What Your Grandparents Are Wishing They Told You

The worst thing in the world is regret. Many people as they get older can’t help but wish “If only I …“.

Don’t be that person. Here’s help how…

grandma tells us how it is
Grandma tells us how it is

This post is not a list of top regrets (too predictable). Far better, this is your grandparents’ advice, looking back to their younger selves.

The most popular ways to avoid regret, right here: Continue reading What Your Grandparents Are Wishing They Told You

How to Kill Stress (Expat or Not)

I made a quick document entitled “101 Ways to Kill Stress
(right-click on link to Save)

Hope this helps you as much in your time in need (all the time) as it does me.

Now, of course, having a list of “101 Ways to Kill Stress” can be easier than actually putting just 2 or 3 of them into practice. Let me try to help you with that, too…

Continue reading How to Kill Stress (Expat or Not)

TV = Braincandy

A few months ago I subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog. Every day I get a short observation e-mailed to me. If you haven’t heard of Seth Godin, click on the link on his name for the Wiki article. Fairly amazing, self-made dude.

Anyway, today’s pearl of wisdom is about TV. Or the complete lack of it in Seth’s life. Seth doesn’t watch TV since he feels “there are so many other things I’d rather do in that moment.”


I & the mrs. (dating at the time) stopped watching TV several years ago.

Here’s our story: the show “Survivor” just started. Remember the show where strangers stranded on an island had nothing to do but 5-minute game-show contests? Their staged problems and bickering, distilled down to 20 minutes plus commercials. And all for our entertainment. Behold, Reality TV.

Two Different Directions
Two Different Directions

So, right after we watched this first Survivor episode, my wife said (and I think I remember her words well) “What the fuck have we become today? What was that? What are we doing with ourselves?
I took a mental step back, paused and agreed. She was totally right.

Survival, defense mechanism took over. I opened my toolbox, grabbed a pair of diagonal pliers, and cut our TV’s coax cable to the wall. “There. No turning back from that,” I said.

That was 11 years ago. We haven’t owned a TV since.

Sure, when we’re with friends, at a bar or at their house and the TV is on, we have to be careful not to get sucked in. TV is a novelty now. If we’re not careful, we catch ourselves staring, with our mouths hanging open, …drooling. It’s not pretty.

No one asks what we’ve done “instead.” Maybe the answer might be painful to hear. I will say this: Our Own Choice. We’re no prize winners, but we have accomplished much more than if we hadn’t disconnected. After a few weeks, the lifestyle difference was already huge.
I know I won’t convince anyone. It’s something you know only after a decision to quit.

What are some disadvantages of quitting TV? I hear about Oscars night & the Superbowl only in the news. I miss them, consistently. They’re not something I especially wait for, or hear much about until the morning after.

Do we watch any TV?  We were once hooked on “24” and “Weeds.” For the show “24,” we watched 4 full days worth (4 seasons) But after that, Jack just couldn’t keep our attention. “Weeds” hasn’t come back after the fifth season, so I guess we’re done there, too.
And now our latest is “The Big Bang Theory.” Love those guys. Thanks to the Internet, we can find and watch these fairly easily. It’s all brain candy, but we’re comfy getting our brain candy in single serving portions.

Anyway, enough of the soapbox.

145But I have to question this much… if we never disconnected, would we have left? Would we have become expats? I’m confident that yes, we would have wanted to move.
But I’m not sure the jump would come so easily.

Something to pause and think about.

Vacuum-Powered Snot Sucker

My Rating of Snot Suckers – See Bottom

As I write this, both our son and daughter have colds with runny noses. If you’re a parent of toddlers, you know this means chasing your kid around with tissues every other minute.

Or the alternative is a snot sucker. I think the proper title is “nasal aspirator” but snot sucker is more memorable, so I’m using it.   I should trademark it, in case I go into business with my own product -ha!

The 3 Kinds of Snot Suckers in the World

  1. Those with a bulb (self explanatory) (“A”)
  2. Those with a second tube (“B”)
  3. Those that attach to a vacuum cleaner (wait, attach to a what?!?) (“C”)


(Yes, I made this picture myself from an assortment of grabbed images.)

How Snot Suckers Work

Type A:
Squeeze bulb.
Place narrow end in snotty nose.
Release pressure on bulb.
*Slurp* Pretty self-explanatory really.

Type B:
Place one tube in your (parent’s) mouth.
Place other tube in snotty nose.
Suck air from mouth tube. *SlurP*

Type C:
Place sucker tube near snotty nose.
Calm child.
Turn on vacuum for 2-5 seconds (lower power if adjustable).

Our Experiences

My wife and I only ever heard of the first type when we left the US with our lone 1-year old. Then we moved to Europe. We found the second type and were mildly disgusted by it – but it was pretty effective.  So we used that for a year.

Then our new friends hailed the vacuum-powered snot sucker as the best thing since sliced bread.

Well, we thought “No way – it’ll suck our li’l angel’s brains out!”  However, frustration and a child’s sad eyes help you reconsider anything!  I’m so glad we tried it.

Where to Get Them

Maybe the vacuum-powered snot sucker would not be possible in lawsuit-happy United States. Too bad, their loss.

Trust me, once you go vacuum-powered, you won’t go back. Three years later, we wonder what we ever did without it.

So, let me provide you with quick links on what I see as the Best Model Snot Sucker, in each of the 3 categories I mention above:

A) With a bulb (for infants under 3 months) RATING: 3.5 / 5

B) With a second tube (for 3 months – 1 year) RATING: 4.5 / 5

C) Vacuum powered snot sucker (1 year to adult) RATING: 5 / 5

I have found one online store in Hungary that sells these:

Hungarian Goose Down

If you’re in Europe, get C.  If you’re in the US, order B.

In any case, order now, before your child gets their next cold.  🙂

Hey- An ExpatYourself Forum!!

I’m not just adventurous in real life (yeah, right), I’m adventurous in website administration.

My dream of helping people live overseas suddenly found a glass ceiling – enough time to answer e-mails.
So, one idea I came up with is to create a forum where people could ask questions (and I still answer them), but future people could see the same questions (& answers!).

A central place for questions. Easy access to (everyone’s) answers. It’s a win-win idea.

I present the world’s newest Expat’s Questions and Answers forum: www.expatyourself.com/forum


You may think it’s light on the questions so far…you’re right. You need to ask them first.

Please post your questions there and I will be very diligent about answering them.