Browsing CategoryExpat Living

Why You Should Raise Your Children Abroad

We both considered the white button-down shirt as I held it up for inspection. It, like almost everything else in the trendy clothing store, was made out of an inexpensive grade of cotton, would require daily ironing and would probably shrink the first time it was washed. All this for only $29.99. “I know it’s kind of expensive, but can we get it Mom?” my sweet 17 year-old daughter pleaded. Our daughter had been raised abroad and was bilingual, so she’d landed a great job at a nearby hospital. This was the type of shirt she was required to wear at her job, so even though she and I usually hunt for bargains, I bought the shirt. That’s right, after spending her formative years in…

7 Great Family Games To Bring Along When You Travel

Everyone’s fingers pointed toward me, Mom’s the werewolf!” They were correct as usual, I was the werewolf. The game we were playing, One Night · Werewolf, required skills I did not possess namely; lying, strategizing on the fly, and then more lying. I was terrible at it, but it wasn’t about how well I could play the game, it was about the laughter it induced and the lifelong memories we were creating with our kids. Like many families, we try to sit down together for meals as often as we can. It gives us a chance to catch up and connect, but that brief time can sometimes feel forced and that type of environment doesn’t always inspire openness. When we want to really connect with our kids,…

5 TRUTHS ABOUT EXPAT LIVING · Free e-book!

Watching too many episodes of House Hunters International lately? Can you see yourself waking up to unscheduled days, ready for whatever adventure comes your way? Are you thinking, “I’ve got to get out of here!” more and more these days? Well maybe you can do just that. Moving abroad is not terribly difficult. Once you’ve made the decision, you research different countries’ annual rainfall, crime rates, and cost of living. You voraciously read the numerous books about different expats’ madcap experiences as they got to know their new home country, and before long you feel ready to “pull the trigger.” Thousands of people, just like you, have traded in the rat race for a completely different life, but research has shown that the average length of…

“I’LL HAVE THE LOVE TACOS, PLEASE!”

The old restaurant refrigerator hummed and rumbled sporadically, a sign that for at least this moment, all of its’ contents weren’t “going south.” This would be the last time I’d heave up the rolling steel garage doors of our tiny Mexican restaurant, that opened up to the bustling street in front. I surveyed the dining room, shaking my head as I looked down at the bulky Guanacaste wood tables and chairs that took up way too much room. They’d been made by a local artist, so we’d tolerated the inconvenience and bruised shins for years. The bright-colored Mexican blankets and papel picado, hanging on the walls, were covered with a thin layer of street dust, a relentless foe, I constantly battled. I’d painstakingly rag painted…

THE AZURE WALL

“Go sit in the waiting room.” My husband waved his hand toward the far wall of the dusty automotive repair yard in Costa Rica, where we’d stopped to have the oil changed in our 1990 Nissan Sunny. It was almost 10am, and the heat and humidity wrapped around us like overcoats. Sweat droplets made their way down our backs, as my kids and I picked our way around broken down vehicles sprawled out around the yard, in various states of disrepair. They looked like they’d desperately crawled toward this isolated mechanic’s oasis, but sadly, chugged their final gasp and collapsed, just short of the single work bay. This was not an air-conditioned waiting room with magazines strewn about. We were in Costa Rica, where the only place you…