Saying goodbye to a country is hard – I know, I’ve done it three times

I am NOT a good goodbye person. I'm way overly sentimental, I'm all too acutely aware that once you say goodbye to a place you've lived in that even visiting will never be the same again, and I miss both people and things long and badly. I blogged just recently about the sadness of leaving … [Read more...]

Reverse culture shock after study abroad: Jessie on returning from Australia

The next post in my occasional interview series with fellow travellers who've experienced reverse culture shock features a blogger I've known online for a few years now, and the thing that really interested me in Jessie's story is that she left my home country, Australia, and experienced reverse … [Read more...]

The sadness of leaving new homes abroad – the perils of expat life

It was a week or two before I would leave Japan, and I was teaching a one-to-one lesson with Ami, a little girl who'd been coming to individual English lessons at our school for a year or so; she was three by now. At two she had absolutely hated coming to our lessons and we had spent many lessons … [Read more...]

Sending postcards with Lettr and keeping in touch with travel friends

One of my absolute favourite things about travelling (and especially living in a foreign country for a while) is the people you meet, locals and ex-pats alike. It's not surprising that the fellow ex-pats I've met while living abroad are some of my closest friends, because we obviously have a love of … [Read more...]

On four failed attempts to leave Perth in my twenties

When you grow up in a city as isolated as Perth, Western Australia, it's not surprising that you get the itch to leave, at least for a while. From the time I graduated from university (just a little while back now ...) I was looking for opportunities to leave Perth for a while and see something of … [Read more...]

A decade ago in Osaka, my first home abroad, via Instagram

I will always have a special place in my heart for Osaka because it was my first home abroad, and because I truly loved living there and was so sad to leave. It is difficult to explain to someone who hasn't lived there quite why I loved Osaka so much. Even visiting as a tourist, I suspect, might not … [Read more...]

Travelling jobs and back-home careers – my experience with ESL teaching and adult education

A few years back I wrote a post for Vagabondish about Why Travel is Good for Your Resume (you can go ahead and read it ... I'll wait!). I still stand by everything I wrote there 100% and it was that post that prompted a reader named Jasper to write to me with this question: You say that your … [Read more...]

The shock of no culture shock on arriving in Germany

When I first moved overseas to Japan, I definitely experienced a degree of culture shock, as anyone who's been to Japan can understand - they do lots of things differently there. I soon adjusted and loved living this different life, and when I moved on to Slovakia I found another complete set of … [Read more...]

Moving 14,000km from Germany to Australia

Removalists off to load up our container in Heilbronn I'm normally good on anniversaries but it was my husband who realised that today is exactly five years since we landed in Australia. I was returning after living overseas for about five and half years, and he was bravely arriving for the … [Read more...]

Leaving friends in foreign places – stay in touch!

A recent post at the (beautifully-named) Farsickness blog talked about the problem of friendships when you live abroad. Not so much the friends you leave behind when you move abroad, but the friends you leave behind if you move on from your "new" home, and the friends (often fellow ex-pats) who also … [Read more...]