Say Hello to Michelle!

The Life in the Bay team is very pleased to welcome a new member who is going to take on the role of editor: Michelle Laker! I am officially going back to France to live in Toulouse this October and this is why we looked for somebody to take on the role of editor and to make sure the blog will be keeping on being what it is: a great and useful tool when getting settled in the Bay Area! Please welcome Michelle in her new role and let’s discover who she is… “I am excited to be taking on […]

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 […]

Top tips for Getting to Grips with US Baking

After a few months of living stateside I felt like I’d pretty much mastered the San Francisco ‘grocery store’, but one aisle still gave me trouble: the baking aisle. Eighteen months and many baking experiments later, I wanted share with other expats what I’ve learnt about American baking vocabulary, what can be substituted, and what to sneak in your suitcase on your next trip back home. Don’t bother looking for caster sugar I’ve only seen it once in San Francisco and it was $8 for about 250grams. This has been a source of huge frustration for my husband who makes […]