Kelsey McDonough

Hello! My name is Kelsey and I am currently living in Bayreuth, Germany. I am originally from the United States (greater Boston area), but have lived all over the US, including North Carolina and Kansas. I moved overseas in January 2019 after finishing graduate school to start a new job as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist. I love traveling, hiking, reading, and cooking – and am looking forward to connecting with many of you during my curation week! Feel free to follow me on twitter, @kelseyrosemcd, where I tweet mainly about science and research. I love hearing about others’ expat experiences, and learning about new places to visit!

Nathalie Goldstein

Hi everyone! My name is Nathalie, and I moved abroad from Silicon Valley to Vienna, Austria in 2015 (originally for love. I fell in love with an Austrian!), and started working for a foreign subsidiary of an international IT company. Initially, I had no idea if I would find a job since I didn’t speak the language. However, with careful planning and determination,  I landed a full-time job and acceptance into a Masters Program in IT within a few months of moving.

In 2017 I co-founded my own company, Software Spinner, where our mission is to create software products that make life easier for people. MyExpatTaxes is our first product, and something that has a personal connection to me – doing U.S. taxes abroad is a complicated, stressful process for many Americans like me. MyExpatTaxes makes it super easy (and fun, in a way) to get your U.S. taxes done in under 30 minutes.

When I’m not working in Vienna I’m working out — by myself or with my husband. We just bought a house and created our own gym. Exercise is my ultimate stress-reliever, and always places me right here in the moment

Marilyn Gardner

Marilyn is a public health nurse and writer who makes her home in a small city in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. She grew up in Pakistan as a Third Culture kid and has lived in Pakistan, Egypt, the United States, and now Kurdistan. 

Ikechukwu Uzoma

I am a 29 year old Nigerian lawyer currently  working with an international organization in Berlin, Germany. I live in Kreuzberg (just moved in though)


I was born in Aba, Nigeria and lived in Nigeria till I moved to New York for graduate school in 2016. After my masters, I worked with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations headquarters. In 2018, I worked on a research project at New York University. I moved to Germany in January 2019.

I just settling into Berlin so it will be a lot of fun exploring the beauties of the city and my new life with followers of @WeAreXpats.

After my curation week, you can find me on twitter @iykepfs and Facebook : Ikechukwu Uzoma.


Claire Smith

My name is Claire, and I am American expat living in northwest Germany.

“Where are you from?” is a rather complicated question. Although I spent much of my childhood in South Carolina, I have strong family ties to Michigan. I did my first stint abroad in 1997 in Kassel, and in 2002 I met “my German” while doing research for my PhD thesis in Oldenburg. I often say that I went to Germany for work, but I stayed for love.

I now find myself in a small town in northwest Germany, where I live with my German husband and our two boys. Expat life resulted in re-thinking my career path (toward academia and tenure) and now I teach English and politics in a German public secondary school.

I am passionate about teaching, politics, superhero movies (mostly Marvel, but I adore Wonder Woman) and cocktails. All of my German friends think I am a bit odd.

Julia Simens

Hi everyone,

I am a USA passport holder that has been living the past 25+ years abroad. I recently retired and spend time in Nevada and on Roatan, Honduras.  Undecided on where I should move to full time so weighing the pros and cons of these two places. Currently living on the beautiful island of Roatan.

I love water, little kids and coffee, so expect to see plenty of these things during my curation week. I look forward to your questions, comments, and feedback on my tweets.

As an author, educator, speaker, and consultant, I share my professional and personal experience, as the mother of two TCKs, with audiences worldwide.  In 2011, my book, “Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child,” was published.

I love the water so I took the first chance I got to move to the sea, being granted a scholarship to study at Chaminade University, Honolulu. There, I studied psychology and education. Still charmed by the sea, my first teaching post was in Tafuna, American Samoa. Then I moved to the San Francisco Bay area to get my master’s in Clinical Psychology. I have since worked in Singapore and Perth, Australia where we added two kids, a cat and dog into our family and the start of a “five continent life abroad”. With an ever-lengthening train of suitcases and container shipments, our family lived, worked and studied together in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and the USA.

My children true global nomads have worked and studied in Canada, Argentina, Spain, and India.

To date I have worked with over 8000 global families, representing upwards of 50 different nationalities.

You can also find me on:
@Jsimens on Twitter
@Juliasimens on Instagram
juliasimens on YouTube

On Facebook


Books – Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: Practical Storytelling Techniques That Will Strengthen the Global Family, Julia Simens, Summertime Publishing, 2011.

