Rebecca Jade

I’m Rebecca Jade, and I’m originally from north Wales. For those who don’t know, Wales is part of the United Kingdom, and we have our own distinct culture and language, which I was immersed in growing up. I haven’t lived in Wales many years, having moved to London at the age of 18 and staying for 18years. The move to a big city hundreds of miles away was huge, and after that long in London I had close friends, musical collaborators, a husband and a child there. But in October 2016, we made an even bigger move over the ocean to the USA.

I now live in Indianapolis, Indiana with my family, including Cat Vonnegut. My husband is originally from here so I had a good tour guide when we first arrived. We are both musicians, and I work for an environmental organization.

As a parent of a Londoner who I try to pass Welsh culture down to, but is also part-Italian and part-Romany and now considers himself an American, I’m interested in cultural identity: how much is inherited from our family, and how much is purely about the geography of where we are raised.

Krendi Harmon

Hola!! I am a stay at home mom of two teen boys who spends free time enjoying the art of cooking and searching for places to explore in Europe. I spent my youth performing in any theater I could and my later years in TV.  My three prior homes include Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas.

My husband and I love travel and seeking out the best local spots to immerse ourselves anywhere we go. Our years of exploring have taken us all over the US, Mexico, India, New Zealand, Cayman and Canary Islands, Sweden, and a few other European destinations.

My husband works in Tech and after years of traveling we decided to move to beautiful Barcelona for his work. We have been here almost a year now and could not be happier with our new home. I am excited to share it’s traditions, quirks, struggles, and charm!

Lucille Abendanon

Lucille Abendanon is a freelance writer and blogger whose interests include the ups and downs of expat life, raising third culture kids, history and travel. She has three nationalities and if you ask her where she’s from, you’ll never get a straightforward answer, because there isn’t one.

Lucille gets to reinvent her life every three years as she moves around the world with her husband, their two tri-national bilingual boys, and the family cat.

She has lived in England, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa and currently calls The Netherlands home, where she is hoping that her memories of the African sun will see her through the winter months. Lucille is a contributor to the expat anthologies Knocked Up Abroad Again, and A Cup of Culture and A Pinch of Crisis. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Your Danish Life, and Global Living Magazine and she writes about travel and the expat experience on her blog expitterpattica.com

Marty Karaffa

Son of a steelworker, Marty was born in Pittsburgh.  He spent his early years in McKeesport, a then-thriving industrial town in the Monongahela Valley.

When he was a teenager, his family moved to Australia, settling in Adelaide.  This relaxed, progressive city built his character; it taught him the values of fairness and open-ness by which he tries to live his life today.

After graduating in linguistics, Marty started a career in advertising in Melbourne.  From Melbourne, his company posted him to Tokyo, a city which greeted him with warmth and kindness.  It proved a life-changing experience, not least because he met his Japanese husband, Masa.

Marty’s next posting, to New York, proved a problem. The US Defense of Marriage Act was still in place, which (among other things) forbade the recognition of same-sex relationships for immigration status.  Three years of long-distance love frustrated the pair.

It led them to Germany.  Marty and Masa now enjoy life in the inner suburbs of Munich, a gracious city that indulges their tastes for music, art and conversation.
Marty writes about his expat experience on his blog, Deutschland über Elvis, and tweets the occasional tidbit as The Honourable Husband.

Heather Jonasson

Heather Jonasson

Heather Jonasson left Texas for Stockholm 17 years ago to marry a Swede and escape the awful Texas heat and humidity. Wow, did she get her wish!

She tricked this Swede into marrying her with the promise of barbecue, but upon her arrival he suddenly realized that she was American and her only means of acquiring food was at a drive-in. He kept her anyway because she provided endless entertainment at mispronouncing Swedish words.

Now Heather is a citizen of Sweden, which means she is required to drive a Volvo, listen to Abba and furnish her home with IKEA furniture. But she refuses to eat surströmming. That’s just nasty.

Kat Callahan

Kat

In Japan for 9 years, Australia for a summer, and South Korea for six months, Kat Callahan has spent most of her adult life after university living outside of the nation of her birth, the United States of America. English and Government teacher, Asia Correspondent for Jalopnik, LGBT writer for Jezebel, she has been included in four textbooks on feminism and women’s health. A fierce proponent of public education, social welfare nets, and multi-ethnic countries, she is an unabashed democratic socialist. She loves Kimagure Orange Road, her legal Japanese name coming from Ayukawa Madoka, never stops singing the praises of her first kindred spirt and bosom friend, Anne of Green Gables, and has the adventures of Nicholas Ewing Seafort committed to memory. She currently lives in Tokyo, but her heart and her home can be found in a small town in Northern Saitama.

Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz

Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz is an Australian musician who has lived in London for the last eight years, moving to the UK to pursue a career in opera. As a dramatic soprano her roles include Tosca, Lady Macbeth and other dramatic Puccini and Verdi heroines, and she has recently performed the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem. Laura also works as a pianist, accompanying young musicians for exams and recitals, and playing for young childrens’ music classes.

When not on stage or behind the piano, Laura spends a lot of time watching motorsport (Formula 1 or MotoGP),  going to rock and metal gigs with her English husband, and  is a regular visitor to her excellent local curry house.

Judith Waller

Hi, I’m Judith. When my parents gave me my name, in a hospital in central Manchester, UK, they obviously didn’t give much reflection to the fact that their first born child would move away from the green grass of home, to the snowy mountains of French speaking Switzerland, where no-one would be able to pronounce it properly. Nevertheless, now responding to a variety of Jud’, Yoodit, Yoodeet, it hasn’t held me back, and almost 10 years later, I consider myself well and truly an ex-pat, and that makes me excited to take over this account for a week!

 

I have predominantly British roots. Both my parents are English, and going back in time, most of my ancestors appear to be British on one side, and British, German and Irish on the other. However, although my parents still live in my native Manchester, my sister lives in Colorado, USA, so both of us have the expat gene! I started my expat adventure when I finished university, and the opportunity presented itself to go to Switzerland for a while. I fell in love with the mountains, scenery and chocolate, so decided to stay for a while. I got a job as a post-doc at the university in Lausanne, and set to work learning how to speak French, to integrate better. I’ve now moved to Neuchatel, where I’ve been working for 6, and living for 3 years.

 

When I’m not working, I love to travel, and spend time learning about the places I’ll be going to. I’m a passionate sportswoman, and spend a lot of time skiing, paragliding, running, biking, and just generally enjoying the outdoor life that epitomises Switzerland!

 

I also spend a fair amount of time on social media, mainly Twitter, where I can be found as @judithwaller, my personal account or @JW_PMI, my work related tweets. I’m looking forward to spending my week with you all, and sharing my expat experiences!