Posts Tagged expat

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

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Culturally, my kids are half Canadian. All of their Canadian relatives spend the greater part of the year surviving on Skype and electronic photos to keep up with their speedy growth. So, when our finances and schedules allow, I know that I must plan a return to my home country to give my children contact with the other half of their genetic code. Particularly for my parents (their laolao & laoye), it’s torturous to have such a huge distance between two of their four precious grandchildren.  Read more »

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

As an adult who is embarrassingly monolingual, I never stop lamenting the “what if” of truly learning and assimilating a foreign language to the point of fluency.  Read more »

Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

One of the things that I really love about having babies in China is how attentive complete strangers are to my children.  Read more »

I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

I have been living away from my country of birth for the past eight years.  Read more »

Is It Ok to Leave a Sleeping Baby Home Alone?

My daughter loves to sing. I’m not surprised. As the daughter of two musicians, she has had music around her since conception. Lately, my mother-in-law (MIL) has been teaching her Chinese children’s songs and it’s so lovely to hear her little voice singing the words. One of these songs is called “Good Little Rabbit 小兔子乖乖” and she’s taken to singing it every time anyone comes through the apartment door.  Read more »

What Confused Me Most about Brits

Almost 10 years ago when we first moved to the UK, I had to adapt culturally. I had lived in Southern France for the last six years and I immediately felt at home in Northern England because I grew up in Northern Germany, and as we all know, Germans and British are close cousins.   Or so I thought.   I ended up in a lot of situations where the English behaved in ways foreign to me.  Read more »

Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family

Spending a year in Berlin means that my kids are treated to all sorts of new experiences. We live in an apartment, not a house. We don’t have a car, nor do we need one. The playgrounds have zip lines, sand pulleys, and slides so tall that our seven- and eight-year-olds sometimes decide to back down the ladder. The toys are mostly the same except that the Star Wars trading cards are all in German.  Read more »

Exploring Italy with Kids

After four months in Asia, we were ready for our next stop: Italy. Even though we found great pizza and ice cream at our favorite resto in Kathmandu close to our guest house in Boudha, the kids were out of their minds with excitement dreaming about pasta, pizza, gelato, and hot chocolates and to see their dad, Scott, whom they hadn’t seen in two and half months.  Read more »

The Cultural Dilemma of American Summers for Immigrant Parents

I don’t know how to run a lemonade stand, make ice pops or build a sandcastle—all time-honored traditions of an American summer that I am struggling to acquire alongside my three-year-old Indian-American daughter. Among the many cultural dilemmas that we immigrant parents in the U.S. navigate when raising our children in a completely different culture is how to engage in the everyday rituals of our adopted homeland so that our children can fully embrace their hyphenated heritage.  Read more »

Traveling to Myanmar with Kids

We are now staying with our expat friends in Yangon, Myanmar, where we are witnessing a culture undergoing change at warp speed. Our friends have been coming here for nine years and finally moved their family of four here permanently last year. They have witnessed the “before and after” of the EU and U.S. lifted sanctions in 2012, and through their eyes, we too are seeing how a country once shut out from the rest of the world is being stretched to accommodate the influx of people, cars, ideas, trends and multinational corporations from all over the world.  Read more »

Homeschooling on the Road

My husband, two children (Tara age 12 and Tejas age four), and I are now settled in at a small Ayurvedic Ashram near Mangalore, South India, where we will spend three weeks receiving Ayurvedic treatments. Ayurveda is the Indian traditional medicine, said to be at least 3500 years old. Our treatments will focus on cleansing and rejuvenation.   In preparation for our five months on the road, knowing Tara would need to complete the second half of her seventh grade year, I searched around for online homeschool curricula that would best fit our needs.  Read more »

Around the World in One Semester

My family and I have embarked on our long awaited five-month trip around the world.  First stop is Bangalore, India, to rest from the 20-hour flight and regroup before heading to an Ayurvedic Ashram for three weeks of rest and rejuvenation. My husband, Scott, and I are traveling with our two kids, Tejas age four and Tara age 12.   We have been planning to take this trip for a few years now, but it wasn’t until a request came in on our VRBO page from a nice family who wanted to rent our home for five months, that the trip began to take shape.  Read more »

