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Noelle Batista

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Olá gente! My name is Noelle, I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. and I am a freelance project coordinator with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. I was born in Surinam but I have lived in the Netherlands for most of my life. I’ve also lived and worked in Germany and the USA. My entire life I have never really connected with any culture, it’s like every culture I grew up with – Dutch, Surinamese, American – I felt like I just couldn’t fully identify. In 2012 my fascination for the Brazilian Portuguese language began when I first listened to Brazilian music.
In 2019 I decided to spend 2 months in Brazil to take a language course. During my time there, it was like I found the missing puzzle piece. I had never felt so at home and I identified so strongly with the culture – the music, the dancing (I fell in love with forró), the kindness, the food! The way that Brazilians have this incredible zest for life just amazed me. I went back a couple more times to dance forró and see my friends. I met my treasure of a husband on one of my trips back to Sao Paulo. We spent 9 incredible days together and decided that when I came back to Brazil, we wanted to see how things would play out. We spent 3 months together in Sao Paulo, 2 of which in quarantine. There was an instant connection and we just knew this was it and didn’t want to be separated again for this long. We got married in the Netherlands this past August and I moved to Sao Paulo in September to stay indefinitely. We live in the south of the city, in our cute little house with one dog and three cats and I am loving my new expat life!

Andy Williams

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Hello, my name is Andy Williams and I am an American living in Italy. I’m a retired US government employee that lives in the northern Italian city of Bergamo. I was born in California but the last place I lived in America was Cheyenne, Wyoming. I have lived in Bergamo for 10 years with my Italian wife and our young daughter.  I always wanted to travel and was able to live in several countries during my career, in fact, I’ve only lived in America for three out of the past thirty years.  When I was working in Italy, I met my (now) wife and she told me if I wanted to stay with her, I would have to stay here, so after some complications and separations I was finally able to settle down and stay with her. We’ve been together 17 years now and married for 12. By now I consider myself more an immigrant than an expat since we’ve bought a house and have established our roots here. I’ve learned to love Italy, its charms and challenges and by now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Ryan Levey

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Hey y’all, my name is Ryan and I am a Business Analyst who’s lived in the Netherlands for two years now. I was born in Connecticut but grew up all over the US – Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. After my bachelor’s, I moved to Bordeaux, France to pursue my Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management. I moved to Amsterdam because I had the opportunity to work for one of the top street brands and have been here since.

Carol Hawary

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My name is Carol El Hawary, I’m Scottish and I live in Cairo, Egypt. I moved here in 2015 to be with my Egyptian husband, who owns a tour company and hotel. I was working on a project for the Egyptian Ministry of Education, but that ended in April, so now I am setting up a tour company and writing a book. I have 6 rescued cats and we live in a suburb of Cairo called Mokattam.

JJ Walsh

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Joy (JJWalsh) grew up on Oahu (Hawaii), university in California, traveled around Asia and Europe and has had a long career in Japan teaching, consulting, writing, and creating online content. Joy is a long-time resident of Hiroshima city where she co-founded the website, map and magazine, GetHiroshima. After teaching business and tourism studies at the university level for more than twenty years, Joy launched her own sustainable tourism & business consultancy called InboundAmbassador in 2019. Since April this year, during the Coronavirus pandemic, Joy has transitioned to hosting a daily live multi-stream talkshow series – about sustainability in Japan – called Seeking-Sustainability-LIVE 

Stuart Billinghurt

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Hello. My name is Stuart. I’m an accident-prone Englishman living in the Netherlands. “How accident-prone?” you might ask. Well, my whole move to the Netherlands back in 2001 was an accident. I’d not been planning to move to the Netherlands. I’d not even been planning to move out of England. I am an accidental expat in every meaning of the phrase. Basically, I applied for a job without realizing it was in another country (to be fair the job advertisement didn’t mention it either). I was surprised to learn that my job interview would be in Amsterdam but I went anyway, did the interview, got the job and three months later moved my whole life to the Netherlands. I had no idea what I was doing.

I’m happy to say that since then I have more or less worked out what I am doing (through a series of more accident-prone misadventures). I love living in the Netherlands. I’m now in my early forties. I’m married to a Dutch lady and we have two children (both of whom speak Dutch better than I ever will be able to, even the four year old).

I even still have the same job that brought me to the Netherlands. I work for Guerilla Games where I make computer games for a living.
I’m also a blogger and cartoonist. I write the blog Invading Holland where I share all my crazy stories. Plus, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Bailey Alexander

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My name is Bailey Alexander and I sailed across the Atlantic, from Seattle to Gibraltar in 2002, with my husband and 2 papillons, Colette and Godot. We proceeded to live in Rome, Paris, Geneva, Malta, Venice, Amsterdam, Prague and Bucharest for 12 years before we settled down and bought a home in Piemonte, Italy. I love Italy and feel that Piemonte is the secret that needs to be told, nestled up against the Alps, producing wine, truffles, hazelnuts, Cheese and some of Italy’s finest products. I’m from Seattle so I love the industrious and productive nature of the Piemontese. 
I wrote a book about my adventure called “A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace” and am currently working on a follow up book about the Piemontese. I’m interviewing 12 local people who have touched my life and hope to have it published before the New Year. I am a Europhile but loved growing up in the United States. Life is an adventure and travel has proved a positive way to experience the beauty and diversity of the world in which we live. 

Elizabeth Briel

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Elizabeth Briel left the US in 2003 to explore the Asia-Pacific for 3 years before moving to the Mediterranean region, and became fascinated by Asia. She is in the process of immigrating to Hong Kong (year four of seven for Permanent Residency) and eventually Greece. Previous homes have included Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, Italy, France, Mainland China, and Korea.

Elizabeth works as artist-in-residence for an education foundation in Hong Kong, and has a studio in the city’s Creative Arts Centre for public projects. At the heart of her artwork are experiments with multiple layers of meaning in the interactions between material culture, text, language, and cultural collisions.You can find her work here: http://ebriel.com/aboutand on Twitter: @ArtMaterialistand Instagram: @ebrielart (personal artwork) and @ebrielstudio (public activities).

Rachel Weiss

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Hi I’m Rachel, an American who has lived in China since 2015. I’m currently based in Beijing, but lived in 2 others Chinese cities before that in the last 5 years. The people, culture, and city life in China are especially fascinating to me, and I enjoy sharing my travel experiences all around China and Asia on my travel brand Rachel Meets China.

Nina Tripp

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Hi y’all! My name is Nina Tripp, I’ve been an expat here in Amsterdam for the past two years. I am originally from New Jersey, and I attended the university of South Carolina before moving to the Netherlands to pursue a masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam in the fall of 2018.
Since completing my masters degree I’ve been on my Dutch Orientation Year visa, using my time to figure out what I want to do next, job hunt, and walk dogs. In my spare time I am a digital and watercolor artist, a frequent reader of murder mysteries, and an avid cyclist. I currently live in the lovely area of de Baarsjes in Amsterdam West, where I spend a lot of time hanging out in cafes and lounging in the 
While I had plans to work for a tour boat company and find a job in the Netherlands that could make me a more permanent resident, the Covid-19 pandemic lead to a change of plans. I’ve decided to return to the US to pursue a career in human rights and refugee advocacy this September, so I’m currently making the most of the time I have left in my favorite city!