Em in Georgia

Hi! I’m Em. I grew up in a small Midwestern (USA) town, and ventured to a Small Liberal Arts College outside Boston for my BA where I started studying Russian because the alphabet was pretty.  I majored in Political Science and Russian, and had the opportunity to travel to Russia twice–once to Siberia, and once to Moscow.  I spent my junior year abroad in London studying politics and history and enjoying life in London. I was interning in DC when the August 2008 War broke out, and I started to become interested in Georgia; another seed of interest was dropped in my anthropology class when I heard about the archeological site at Dmanisi. I was sold on Georgia when I saw how pretty the Georgian alphabet is (do you see a trend here?).  I decided to go to grad school back in the Midwest in a tiny program within a gigantic state university, where I focused on post-Communist politics and learned Georgian and Russian.  During grad school, I had a fantastic summer working in Tbilisi. 

After graduation I moved down to the Southwest with my parents, where I complained about the weather, read lots of YA novels, taught Russian lessons, and worked retail until I could return to Georgia. I’ve now been in Georgia for seven and a half years, teaching English (primarily to adults) and editing and a touch of writing. My first semester as an English teacher was spent in a town in the Kakheti region.  Since then I have worked in Tbilisi, and enjoy exploring Tbilisi and the rest of Georgia when I have time. I recently married a Georgian man, and am getting used to being part of a Georgian family.

Annick Eisele

I am Annick. I was born and bred in the charming city of Strasbourg, The idea of spending some time living abroad came as a teenager when the main character of a French series for teenager I was watching was sent to study in Los Angeles when the actress needed time for her own studies. Later, I also met several people who went abroad with the Erasmus program. At first I was considering Wales, Iceland and Finland, but in the end I decided to go outside of the EU at the University of Saskatchewan (such a cool name)in the middle of Canada.

The summer after coming back, I went on a trip to Ireland where I met some Australians on a working holiday. I’ve looked into the scheme and applied for an Australian WHV which was granted in a matter of minutes. I’ve almost toured the whole country, except for the Golden Coast and the Red Centre. I then came back to France for a year and a half before going to Leeds in the UK in 2008. Leeds was for from a success for me some me, so I moved to London in 2009 where I’ve been since working in different job, but mostly as a translator/content writer. After 10 years in London, I’ve decided to come back home in Strasbourg at the end of the month – and no, it’s not because of Brexit.



Deirdre Slevin

Hi, I’m Deirdre (Dee) of Irish nationality and living in Cologne, Germany. I moved from Dublin in the noughties, worked in localization for a wee while before switching to teaching English, which is my passion today. This summer, I’m planning on hitting the open-air pools, catching up on reading for pleasure and chilling as far as the heat allows. I also have a to-do list, but that can wait!

Although, almost forgot, I’ve registered for a half-marathon in Sept. It’ll be my first, so I’m planning on training hard any day now … I kinda fancy myself as a foodie, so enjoy stocking up on calories to be burned – later. Looking forward to sharing and exchanging ideas here on WeAreExpats!

Twitter: @deeserso

Instagram: deirdre_slevin_trainer

Amanda Walkins

Hi all! I’m Amanda Walkins, a serial expat and full-time freelance content writer. Originally from the Boston area in the US, I have lived in several other countries, most recently Roatan (Honduras), Malta, Northern Spain, and Edinburgh (Scotland). Scotland has been my expat home off-and-on since 2015 and I’ve grown to love this beautiful country in that time! I love showing it off to tourists and helping future expats figure out their journeys here. I’ll be sharing lots of the reasons why I love Scotland during my RoCur week!

As a freelance writer, I also have fantastic flexibility to travel as much as I want. I do so through house and pet sitting, primarily, while also enjoying visiting my friends and family in other countries. I’ve been very lucky to have some incredible experiences since I left the US back in 2012. I share lots of them on my website www.amandawalkins.com – feel free to come along for this crazy expat ride! I’m also in all the usual spots, where I’d be happy to have you join me:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amanda.walkins.writer Instagram: www.instagram.com/amandawalkins Twitter: www.twitter.com/awalkins Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amandawalkins

Stewart Mitchell

My name is Stewart. I was born in England and now live in Japan. For a lot of my life I had an interest in Japanese culture, mostly through gaming and animation. I was very content with my life in England and probably would have never took the plunge to move. It would have always been a “bucket list” idea, but that all changed when I met my wife whilst working in England. We now live together in Japan with 2 children and I have now got the chance to live a dream that I didn’t think would have been possible. 

My aim is now to convince people to take the risk and make the move, to not just pontificate, but to go out an experience as much as they can that is out there. You only live once!

