 2015 One thing I love about living in both Florence and Paris is that I have the luxury of time. Whether I plan an excursion around town or if I happen to be out to meet a friend or to run an errand, I get to take a moment or two to enjoy my cities. I often take a detour just so I can admire one of my favorite churches, admire the view of the Arno from different angles, or stroll along backstreets. I do my best to breathe in my cities and enjoy them whenever I get a chance. I was disappointed when I saw that the weather reports last weekend announced rain in Paris. I woke…
  • Simultaneously fitting in and sticking out

    21 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Sunday, February 22, 2015 My upbringing has probably made my being an expat a little less challenging than for others. My parents were of two different (and opposing) races: my mother was Chinese and my father was Italian. As a result, I have never felt as if I really fit in anywhere and have always felt like the odd-one-out. I was brought up in my Chinese family so I was used to being "different" and never felt as if I fully belonged even though I did. When I was in high school I met kids who were like me, half Asian and half Caucasian. I thought that I had finally found "my people," but in…
  • Indulging in Paris before taking off for Florence

    4 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Thursday, February 5, 2015 I am a city girl. I have known that ever since I lived in Lyon, France for my junior year abroad. When I returned to California, I dreamt of going to live in another city and was fortunate enough to land in Paris. I am extremely fortunate to call two cities my home. In Florence, I live in the heart of the city, but in France my beau and I live just outside of Paris. It's incredibly close and it only takes me 20 minutes on the métro to get to the center of town. But for me there is something about going to sleep in the city and waking up to it that I truly miss. To…
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    Young Rubbish

  • Art, Mormons, and Whatever the Heck Comes After Post-Modernism

    Young Rubbish
    23 Jun 2015 | 11:11 am
    Dear fellow artists (particularly you churchy-types),I write this letter for you as a devout Mormon. If you don't know what that is, think protestant Christian with more Broadway lights and glitter! (ps I'm COMPLETELY joking, for a real answer to what Mormons believe, check this out).I've spent a lot of time over the last few years pondering over our voice in the art community and people, we are on the precipice of something truly amazing.I believe we've walked out of the world's post-modern phase and entered something new-- something that we HAVE to take hold of. To explain what I'm…
  • Prague (Part I) ● by Jess

    Young Rubbish
    20 Jun 2015 | 8:43 am
    I suddenly realised this week, while I was cleaning up my files, that I completely forgot to post our travel vlogs and photos from our trip to Poland in April! AH! Welp, here they are!
  • Chelsea in Bloom ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    16 Jun 2015 | 3:28 am
    The best thing about babysitting (and probably motherhood too) is having a tiny human to take on adventures with you! One of my little friends, whom I will call Lidya, came with me while we explored Chelsea in Bloom.  As I've mentioned earlier, Chelsea in Bloom happens as part of the Chelsea Flower Show. The super posh shops in the London neighbourhood of Chelsea have their own flower competition by designing over-the-top displays in front of their stores. This years theme was Fairytales. Lidya was giddy all kinds of Disney-princess-like excitement. To be honest, I sort of was…
  • Inside Big Ben ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    14 Jun 2015 | 7:00 am
    Almost exactly six months after trying to get tickets in to see Big Ben-- we did it! Aaaannnnd, it was free.Bam. The sad news is that we weren't allowed to take photos inside. They even took our phones away so I couldn't even take any sneaky pics! In the end I'm glad they did though... it would have been so irritating to deal with everyone stopping every third step to document the experience. We started off, by entering across the street. After going through security they held us in a security area until our guide came. Then they locked up our bags and headed through the passage…
  • All of May ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    12 Jun 2015 | 2:28 am
    Whoa nelly. It's been almost a month since I last blogged.It is almost inexcusably long, but I've been rocking and rolling with some pretty amazing projects... and when I get excited about a project, I get obsessive. Thus, brain power for blogging is generally in short supply.Still Jon and I have had some pretty amazing adventures, so we'd best get caught up. I'll be going into more details over the next week or so, but here's the overview of the last month:First off, Jon and I got to be models for an gorgeous and epic wedding shoot for Mark Northcliffe Photography up in Cookham at the Odney…
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    Greeker than the Greeks

  • Greeks in need....a need to be more tolerant

    Susan Athanasakou
    1 Jul 2015 | 12:28 pm
    Greece;the birthplace of democracy.Greece is going through some tough times right now; all Greeks are worried, afraid, and unsure of what the future holds.It is sad to see people queuing at the ATM machines, sad to see people wondering if they will receive their pensions, afraid that maybe they have lost their hard-earned life savings.I am so sorry to see my beloved Greecein such turmoil.What saddens and scares me most of all though, is to see the wonderful  Greek people turning against each other, at a time when they really need to stand together.I have seen friends, people that I…
  • Facebook, Brits in Greece and pork pies in Athens.

