From the USA to Egypt: LiveLearnTravel

20 March, 2017 11:16  Erin Erin

LiveLearnTravelI'm Rachel, expat and blogger from LiveLearnTravel.net. My home is East Coast, USA. I've lived in NYC, the state of NJ, and finally Orlando, Florida from where I moved to Cairo, Egypt almost 2 years ago.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
Although I'd always dreamed of living abroad one day, I never anticipated it would happen at this point in my life. Nor did I imagine my experience would be living in Egypt.

It started with meeting my husband as part of a language exchange. After becoming good friends online we decided to meet in Egypt.  When visiting, I instantly felt comfortable in Egypt and liked it but returned back home with every intention of carrying on my life in the US as normal. However, when my family at home learned of my trip and my relationship with my husband they weren't at all accepting of it.

When you hear stories of people whose families don’t accept their decisions and harm them as a result, you never expect that it could happen to you. But to summarize and without too much detail, the level my family escalated to was unexpected. Feeling it was the best thing to do, my husband agreed that I would move to Cairo to live with him, and here I've been ever since.

2.    How do you make a living?

I made a brief attempt at building a career in Egypt and went on many interviews. It was a bizarre experience in contrast to job seeking in the US. Companies here openly discriminate in the recruitment process and it's not uncommon to see job ads that read like this:
Secretary Wanted, must be female, good looking and presentable, under 30 years old. Applications without recent pictures will not be considered.
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From Australia to India: The White Punjabi Bride

13 March, 2017 10:13  Erin Erin

The White Punjabi Bride Hi my name is Tanya, also known as The White Punjabi Bride and I made the move from Australia to India just over a little over a year ago. I am a lifestyle blogger writing about my journey living as a foreign bride in Punjab and selling ethnic accessories via my site The White Punjabi Bride.
 
1.    Why did you move abroad?
I decided to take a leap of faith and accompany my partner to India. I packed up my house, applied for a tourist visa and took the next flight to Delhi. Everything just fell into place and we decided to marry and have our very own Big Fat Punjabi Wedding. One year later and we are now celebrating our first anniversary. We have decided to live between both our home countries India and Australia.
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From the USA to Singapore: Some People Juggle Geese

06 March, 2017 08:32  Erin Erin

Some People Juggle Geese Hi! I’m Lucy Day. My husband and I are American. We have been living in Singapore since 2008.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
I did a three-month study-abroad program in Italy as an undergraduate, but I was hoping to live abroad somewhere for a longer period. Fortunately, my husband was offered a fellowship at the National University of Singapore.

2.    How do you make a living?
I am currently working as a writer for a local education company. My husband teaches at National University of Singapore and Yale-NUS College.
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From the UK to New Caledonia: Notes from Noumea

27 February, 2017 11:31  Erin Erin

Notes from Noumea Hello everyone, my name is Helen, I am a Brit that has found herself living on the small, French, sub-tropical Island of New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Caledonie) in the South Pacific. My blog, NotesfromNoumea, chronicles my life here on ‘the Calliou’ (as it’s locally known), plotting the achievements, the frustrations and downright hilarities of living on the other side of the world.

1.    Why did you move abroad?

I moved abroad as my partner, Phil, was offered a job with an international organisation. At the time we were both living and working in London and one day he sent me an email asking whether I fancied swimming with turtles, as there was a job advertised on a tropical island. Well who would say no to that? This was the extent to which we discussed the matter until he was actually offered the job, several months later. We were given less than 2 weeks to decide and after a lot of soul searching, emotional torment and frantic googling of ‘expat depression’ I plumped for ‘Sod it – I will regret it if I don’t’. And here I am, two years later, living what was and probably is the best decision I have ever made.

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From Costa Rica to Kenya: Out of Costa Rica

20 February, 2017 11:12  Erin Erin

Out Of Costa Rica Hi everyone! I’m Adri and it’s awesome to be able to do this interview today. I am a 17 year old Costa Rican expat. I post blogs on OutOfCostaRica.com where I talk about my travels and my life as an expat in different countries. Since I was younger I’ve gotten the chance to travel and live in various places and right now I am living in Kenya, in East Africa, and it’s an amazing experience.

