Leaving the linguistic smorgasbord

It dawned on me soon after arriving in Estonia this month. We’re not in Luxembourg anymore. No siree, Sigefroid. Unlike the Grand Duchy, there’s no linguistic smorgasbord or palette of patois to choose from. Therefore, kiss good-bye any signs like this:

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The Desperate Expat Wife is quite an experienced Luxy expat by now, but she still asks herself –frequently – the question that is almost as famous as «to be or not to be»: Should I stay or should I go? Now, The Clash, who brought this question much fame,  partly explains why it is valid […]

Expats or lonepats?

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie-Nigerian author There are people “naturally born” to live abroad, and then there are some who cannot even begin to imagine a life somewhere other than in their home country. Of course, a simplistic categorisation such as this one […]

Getting home in time

Most topics can be seen from an expat angle. Using the geometrical angle, one side will be the sheer physical distance and the other socio-cultural changes. The endpoint is personal change and a new take on things ranging from small to big and from fun to serious. Even death is within this angle. It was […]

Expat issues: Aging parents

Ana McGinley with advice on how to deal with your aging parents when you live abroad: Every year the number of people embarking on exciting expat assignments increases. For many expats this excitement is dampened by the loss of family we leave behind. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it is […]

From diapers to dating

We parents need support – from family, friends, other parents or professionals – as our children pass from diapers to I-will-only-wear-pink to I-have-nothing-to-wear (so-I-slam-the-door) to the time they will actually wear nothing with a partner. Underneath there might be other, more serious layers. For expat parents, away from their own country, culture and family, it […]

Body language

Did you hear the one about the Mediterranean who was trying to have a conversation with someone from one of the Nordic countries? The Mediterranean chased the Nord all the way down the hall trying to get close enough to chat. And so it goes with body language. Every culture on the planet has its […]

How to get yourself to speak a foreign language

Hélène Rybol is the woman behind the Culture Shock Toolbox, a website for expats and international students – or future ones – and travelers, filled with musings, checklists and mantras. She’s also author of the ebook “Culture Shock – A Practical Guide”. CLEW is happy to feature her musings on how to get yourself to speak a […]

An expat wife goes back to work

What happens when the (desperate) expat wife goes back to work? On and off throughout her expat (wife) years – and all of a sudden there are quite a few of them and she of course has no idea how that happened – the desperate expat wife has looked longingly into offices, missing the office […]

Living in another language

Hélène Rybol is the woman behind the Culture Shock Toolbox, a website for expats and international students – or future ones – and travelers, filled with musings, checklists and mantras. CLEW is happy to feature her musings on living in another language. So I’ve been thinking about what happened when I started living in another language. […]