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We’re Going Through Transition, We’re Not Scared!

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Each and every year in Expatland, there’s spike in transitions right around June. When summer rolls around (at least in the northern hemisphere) it’s time for good-byes. Graduations, vacations, visits to passport countries, and permanent moves all add up to major changes. Whether you’re the one staying or the one leaving, you are in the […]

Beating Back Cultural Stress with Exploration

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Sometimes cultural differences are seen in the stark differences you notice as soon as you get off the plane. People that look different than you. The polluted sky. The crowded streets. The staring at your fair skin and light hair. Or maybe it is in the tasks of daily life that you feel it. The […]

What’s on Your 2017 Cultural Bucket List?

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When we first moved to Kunming a couple of years ago, I was rarin’ to get out and explore all that this new location had to offer. I wanted to visit ALL the parks, try ALL the local food, and find ALL the little hole-in-the-wall shops that are often key to life in China. Although […]

Tongue-Tied? Blame Your Affective Filter

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I was out running errands and happened to pass by a pharmacy so I popped in to buy some band-aids. In little pharmacies in rural China, band-aids are the kind of thing that are kept behind the counter, so I approached the employees to ask them to get me some. The weirdest thing happened, though. […]

Is It Time to Go Home? (And How Do I Know?)

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Last week while sitting at Starbucks unsuccessfully trying to connect to their internet, a thought came to me, “Is it time to go home?” It had been a particularly stressful day that started with heading to the airport at 6:20 am for a “quick” turn around trip to immigration on another island.  After explosive diarrhea […]

The Shelter of the Golden Arches

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During college, a friend and I spent a summer learning to teach English as a foreign language in Prague. We hadn’t been to the Czech Republic before, nor did we speak the language. When we got off the plane, we met up with a student with limited English vocabulary to find our rental apartment. The three of […]

Our Actions Speak Louder Than Our Hashtags

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I know how it feels when it hits you. You open up your Facebook feed, your Twitter homepage or your CNN app. Something else went wrong today. Terribly wrong. There’s another massacre, another senseless killing, another injustice, another seemingly-unquenchable evil entity rising in governments all around the world. For some of you, it’s not just […]

Transitionitis: Also known as Happy and Sad Syndrome (HASS)

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Written in jest (but only partly)… ABOUT Transitionitis/HASS is a very common ailment affecting hundreds of travellers each year. It is caused by the change in routine brought on by transition, and anxieties (often underlying) relating to the unknowns of the new location and losses associated with leaving the current location. SYMPTOMS Symptoms include –wildly […]