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…
Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is – it’s a tried and true saying, a bit worn perhaps, but it still sounds about right to me. I have been thinking about it a lot this past week while running last minute errands with my son before he heads off to…
Decisions, decisions – renting or buying, house or apartment?

Decisions, decisions – renting or buying, house or apartment?

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote in one of her classic Little House on the Prairie books: “Home is the nicest word there is”. The beauty of the word ‘home’ to me is that the meaning of home is different to all of us and yet we all know what…
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,…
Oh, the headache!

US health insurance - oh, the headache!

If there is one thing that unites foreign residents in the US in bafflement and frustration it is the US health insurance system. I have yet to meet anyone who has an uncomplicated relationship to their health insurance policy or who is completely…
Foreign concept to a foreign girl

Foreign Concept to a Foreign Girl – How to Adjust?

Looking back to my first years as a new arrival in the US I realize that I had no realistic way of preparing for what has proved to be one of my biggest hurdles in adjusting to US culture – networking. I couldn’t prepare because I wasn’t…
Getting Ready For the New School Year

Getting Ready For the New School Year

The new school year is approaching fast and for many it’s a time of mixed feelings: sadness that lazy summer days are coming to an end, relief that the days will once again resume normal structure, frenzy over back-to-school shopping, stress…
Global world

Global world, global communication

I am back home for the summer and the town where I am staying is host to the world’s largest youth soccer tournament. This week, some 1700 teams representing 80 countries have gathered to play soccer, but also to get an experience of a different…
Learning how to communicate

Learning how to communicate – it’s a serious thing!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky put his finger on it when he said: “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” Most of us are aware of the importance of open and honest communication – with our partners…
Relocation separation

Relocation separation? Make communication a priority!

Being in the middle of an international relocation, whether in the preparatory stages or the ‘newly arrived’ stage, is stressful. There is emotional and practical upheaval along with tons of decisions to make and actions to take. Among all…