30-01-12 Love Expats Weekly Showcase
Welcome to this week’s sparkling array of Expat posts; a stolen glimpse into the world of contradictory extremes that IS the expatriate life.
Ever wondered if you’ve got the minerals to make it as an expat? It ain’t all sipping pink gins by the pool. (In fact I haven’t had any gins by a pool – but the wine in the hot-tub more than makes up for it!) You need to be a planner and organiser, but you also need to live in the moment. You have to be strong and independent, but, at the same time recognise the value of networking, making new friends and admitting your weaknesses. You need to be open-minded enough to embrace different ways of doing things, while maintaining your own beliefs and identity. You spend your time working to integrate yourself into your new location, all the while knowing you will always be an outsider. Finally, just when you have become comfortable with all the things that were once so unfamiliar, built genuine friendships and feel like a part of the community, it’s time to move on, to start all over again someplace else.
The nuances of expat life are many and varied and everyone’s experience will be different, but one thing is certain – it’s well worth the effort. Like Bear Grylls, you know you could be dropped into any location and have the skills to survive. THAT gives you a confidence boost like nothing else!
Until next time…
Introduction kindly written by Aisha from Expatlogue.
Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal – Opening Night in Guimarães, European Capital of Culture 2012
Fireworks? Tick. Orchestra? Tick. Massive crowds? Tick. A knight in the air? Tick. Psychedelic lights and stunning graphics projected onto buildings? Tick. Gigantic metal horse and fibreglass man puppets? Tick. What more could anyone possibly want from an opening event? An all night street party? Oh, all right then, if you insist; after all, this is the beginning of a year of culture and festivities in Guimarães.
Largo do Toural, the venue for the free public event by La Fura dels Baus, was already full of people by eight o’clock…
Expatlogue – A farm-girls reluctant farewell
Growing up on an isolated farm in rural Ireland, my childhood memories are largely happy ones. I spent most of my time playing outdoors; the paddock, orchard and single-track lanes gave me ample space to explore, and on wet days I roamed the drafty outbuildings and the high ceilinged barns where the straw bales were stacked. Comfortable in the realm of my imagination, safe in the brightness of the sunshine, things could have been idyllic but for the inexplicable holes and blanks in my childish comprehension. Looking past the fresh air and freedom, all was not well in my world.
A Bavarian Sojourn – The Early Bird
I was up at 5.30 this morning. Not out of choice, but to pack the Small People and the husband off on a day long ski-trip organised by the school, hence the very early start!
The temptation to go back to bed once they had gone was great, but I resisted! We had a bit of snow last night, and I could see a pinky/orangey glow beginning to appear in one corner of the sky. So I got dressed, grabbed the camera, donned my wellies, and ventured out into the still slumbering wilderness…
Quintessentially English – Our 1st Wedding Anniversary
Luke and I celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary on 3 January 2012. It’s hard to believe it was over a year ago now, as I can remember the day as if it were yesterday! With our anniversary date being on a weekday, we decided to properly celebrate it by going to London for the weekend (7-8 January). One of the many redeaming qualities about Milton Keynes is that London is only a 35 minute train journey away. Just think 35 minutes, no stops, and you’re in the middle of one of my favourite cities in the world!
expatbabyadventures – Army of cheese
Life hasn’t been that easy since we moved from the sandpit to the land of windmills and cheese, we have met some lovely people and we hope to meet even more. However it’s not the social life part that’s hard it the home life, I’m not talking marital problems or anything like that. The unsettled wee man that we have in our lives, on the surface he’s taken it all in his stride but scratch the surface and you’ll uncover the nocturnal wee man that we are living with.