    Susan Athanasakou
    4 Jun 2015 | 10:09 am
    BRITS IN GREECEWe all knock Facebook now and again, me included, usually about how much time we spend on there, logging on to say Happy Birthday to someone and suddenly noticing that two hours has passed, how did that happen?Here, the problem is us, not Facebook, we just have to practice some self-control.The other big thing is the privacy aspect, well, my philosophy on this is, if you have a Facebook account, privacy flies out the window, if you don’t feel comfortable with that, then don’t sign up.So, limit yourself time wise, count to ten before leaving a caustic comment, avoid doing so…
  • Oleander, jacaranda. Blue and white are not the only colours of Greece.

    Susan Athanasakou
    29 May 2015 | 12:16 pm
    OleanderOn seeing Penelope Lively’s informative book, “Oleander, Jacaranda” mentioned in a magazine, I thought to myself;”I must read this book again”Penelope Lively, born and raised in Egypt, just before World War II, writes about her childhood in such a way as to make you feel that you grew up there with her, in the narrow streets and souks of Egypt.She takes you into another era, another country, you can smell the aroma of herbs and spices wafting in the air; hear the sound of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer.You feel the very essence of Egypt.Click on the link below to…
  • From souvenirs to souvenirs. Benaki museum shops, Athens,Greece.

    Susan Athanasakou
    21 May 2015 | 10:14 am
    BenakisouvenirsSummer has well and truly arrived here in Greece, which means tourist shops are out of hibernation, and once again, spreading their wares along the pavements and alleyways, in all their garish glory.To give them their due, things in this field, are getting better, there are now some tasteful little shops selling local produce geared towards tourists.Golden olive oil, delicious Greek honey, dried herbs, shiny black olives, not to mention ouzo and the firewater known as raki, are just an example of the marvelous authentic Greek products being taken home as souvenirs.Greek olive…
  • Greek wine, barrels and art.

    Susan Athanasakou
    19 May 2015 | 10:04 am
    Barrel artLast week, whilst on a trip to nearby NEMEA I had the unexpected opportunity of seeing the most amazing art work.Nemea, a small, picturesque, typically Greek town, at the heart of the Peloponnese wine country, produces some of Greece’s best wines, and is home to more than forty excellent Greek wineries.NemeaOn visiting the Semeli winery, named after Semele, the mother of  DIONYSUS, God of wine, I was greeted by barrels and barrels of art, literally!Bacchus (Dionysus) CaravaggioEvery year, in the month of March, the Zappeion  Megaron exhibition hall, located in the…
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    Dan Jones VI

  • The Right Stuff: Entrepreneurs in Space

    30 Jun 2015 | 12:18 am
    On Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket out of Cape Canaveral, Florida disintegrated 29 miles above the earth in the latest setback for the private aerospace company founded by Elon Musk. It was carrying more than 4,000 pounds worth of food, water treatment equipment, and other supplies intended for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Fifty-four years ago on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space aboard NASA’s Freedom 7 spacecraft. Three weeks before him, Yuri Gagarin and the Russians beat the United States with the world’s first manned spaceflight. To the…
  • Being Anti: Vaccines to GMOs

    23 Jun 2015 | 12:32 pm
    There are six citrus trees in the backyard of my childhood home. I remember one hot summer day as a young kid going out to repaint the white trunks of the trees. The white paint increases the albido (the ratio of light reflected off an object) and thus keeps the trees cooler. The fruit was not yet ripe, so the tree leaves and unripened fruit were all a uniform green at the time. As I crouched down underneath one of our orange trees, I was shocked to see a bright yellow lemon dangling from a small branch amidst all the green. I ran inside to tell my dad about the Summer Solstice miracle that…
  • The Good Fortune of a Missed Flight

    16 Jun 2015 | 12:42 pm
    When I got to the end of the jetway at the sprawling Changi Airport in Singapore, a cart was waiting for me. The Singapore Airlines employee sitting behind the wheel knew he’d spotted the passenger he’d been waiting for when he looked at me and said, “San Francisco?” I nodded, knowing that my connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur had arrived late, and I was at risk of missing my connection—an 18-hour marathon of a flight back to the U.S. I hopped on and sat in the back with my carry-on backpack at my side. As we weaved in and out of a sea of passengers walking through the terminal, my…
  • Princely Travel On a Pauper’s Budget

    9 Jun 2015 | 9:28 am
    It’s 11:50PM where my plane took off from and 8:50AM where my plane will land in a few hours. I’ve got a poor man’s first class seat—an economy class seat with the no one sitting in either of the other two seats next to me. I should probably be adjusting to U.S. time by now but I can’t help but take advantage of the free-flowing wine. “I’ll have another red, please.” Life is good. A 22-hour airplane ride is long enough to make my feet and ankles swell up and requires multiple deodorant applications throughout. Yet who can complain? My flight—from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to…
  • Tesla vs the Man

    2 Jun 2015 | 3:00 am
    Tesla doesn’t play nice. When it comes to industry neighborliness, Tesla is the one guy in the cul-de-sac who insists on painting his house an association-prohibited shade of green. But if you thought homeowner’s associations were power hungry, try state dealer associations. Tesla isn’t into doing things “the old fashioned way.” From being the first viable car manufacturer not featuring a standard combustion engine model to selling their vehicles without the aid of dealerships, Tesla is a stubborn outlier. The trouble is, in the car sales industry, outliers are usually punished. In…
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