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...]

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...]

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...]

In the Middle of a Marriage

We had one of those terrible wedding videos, we're talking pre digital. Our VHS cassette tape arrived a few weeks after the wedding and was played as a source of entertainment for the first couple of years until it was packed away in the back of a cupboard rarely to be seen again. I can't really remember the fine details now but if I had to recall … [Read more...]

Be More Like Mo

I know I've told the story here before, maybe in a blog post? The story about the mate of mine who was telling me about a guy who he works with. Let's call the guy Mo.   Every Thursday night Mo who has lived most of his life in the Middle East, gets together with a few of his mates with a really specific purpose. Mo is muslim, and he … [Read more...]