About Me

I’m Jeff Parker and have worked, lived, and toured across 30 countries. Some countries for years, some for months and some for weeks. I have experience to share.

My wife, I and our two young children now live on the eastern seaboard of Canada, just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’re a few hundred feet from the Atlantic ocean and we love it here.

I’m usually a quiet guy. But I hear someone say “I wish I could work overseas…” — I can’t shut up.   🙂
So I started this blog.

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My Special Talent

I have a talent for showing others how to live overseas. Strange, I know. Either by consulting or e-mail, it works well. But I read people well, and understand their situation. And when I talk with people, my experience helps them get their life started abroad. (Read what others have said)

How Did I Start?

As an American, I attended university in Moscow, Russia. When in the military, I had one tour based in Saudi Arabia. Back as a civilian, my first job was working in South Korea, where I met my future Canadian wife. I was hooked on travel!

By the time we got married, we both got the “travel bug” and it’s who we are.

Since then, I have worked long-term in the United States, Czech Republic, Germany and Canada. Our vacation choices are fairly different, like Australia, India, Egypt and Croatia.

What Do I Do for Work?

For over a decade, I did IT consulting positions for a few household name (Fortune 50) companies. That offered travel but mostly only in the US.

Now (and for ever more), I am self-employed. I earn income as a technical writer and editor for publishers in the US, while doing freelance IT consulting locally in eastern Canada. And, yes consulting for you – future expats.

Freelance work is a dream, since it allows me to be with my 2 young children. The same can be said for you, provided you allow me to help.

jeff

 

 

 

 

p.s. I welcome all comments, complaints, questions and requests for help at jeff (at) expatyourself (dot) com

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29 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Jeff,
    Great website and very helpful to me and my wife at this point in our life. We are in our mid to early 40’s and with kid nearly finished with college we are wanting to hit the “reset button” on our lives. We visited a remote, historic village this past March and ended up buying the hotel we were staying in. It was kind of like a 45th B-day present to myself (joke of sorts). Anyhow we are getting all of our ducks in a row and planning our exit strategy. Thanks a lot! – DJ

      1. We did the final closing last Thursday and we are quite relieved. The town had a Bicentennial Festival this past weekend in Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico (as well as all over the country, it was like a four day 4th of July celebration) and La Posada del Rio Sonora stayed more than 100% occupied and we did a ton of business in the restaurant Fonda Banámitzi.
        We still have not sold either of our homes in Alabama and there are other loose-ends to get tied, but we are all the way committed now. Driving back to Arizona late Sunday was the most scenic drive I have ever taken and I am extremely optimistic. The leap of faith comes with such an adrenaline rush once you are realizing terminal velocity of the free-fall. I do not remember ever feeling that naturally high ever before in my life.
        We are putting together a new website soon, I have a friend in Denmark, one in Tucson and one in Hermosillo working on it simultaneously. The domain names are reserved for what is now a singular site, but will soon be quite different, for this reason I will list both. http://www.MexicoEcoResort.com and http://www.LaPosadadelRioSonora.com . And there is always my thrown together blog at http://www.DJandCheri.blogspot.com

        I look forward to reading and learning more.

        DJ

        1. Awesome, DJ. If you need a 4th set of hands (in Halifax), let me know. 🙂
          Any way I can help, I’d be honoured. I love hearing stories like this!

          Congratulations for your leap of faith,
          -Jeff

  2. Hey jeff,

    First off, let me just say bravo. I am truly inspired by your life as an expat in so many different countries. I am 22 years old and I am looking to live in a country such as Canada and New zealand so this blog is really helpful. Keep up the good work.

    Best,

    ben

  3. I love this site and your advice. I’m an aspiring expat…my husband is the type of person that fears living more than 50 miles from where he was born so this is a struggle. However, he is in a field where being an expat may be an easy option (IT) & he loves beer…so being in Europe for a bit would be quite an adventure and great for his resume.
    What is your advice for families with children becoming expat’s in Europe?

    1. hey Teresa, thanks for the kind words – much appreciated. The situation you’re in today sounds just like we were just before I launched this blog. I was in IT management and we (wife and baby daughter) were in the States looking to move to Europe. We first tried several recruiters, but got our first success with Grafton. They’re IT recruiters, among other fields, and offered jobs throughout Europe. We chose Prague and lived there for four years before heading over to Canada, where we’ve been now for 2 years and growing.

