Before you put your pink bow on

October is a big month for our family, it begins with my son's birthday and ends with my husband's (which is usually completely overthrown by Halloween). Over the years it's meant four kids with four costume requirements and some crazy class party baking requests. A couple of years ago a breast cancer diagnosis meant I added chemo to the list of … [Read more...]

The Expat Mongrel

*Spoken at The Big Fat Expat Meet-up at the Shangri-La Shanghai* Before the pedigree plague of poodles of varying degrees, before the oodles, the spoodles, the cavoodles and groodles, or Golden Doodles depending on which part of the world you're from (Australians stop giggling now) before the oodles - there was your basic mongrel. The family … [Read more...]

Why You Need To Stop Sharing Those Useless Red Love Hearts

My left boob is sore. It hurts when you apply any pressure to it and it feels a little angry to touch. The scar that was left after my lumpectomy has well and truly healed but it's what lies underneath that's the worry. And when I say worry, I mean it's a pain, a complete pain in the ars... boob. I'm assured it's nothing sinister (I had an MRI a … [Read more...]

Just Me and Steve

If you've ever moved country as a family, you know to expect the unexpected. For us, it has been a different experience for each move. But if I had to put seven moves together, it would look something like this: You arrive in your new location in a state of exhaustion from packing and saying an emotional goodbye to your previous destination. As … [Read more...]

Expats Are Travellers Who Stay Still

I read somewhere that expats are travellers who stay still. In my early expat years I used to get a bit miffed when people likened my expat life to their backpacking years. Yes, just like it. Except you possibly didn't struggle to get the home phone connected or the electricity back on. You didn't worry about your residency permit or the … [Read more...]

The World Needs More Erikas

It was a lunch with new friends, an outing I'd pushed myself to attend. Fourteen women of which I had met one. If you're a perpetual expat it's something you know you have to do. Put yourself out there, continue to recruit, take a deep breath and walk into a venue, a meeting, a lunch or a coffee with your friend radar on high alert. The one … [Read more...]

There were 65 expat women in a room

There were 65 women in the room. Women of all different nationalities, skin colour and religion. It was an after-hours event, organized specifically for the networking purposes of international professional women. Before it was my turn to speak to the group I asked two questions of the crowd. "How many of you initially moved to Qatar because … [Read more...]

How Do You Re-Invent Your Career? This Is What I Did.

The invitation to speak came in the form of a message, a night with the Qatar Professional Women's Network, would I be interested in speaking? I checked out the evite "Hear our speakers talk about how they reinvented their careers since moving to Doha". So how do you re-invent your career? How did I re-invent mine? Let’s start from the … [Read more...]

Why Your Parents Want You To Just Get Along

The youngest of our travellers has a scar right in the middle of his forehead, only faint, but enough to make a mother wince while strategically running her fingers through her child's hair. Its origin sits proudly with his elder sister (traveller number two). Annoyed at the time it was taking him to push the doll's stroller from one side of the … [Read more...]

If You’re Worried You’ve Messed Up Your Children, You Probably Have

The conversation took place while we were 'home' over the holidays in Australia.  Our local (non expat) life.  A neighbour I hadn't met before was about to embark on a solo parenting stint. Her husband was heading overseas to work, he'd be away for about six months. They'd considered moving the entire family (again) but it just felt too disruptive … [Read more...]