1. Why did you move abroad?
My family and I moved to Kenya a little over a year ago and it was because of my dad’s job. He has worked at different NGOs which have required us to move with him around the world. That is why, thankfully, we’ve gotten to visit places like Czech Republic, Dubai, Bangkok and countless other countries.

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From Ukraine to India: Mrs. Sharma

13 February, 2017 09:46  Erin Erin

mrs. sharma Hi! I’m Marianna. A designer, unshakable optimist, enthusiastic cook & non-Indian Indian wife. A born-and-raised Kyiv girl with keen interest in spirituality, miraculously turned Pune dweller years back.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
I never thought I could live without picturesque hills, snowy Christmases and jazzy summer nights of Kyiv. But love won over my childhood attachments. And that was love at the first sight. I was eager to visit India and meet my guru.

After two years of raja yoga and multiple precautions from friends who’ve been there, I boarded plane to Delhi. All those stories about crossing Indian road, garbage on the streets, getting lost in railway station, where trains are never on time, made me nervous and excited. Amidst exotic chaos of Indian reality I surprisingly felt at home. And deep down inside I knew I’d be back. When following autumn design internship opportunity turned up, I packed my bags without thinking twice. And that was the beginning of my Indian story.

2.    How do you make a living?
I currently help husband in his brand consulting business. With my background in marketing and design it became a perfect match of personal life and work. It took quite some time to find a ‘professional nook’ though. I had to learn the culture, which drives the way people work and clients demand. In Ukraine we generally avoid working with relatives or friends, fiercely believing that business ruins relationships. Focused on personal performance, I found it difficult to work in team.

For Indians collaborating is the natural way to live and get things done. I recently realized this when we had to prepare festive dinner to celebrate Lohri. I left from office a little early, ready to make puris for twelve people at parents’ place. To my surprise the dough was already prepared by mother-in-law and resting under muslin cloth. When I started rolling breads, sister-in-law joined to fry them, and another one came over to pick up puris and serve them hot. It felt good to be a part of the team. At the same time result didn’t belong to anyone, - we did it together. The same principle works in office too. It took me years to move from personal performance to teamwork. In Indian office I’ve learnt to appreciate everyone’s role and keep my ego balanced.

3.    How often do you communicate with home and how?
I speak to dad in Kyiv daily. We share experiences, plans and recipes on Skype, chatting throughout the day. My husband and me visit him once a year, mostly in July, swapping Indian monsoon to Ukrainian summer.

4.    What's your favorite thing about being an expat in India?
I love learning. India is the blend of cultures, languages, beliefs, cuisines, which is infinite source of experiences and knowledge. It’s so vast and multifaceted, that I know for sure – there’s no way to stop learning. This means to keep your mind and heart open, be adjustable and sensitive to other human beings. And this is true gift for expat.
 
5.    What’s the worst thing about being an expat in India?
I find monsoons in India a little depressing. Three months without sun makes me feel like a bear in winter sleep. It takes at least a week for laundry to dry, spices become moist and clumping, sometimes there’s no water and electricity at home. Month into the monsoon I stop noticing when continuous drizzle change to downpours. Rain never stops. Spending most of the time indoors or in traffic amidst flooded streets, I cannot wait to wake up into sunny day again. 

6.    What do you miss most?
I miss wandering around the city without agenda. Kyiv is forever happening place, - summer or winter, day or night. There’re literary parties and street performances, cozy cafeterias serving Turkish coffee with cinnamon. It’s the best place for couples and even better place for being on your own. If I weren’t married, I would just date my city.

7.    What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
My husband and me keep on meeting people from design circle and industry. I joined Pune expat club and various expat communities to connect with foreigners living in India. This is one of the reasons for starting a blog as well. I’ve learnt that being curious and open minded helps to adjust and make friends in new place.  

8.    What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
People here are often indirect when they speak. Avoiding saying ‘no’ is the form of Indian politeness. You have to be patient and learn reading between the lines. 

9.    What is a myth about your adopted country?
When I was moving here five years back my parents were horrified, imagining place I’m going to live. It’s common belief that India is the country of slums and dirty streets, which you get to see in international news. They are there of course, existing side by side with palaces, ashrams, and middle class societies, but India is far greater than that.