Carlie Bonavia

Hello! I’m Carlie and my expat journey began in a very cliché way for an Aussie – I moved to London. It was 2013, I had a very successful career as a radio newsreader, but also a European (Maltese) passport burning a hole in my pocket. So I quit my job and left for what I thought was two years (max) of doing random hospitality work, traveling as much as I could and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It is now my sixth year abroad. I spent three years in the UK before I moved to Strasbourg in France in 2016, for love. I was lucky enough to take my London job with me, so I remote work as a Content Writer for a global company. I also do some freelance voiceover, blog occasionally and host a podcast talking to fellow Expats about their experiences. I think I will be in Strasbourg for a while yet – my boyfriend and I just bought a house here!

Jens Hack

My name is Jens and I was born in the early 70s in New Zealand to German immigrants – giving me dual nationality. I left New Zealand in 1997 with the idea of returning in two-to-four years time; twenty-two years later, at the start of 2019, I came to the conclusion that I won’t be returning. I have travelled extensively for both leisure and work, but in terms of working career it has been marketing, advertising and internet startups in London, England and finally Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In 2010 I stopped my career and became a house-husband to take care of the home front and support my wife who is a Child Psychiatrist. I have two girls, both entering puberty, which can be intense. I am a class-father and librarian of my youngest; observing how children are raised and schooled in modern society has given me much to think about. I enjoy nature, walking, cycling, camping, museums, philosophy, spirituality and finding ways to live sustainably. Occasionally I volunteer at the community centre.

Earlier in 2019 I started a project based on my interests called DeWandelaar (DeWandelaar.org, DeWandelaar.nl and DerWanderer.de). That translates to ‘The Wanderer’. Now I’m staying in Europe, I decided to learn some languages, so forgive the errors, but I am not a perfectionist. I am not on social media much as it is not high on my priorities and find it hard to sit in front of a computer these days. However I will try for this Rocur project, and I’m hoping the experience will show me how to do it efficiently!

Katharine Khamhaengwong

Katharine was until very recently a Peace Corps volunteer in Georgia, teaching English and counting birds, among other projects, in a village in Keda, Adjara (a mountainous region in the south-west of Georgia, bordering Turkey). She would never call herself an expat, but has indeed lived in a place that she was not born in for the last two years or so. She is originally from Berkeley, California, but has lived in New Orleans, LA; Ibri, Oman; and Rabat, Morocco in the last several years. She will be moving to Bloomington, Indiana very soon for her master’s, but hopefully on to new countries shortly afterward.

Anna Shimeki

 My name is Anna and I’m a third culture kid (well, actually more like an old lady now). I was born in Poland and raised pretty much everywhere. I have lived in eight countries on four continents, speak 4 languages (none of them perfectly) and home is where I happen to be at that particular moment. Right now that’s Japan. I have been here for the past 10 years and it doesn’t look like I will be leaving anytime soon.I live in a small town in the mountains where I help my husband with running the family business.I love Star Wars, cats, Eurovision and small tropical islands. I don’t like Tokyo, I don’t read manga and I don’t watch anime. I’m just an average, boring person.Insta: https://www.instagram.com/2catstrooper/twitter: https://twitter.com/2catsAB?lang=en

Kelly Merks

Hi, I’m Kelly Merks — the creator and fairy godmother of @WeAreXpats! I am curating for the first time to celebrate the third birthday of the RoCur and to share in the experience with my beloved community.

Most of my life has been spent in south-central Texas in cities along the major vehicular vein of Interstate 35. I grew up in San Antonio, a large city with a strong cultural identity despite the human flux that accompanies the four U.S. military bases in its city limits. I was living in Austin when I was accepted to the JET Program. My longtime boyfriend and I decided to get married, and two weeks after our wedding we relocated to the northern Tokyo suburb of Saitama.

Living in Japan was my dream; I had visited a couple years before for the first time and knew I had to return and stay for a while. Just before leaving the U.S., I had earned a Master’s in Applied Geography and was offered a job with a local NGO that would have been in line with what I wanted to do professionally. I abandoned the beginning of a career in a field I had worked hard to curate my own niche in. That’s crazy talk for many people, but living in Japan satisfied me so deeply, as if I was scratching a cosmic itch only I knew how to get at.

We spent 3 and half years in the Tokyo area before Clint was offered a job in The Hague. The timing was good, and the opportunity to work and live in Western Europe was too great to pass on. It’s difficult for Americans to break through the sleek exterior that is the European Union and its visa requirements (namely that you be an EU citizen). If you ever get the opportunity to do the same, seize it!

We relocated from Japan to the Netherlands in March 2015. The Hague is just the right size for us. We can bike across the city in half an hour, and the population size and density is not overwhelming. We don’t know how long we will live here, but for now, it’s exactly where we are supposed to be.