UK Food vs USA Food

Guest blog by Ella Jameson. See below for more info on her. Despite Britain’s lingering reputation for bland, stodgy and overcooked food, most people who have spent time in the UK in the past two decades would admit this impression is undeserved. Nonetheless, a bad name is hard to shake off, and many Americans moving to Britain express some trepidation about what their eating habits will consist of from now on. Usually US expats are in for a pleasant surprise when they experience modern … [Read more...]

Three Concrete Things To Do To Get Started Making New Friends

We're talking about friendship and the expat life, trying to be honest about the fact that it is not always easy for all of us to just make new friends when we come to a new place. I am finding out that is true even though I have just repatriated back to my home city and you would think it would be the easiest thing! It's not! So I've wondered what I would say to someone if I were coaching them on this issue - kind of a "selfie", but then with coaching, I guess. Last time we talked about the … [Read more...]

One Is The Loneliest Number*

Last night I came home about 9:30pm and said to my wife, “You know something, I am realizing that I am lonely”. Thirty months ago we moved back to Philadelphia after twenty-two years in the Netherlands. We had immersed ourselves in the Dutch culture and society in every possible way, and truly called it home. I can see in my mind’s eye people that I have known over that span of twenty-two years. There were many long summer nights spent outside drinking, snacking and talking - sometimes on … [Read more...]

FIGT and the Totally Expat Show

In a span of four days time I was at the annual Families in Global Transition Conference in Washington D.C. and the Totally Expat Show sponsored by the Forum for Expat Management in New York City. Reflecting on both events has been interesting, and I wanted to share a few thoughts here. [Snark alert: some of what I say will be broad-brush generalizations, and you may even detect a bit of snark. Chalk it up to Friday morning and an evil desire to stir up the pot a bit. Just don’t forget that … [Read more...]

The Currency Ripoffs That Every Expat Needs To Avoid

Foreign exchange is one of the last areas of financial services where the average expat has little understanding of the true cost to one’s pocket. This is unfair, and with a little digging into the core issues, can truly be avoided. Furthermore, security of funds is key. Whilst there are tight regulations governing the companies providing these services, there are some rather opaque currency specialists with less than 100% credible track records. As an expat you will need to be on your … [Read more...]

The new expatriate: the evolution of the working wanderer

In the early years of modern expatriation, young business-minded workers used to move abroad fairly easily, with a well-established way of expat life meeting them in places like Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Ask many expats-of-old and they will regale you with tales of their life in the expat bubble; where they lived in gated accommodation, frequented luxurious embassy events, and brushed shoulders with others in the expat elite. But is this the image of the 21st century expat? Here at Expat … [Read more...]

A Language Learning Checklist

When you decide to learn another language as an adult, you are embarking on difficult task. If you come from a Western country which operates almost exclusively in only one language - Brits and Americans, you know who I'm talking about! - it can be even more daunting. This series of blogposts is designed to help you get moving on language learning in this new year. You might find this article interesting, from the British Telegraph: Can you understand another culture without knowing the … [Read more...]

FIGT Annual Conference 2014 – The Conference with Heart

March 21-23, 2014 Tyson's Corner, Near Washington DC If you haven't heard of Families in Global Transition, this is a great time to find out more. Whether you're an expat, a global organization, or a provider of cross-cultural support or services; your search for practical advice based on solid theory and experience ends here. Families in Global Transition (FIGT) is a unique organisation that caters to both the intellectual and emotional needs of the expatriate. For more than 15 … [Read more...]

One thing you can do to reduce language learning frustration

One frustration with language learning is that it seems a never-ending task. You are never quite good enough; there is always more to learn and you never eliminate mistakes. But that is very much to be expected, don't you think? After all, you are not a native speaker. And even native speakers need to keep learning. If you don't believe that, check out these common English mistakes. (Actually, I think this says more about the quality of education in our time, but thats thats' that's another … [Read more...]

Taxman, the Beatles and Expat Life

It was 50 years ago this week that the Beatles took America by storm. In 1966, George Harrison wrote his first song for the band. He said, "'Taxman' was when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical." As their earnings placed them in the top tax bracket in the United Kingdom, the Beatles were liable to a 95% supertax introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government (hence the lyric "There's one … [Read more...]