10.    Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Five years back the cost of life in India to compare to Ukraine was twice lower. With prolonged crisis that had hit Ukraine in 2013, it became equally cheap for us, but much more expensive for its citizens.

11.    What advice would you give other expats?
Becoming an expat means moving out from your comfort zone. Packing your life into few bags and boarding plane is easy. After few weeks of initial excitement you realize that things are not the same anymore. Environment, people, food are different. You have to accept and adjust to new home. Be curious, welcome people and unknown culture without prejudice. The more open-minded you are, the sooner you start enjoying expat life.

12.    When and why did you start your blog?mrs. sharma
I started my blog Mrs. Sharma in May 2016 to share little stories from daily life in India. Being an expat, designer and non-Indian Indian wife my focus is to learn, understand and absorb new culture. I love connecting to readers. The biggest gift of blogging is to hear back from them. It makes me realize how they relate my experiences to their life.


Blog LinkMarianna's blog, Mrs. Sharma

Guide for expatriates in Mumbai (Bombay), India
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Mumbai Guide

 

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From Ohio to Germany: The Dusty Compass

06 February, 2017 09:18  Erin Erin

Dusty Compass Hallo zusammen, or hello everyone! I’m Danny, and in case you haven’t noticed, I really love traveling and living abroad. Originally from Ohio, I’ve witnessed a revolution in Egypt, taught English to schoolchildren in Stuttgart, been on top of the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa, in case you’re wondering), and gotten Delhi Belly from India. But most of the time, I’m working an ordinary nine-to-five job in Frankfurt, Germany.

1.    Why did you move abroad?

I’ve actually moved abroad on five separate occasions: twice as a kid for two summers in England, once as a yearlong high school exchange student in Germany, once during a university semester abroad in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and then my most recent move to Germany, where I’ve been living since 2012.

This last segment came about as a result of a bit of soul-searching. After graduating from university, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. All I knew is that I loved learning foreign languages, traveling, and experiencing different cultures. So I decided to take a gap year and teach English in Germany. I loved it so much, however, that I scrapped my plans to return to the U.S. and ended up staying here!
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From California to Japan: Everywhere To Be Found

30 January, 2017 07:56  Erin Erin

Everywhere To Be Found Hi! My name is Kendra and I’m an American! I left California to teach English for a year in Japan back in March 2014 and kept extending my stay until a few years had gone by and I realized I was in love with my life and the Japanese people! I’m getting my American teaching credential soon and when it’s finished I plan to shake things up by teaching in an International School either elsewhere in Japan or somewhere else in the world. Decisions are hard when the whole world is open for exploration!

1.    Why did you move abroad?
Originally I had studied educational systems from around the world to compare them to the U.S. When I heard about working in Japan’s public school system I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill my dreams of long-term travel while also continuing to work in a field that I love. All the signs were pointing to Japan and I wasn’t going to argue! Also, anime and ramen!

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From Washington, D.C. to Kuwait: Nutritionista Abroad

23 January, 2017 07:39  Erin Erin

Nutritionista Abroad Hi, I’m Sheli. I moved from Washington, DC to Kuwait.  I am a wife, a dog mom, a dietitian, a cook, an occasional baker, a health and fitness enthusiast, a wannabe yogi, and, of course, I love to travel.

1. Why did you move abroad?
I met my (now) husband only a few weeks before he left to study abroad for his junior year of college. When he got back, he couldn’t wait to move abroad again. So, moving abroad has always a part of our plan. Once my husband completed his PhD in International Psychology, moving to the Middle East was a natural next step as his research is focused here. Obviously safety was a high priority, so Kuwait was a pretty easy choice. Luckily, working in health care allows me to work pretty much anywhere!

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From California to England: ClariMichele

16 January, 2017 07:27  Erin Erin

ClariMichele Hello fellow expats! I’m Clarissa from clarimichele.com. My husband Andrew and I moved from California to England in 2015. So far it’s been an amazing, challenging experience.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
I decided to move abroad because why not? I’ve always wanted to live in Europe, and when Andrew’s job gave us the opportunity to move to the UK, we decided to take it. We were engaged at the time, and we ended up moving 9 months after we got married. We’ve taken advantage of our new location by traveling as much as possible around Europe. So far we’ve been to Budapest, Italy, Prague, Vienna, and Berlin.
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