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.

Suzanne Scott

I am Suzanne Scott, a British married mother to 5 children who have now all fled the nest and are getting married and having babies themselves. My husband and I started our expat journey in January 2011, moving to South Africa where I work as a volunteer when I visit and behind the scenes fundraising throughout the year supporting children’s education.We moved to Dubai in December 2014 with a cat and dog in tow where I worked as a teacher, but gave it up to travel back and forth to the UK and Australia where our adult children and mothers live.I can be found in Dubai at the dog park most weeks or drinking coffee and blogging around the city. I’m on all social media channels as Chickenruby. Sometimes the most exciting thing I do is run the hoover round, the rest of the time I’m travelling.

Pim Steenbergen

Hi everyone!

I am Pim Steenbergen, a 21 year old student from The Netherlands. I have lived just outside of Stockholm for half a year. I was there on an internship at a startup hub called SUP46. I was an event manager of mainly business events. I have met people from all over the world and it was such an inspiring experience. Sweden is a beautiful country and I would love to share my experiences with you!

You can also follow me on Instagram @pim_steenbergen and on Twitter (in Dutch) @meukmens

💛

Enjoy your week 

Jon Christian

안녕하세요! My name is Jon. Home is the United States, where I’m from a tiny town in Georgia. I’ve been living in Korea for six years, and my expat time is coming to an end. I’ve been accepted to graduate school back home where I will study International Policy. Like many, if not most, expats in Korea, I’ve been an English teacher. My story is pretty common to the English teachers in Korea. I began teaching in an after-school English center (학원; hagwon) before moving and accepting a position in a public school for the past four years.Professionally, I’ve been a teacher. On the weekends, I’ve learned to go hiking and follow soccer. South Korea’s highest mainland mountain is Jirisan at 1,915 meters. I can see the mountain from the city I’ve lived in, and I’ve managed to climb it 15 times in four years. South Korea has 17 mountainous national parks, and I’ve visited and climbed to the highest accessible point of each of them. I also had a season ticket to the soccer team I support, the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Being an expat has changed me. Coming from the rural American South, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to meet other people. Before coming to Korea, I didn’t really care about hiking and soccer. I never interacted with people outside of my home. On June 1, I will officially repatriate, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop #ExpatLife.

Louisa Whitlock

Hi, I’m Louisa Whitlock! I live in the city of Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where I work for an international organisation. I’m originally from the UK and grew up in London, but I’ve spent most of my working life abroad. After university I taught English in Uzbekistan for a year, and since then I’ve worked in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Philippines. I’ve been living in Kyrgyzstan since 2016, and it’s been a fascinating and rewarding place to live, work and travel – I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences on this account.