Julian Ward

I’m Julian, a 38 year-old British expat in Los Angeles. I’m global marketing manager for a guitar company, and moved here on a 3-year assignment as part of the team making California the centre of our marketing and planning. I’m here with my wife, Harriet, who’s a silversmith.

My history with travel is…weird. Despite only leaving the UK twice in my first 21 years of life, and my parents never having been on a plane, since joining the company I’m with in 2003, I’ve spent a lot of time on business in Japan and America, and travelled fairly extensively around Europe. But for as long as I can remember, I harboured a desire to live and work in America. After many conversations and a couple of false starts, things slotted into place in 2015 and we finally moved here in February 2016.

Life in LA is fascinating, frustrating, brilliant and awful, all at the same time, and totally different to the expectations I built up spending time here as a visitor. Our experience here has sharpened my sense of what’s really important to me, and given me a renewed appreciation of both the value of here, and of home.

When I’m not at the office, I take full advantage of Southern California’s incredible weather and the mountainous terrain that’s such a stark contrast to what most people think it’s like here. We eat out far more often that we should, because LA is a foodie’s paradise, but sadly Europe still beats the US hands down when it comes to great cocktail bars.

And every day I complain about the traffic. But at least it makes a change from complaining about the weather…

Stephen Dunne

Hi folks, my name is Stephen! I’m an Irish guy living in the beautiful town of Haarlem in the Netherlands. I work as cabin crew (flight attendant) for a low cost European airline. I love to fly, especially when it’s as a passenger, travel is one of my big hobbies. I want to not only see the world but experience it. I’m proud to be an expat!

In other news I’m vegan and a runner, I also enjoy yoga, cycling, live music gigs and craft beer. I like a cosy cafe or being surrounded by unspoilt nature.

Alex Hayden-Gilbert

Hello world.

My name is Alex and I’m an expat. I was born in Hong Kong to two English teachers. We moved to the UK and lived near Southhampton for seven years, after which we moved to Bangkok, Thailand. And 30 years later, I’m still here.

Now I have a Thai wife and 2 half breed kids who are attending a bilingual school here. I’ve spent a year as a house husband looking after the kids.

I enjoy spending my time caring for the kids and they’re the biggest part of my life at the moment. I’m grateful for having been able to be a house husband.

My hobbies are cooking and eating as I frivolously enjoy both. Oh and TV so I love cooking shows. I view them as a way to learn a technique that can be adapted around recipes I read from books. My favorite things to cook include Vivek Singh’s vindaloo curry, mac and cheese for the kids, & mild yogurt curry for the kids — oh and roast chicken for the missus.

Sex Captain Lilly

Hi,

I am Lilly, a British lady living in Australia. I moved here as my Australian husband wanted to move back from the UK and I tagged along for the ride. Two UK kids and Two Aussie kids here, I am still here and loving it.

I have a unusual job: I work in the adult industry here in Australia, which is fully decriminalised and legal here. I have tons of hobbies that I adore as my mother in law has taught me to cook and bake, garden, grow veggies. Have chooks. We live in the country here, it’s the best place I could be.

Snuva

I’m Snuva, a Tasmanian by choice rather than by birth enjoying a ‘post-expat’ life on Australia’s island state.

I was born near Annapolis in the US, however I never felt I fit in. Although a typical American mutt, my family was always closest to our Swedish heritage as my father had lived there as a child. My family traveled a lot around the US when I was a child – camping all over in a VW Kombi. That mixed with my feeling of otherness meant that as soon as I foreign languages were offered in high school I signed up (French), added German as soon as I could in community college, and looked forward to exploring foreign places.

I was able to make use of a work exchange programme and spent two summers working for Migros in Switzerland. Living in the centre of Europe was great for weekend travel! After this I spent two years studying in Paris where I finished my BA, then I moved to York in the UK to do a Masters degree. After this I felt directionless; I certain didn’t want to return to the US, but where too next? I spent some time in Sweden, worked in London, house sat in Wales, etc.

A long distance relationship with a friend of a friend meant the next place I wound up was unexpected: Sydney, Australia. I didn’t think it would the the sort of place I like, but in fact it has suited me well. After that relationship ended I decided to move to Hobart, Tasmania – and I’ve never regretted it.

I’ve now lived in Australia more than half my life, am a citizen, have 2 dogs, a son, and a husband – so I don’t consider myself an expat any more. I make a miserable attempt at satisfying my wanderlust with travel.

Martin Gamache

Hi, I’m Martin Gamache.

I’m originally from a small francophone town north of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada. I immigrated to the US in 2001 after many stints abroad in both Asia (Indonesia) and Latin America ( Peru, Mexico). In 2016 I followed my spouse to China so our daughter could learn Mandarin while her mom chases down business opportunities here.