      My short advice for IT workers – seek out recruiters and headhunters.

      Best of luck & success,
      -jeff

  4. Jeff,

    My spouse and I are in our late 30’s/early 40’s and we have small children (5 and 1). We are both federal government workers as well as licensed Realtors. We are interested in doing a career change or just a short-term stint in 1-2 years as an expat in Europe. We love the thought of adventure as well as the exposure to other cultures that it would bring to our children.

    Our degrees are a Masters in science (environmental) and a BS in business respectively. But, we don’t want to necessarily want to or have to stay in our fields of work. We have other skill sets that we bring to the table like innovation, critical thinking, communication, leadership, organization, motivational speaking, event planning etc.

    We are comfortable here in our lifestyles, but we are bored and have reached a career ceiling.

    How do you re-invent yourselves to find attractive employment oversees? And, what are safe area that you would recommend for folks with small kids? And how does schooling work when you are an expat?

    I like Belgium alot, but I am open to other areas.

    Is there a life for people who want something ‘new’ and different and want to get it overseas?

    Help! Where do I start?

    1. Thanks for the note, Anon. And we can relate to how you both are feeling, 100%.

      About 8 years ago, we longed for the same adventure, just some temporary adventure, living something exciting before 20 years goes by and we end up regretting not having done it.

      I was just consulting with someone last night, sharing how we made it happen in 3 months. It took us 3 months from when we decided “We’re Going.” to when we flying over and started our adventure in Prague.

      If you want the details, and to know how, then I ask you to click the Hire Me button, use the Buy Now button.

      To paraphrase a great movie: Get busy living, or get busy…wondering.

      -Jeff

  5. Your story is quite inspiring and challenging. Living in 30 countries is a feat that most people can only dream of, but your experience proved otherwise.

    I am looking forward of traveling overseas and Prague is among the top of my list. Looking forward to learn from your expat adventure.

  6. Hey Jeff,

    I guess the term “expats” are mainly used for caucasian who traveled and lived extensively in a country other than their mother land. What about asian then ? :)) (not a racial statement though but clarification needed).

    Myself a Chinese who earned a B.Sc degree from Manitoba University years ago and traveled around the world extensively with a base in Malaysia and shy of a year to 40.

    Having read lots of articles and stories about expats living abroad, I came into conclusion that mostly young expats will leave their host country once their employment gets terminated or just leave on goodwill. And that’s about it for their expats experience. Whereas more mature and older expats tend to turn their adopted country into their old age retirement home (i.e Malaysia). I have had expats telling me that Malaysia is a good retirement home simply because of its relatively cheap and available healthcare. Living expenses (cheap) is also a plus for many expats living here as compared to U.S.
    Another plus point is the climate, where Malaysia is close to the equator and experiences warm weather throughout the year.

    I actually have a neighbour who is a professor emeritus from Germany and he happens to be married to a local chinese lady. He has been in Malaysia for the most part of his life given that his career is in forestry department (since his early 20’s) and he’s 90 plus now and still going strong.

    So much to write about but I’ll stop here.

    S.M :))

    1. Hi Sam,
      Thanks for the comment. But I have to disagree that the term “expat” is limited to a certain race or ethnicity. You give an example that expat mainly means caucasian, then ask what about Asians. Well, nothing about being Asian means you can’t leave your home nation, right? So, there’s absolutely no hidden meaning to a certain ethnicity to being able to leave your country for a different one. 🙂

      1. Hey Jeff,

        Good prompt reply.

        While I’m not try to dispute the term “expat” that is being exclusively for caucasian. No doubt, when you walk in the streets of an asian country and met with a caucasian, they will certainly tell you that they are either tourist or expats. That’s not the case for an asian who traveled to western countries, where asian would normally present themselves as immigrant or just visiting. By making these statements, I do acknowledge that the objective of travel by a person from country to country is different.

        Though I acknowledge and understand “expat”, It’s just a matter of politically correctness when we use it.

