Meeting people, making friends

I recently got the question from a friend of mine: What will you do once your kids are out of the house? Will you stay in the area, move back home? Go someplace else entirely? My initial reaction was that it’s a little early to be thinking…

The active work of finding your groove

What do you do if your partner or children are having a hard time getting settled in your new location, if they are struggling to the point of not wanting to stay? It’s a common enough problem. As a matter of fact, the inability of loved ones…

Moving day -- the end of planning, preparing and packing, or so you thought...

Last time I moved was an across-town affair about six months ago and it really shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. After all, it was just across town. But, because this was a downsizing move after having sent two of our three kids to college,…

Getting Settled: An interview with Yvonne Ericsson

Yvonne Ericsson is a Swede who’s been calling Silicon Valley home for the past seven years. Yvonne and her husband Jörgen, decided to relocate to Silicon Valley with their two children when Jörgen was offered an expat contract with his then…

Home

As someone who’s been living far away from home for most of my adult life, I have spent a lot of time thinking about where “home” is and what it is that makes home “home”. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to us at different…

Healthcare for the global citizen

“If you haven’t got your health you haven’t got anything” – so goes a quote from one of my favorite movies – The Princess Bride. Granted, the movie is 30 years old by now, but I think most will agree that good health is essential…

Planning for the unexpected

I know, it sounds counterintuitive to plan for the unexpected, but just hear me out – there is a case to be made for doing just that. One of the big questions for anyone relocating to a foreign country is how to handle relationships and practical…
Building a social life as a new arrival

Building a social life as a new arrival

Building new friendships as an adult can be difficult, and being a new arrival in a foreign country only adds to the difficulty. Ironically, this is also the time when you have a real need to meet people and make new friends. As a new arrival,…

A Goal Check to Stay on Track

While cleaning out an old moving box recently I found a list tucked inside an old diary. It was a to-do list of sorts and the three top items said: Get a summer job Buy/find/make a pair of black pants Cut hair short I was 14 when…

Communication between expat partners – sometimes fragile, always crucial

At about halfway through the summer each year, I start noticing newspaper articles discussing the strain vacation puts on couples. The gist of most of these articles is that heightened expectations (that are not well communicated), in combination…

Summer reading – it’s not just for school kids

This month has been all about communication and language and the impact both have on those settling someplace new. It struck me that the two have a lot to do with one of my favorite pastimes: reading. And since we’re in the middle of summer…

Learning the Local Language – a Key to Social Adaptation

As a non-native English speaker, I have had my fair share of English language faux pas over the years. Mostly, the mistakes have been innocent and without great consequence, such as mispronouncing a word or messing up grammatically. There are…