This Global Life Series | 31 Countries, 31 Expats, One Day in Their Life

“So what’s a typical day look like for you?”

I was caught off guard.  The innocent inquirer wasn’t trying to stump me or give me a pop quiz. She was genuinely intrigued about my life abroad and was simply curious as to what my typical day looked like. 

I knew my day in a city with millions of people on the opposite side of the world looked vastly different than her typical day in the suburbs of the U.S.A. Yet, I couldn’t think of anything. My life abroad had become full of so many “new normals,” I didn’t know what to say to her.

“Well, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, so it carries a lot of the same day-to-day duties as mom here in the States. Except, more sweating, more rats, awful traffic…” I stopped myself. No one likes a rambler. “So yeah, same but different.”

“Oh, I hate bad traffic,” the lady responded. “Atlanta is the worst.”

I let out a heavy sigh (in my head, of course…out loud would have been rude). No, not like Atlanta. The traffic there is so neat and organized. Why was I so bad at communicating what a typical day looked like for me?

Sometimes I feel like I sell myself short and other times I feel like I’m giving way too many details about dumping a dead rat out of my trash can. Then there are the things I’ve totally numbed myself to and hardly notice anymore. A visiting friend once told me, “You need to take a picture of the trail of ants you constantly have in your house. It’s crazy.”

The ants? Oh yeah…the ants. I forgot about those…


The inquisitive minds of others and the often asked question, “What’s life like,” is what inspired this 31-day series. We asked 31 expats to document a day in their life, even the details that seemed mundane or boring. The end result? A wonderful, real, raw, beautiful series of pictures documenting the world through the eyes of lifelong learners. 

As I clicked through the photos from (literally) around the globe, I was touched by the common thread that weaves through the lives of all expats.  Even though the languages, foods, sites and smells which fill our days sometimes vary greatly, we all have found normal in the unusual.  We wake each day, raise our children, go to work, struggle through language, embrace new rhythms  and stretch our worldview until we feel it may burst.  

While we take this tour around the world together, I hope that you will be encouraged as you see the lives of other expats.  As you look into their homes, streets and beautiful landscapes, I hope you can look at your own surroundings with a new sense of thankfulness.  There is something extraordinary in being part of a global community.  I hope our comradery as expats and our small online community will continue to grow as we take a moment to experience each other’s lives, even if it’s only via the lens of our cameras.

A link to this post will be available on the sidebar as we continue to update it with the direct links to each stop in our travels. We’ll see you here tomorrow. Same time, same place. No passport needed (which means no immigration lines, yay!)


This Global Life Series | 31 Countries, 31 Expats, One Day in Their Life |

Find other expat stories and share your expat photos using #thisgloballife on Instagram.

Day 1: Indonesia
Kimberlynn | Ants In The Sugar and Taking Route  

Day 2: Thailand

Day 3: Malaysia
Sharon | Down By the Rivers 

Day 4: South Korea
Kara | Cultivate Faithfulness

Day 5: Guam
Anjelica | Anjelica Malone

Day 6: Australia
Courtney | Alkeks Abroad

Day 7: The USA

Day 8: USA while on Home Assignment
Lauren | Upwardly Dependent

Day 9: Haiti
Katie | Katie In Haiti

Day 10: Mexico
Naomi | Hello Hello Hola

Day 11: Guatemala
Michelle | Simply Complicated

Day 12: Peru
Kate | 12 Degrees South

Day 13: Chile
Leah | Gringa Journey

Day 14: Ireland
Karen | Karen O. Huber

Day 15: Scotland
Sophie | Here We Go Again!

Day 16: Netherlands
Elizabeth | Dutch Dutch Goose

Day 17: Germany
Julie | The Serviette

Day 18: Bosnia
Cat | The Doctor’s House and Cat Norman Photography

Day 19: Ukraine
Kim | Wide Awake Family

Day 20: Senegal
Jenilee | Our Goodwin Journey

Day 21: Mali
Anna | Wandering Wegners

Day 22: Ghana

Day 23: Zambia
Jen | The Otts In Zambia

Day 24: South Sudan
Allie | Billy and Allie

Day 25: Djibouti
Rachel | Djibouti Jones

Day 26: Nepal
Amy | Home is Where the Happy Is

Day 27: India

Day 28: Western China
Sara Beth | Market 2 Meal

Day 29: Southern China
Emily | Small Town Laowai

Day 30: Rural China

Day 31: Indonesia
Denise | Taking Route

The following two tabs change content below.

Taking Route Editors

Latest posts by Taking Route Editors (see all)

8 thoughts on “This Global Life Series | 31 Countries, 31 Expats, One Day in Their Life

  1. I love doing #write31Days and I’m participating this year. LOVE your series! Need more of these throughout the year. I post for a few mission sites and your stuff is always great. Wish more mission agencies offered less branded material and more like this – shareable content to inspire the entire mission community and educate the church. Excited to follow!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words. We try and provide content for a variety of expat “types” so that everyone can benefit from it. We’re glad to hear you’ve found it to be helpful and beneficial. Thanks for following along, Donna!

  2. I’m looking forward to reading these!
    By the way, I didn’t see my country on the list. If you ever want, I’m always up for representing Sint Maarten!

  3. Pingback: My Global Life

Leave a Reply