A joyful holiday season? Yes, please!

“No Christmas tree at psychologist Anderson’s house this year” was the headline for a news broadcast I caught earlier this week. The report was on holiday stress, and how harmful it can be to our mental and physical wellbeing. As you can…

Career planning for the accompanying partner

Giving up a job and putting a career on hold is a big deal under any circumstance. Doing it to follow your significant other and become ‘an accompanying partner on expat assignment’ is a huge decision. Not only are you giving up your livelihood…

Resisting the stress of the holiday season

A few weeks ago at my local Safeway store, as I made my way to the checkout line, I walked by shelves full of discounted Halloween goods sitting next to Thanksgiving offerings and a few steps further down, all the Christmas merchandize you could…

Thanksgiving and the words of Abraham Lincoln: ‘Healing the wounds of the nation’

I was doing some research on Thanksgiving and its traditions for this blogpost and I came across the words of president Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, as the US was in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln announced that, in an effort to ‘heal the…

Elections - staying involved when you can't vote

November 4, 2008 was a memorable day for me. It was the first US election in which I was eligible to vote. By then I had lived here as an expat for a long time so I truly appreciated finally getting to add my two cents to how the country was…

Taxes and financial planning for the expat

Getting a good grip on your financial situation is one of the most important things you can do in preparation for a move abroad. Usually, this means making a budget based on known income and expenses and then building on that by figuring out…

Staying in touch after a move

With two kids off at college in opposite parts of the world and a third child still at home, long-distance communication has become an apropos issue in our family. It’s interesting to see how the kids are staying in touch with each other and…

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…

Relocating with children

Kids are funny – they hate change and yet they are generally much more flexible and adaptable than adults when it really comes down to it! As a parent planning a move, one of the biggest worries is making sure your children are ok. Am I forever…

The Trailing Spouse

The term ‘trailing spouse’ is often used to describe the accompanying partner in a relocation-for-work situation. I must admit, I have always found this phrase a little problematic. It’s as if the trailing spouse is an afterthought, someone…
Moving Day

Moving Day

Most people dread moving day. Moving day is the culmination of what has typically been a very stressful lead-up period where you’ve been trying to combine your regular everyday life with that of sorting, purging and packing. And if that isn’t…
Trials and tribulations of finding a rental

Trials and tribulations of finding a rental

In the span of our first few years in Silicon Valley, my husband and I ended up living in five different rentals. They were all in the same city and most of them in the same general neighborhood. Our problem clearly was not in finding the…