Thursday, December 4, 2014
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
We traveled to Krabi, Thailand for Dashain, and while it rained most of the time we were there it was a restful and fun vacation (check out the pictures of the super kid-friendly hotel we stayed in, not our typical hotel but with a group it was perfect).
Kathmandu got spiffed up for Tihar with mandalas, twinkle lights and strings of marigolds.
We got in the Halloween spirit with pumpkin carving, caramel apples and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We trick-or-treated in our neighborhood and via a cab ride at our friends' houses. Definitely an expat Halloween.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Sure, we can get a pizza most places we go but you never really know what you are going to get (clams and corn on the "meat lovers"? Yeah, that happened). If you are looking to order favorite foods from home it is best to have your expectations set low; it often comes out at best with something not quite right, and at worst just all wrong. But at McDonalds that quarter pounder and French fries is about the same where ever you go (except of course at places that don't serve beef, then you've got interesting new things to try like the McVeggie. It's also fun to see the local additions - taro pies in Taiwan for example). I can order my Starbucks drink, in English no less, anywhere and I know exactly what I'm getting. So while it's not necessarily what we'd consider good food, or the food we miss the most, it is familiar and there is something comforting in that.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Last week I noted to a friend while we walked home that I thought a dip in our road was getting worse. True enough, the next day on our way to work there was a big hole where the dip once was. Coming home we saw the hole had been "repaired", ie. filled in with rubble.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
If you are going overseas because of a job that regularly places people overseas they should be able to help with your transition. But if you are on your own find blogs/message boards/etc with families already living in the country or town where you will relocate to and reach out. I get emails all the time and do my best to answer questions. Ask them the questions you know you have, but also ask what their day to day life is like, this can give you a better idea of what to expect.
Will your baby start eating solids and need baby food? Start walking and need shoes? Will your toddler hit a growth spurt and need a whole new wardrobe (seemingly overnight as is usually the case)? What medicines will you need? Diapers? Training diapers? Once you have brainstormed, try to figure out what will be available in your new country. It's also good to know about shipping into the country and if there are restrictions.
We come across a lot of surprise, polite questioning of motives, the "oh your families must miss you", and "I could never do that because..." (which is really often a judgement in disguise). We know why we live abroad and the benefits for our family and share these to varying degrees depending on the individual. Some will never understand. Some will be inspired. Some will live vicariously through you.
4. Make a plan of communication with family and friends.
Find a time that Skype works for you. Set up a blog. Facebook pictures. Email. Do what works for you and the folks back home.
5. Bring traditions from home and start new ones.
Christmas in a country that is Buddhist will never be the same as Christmas at home. Easter will go by without a blink of an eye. And you will have new holidays to learn and celebrate. Make the best out of all of it. Bring things from home or recreate holiday traditions and find some new things your family can do and possibly take with you when you leave.
6. Find other families to hang out with.
Moving abroad will inevitably involve many different cribs/beds/airplane seats/laps/car seats - you name it - both during the trip there, but in settling-in and travel once you get there.
8. Know that things will be different, and different is ok, it can even be great! (Though fried pork fiber for baby? Not great).
Are you raising a young family overseas? What advice do you have?