Ready, Aim, Soar! : The Expert Insights System for Business Growth and Success in the 21st Century by Marcia Wieder Featuring Rick Frishman, Dan Janal, Julia Simens and Tom Antion 2012.

Stefanie Kogler

Hello, I’m Stefanie!

I left a small Austrian village in the mountains (yes, just like the Sound of Music, only my clothes were not made of curtains) when I was barely 18 years young and I never looked back. Leaving the trappings of a very traditional, catholic, and conservative background, that I always struggled to understand, proved the best thing I did for myself.

I moved to the UK and lived there for 16 years. I was able to follow my ambitions and found that being outgoing and different was not such a bad thing after all. The UK made me who I am today and I am forever grateful for having been accepted there for all those years. Throughout that time, I worked, volunteered, and got myself through university, which was a lifelong ambition of mine.

I also lived in South America for a year studying, travelling the Gringo Trail, and learning Spanish, and I backpacked through Japan on my own, which was an amazing experience.

I met my husband in Switzerland a few years ago, and it became clear quite soon that my time in the UK was up (also partially due to a well-known referendum you may have heard of). We moved to Germany, and I have been here for about two years.

Still, I will always regard the UK as my home. I have made lifelong friends there and I think and feel in English. I visit my adopted home as often as I can.

As an art historian and curator, I keep a social media diary of exhibitions I visit and art I see around.

You can find me on Instagram @ruptureworkinprogress and on twitter @rupturework and @skogle.

Alexandra Illes

Hæ Hæ!

I am Alex, a 31 year old American from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!). In July, I moved to Reykjavík, Iceland with my husband, Tom, and our two cat children!

We never planned to move abroad and our life was pretty set in Pittsburgh. We own a house there, both of our families are in Pittsburgh, so we weren’t looking to move anywhere let alone another country! My husband is a secondary Maths teacher and in April of 2018 he received a job posting through a teachers group for a position of Maths teacher in Casablanca, Morocco. He jokingly sent me an email saying that he applied for the job. I replied (obviously after checking that the cats could come as well!) “Why shouldn’t we look at living abroad if you are able to teach Maths in English in another country?!”

So long story short, Tom applied all over the world and received many interviews and several offers, but the school in Reykjavík was the best fit for him and they offered me a job as a teaching assistant at the school too. My background is in public health and I was working in clinical research before the move. The move into a teaching assistant role has surprisingly been pretty seamless. I was worried that I would make mistakes, but I have great co-workers who have helped make the transition easy.

It was stressful since we didn’t plan for a large move, so we had a lot of unexpected costs (cost of importing the cats, not getting our U.S. house rented right away, security deposit, 14 bags of luggage, etc.), but it has all been worth it. Iceland is a gorgeous country, friendly people, and Reykjavík feels like being on a college campus. We don’t know how long we will be here, but we plan on using our time here wisely by not only exploring Iceland, but Europe since we can easily jump on a cheap (cheaper than from America) flight!

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Nicole Palazzo

Hallo! I’m Nicole, an American originally from Philadelphia (like the cream cheese), Pennsylvania and currently living in Freiburg, Germany.

Wanderlust has always been in my heart, so when I lived in the states, I implemented a life hack in order to experience different cultures within America’s standard 10 vacation days per year: namely, I made it a point to move to different regions every couple of years. After growing up in the Northeast, I moved to Charleston, South Carolina to learn the South and then moved to Chicago, Illinois to learn the Midwest. Somewhere along the line, I accidentally fell into a long-distance relationship with a half-German, half-American guy. What’s that saying about life being what happens when you have other plans? Right.

After completing my master’s degree in Library and Information Science, I decided now was as good a time as ever to try out life in Germany. I was excited to move in with my boyfriend and drop the long-distance term, and I was curious to see how I fared when faced with the challenges of immersing myself in a foreign culture and language. Despite being in a fairly international city with plenty of infrastructure to help foreigners adapt, I still had a very tough time, thus inspiring me to launch a podcast, The Expat Cast, where I share stories, promote resources, and create community for expats all over, but especially those in or from Germany.

I’m now a librarian by day and podcaster by night, but when I’m not working either gig, I’m most likely found reading, doing puzzles, hiking, drinking a hot beverage, heading from here to there, or getting to know someone new.

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest at @TheExpatCast, and the podcast is available on all major podcast apps.