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…

Communication – Brings us Together and Sets us Apart

If our ability to communicate is what defines us as humans, then why aren’t we better at it? If you consider that something as simple as the “V-sign” hand gesture has completely different meanings depending on where you are – it’s…

Do we Become More Patriotic While Living Abroad?

As I am writing this, I have just spoken to my mom back in Sweden about the day’s Midsummer’s Eve festivities. It was getting to be evening, and things were winding down, but it sounded like they had had a really good time. It’s morning…

Bringing up Multicultural Children

Watching my now mostly adult children navigate the world around them, I can’t help but think that this planet would be a more understanding and tolerant place if more of us had grown up the way they have, with several cultural heritages to…
moving back to Seoul

Danielle Kim – a South Korean in the US, moving back home again

Danielle Kim has lived most of her adult life in the US. She has good friends here and her children were born here. She has a house and she likes her kids’ schools. Yet she is now in the process of planning her family’s move back to South…

A mentor can make all the difference

Whenever I speak to fellow internationally relocated people about their first few years abroad and how they went about building a social life, I am struck by how almost all have stories about this one person who was the “initial difference…