Expat life plays havoc with your finances. Often you are paid in one currency but live day-to-day with another, creating a budget is impossible when you have no idea what you will need or what anything costs, and trying to keep track of your spending when you have to establish a whole new life, home [...]

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My children seem to think I have superpowers. On the surface, this seems flattering – all shiny lycra, comic-book stories and a movie where my character is played by Angelina Jolie.

The practice is somewhat different. It involves the assumption that any challenge can be presented at the very last minute, and a solution [...]

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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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It’s vacation season, and airport lounges around the world are stuffed to overflowing with tired parents, overexcited children, and the burgeoning expectations of fun weeks to come. Meanwhile, in their temporary homes on the other side of the world, expat families are bracing themselves for the roller coaster ride of emotions triggered by the [...]

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Most of you are probably enjoying the resounding silence echoing through the blog this week, and here’s the reason. The Doras are off exploring, and this time it’s New York that’s the victim of choice.

The Doras are a highly inept, haphazard bunch currently consisting of my sister (Dinner Ladies, and Parenting fame) and [...]

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My mother has just emailed to tell me that she has booked her flight out to San Francisco, and I’m already panicking slightly. Not that she isn’t excellent company and always game for an adventure, but we seem to have a history of inadvertent senior abuse.

Her first clue about the downside of expat [...]

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Moving somewhere new, not knowing the rules, and having a constant stream of seemingly ridiculous questions means making contact with the outside world, and hopefully, making friends.. They are your gateway to social support, security and sanity, and while Sinead O’Connor and Demi Moore may be able to rock the buzz cut, for the rest of [...]

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It’s a guest post today, courtesy of Laurie Mucha over at Séjour Travels, who obviously employs exactly the same strategy as my mother when buying tickets.. except in my mothers case, she then decides that it’s far too risky to buy online, and heads to the local travel agent to get them to follow steps [...]

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I like to think of myself as calm in the face of a crisis, so my own hysteria took me a little by surprise. Through 10 years of expat relocating, I have faced rogue elephants, stampeding rhino, a head-on with a hippo, floods, train derailment and a police inquiry, all of which have been endured [...]

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