What is the hardest thing about living abroad?

To your friends and family back home, it might seem like you’re living an endless vacation. Especially if you only share cool photos on Facebook (I’ve been guilty of that). But long-term expats know better. The challenges of residing in a foreign country are very real. There was a discussion thread on Quora titled, What is the hardest thing about living abroad?

Looking … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | November 5, 2012
Category: Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind

What to bring if you move to China (or anywhere in Asia)

“What do I bring?” is a vexing question that most first-time expats face. You don’t want to bring something and carry it when you could just buy it on the ground. On the flip side, you don’t want to be stuck without an item you really need.

Nick and Tim from The Elevator Life, a video blog for young Western expat entrepreneurs in China, made this video:

Some of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 15, 2012
Category: Asia, Expat Life, Travel Video

Book review: Dancing in the fountain by Karen McCann

Dancing in the Fountain how to enjoy living abroad written by Karen McCann Now available in print and on e-reader, August 2012

“Living abroad is an opportunity to reinvent yourself that rarely exists outside the witness protection program.” ~Karen McCann

From their first date, Karen and her … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | August 2, 2012
Category: Destinations, Europe, Expat Life, Languages and Culture, Travel Writing

A fast way to calculate cost of living in different countries

Considering costs is a vital part of planning your entry into expat life. Neglecting budgeting can abruptly cut short a stay. On the other hand, a little financial planning can pay off in a longer and more enriching lifestyle than you dreamed possible.

A great web-based tool for this is Numbeo. Just type in the name of a city or select a country from the drop-down list.  … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | May 21, 2012
Category: Expat Life, Money Management

Budget travel: a view from long term vagabonding


There has been a recent debate about budget travel against cheap travel: the article draws some interesting comparisons between budgeting your trip, and actually being too much of a cheapo to make the best out of it. As much as I agree with many of the statements presented in the article, I had to stop and think hard to find a parallel with my own experience.  Because I did not.

Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | March 8, 2012
Category: Asia, Destinations, Expat Life, On The Road, Vagabonding Advice, Vagabonding Life

Complete guide for American expats returning home

Have you ever returned home, only to feel like home was more foreign than any of the exotic locales you’ve visited?  You’re not alone.  Reverse culture shock has a way of ambushing people, despite how much you may have heard about it. When we travel, we have our awareness up.  We know we must learn and adapt.  But home?  We let our guard down.  We don’t have to think too hard, because we’re back on … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | February 24, 2012
Category: Backpacking, Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind

The remote CEO who left his company to see the world

Most career break literature out there is focused on the employee who requests a leave of absence from his boss.  Rarely is it about the boss who takes a sabbatical from his own business.  Inc. magazine had this story: Inside the mind of a runaway CEO.

While most office satire is about the workers being stuck in their jobs, this article illuminates that … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | November 25, 2011
Category: Expat Life, Lifestyle Design, Notes from the collective travel mind

Budget traveler interview: Marcus Sortijas

Pop quiz, hotshot: what are the best travel tips you can share?  I’m more comfortable writing stories about other travelers. This time, I was on the other side.  Jessica Spiegel, a fellow vagablogger, put me in the hot seat in Budget Traveler Interview: Marcus Sortijas.

The piece was displayed on the website CheapTicketLinks, along with interviews of other vagabond luminaries such as Seth Kugel, who … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | August 5, 2011
Category: Backpacking, Expat Life, Lifestyle Design, Notes from the collective travel mind

Getting started as an expat writer

Working as a writer abroad is like tackling two dreams at once: writing and travel. Tough to pull off, though especially if you want to earn a living.  Graham Holliday, an experienced journalist, laid out his strategies for success in this Slideshare presentation: Frontline Club – solo foreign correspondent.

My favorite advice was in slide #26:

Go somewhere cheap – especially if money is an issue – and … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 22, 2011
Category: Expat Life, General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing