Death in the Family: How I Coped While Living Abroad

When my husband and I decided to leave our lives in England and move to Silicon Valley over 5000 miles away hundreds of questions went through my mind. A big one was, “What if something happens and I can’t get home in time?” The reality is it’s going to happen. That was sadly the case for me when I had to deal with the death of my beloved aunt who passed away from cancer in April last year.

Going Home: Surviving and Enjoying the Trip

We’re counting down now. Less than a week until we make the epic journey back to the UK, going home to visit my husband’s family for Christmas. I should be overjoyed to be going back. I lived there for 10 years, and it will be wonderful to see family, old friends, new babies, and visit some favorite places, I am, however, filled with dread rather than joy…

Has International Experience Changed Your Life?

In college I was determined to study abroad. I was young, and my family and friends didn’t really get it. But, I departed from the US for the UK a week after September 11th, 2001. I had been inspired to see the world by a handful of high school students from Japan, Spain, Chile and Poland, who had taken the huge leap across the world a few years earlier. When my family hosted a young girl from Japan in the summer of 1995, it was the first time that I realized how small the world was. Over the course of […]

Flight itinerary to usa with toy airplane and map of usa.

Make sure you know where your closest medical facility is, and other lessons learned.

So, our first family camping trip was cut a bit short. No, it was nothing to do with the broken collarbone that my three year old got the day before we left, from roughhousing with dad. (Yes, we decided to go anyway, ‘cause we thought it would be a good distraction for him.) As we had to do slightly less physical activity than we had planned, (i.e. more museums, less swimming and hiking), we ventured to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on day two of our camping trip. It took about 45 minutes to get there. We’ve been before, and we […]

Brexit creates uncertainty for 4 million expats

In March 2013 my husband told me there was a possibility of his work moving us out to San Francisco from London. 16 months later we were on a plane ready to begin new lives. It doesn’t sound very long, but those 16 months felt like a lifetime. I found it hard to give my career in the UK 110 per cent, when I was also looking into the work opportunities in California. I felt split and frustrated by the uncertainty.   Ultimately, if our visas had been refused those 16 months would have faded into our joint history. We […]

No choice, but to leave.

Leaving your home country, your friends and family, the things you love, and the life you know, is hard. We all know that. That is why we try to help each other endure the longing and the heartache by forming communities of expats, and perhaps reading blogs such as this, and that is all good and well. However, imagine that you did not choose to leave. Imagine that you left not knowing whether you would ever be able to return. Not knowing whether you would ever see your family and friends again, or worse – knowing that you never would, […]

Family Traditions During the Holidays

It’s the time of year when traditions are prevalent.  Some were purposely and thoughtfully created while others just evolved.  For example, I sought out the perfect wooden advent calendar with the intention of opening 25 magical doors becoming tradition in my children’s lives.   On the other hand, when my Mom and I start to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas, my Dad goes and puts the lights on the outside of the house.  It happens the same way, at the same time, every year.  It just started happening that way and now, it’s tradition. In my experience, regardless […]