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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.

Sarah Bringhurst Familia

I’ve lived on five different continents in the past fifteen years, but I’m still not sure where (or if!) I want to settle down. In the meantime, I live in Amsterdam with my husband, two children, and my papillon. I am originally an American from California, but just this month turned in my application for Italian citizenship. Really, though, home is Planet Earth. I blog about my international adventures at Casteluzzo.com.

Probably due to my many years of moving from place to place, I am very much invested in decoding and influencing the myriad ways that human migration plays into culture, individual and group identity, and (increasingly relevantly these days) politics across the globe. My day job is doing public relations for a beautiful little institution in The Hague, to which I am utterly devoted: the Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC), which actually sponsors the @WeArexpats RoCur. At the EAC we collect primary sources documenting expat life around the world, and make them available for academic research.

I’m also heavily involved in an Amsterdam-based digital magazine called Hiraeth. The word hiraeth is Welsh, and denotes a longing for a home that no longer exists, or that never was. The magazine explores the many faces of home and migration via the literary, visual, and performing arts, and includes a bi-weekly podcast with guests from around the world.

My hobbies include books (preferably in the bath with wine and chocolate), matcha lattes, museums, sci-fi and crime dramas, and way too much time on social media, which I try to blame on my job. I’ve watched @WeAreXpats grow from a twinkle in Kelly’s eye into the great community it is now, and I’m very flattered to be invited to try my hand at curating. Wish me luck!

Claire Tanaka

Hi everyone! My name is Claire Tanaka and I’m originally from British Columbia, Canada, and now I live in Japan. Specifically I live in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku. Shikoku is not as densely populated as the rest of Japan, and it is getting more well-known lately for its 88 temple pilgrimage. I think a lot of people, both Japanese and non-, come to Shikoku to get closer to nature and maybe do a little soul searching.
I moved here in 2003 after I graduated from University of Victoria with a degree in Japanese Studies. I worked at the local government office in the international affairs department for four years, during which time I got married to a local guy and had a baby. Now I work freelance mainly as a translator and I am a ballet mom, which is kind of like a soccer mom except with more sewing. During my week on the rocur I will try to give a window into my everyday life here and show some of the things that makes Tokushima a nice place to live!

Nianne-Lynn Hendricks

Namaste! My name is Nianne-Lynn Hendricks (just like the gin!) and I’m an Indian with Anglo roots living in Bangkok, Thailand, since 2001.

I am a journalist by profession and work for Thailand’s leading English-language newspaper. I am known as the “mayor” of East Bangkok and sometimes referred to as “hot chocolate” by my friends. (Go figure!)

I used to co-own one of Bangkok’s Top Tables, Seven Spoons, until January this year and food is a major part of my life, as you are about to find out. I am in my element in the kitchen and among chefs. A certified Swedophile, I am a lover of all things Viking.

Larger than life and often “too bold” for an Indian woman, I am coming at you all week. So saddle up and enjoy the ride!

Twitter: @niannelynn
Instagram: @niannelynn

Mahua Cavanagh

Hello from Nairobi!

I’m a New Yorker and a User Experience Strategist and Designer. My husband and I have moved to Nairobi for his UN job. We plan to be in Nairobi for at least a few years (6 total – more if we can). After two years here so far, we’ve fallen in love with Kenya. It’s an amazing country and Nairobi is really fun city.

This week, as I curate the expat-account, you’ll get a view of my day to day life…and…our first week with our new dog, Oreo. We just (like last Friday) adopted her. She is our first dog in Kenya. I’m sure she and I will have many adventure to share with you!

If you like what I’m tweeting, you can check out my my blog: nyc2nairobi.com. That is where you can read about our adventures (and maybe a few misadventures), life as an expat in Nairobi, and maybe even some helpful tips.

You can also find me on:
@nyc2nairobi on Twitter
curriedpotato on Instagram
nyc2nairobi on YouTube