The Rollercoaster of International Relocation as a Family of Five

The last time I lived as an expat, I was single, nineteen, with no dependents.  I had dropped out of college and moved to Europe to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  When I accepted an international assignment last year, my return to the expat life included a husband, three kids and two pets.  This probably doesn’t need to be said but moving a family of five (or seven if you count four-legged and winged members) is no simple feat.  Read more »

I Can’t Speak Business in Any Language

None of my languages are business compatible. This morning I was sitting on a train from Paris CDG airport into Paris. I was singing a silly song in my head ("et les meufs et les keufs dans le RER") and started thinking about cultural knowledge and blending in. Listening to the chatter around me, I suddenly realised that as French as I sometimes like to think I can be, there is a massive part of French culture that I can not blend into at all: business.  Read more »

What to Expect From Daycare in a Non-Native Language

Three years ago we moved to the Netherlands from the U.S. with our two-month-old daughter. Neither my Italian husband nor I spoke any Dutch. Fast forward to present and we now have a very talkative three-year-old who regularly insists that she speaks only “Nederlands.” This is what we have learned about what you can expect when you send your child to daycare in a non-native language.  Read more »

Parenting in Kenya: What It Takes a Village Really Means

Caleb, my three-year-old son, and I walk down the craggy Kenyan road, one of his little hands in mine and the other clutching his prized soccer ball. A man is coming our way, looking at Caleb, his ball, and smiling.  I brace myself for the inevitable as he says it: “Habari mtoto. Give me that ball.” “No!” screams Caleb, clutching his ball even closer.  Read more »

Why Everything is Done Properly in Germany

I grew up in Germany, where according to English folklore, everything is done properly. As always, there's a bit of truth behind that and now that I live in the U.K., I find that truth in places I did not expect, for example insurance sales calls. I have taken a lot of insurance company sales calls lately because two of our short-term insurances ran out—the one for the car we recently bought and the one for our fridge freezer we purchased a year ago.  Read more »

Mango Pops over Mac and Cheese: Jewish American Expats in Hong Kong

“I am English,” I heard my then six-year-old son proclaim to his friend. “English?” I asked him. “Why would you say English?” “It’s really the only language I can speak well,” he simply stated. He is an astute and introspective child, an early reader and keen observer of details, yet when I explained to him that he is American, he stared at me blankly.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in China: Chinese and English

Welcome Lizi and Da Jun! Where are you from? Lizi: U.K. Da Jun: China Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in together? Lizi: Beijing, China—we’ve lived here since we met, but we are currently in the throes of moving back to the U.K. How did you meet? Lizi: We met through friends during the SARS epidemic in 2003.  Read more »

At a Loss for Words: My Foreign Language Meltdown

I am probably spoiled, being brought up bilingual and exposed to many languages and cultures. Perhaps I just haven't been adventurous enough in my travels, but I don't ever recall finding myself in a situation where I could neither derive any inkling of meaning from the exchange nor express in any terms or gesticulations what I needed to say—that is until now.  Read more »

A Marriage That Breaks all the Rules

“I made the white cabbage Indian style and the red cabbage for the kids the Belgian way,” my husband tells me. Usually around 11 o’clock, my husband calls to relay what he is making for lunch while changing our 18-month-old daughter’s diaper and giving our two-and-a-half-year old a snack between meals.  While I have happily assumed the role of financially providing for the family, my husband seamlessly takes amazing care of our two little ones in addition to finishing his masters in psychology at night.  Read more »

Putting Down Roots and Buying Real Estate as an Expat

For an expat family (or for this expat family, anyway) putting down roots somewhere can be difficult. The possibility of moving on is always present. The culture and language are not our own, we don’t have much family nearby and the current world economic situation means that jobs are more likely to change than not. So how do you settle down? Put down roots? Feel connected? In our case, the beginning of an answer to that question lies in buying real estate.  Read more »
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Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

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Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

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I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

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