Spending time alone vs socialising as an expat

An issue I’ve had as I’ve become more independent during my time abroad (and probably with age) is that enjoying my own company and happily making plans with myself can sometimes mean that I don’t socialise as much as I feel I could. I guess this isn’t the worst problem in the world as I…

How to decide where to move abroad

When travelling, I often consider if I would ever want to live in the place I’m holidaying in, and it got me thinking about what makes me answer with either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ I already had a personal connection to Germany before moving here from the UK, but if I wanted to relocate again, then…

The 5 hardest things about living abroad

I love living abroad and it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made but every now and again I get this ‘ugh’ feeling. This frustration with the abnormalities of living abroad. I asked a few international friends what they sometimes find difficult about living abroad and we pretty much agreed on the same points….

The four phases of culture shock

It creeps up on you when you least expect it and pushes you out of your depth as you try to comprehend these abnormalities that are actually now normalities. In fact, you’re the abnormal one now. Culture shock. Two and half years into my expat journey and as much as I have embraced the German…

How to make the most of your weekend visit home

Visiting home for a weekend when you live abroad can be described perfectly in just one word: Busy. Or in my mum’s words “friend-speed-dating”, which I think is a pretty good explanation. It’s go go go and the anxiety is real when I am sitting there trying to work out how I am possibly going…

Living away from your family

Living away from your family can be hard. Whether it’s a different city, a different country or a different continent, the thousands of kilometres between us and our families can make them feel very unreachable. Being able to get to your siblings’, parents’ and grandparents’ homes in less than an hour really does seem like…

Expat New Year Resolutions

As most of us do at this time of year, I have been looking back on the last 12 months. I’ve been wondering where the time has gone, how the changes have happened so quickly and what’s to come for the new year. We plan, think about how far we’ve come and how much further…

Using annual leave when you live abroad

Request annual leave. Book flights. Book accommodation. Go. This is the usual order in which I plan my holidays. I prefer to use my annual leave for travelling and the odd productive day for when the 48 hour weekend just doesn’t suffice. No matter how much you love your 9- 5, it’s always nice to…

Flat sharing: the pros and cons

Whilst I was more than ready to live alone before moving abroad, I decided to live in a flat share  to meet people and make friends. Whilst it wasn’t always a smooth experience, moving to a new city that you are not familiar with and where you don’t know anyone can be lonely. My original…

Learning a language abroad

There’s no better way to learn a language than from the locals themselves. As someone who has lived in two different countries to improve their languages skills, I’ve found different locals tend to have different approaches to your efforts to learn, maintain and improve a foreign language. Here’s a few of the personalities I’ve come across:…

Two years in Frankfurt and I’m not leaving any time soon

How often do you rely on other people? When at work, playing sports, or for some friendly advice? I reckon it’s more than we realise but for those times when we do actually need someone, whatever it may be for, we generally know exactly who to go to and why they’d be the best person…

Celebrating your birthday away from home

I love celebrating my birthday and even when I try to make it as small as possible, it always turns into a big celebration! I see my birthday not only as an opportunity to celebrate another year, but to bring friends together and enjoy the time with those closest to me. I’ve been living abroad…

How to keep fit without getting tied into a long-term gym contract

If you aren’t too sure how long you’ll be staying in your new expat home, then you probably won’t want to commit to a one or two-year gym contract just to keep fit and you’d rather go with something short-term. It’s easy to let exercise slip when monthly gym payments aren’t being debited from your…

Self-reflection & progression: the best way to keep a diary

I randomly wrote a list of things that I wanted to work on and named this list “Aims, Goals & Aspirations.” My list consisted of long term-goals to work towards and short-term goals that I could meet in the next few months. My “aims, goals and aspirations” consisted of anything where I felt there was…

When life abroad becomes home and home becomes life abroad

Spending some time back home after living abroad for nearly two years (and hardly visiting London) has made me realise that life abroad doesn’t always feel foreign. At some point the tables start to turn… It wasn’t Christmas, it wasn’t my birthday, it was just the first ‘normal’ week I’d spent working in London since…