Previous

Katia Vlachos



Hi, I’m Katia. I’m a writer and expat coach. I’m Greek by origin and have been on my expat journey for the past 25 years. My current home is Zurich, Switzerland, where I live with my husband and three TCKs. I was born in Cameroon and moved to Greece when I was four. Even though, after that, I spent my childhood in one place, Athens, from a very young age, I knew I’d leave my passport country to live abroad, ideally in many different places. Both my parents were immigrants, so you could say I had the ‘migrant bug’.

I was a researcher and defense analyst for ten years, which I thoroughly enjoyed, until I discovered that my true purpose in life was helping people like me – foreigners, expats, global nomads – find home in the world and make the most of their global lives. So I wrote a book about how to make great moves (you guessed it – it’s called A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment), which was published in 2018.

Looking for more ways to support the globally mobile, I trained as a coach, which allows me to offer them support for navigating transitions, whether it’s making successful geographical moves, reinventing their careers or dealing with separation and divorce while living abroad. Whatever their specific circumstances, I’m passionate about helping my clients feel empowered to make conscious choices, go after their goals and thrive in their global lives. I also love ballet, yoga and have a constant craving for warm, sunny places.

www.katiavlachos.com

 

 



Jerry Jones

Hey, I’m Jerry. I grew up in a cornfield in the middle of the United States but always dreamed of faraway places. In 2006 my family and I moved to China where we still live today. We’ve lived in three different China cities and currently live in Qingdao on the east coast. One of my favorite things in the world is digging into the challenges and opportunities that present themselves when people who grew up radically different from each other come into the same space. So I’m thrilled to get to work as a cross-cultural trainer, coach and writer. 


I write stuff on a blog and build resources for international people. This week, when I’m not tweeting, I will be in southern China speaking to a group of International Schools about the impact of mobility and globalization on education. I am a serial optimist and I love what gets planted into people when they connect with the world. I am a huge advocate for families who choose to brave the mess of living abroad and find a lot of purpose in trying to help navigate the hard things and engage the richness. 


You can find me at:
www.thecultureblend.com
https://www.facebook.com/thecultureblend
https://www.instagram.com/jerryjonestcb/

Alaine Handa

Photo by Pierre Orsander

Hi! My name is Alaine Handa and I’m honored to be chosen to share my globally nomadic life on @WeAreXpats this week. I’m usually at tweeting @AHdancecompany so you can find me there after this week. I’m an adult third culture kid and grew up attending international and American schools in Southeast Asia then went to university in sunny California before embarking on a busy choreographer/dancer/dance educator life in New York City. I returned back to Singapore after New York for a couple years and then moved to Switzerland to get my postgraduate degree in hospitality management. After the program, I did my internship in Brussels and then began my life as a travel, food, wine, and chocolate writer! I’ve worked in performing arts, education, events, F&B, hotels, and of course culinary!

My cookbook “In search of the best Swedish chokladbollar” was published last November and since then it has been a whirlwind promoting the book and meeting so many people who are as excited about chocolate balls as I am. The book is available worldwide online but also in some independent shops in Singapore, Stockholm, Uppsala, and London. In addition to my book, I also still teach dance workshops and choreograph for dance film, solo projects, and other choreographic commissions. In my spare time, I like to cook or bake new recipes, study Swedish, read books, binge on Netflix, workout, improvisational dance, and spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.

You can find my blog and online shop at www.travelwithalaine.com. I’m currently splitting my time between Singapore, Sweden, and sometimes Malta. I haven’t listed all the countries I’ve lived in because its quite a long list! Home is not a physical place for me and hasn’t been for a while. It is mostly the memories that I have had and the people I have met. I look forward to interacting with all of you here this week and hopefully after as well!  

Cath Brew

Hi, I’m Cath. Whilst I was raised wholly in Australia, my parents had been expats and were keen to open our minds to the world – for us to meet and learn about different people and cultures. I am lucky to have travelled a lot as a child; incredible experiences that shaped me and would leave me with a lot to think about when I returned from school holidays. It was kind of inevitable therefore, that I would live elsewhere.

I am an illustrator, writer and heritage interpreter now living in the south of England with my South African born British wife.

I run Drawn to a Story which explores Identity, Belonging and Expat Life. I’m fascinated with and specialise in expressing the cultural and personal meanings, and quirks of expat life that we often don’t know how to verbalise. Last year I produced ‘Living Elsewhere’ – 100 cartoons of what it’s like to live outside your home country – the good stuff …. and the truth!

You can find me at:

www.drawntoastory.com

www.instagram.com/drawntoastory

www.facebook.com/drawntoastory



Steph Fuccio

This is my second time curating for WeAreXpats and I am thrilled to be back. I am still living in Shanghai, China as I was the first time around but I am moving countries in late December 2019 so expect some extreme new country planning as part of my curation week this time around. But don’t worry, I will also share heaps about Shanghai, China and many other places I visit via my earbuds and microphone as well. I am an avid podcast listener and Podcast Host/Producer. Geopats Podcast is my solo podcast (it is a consolidation of the old Virtual Expats, Changing Scripts and Bookish Expats podcasts) and Creatively Complicated is my Co-Hosted podcast with former WeAreXpats curator, Summer Rylander. If memory serves me right, Summer and I met during my last curation week, hurrah.  I love coffee, reading and listening to content like audiobooks, podcasts and YouTube videos, as well as absorbing art in many visual forms. So expect to see plenty of these things during my curation week.