        I guess next time when I comment I did better accurately state what I meant. In my phrase “What about asian then ?” I’m simply making a reference to a paragraph in wikipedia that wrote something about “expat as a racial category”
        from wikipedia,
        quote ” ‘Expat’ as a racial category

        By and large the term expat is applied to Caucasian migrants/immigrants with a Western point of origin. Persons of color are largely denied access to the label, regardless of their status or wealth “you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad” ” end quote

        :))

        1. Thanks Sam. I got the clarification and I think I understand better where you’re coming from now.

          From “Googling” your last quote, I found the original is from an online article, The Guardian. The article is titled “Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?”

          The article title borders on sensationalist or at least click bait, but hey, that’s the press nowadays.

          Here’s another quote from the article: “Africans are immigrants. Arabs are immigrants. Asians are immigrants. However, Europeans are expats because they can’t be at the same level as other ethnicities. They are superior. Immigrants is a term set aside for ‘inferior races’.”

          That quote, I CANNOT agree with. That’s begging to draw a line in the sand where there isn’t a beach. Divisive for some, xenophobic for the rest.

          Anyway, I wish you the best of success on your global journey, whether you wish to label yourself an ‘expat,’ ‘immigrant’ or ‘traveller.’ 🙂

          Thank you again for the discussion. An important one.

  7. Jeff, you sent me an email and asked for me to email you back and I did, but didn’t receive anything more from you.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I’ve just replied to you, with a questionnaire to fill in. That will answer my first dozen or so questions. And allow me to make some informed suggestions. Thank you!
      -Jeff

  8. Hi Jeff,

    I’m a bit like yourself and have lived/travelled to lots of places. I grew up in Northern Ireland but moved to England aged 9. My mother loved to travel and so we visited places such as Zimbabwe, Egypt, US, Canada, Turkey, Tunisia and more.

    In my early twenties I became restless with my 9-5 job and decided to become a flight attendant. I did this for a year during which time I met and fell in love with an Italian. I moved to Italy shortly after to work as an Au-pair. While looking after a troublesome four year old I did an online course in English as a Second Language. Not long after successfully completing my course I secured my first job as an ESL teacher in Perugia. However, my boyfriend at the time got itchy feet and took himself off to Lanzarote where I joined him six months later. After Italy, Lanzarote was rather disappointing so I returned to my native country the UK, minus the Italian boyfriend:). I signed up for the CELTA course and secured my second job as an ESL teacher.

    One year later, I applied for the international experience Canada. I secured a spot and so in January 2014 I was on my way to Calgary, Alberta. I soon found my third job as an ESL instructor and a new flame (not as in the Calgary flames). I met a wonderful man from Moldova and we started to date each other. Fast forward seven months and we are engaged. We got married in Canada but a month later we flew to Moldova to celebrate with family and friends. After the whirlwind of love and romance it was on to more practical matters. My husband decided he would join me in the United Kingdom and two months after submitting a settlement visa application; he got his visa. However, shortly after moving back to the UK it wasn’t long before we realised how much we missed Canada and wanted to return. So my husband went back first and I joined him a month later. Here we are today. I have applied for the inland spousal sponsorship and I’m finding the being at home part (without a job) rather difficult. I am an extremely active person and I feel so isolated being trapped at home. Thankfully they have introduced the open work permit for spouses before the first stage approval. I had initially intended to volunteer until I realised it wasn’t allowed. Any useful advice for remaining positive while I play the waiting game?

    Love your posts by the way!! I can relate to them and find them extremely useful.

    1. Kelly – I LOVE your comment! Thank you.

      I can completely relate to you. You are the “trailing spouse,” the non-working expat spouse. What you’re feeling now is what I was feeling about 3-5 years ago when we moved to Canada (Halifax). I think I’ve written about it already, but in summary, we switched roles as breadwinner/stay-at-home parent. It took several months for my work permit to get approved. Our younger one went to daycare for a few hours a day (3/week to start, then led to 5 days/week). During those hours I volunteered heavily (maybe I wasn’t aware it wasn’t allowed). Between PTO at our older one’s school and a local long-term care facility, I found that real rewarding.
      If you won’t/can’t volunteer, I’d suggest digging up something totally out of your comfort zone. Art? Running? Goal of a book a week? Just keep your creativity juices flowing and I think you won’t fall prey to the worst state of becoming sedentary, bored.
      Are you completely prepared for when the open permit arrives? Will you job hunt or start up your own? In either case, any marketing, networking or resume-prep to do?

      I hope this finds you in good spirits. You’ve come a long way!

      Best to you,
      -Jeff

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