Browsing CategoryExpat Life

ridgewayco

I’ve long believed that it’s just easier and often smarter to align everything in your life into one cohesive plan. Where I live ties into what I write, which ties back into the type of activities we end up doing, and so on. I wrote Mother Tongue because I wanted to learn those languages, to visit those countries, and in some way I did those things so I could write about them too (maybe Beijing in the winter was overkill). I could never be someone who lived one life and wrote about another. For me it all has to align.…

washmon

There’s one thing I’ve learned in my travels that has always stuck with me. No matter where I go, no matter what language spills out of my mouth, no matter how many years I’ve lived, breathed, embraced another culture – I will be, for better or worse, American. Like everyone, I’m trying to wrap my head around Trump-as-President. I watched Michael Moore talk on MSNBC about rural whites being frustrated – and I get that. They also talked about liberal elites not understanding their plight – and yes, as a country we’ve failed to fix it. But not because we don’t…

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Hey guys! Just a quick note from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as we prepare to head west to Seattle! Tomorrow I’m hosting a free webinar about self-publishing v. traditional publishing. I’m a big fan of both (I’ve self-published four books of my own, two of other people and my memoir was published with Penguin Random House). It’s a completely different experience with pros and cons to both sides. Here’s what I know: 1. More people should attempt the traditional route then what I see coming through my writing courses (self-publishing has become the default for a lot of bloggers). 2. It’s…

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Ultrasound! Baby Gender! Well, this makes it feel real. I saw the baby floating around in there, kicking like mad, which always amazes me because I can feel it but never to the extent of what gets revealed during the ultrasound. This little one was having a party in there. Before the ultrasound we had a big talk with the kids about how we’d all be very happy even if it’s not a boy (Cole) or not a girl (Stella). We practiced saying it. Stella was like, “I am okay if it’s a boy. But it’s not a boy, it’s…

frustration

Yesterday I received this email: “We had a baby 18 months ago, and I’ve been in graduate school, so my husband was the sole supporter of our family. All of these things have really increased his distractibility, ability to sit down and work and do his job. I am really at my wit’s end with trying to help. As a more neurotypical person, I can’t relate well or give advice and it is very frustrating for me. Of course this is all very frustrating for him too. I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for how to deal…

oaxacastreet

I know, this is shocking, but of the 8.7 million or so Americans that live overseas and the millions more that travel there each year, some of them are… PREGNANT. You’d think the CDC had never heard of Americans living in other countries. You know, we do! And if you put us all together we’d be the 12th largest state in the US. About the size of New Jersey. Imagine if the CDC was like, “Listen, to protect your unborn baby’s life don’t travel to New Jersey. At all. Oh and if you’re in New Jersey, well good luck.” Here’s…

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In 2011, I started a blogging course called Blog Brilliantly – because I was so tired of the two extremes of blogging advice. On one side you had the internet marketers who were raving about SEO and landing pages – on the other side you had experienced writers who were pouting about how the internet was ruining everything. Here’s my take: long-term success as a creative comes from joy – a lot of the “internet marketing” types of tips tend to led to burn out because while they can work, it’s not exactly soul-nourishing to do SEO and high pressure sales…

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The CDC recommends that pregnant women stay out of Zika-infected areas. Completely. But what if you live there? Then what? Should you move away? How big is the risk? Is it just “don’t take unnecessary travel there?” or “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE?” or most likely, “We’re not sure, but better safe than sorry.” How big of a deal is Zika if you’re pregnant? As I enter my second trimester, situated in Oaxaca, Mexico, where yes, there have been cases of Zika, I am in this weird state of not knowing exactly how much risk I’m taking on. To date, I’ve…

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I wrote a post the other day comparing Barcelona to Oaxaca and talked a bit about why we like Oaxaca so much. At the time, it occurred to me that there’s not a whole lot of information out there about other cities that are well-suited for settling down, so I thought, “Hey, I should turn this into series.” Boom, one week later, here we are! There’s such a huge difference between “Places that are fun to visit” and “Places you end up living” – so I thought it would be cool to give people an insight into what places rank well…