Four different homes abroad and what I’ve learnt from them

I'm not a massive fan of moving house. (I mean, really, who is? It's a lot of work!) However, I have moved plenty of times in my life and in particular, I have had four different homes abroad - two different flats in Japan, one in Slovakia and one in Germany. When I read a recent Kiki and Tea post … [Read more...]

Armchair travel: One for families, one for escapees (to Prague or elsewhere!)

My month of armchair travel is coming to a close and it's been so fun, as part of celebrating the blog's 10th birthday, to spend a few weeks immersing myself in some new books about travelling - not quite as good as actually travelling, but certainly a lot cheaper! In this final post of the series, … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Animal travels: It’s funny what you see walking down the road …

My endless folders of photos from my trips show up a common theme: I love meeting animals on my travels! Perhaps it's a variation on meeting the locals. After my recent heavy post on the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, I felt the need to get a bit more light-hearted and remember some of … [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...]

On making my first proper snowman, in Bratislava

Did you know that you can't make a snowman with just any old snow? Some of you will laugh out loud at this question, but there will be some, like me a few years ago, who will say: Really? I grew up in Western Australia; we don't do snow, ever, and I didn't see it fall until the age of 25. I … [Read more...]

Communism in Europe, and how weird that all was

Communism was (and continues to be) weird. I make no apologies for that title. But the thing about weird things is that they get me totally intrigued and I just have to keep knowing more. I grew up in the 1980s when it was accepted that Europe was divided into two, and when my family took our trip … [Read more...]