When my mother came to visit us in Los Angeles, she neglected to bring her swimsuit, and was faced with the challenge of what to wear in our pool. My generous offer of a string bikini was rudely rejected with the words “Over my dead body”. I am taking her at her word, and [...]

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Yes, I know. You don’t want to think about it, much less talk about it, which is why I have been getting shifty looks from most of my expat network this week when I asked them the seemingly simple question: “Do you have a will?’ Want to know how many people said “Yes”?

Two. Out [...]

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It seems incredible that a year has passed since the last Families in Global Transition conference; forever infamous as the one where I had a complete (and very public ) online meltdown at the eminence and credentials of my fellow presenters, only to have my cover blown by one Judy Rickatson, (aka Continue Reading

It’s got to be one of the most loathed tasks of any move, expat relocation or not: the home inventory. Many of us choose to do a low key ‘only mention the really big things’ effort, while some of us avoid it for ever. But your home inventory is one of the tasks that can [...]

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I have two distinct groups of readers; those who enjoy watching and hearing about my expat disasters from a safe distance, and those who are listening carefully, trying to avoid making the same ones themselves. Some are happy to stay exactly where they are and enjoy the fun, and some of you have a [...]

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Let’s be clear about this – I am most definitely not the perfect host. My concessions to visiting guests limit themselves to clearing the accumulated debris from the guest bedroom, providing toiletries and ruthlessly utilizing their airline baggage allowance to my own ends. Guests to my home have to endure 5.30 am starts, midnight [...]

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Unless you have the misfortune to live in Britain (where the rain has been pouring down for so long it is now being rebranded as ‘severe precipitation’ and sales of Wellington boots have reached record proportions), you know that the summer holidays are imminent (if not already in full swing), and with them the impending [...]

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The last month has been a busy one here in the Defining Moves cupboard. I have been wrestling with the combined challenges of visitors, visiting, the summer break, Wiggy heading off to Europe and Feisty’s inexhaustable supply of energy. The strain is starting to tell, and the writing is bearing the brunt.

Falling [...]

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We never manage to move cheaply. We’re on our seventh home in 11 years and currently looking for our eighth, so you would think we would be experts by now. But relocation is an expensive business – the packing, shipping, storage, tax filing, document preparation and transportation are just the tip of the iceberg.

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My Facebook page is bubbling with excitement this week, as three members of my friends and family are due to receive their household goods shipment. Somehow, the arrival of your previously treasured possessions brings home the reality that you are somewhere for the long haul, and for the kids especially, it comes as a [...]

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