Getting Settled


Culture shock coming home?

When you are planning to go abroad for any length of time, you probably expect to experience some degree of culture shock when you arrive in your new city. Your mode of transportation may change. You’ll probably have to find a new supermarket and bank. Some new experiences will be exciting….like finding your new favorite restaurant, bar/pub and Saturday afternoon hangout spot, while others will just be a pain! I certainly experienced some culture shock when I went abroad, but I did not realize that I would have to go through the same thing when I finally came home! I […]


International Rescue Committee & Life in the Bay, making a difference together!

The IRC offices in Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and Turlock (Northern California) offer many opportunities to assist with refugee resettlement. Whether you have time to act as a professional mentor, or even just help with a trip to the grocery store. You can make a difference.


The Journey of the Trailing Husband: Part One – The Big Move

In April 2011, the decision was made, my wife, Mel and I were going to move to Singapore. We had been out there a few times to look for homes and had tried to get used to the area. Panic mode set in, we were not sure but were willing to take the chance as we were young enough to travel and make these mistakes. Two months later, my wife was contacted by her company and asked if she would consider moving to San Francisco instead. That was a far easier decision to make, we both loved America and I couldn’t wait to get out and eat all the food!


Need an Expat Orientation? The wait is over!

If you’ve been following Life in the Bay for a while, you know that we’ve covered topics from finding the right school, renting a new home, exploring the Bay Area, and more, but there’s a gap, and we are well aware of it. You want advice on Health Insurance, Finances, Taxes, Real Estate and Immigration matters. While an exceptional team of writers are behind Life in the Bay, we don’t happen to be experts or professionals in these areas. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help…We are always expanding our network, and connecting with more and more local organizations […]


American Passport for an American Baby: 7 Easy Steps

While less than half of the general US population have a passport, it’s a required document for expat families. Expecting expats need to accumulate all the traditional baby gear, like a crib, diapers, clothes, blankets, car seat and more; however, you’ll also need an American passport for your American baby if you’re planning on venturing back ‘home’.


Customer Service in the US: The Customer is Always Right?

When I first moved back to the Bay Area from the Arabian Gulf, the first places to visit on my list weren’t the Golden Gate Bridge or Lake Tahoe, but instead, Costco and Target! A place where I could get almost everything I needed for my family under one roof? With easy parking and a Starbucks inside? Yes, please! But truthfully, it wasn’t the plethora of wonderful things inside these stores that I had missed, but instead the amazing American customer service that we take for granted while living here, but miss like crazy when we live abroad.

Ahhh, the wide isles of costco