I’m a photographer and artist who lives in Tokyo with my wife and daughter. Born in Chile, I moved to Australia as a young child and grew up like a classic third culture kid, speaking English at school and Spanish at home. In my late 20s, I moved to London, where my daughter was born. When she was 2, we moved to Delhi, then later Hong Kong, and Singapore, before arriving in Tokyo in 2013.
Along the way, I switched careers, leaving academia and going back to studio work, music and then photography. This experience was summarised in my first book No Missing Tools. I also regularly share experiences of living and working in Japan on my blog, and also Twitter and Instagram.
Everyone knows about the amazing spring in Japan, where the cherry blossoms burst forth in clouds of white and pink. But, it’s only one of the amazing seasons (some say we have 72 of them). I love autumn the most, when the ginkgo trees light up like great shards of yellow and gold. The air turns crisp and is so inviting for long walks and hikes. And of course, it reminds us it will be winter soon, when the snow will fall and we’ll catch the fast trains into the mountains to go skiing.
English-born former corporate IT professional Matthew Smith swapped the livestock country of rural Devonshire for the South Australian grain-belt. His move started with contrasts which set the tone for the last fifteen years, being snowed in the week before leaving England, and arriving to temperatures in excess of 40ºC.
Matthew lives on a rural property with his Australian wife, ten Labradors, a horse, a budgerigar, and a vintage tractor. Working from home as a freelance software developer and IT consultant, he enjoys cooking, art, music, observing the local flora and fauna, science and humanities Twitter RoCurs, and studying Cold War history.
Administrator of the @WeRWorld Twitter “global village” RoCur account, Matthew can normally be found holding forth as @smiffy, tweeting mostly in English, with the occasional bit of bad French thrown in for good measure. Instagram: @schamiyam
Becky Hellwig is Silicon Valley-born-and-bred. Less than two months ago Becky and her German husband packed up the kids and the house and moved to a small village just outside of Chemnitz (formerly Karl Marx Stadt), Germany. Becky has three beautiful girls: Stella, 8, and identical twins Marybelle and Rosalee, age 4. The children and the husband are adjusting well.
Becky is enjoying a fresh change from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. Sometimes you can find her travelling to larger cities such as Berlin, Leipzig, and London to attend international film festivals and is always on the look out for up and coming designers with a bit of edge for the over-40 crowd. You can follow her on Instagram @Beckswunderland and Twitter @beckswunderland.
Amanda Settle is a blogger/writer and housewife living on and exploring a Greek island. She started the blog when moving from Qatar, detailing expat life with food, thoughts, photographs and travel.
With a BA in English literature, a former English teacher who’s travelled the world working, she enjoys writing about things that matter in the world around her. From the refugee crisis to expat life and arriving at middle age.
She is passionate about travel, detailing her trips around Greece and the islands, loves exploring and is excited by discovering new places. Her recipes are Mediterranean-themed, using organic, locally sourced ingredients to help maintain a healthy body in middle age.
She is a 47yr old British expat, married for 6 years with 3 cats and a dog, all rescued in different countries.
Concita Demicoli was born and raised in Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily. Daughter of a restaurateur, her family life centred around the love for food. She started baking at a very young age with her grandma who lived right next door.
Concita moved to Belgium with her family in 2010.
With such a drastic change in climate and produce, her cuisine needed adapting. Her repertoire now also includes soups in July and August, unheard of in Malta, but the Belgian summer sometimes calls for warmer dishes.
She is married and has 3 beautiful girls. The elder ones are already enjoying cooking their own meals and experimenting with local ingredients by adding them to dishes they already knew. So Tiramisu is now made with Speculoos biscuits and Pasta carbonara now includes Jambon des Ardennes.
You can follow her adventures in Belgium and the rest of Europe on Instagram @bakinginbelgium or Twitter @bakinginbelgium.
Lisa Ferland is a public health consultant, writer, and mother of two adorable children. In 2012, she and her husband decided to relocate from Atlanta, GA USA to Stockholm, Sweden in the middle of winter (that was a shock) and raise their family in a more family-friendly culture.
She became pregnant with their second child and experienced Swedish prenatal care firsthand. Her childbirth journey resulted in a fast and painless delivery of her daughter at their home—completely unexpected and unattended—with only her husband and two-year-old son around to catch the baby!
Her remarkably different experiences led her to collaborate with other mothers around the world to publish an anthology about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting cultures experienced as an expat in the book, Knocked Up Abroad. She is currently developing the second book in the series, Knocked Up Abroad Again. She is very active on Facebook and Twitter @knockdupabroad. When not in front of the computer, she can be found playing outside with her kids who are most likely barefoot if it’s summer or bundled up if it’s winter.
Claudia Landini is a cross-cultural trainer and mobile career coach. She has lived in Sudan, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Congo, Honduras, Peru, Jerusalem. Her husband’s work for the International Red Cross brings her in contact with the most vulnerable side of local populations. Twelve years ago she created www.expatclic.com, and since then she has been writing about her life abroad and helping expat women to have rich and meaningful experiences. She virtually leads a team of nine creative expat women living in nine different countries over five continents. She has several achievements under her belt, her two sons being the best of them. She is currently enjoying her empty nest in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Hi, I’m Sarah. A Brit—a proud Londoner to be exact. I have been living in Houston for three years with my husband and two children. We are first time expats and moving countries was a huge step for our family—we were creatures of habit; the kind of family that like to revisit a holiday destination (11 years in a row) and live in the same house for over 10 years! Friends and family thought we were joking when we told them about ‘the big move’ and I didn’t quite believe it myself – not even when the packers arrived. It wasn’t until I boarded that one-way, long-haul flight with my then 6 and 17 year old (the husband had gone on ahead a few months before) that it started to feel real.
Everyone told me we would need a year to settle in. I admit to thinking that sounded way too long to adjust, especially given we were moving to the US—I mean there’s no language barrier (yeah, right) and I’d worked for an American organisation—how hard could it be? Hmmmm, let’s just say I was a little optimistic, or is it naive?
I’m happy to say that I do feel settled here (most days) and I have made some
great friends. My son, especially, loves his life here and we have all really taken to baseball, so much so I was Little League Team Mom (see what I did there?) last season! Baseball has given me exposure to local (non-expat) families and this is a huge plus for me. I love my expat network but sometimes it’s easy to forget we are the anomaly. My biggest challenge is being apart from our daughter who is now back in the UK at university, and aside from the obvious things such as family and friends, I really miss being able to walk to grab a pint of milk (or glass of wine) and yearn for my old job.
I was keen to try this experiment—to embrace something different and to challenge myself. I was an avid tweeter until a few months back. I needed an excuse to get back to into it.
Alie Caswell is a Brit who just passed the five-year mark in Southern Germany. Musician, writer, expat supporter, fluent in the language of international hand gestures and with an always unwavering enthusiasm for marzipan and museums. Originally an accompanying partner (not a trailing spouse) with a detailed 12-month plan to travel, learn a language and check out German culture from the inside. Life decided to extend those plans and she ended up with a Dirndl, a love of beer festivals and living in a wonky halftimbered house in deepest Baden-Württemberg. She blogs about Germany, the expat life and the good, bad and ugly of living somewhere which both exasperates and delights her on a daily basis.
You can find her on social media any time she isn’t working, reading, swearing at her sewing machine or taking photos. She loves connecting with expats because they get it; they understand being the stranger and the crazy ups and downs of the expat adjustment lifecycle in a way that locals and friends and family back home mostly can’t. The transient nature of expat life has not stopped her putting down roots: she was always a European, but she now considers herself a local in more than one country.