I’ve worked as a cartographer and graphic editor for most of my professional life so it was quite a change of pace to stop working and be a stay at home dad on a visitor visa for the last 18 months. It’s given me a chance to support my wife and daughter, travel in China and Asia, pick up a musical instrument ( guitar) and immerse myself in a culture that I find very challenging from a linguistic perspective and culturally very different than anything I had experience before.

I’m fascinated with human migration and it’s been a pleasure to discuss the current use and meaning of the term expat with previous curators. I spend my days observing the many migrant workers here in China and often wonder how difficult and lonely their lives must be.  Professionally I’ve worked and befriended many graphic journalists from all over the world who have relocated for work, often without their families. Regardless what we call ourselves, when we move to improve our families’ lives or enrich our own there is no guarantee of success. I consider myself lucky that my choices to live abroad have all been made voluntarily.

In January my family will again be living apart so that I can rejoin the working world as I pursue a job opportunity back in the US. I’ll be an “expat” no more, just another immigrant in the great melting pot that is America.

Jason Truesdell

Although I moved between various cities and states as a kid, and did an exchange program in college in Germany for about 18 months, I chose a rather stable path of residing in the same region my entire adult life. I travelled a fair amount for work and pleasure, but never quite took the leap of permanently leaving town.
This spring, though, after years of talking about it, my wife and & packed up everything and moved to her old neighborhood in Kawasaki, Japan. We came to take care of Hiromi’s father, as well as to deal with Hiromi’s own medical needs, and most importantly, to make it possible for our kids to attend school in Japan.
We live in a modest but roomy apartment facing the orchard-like backyard of the family that owned most of the land in the area for generations.
Right now, I’m doing a bit of freelance software development and related work, relying a bit on savings and on rent from the homes we’ve previously lived in in Seattle, and trying to figure out how to make a life here without turning into a standard-issue 80-hour-a-week salaryman. I spend a lot of time cooking, seeking good coffee, walking around the city, and writing code in Ruby and Elixir.

Cynthia J.

Ahoj! I’m Cynthia — I’m an English teacher and blogger from Washington state, USA (Seattle / Anacortes). I’ve been living in the Czech Republic with my (also American) husband for five years. The whole ‘expat’ thing happened quite accidentally for me. After a stint studying abroad in Berlin, Germany in 2007, I was dead-set on returning to Central Europe (the area of my heritage) to live for a short time (which, of course, has turned into 5+ years and seems never-ending!) . After scrimping and saving, we bought a one-way ticket and made the move in 2012, entering Europe as vagabonds, spending a month here and a month there before finally ending up in Prague and taking a teaching certification course. It’s amazing that we ended up here without a plan or any expectations, but managed a good degree of success when all was said and done.

At the beginning of 2013, we moved from Prague two hours south to Ceske Budejovice (Budweis), population 100,000. And yes, that is “Budweis” as in home of the original “Budweiser”! South Bohemia (the name of this region) is beer country, as well as being absolutely beautiful and full of wonderful people. I had no idea we would still be here, but this Czech life / life in Europe really suits us. The I spend my time writing, studying both Czech and German language, playing music, doing yoga, and having local and international adventures, often tromping around Central Europe with my Czech dachshund (who has a passport!), and blogging about the expat life at adventurings.com.

My week at @WeAreXpats should give you a look at my life as a teacher in a beautiful Czech city outside the capital of Prague with a bit of Czech culture sprinkled in.

Twitter: @cynthj
Instagram: @cynthmj

Duncan Gromko

Hello, I am Duncan Gromko and I have been living for a little over a year in Freiburg, Germany. I am from Bowling Green, Ohio originally and had been living for six years in Washington DC before I moved to Freiburg last year. My main motivation for moving here was a new job with a consulting company that works on agriculture and forestry. I travel a lot for my job, mostly in Kenya and Ethiopia. Freiburg is a very nice place to live. It’s a small city of about 200,000 people in the Black Forest. As someone who likes the outdoors, it’s very nice to live just 15 minutes from the forest! I live here with my wife, Aurora, whom I met in undergrad. She is studying for a few months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I will be travelling to meet her during my week tweeting for WeAreXpats.

Kevin O’Shea

Hello, I’m Kevin O’Shea and I’m a brand new expat to Beijing, China.

I’m originally from Nova Scotia Canada. I’ve worked professionally as a musician, game developer and teacher.
I left the game design industry andI moved to South Korea in 2002 to become an English teacher. In 2006 I met my Japanese wife (also a teacher) in Busan, Korea.
We spent some time in Canada and then I moved to Kobe, Japan where I would live for nearly 10 years. In Kobe I worked as an International school teacher. I became a father of two kids in Kobe and started to raise them there.
During all of this time I have been a fanatical content creator. I have been a YouTube video blogger since 2006 and creator/host of the Just Japan Podcast. Creating great travel/education/entertainment content is a passion of mine.
Now I live in Beijing with my wife and two kids. Both my wife and I teach at a big international school and my kids are students there. I still podcast about Japan, but video blog about Beijing life and share everyday Beijing on social media.