As for the evil “where are you from” question: geographically I am from the U.S. but have been living overseas for the majority of the past 15 years. Places I have lived include Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan and now in China. My wonderful husband and I met and got married abroad, because it makes sense to move to Vietnam to meet and marry another American, right? Shanghai is often under the radar for many folks because of the misunderstood information that is generally shared by the media about China as a whole. I hope to show you some different sides of Shanghai this week. I look forward to your questions, comments and feedback on my tweets, before and after this week of curation. My website is stephfuccio.com and hosts all of my creative pursuits, including but not limited to the above mentioned podcasts.

Kimberley Gutschmidt

My name is Kimberley and in 1997 I moved to Germany from the state of Mississippi in the USA to marry my German husband. Since then I’ve been living in the city of Magdeburg.
 
My husband was a quadriplegic for nearly 33 years, from the time he had a swimming accident at the age of 24 until his passing in 2016. For 18 years I was his sole caregiver. That experience gave me an insight into the world of the permanently disabled and also into the German healthcare system and how the disabled are cared for in Germany.
 
Living in a city in the former East Germany has also giving me the experience of seeing great changes in Magdeburg over the past 22 years. 
 
There was a time when I called myself an expat, but now, especially since I’ve lived in Germany for so many years, I call myself an immigrant. I believe using the word immigrant shows that not only do I come from another land and another culture, but I have made a permanent home in Germany.



Lisa Liang

Hi, I’m Lisa. I was raised in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Morocco, Egypt, and Connecticut as a Guatemalan-American business brat of Chinese-Spanish-Irish-French-German-English descent. 

I’m based in Los Angeles and work as an actress in theatre, television, and English- and Spanish-language films. Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey, my one-woman show about growing up as a multiracial TCK/Global Nomad, toured on four continents and is now a film on DVD and HD (streamable). I’m also a published essayist; have a blog about creating and touring a solo show; and for three years I wrote the column “TCK Talent” for TheDisplacedNation.com. I’m also the co-host of the longest-running podcast on the multiracial and TCK experiences, “Hapa Happy Hour.”

I have a workshop on writing one’s intercultural solo show, memoir, or personal essay, which I’ve lead at colleges/universities, conferences, and in private lessons in L.A. and via Skype with participants all over the world. I’m honored to be curating @WeAreXpats this week.

Ruth Terry

Hi! My name is Ruth and I’m a freelance writer who writes about the arts, race, identity, food, and travel. Home base is Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A., but I currently reside in Istanbul, Turkey. I enjoy exploring the city’s Old Town, taking the ferry down the Bosphorus, and sipping çay, well, anywhere and everywhere. Piping hot black tea with a sugar cube is ubiquitous and unavoidable aspect of Turkish culture. I also love just gazing out my window in Europe across the Bosphorus to Asia. (Istanbul is the only city situated on two continents.)

Living in a city with such extensive history, architecture, and art is truly a privilege. That being said, after eight years living outside the U.S., I’ve definitely started to feel the lack of representation within the expat community, which tends to be composed of people who are white, straight, and binary, with passport privilege and affluent backgrounds.

And so I’ve been trying to increase the diversity of my experience as an expat, and as a person living in a more racially/ethnically homogenous place than my home country. I can’t wait to show you my adopted city and the diversity of people and places I’ve found here!

Paola

Hello, this is Paola, a mother of two living in the capital area of Finland. I am a full-time professional with a tech job I like, and an enthusiastic geeky mom. Our clan includes my husband and me, our daughter R. (b. 2013) and our son E. (b. 2015, joined us through international adoption in 2017).

Our family is a hot mess of cultures, a blend of Italian, Finnish, and Indian. I like to write about adoption, multicultural families, bilingualism, and much more of the parenting world – find me here at www.theelephantmum.com

We live in the beautiful natural wonder that is Finland, the forest starting just outside our doorstep.

Em in Georgia

Hi! I’m Em. I grew up in a small Midwestern (USA) town, and ventured to a Small Liberal Arts College outside Boston for my BA where I started studying Russian because the alphabet was pretty.  I majored in Political Science and Russian, and had the opportunity to travel to Russia twice–once to Siberia, and once to Moscow.  I spent my junior year abroad in London studying politics and history and enjoying life in London. I was interning in DC when the August 2008 War broke out, and I started to become interested in Georgia; another seed of interest was dropped in my anthropology class when I heard about the archeological site at Dmanisi. I was sold on Georgia when I saw how pretty the Georgian alphabet is (do you see a trend here?).  I decided to go to grad school back in the Midwest in a tiny program within a gigantic state university, where I focused on post-Communist politics and learned Georgian and Russian.  During grad school, I had a fantastic summer working in Tbilisi. 

After graduation I moved down to the Southwest with my parents, where I complained about the weather, read lots of YA novels, taught Russian lessons, and worked retail until I could return to Georgia. I’ve now been in Georgia for seven and a half years, teaching English (primarily to adults) and editing and a touch of writing. My first semester as an English teacher was spent in a town in the Kakheti region.  Since then I have worked in Tbilisi, and enjoy exploring Tbilisi and the rest of Georgia when I have time. I recently married a Georgian man, and am getting used to being part of a Georgian family.