45 Life Lessons, Written By a 90 Year Old

This has been posted on the Internets more times than my phone number on bathroom stall walls across the world. But, like in both cases, why not post again, hoping for more action?

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Continue reading 45 Life Lessons, Written By a 90 Year Old

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.

How Expats Greet Each Other

Before I talk about expats, let’s go over a typical ice-breaker conversation in the United States:

Charlie: “Hey, Alice – I want you to meet Bob. Bob, this here’s Alice. Talk amongst yourselves.”

    Alice: Hi Bob. What do you do?
    Bob: I’m a butcher/engineer/shepherd/{any trade you want} You?
    Alice: I write for the local paper.
    Bob: Oh, that must be interesting…how long have you been there?
    Alice: About 4 years. Yeah, I like it. I meet a lot of interesting people.
    Bob: That sounds interesting.

Should sound familiar. It’s pretty much the dialogue you have each time you meet someone, right?

Okay, now how about the same ice breaker between expats?

    Jeff: So, where are you from?
    Martin: UK {note to non-Britons: they never say Great Britain! 🙂 }
    Jeff: Ok, cool. I’m American. How long you been here?
    Martin: 8, 8 1/2 years – you?
    Jeff: Just 4 years.
    Martin: What do you do?
    Jeff: I work at {insert multinational company or global datacenter}
    Martin: Oh, yes, I know a lot of Americans there. You know Buddy Sowenso?
    Jeff: I’ve heard the name, but I don’t know him yet. What do you do?
    Martin: I’m teaching English at the {insert language school or city college}.
    Jeff: Oh, okay. Do you get home often?
    Martin: Once, maybe twice a year. You?
    Jeff: Not as much. Been back just one time

    [ …… after more socializing / drinking ….. ]

    Martin: I couldn’t believe it …Totally didn’t expect that!
    Jeff: Unreal…only here, right? So, plans to return home?
    Martin: Yeah, probably after another year or so. You?
    Jeff: I’m almost ready. Maybe after another year or so.

See any differences? Talk amongst yourselves. 🙂

Now, how expat friends greet each other is another story. Do expats hug, kiss or handshake?

Lose the Routine – Live Abroad!

what am i doing here?
what am i doing here?
Most people live theirs lives day to day, by a routine.
Waking, working, eating, sleeping – by the clock. Sure, some people extend their daily routine with weekly or monthly ‘extras’ (swimming practice on Wednesdays, book club on the first Monday), but those quickly become routine life, too. Days, weeks, even months pass – we become robots in life -and we look back at a year asking yourself some questions:

    Where was the added value? What will I remember about this year?
    How would I do this year over again? Is it too late to do it now?
    How will I possibly find my one, true love?

After a couple years of asking yourself (or your friends/partner/spouse) these questions, you feel a growing desire to make a change. “I need a Big Change in life.” Your answer below.

Continue reading Lose the Routine – Live Abroad!

Why Be An Expat?

runlogoNeed a reason to become an expat? Here are the most popular:
• “I have no job. Now what?” – There are countries begging for English speaking workers.
• “I want to retire cheaply.” – Go retire for cheap in a country with a low cost of living.
• “Looking for adventure and whatever comes my way!” – Plenty of adventure abroad.
• “Wanted by the Man.” – “I understand extradition from Rio is very complicated.” (Fletch, 1984)

Other popular reasons for US citizens:
• Broadening children with new cultures, new languages, new sights.
• Making your first $92,000 tax-free from the US government (for 2009 tax year)
• Speaking of taxes, you get an extra 2 months to file. April 15th – No. June 15th – Yes!
• Finding that special someone.

Hey, if these reasons aren’t quite enough, how about 100 reasons more? Enjoy!