Katharine Khamhaengwong

Katharine was until very recently a Peace Corps volunteer in Georgia, teaching English and counting birds, among other projects, in a village in Keda, Adjara (a mountainous region in the south-west of Georgia, bordering Turkey). She would never call herself an expat, but has indeed lived in a place that she was not born in for the last two years or so. She is originally from Berkeley, California, but has lived in New Orleans, LA; Ibri, Oman; and Rabat, Morocco in the last several years. She will be moving to Bloomington, Indiana very soon for her master’s, but hopefully on to new countries shortly afterward.

Anna Shimeki

 My name is Anna and I’m a third culture kid (well, actually more like an old lady now). I was born in Poland and raised pretty much everywhere. I have lived in eight countries on four continents, speak 4 languages (none of them perfectly) and home is where I happen to be at that particular moment. Right now that’s Japan. I have been here for the past 10 years and it doesn’t look like I will be leaving anytime soon.I live in a small town in the mountains where I help my husband with running the family business.I love Star Wars, cats, Eurovision and small tropical islands. I don’t like Tokyo, I don’t read manga and I don’t watch anime. I’m just an average, boring person.Insta:

Kelly Merks

Hi, I’m Kelly Merks — the creator and fairy godmother of @WeAreXpats! I am curating for the first time to celebrate the third birthday of the RoCur and to share in the experience with my beloved community.

Most of my life has been spent in south-central Texas in cities along the major vehicular vein of Interstate 35. I grew up in San Antonio, a large city with a strong cultural identity despite the human flux that accompanies the four U.S. military bases in its city limits. I was living in Austin when I was accepted to the JET Program. My longtime boyfriend and I decided to get married, and two weeks after our wedding we relocated to the northern Tokyo suburb of Saitama.

Living in Japan was my dream; I had visited a couple years before for the first time and knew I had to return and stay for a while. Just before leaving the U.S., I had earned a Master’s in Applied Geography and was offered a job with a local NGO that would have been in line with what I wanted to do professionally. I abandoned the beginning of a career in a field I had worked hard to curate my own niche in. That’s crazy talk for many people, but living in Japan satisfied me so deeply, as if I was scratching a cosmic itch only I knew how to get at.

We spent 3 and half years in the Tokyo area before Clint was offered a job in The Hague. The timing was good, and the opportunity to work and live in Western Europe was too great to pass on. It’s difficult for Americans to break through the sleek exterior that is the European Union and its visa requirements (namely that you be an EU citizen). If you ever get the opportunity to do the same, seize it!

We relocated from Japan to the Netherlands in March 2015. The Hague is just the right size for us. We can bike across the city in half an hour, and the population size and density is not overwhelming. We don’t know how long we will live here, but for now, it’s exactly where we are supposed to be.

Suzanne Scott

I am Suzanne Scott, a British married mother to 5 children who have now all fled the nest and are getting married and having babies themselves. My husband and I started our expat journey in January 2011, moving to South Africa where I work as a volunteer when I visit and behind the scenes fundraising throughout the year supporting children’s education.We moved to Dubai in December 2014 with a cat and dog in tow where I worked as a teacher, but gave it up to travel back and forth to the UK and Australia where our adult children and mothers live.I can be found in Dubai at the dog park most weeks or drinking coffee and blogging around the city. I’m on all social media channels as Chickenruby. Sometimes the most exciting thing I do is run the hoover round, the rest of the time I’m travelling.

Pim Steenbergen

Hi everyone!

I am Pim Steenbergen, a 21 year old student from The Netherlands. I have lived just outside of Stockholm for half a year. I was there on an internship at a startup hub called SUP46. I was an event manager of mainly business events. I have met people from all over the world and it was such an inspiring experience. Sweden is a beautiful country and I would love to share my experiences with you!

You can also follow me on Instagram @pim_steenbergen and on Twitter (in Dutch) @meukmens


Enjoy your week 

Jon Christian

안녕하세요! My name is Jon. Home is the United States, where I’m from a tiny town in Georgia. I’ve been living in Korea for six years, and my expat time is coming to an end. I’ve been accepted to graduate school back home where I will study International Policy. Like many, if not most, expats in Korea, I’ve been an English teacher. My story is pretty common to the English teachers in Korea. I began teaching in an after-school English center (학원; hagwon) before moving and accepting a position in a public school for the past four years.Professionally, I’ve been a teacher. On the weekends, I’ve learned to go hiking and follow soccer. South Korea’s highest mainland mountain is Jirisan at 1,915 meters. I can see the mountain from the city I’ve lived in, and I’ve managed to climb it 15 times in four years. South Korea has 17 mountainous national parks, and I’ve visited and climbed to the highest accessible point of each of them. I also had a season ticket to the soccer team I support, the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Being an expat has changed me. Coming from the rural American South, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to meet other people. Before coming to Korea, I didn’t really care about hiking and soccer. I never interacted with people outside of my home. On June 1, I will officially repatriate, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop #ExpatLife.

Louisa Whitlock

Hi, I’m Louisa Whitlock! I live in the city of Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where I work for an international organisation. I’m originally from the UK and grew up in London, but I’ve spent most of my working life abroad. After university I taught English in Uzbekistan for a year, and since then I’ve worked in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Philippines. I’ve been living in Kyrgyzstan since 2016, and it’s been a fascinating and rewarding place to live, work and travel – I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences on this account.

Kelsey McDonough

Hello! My name is Kelsey and I am currently living in Bayreuth, Germany. I am originally from the United States (greater Boston area), but have lived all over the US, including North Carolina and Kansas. I moved overseas in January 2019 after finishing graduate school to start a new job as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist. I love traveling, hiking, reading, and cooking – and am looking forward to connecting with many of you during my curation week! Feel free to follow me on twitter, @kelseyrosemcd, where I tweet mainly about science and research. I love hearing about others’ expat experiences, and learning about new places to visit!

Nathalie Goldstein

Hi everyone! My name is Nathalie, and I moved abroad from Silicon Valley to Vienna, Austria in 2015 (originally for love. I fell in love with an Austrian!), and started working for a foreign subsidiary of an international IT company. Initially, I had no idea if I would find a job since I didn’t speak the language. However, with careful planning and determination,  I landed a full-time job and acceptance into a Masters Program in IT within a few months of moving.

In 2017 I co-founded my own company, Software Spinner, where our mission is to create software products that make life easier for people. MyExpatTaxes is our first product, and something that has a personal connection to me – doing U.S. taxes abroad is a complicated, stressful process for many Americans like me. MyExpatTaxes makes it super easy (and fun, in a way) to get your U.S. taxes done in under 30 minutes.

When I’m not working in Vienna I’m working out — by myself or with my husband. We just bought a house and created our own gym. Exercise is my ultimate stress-reliever, and always places me right here in the moment

Marilyn Gardner

Marilyn is a public health nurse and writer who makes her home in a small city in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. She grew up in Pakistan as a Third Culture kid and has lived in Pakistan, Egypt, the United States, and now Kurdistan.