Entries by Felicia Shermis

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 matters back home. It’s an issue that gets easily lost […]

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 I wrote this list and I did get […]

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 with spending extended time together without the regular framework of everyday life, exposes communication deficiencies within a […]

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 vacation, I figured – what better time to share some […]

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 a couple of instances that my children will never let me forget – they particularly […]

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 a symbol for peace in the USA, while signaling contempt and rudeness in some […]

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 for me so I still have time to figure out […]

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 influence them, and with the opportunity to get to know different parts […]

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 maker”. These are the people who get you comfortable and confident enough so that […]

Returning home for the summer – managing expectations

Managing the excitement and the expectations of a summer visit home can be tricky – it’s not only your own expectations you have to consider, but those of your friends and family back home as well. Time, or the lack thereof, is probably the biggest problem for expats returning home on vacation. It’s not uncommon […]

Volunteering – helping others, making yourself happy!

It’s no secret that helping others makes you happy. It’s been studied and documented that the brain releases feel-good chemicals when you do something good for others. So it’s probably not news to anyone that the act of volunteering has a positive effect far beyond the actual volunteer work performed. It’s pretty well established that […]

Maintaining a professional social media profile

I’ve been thinking about social media and professional image and am wondering whether it’s at all possible to project the image of being fun, exciting, adventurous and carefree on social media while maintaining a professional, knowledgeable and on the ball profile for your professional life? I’ll admit I’m not the best person to answer this […]