Can your friendship survive repatriation?

Summer in Shanghai is repatriation time. As the school year ends, families say goodbye to their time abroad, often returning to the same place (and life) they had before. Sometimes people begin new lives in another foreign country, but either way there’s an adjustment for the friends who leave and the friends who stay behind.... Continue Reading →

Resolutions: the start of year three

Last week marked the two-year anniversary of our arrival in Shanghai. So much in our lives has changed since that first lonely week in our new home. We returned from a summer in the US and easily settled back into the school/ayi/work/activities life we had carved out for ourselves over the past two years. Everything... Continue Reading →

Holiday loneliness

Today is the 4th of July in the US, typically one of the most fun weeks of the summer as people skip work and spend time with friends and family at BBQs, fireworks shows, and town parades. Here in China, it’s just Wednesday. Due to several life circumstances (new baby, traveling husband, best China friend... Continue Reading →

Abroad in Australia

I started this blog to talk to moms in Shanghai who are in a similar situation as me—away from family and friends, potentially for the first time, and trying to figure out how to make a life for themselves in a totally foreign land. After a year and a half meeting friends from all over... Continue Reading →

Giving birth in China (part 1)

I recently began interviewing moms in Shanghai for an upcoming SEA Courier article on giving birth in China. As my due date approaches, I am more and more interested in other women’s birth stories and can’t help but compare them to my first experience back home in the US. While everyone’s story is unique and... Continue Reading →

Being in the here and now

I recently wrote an article for the Shanghai Expat Association (SEA) Courier magazine on what a spouse needs to do to get her family ready to repatriate or move on to the next expat assignment. I spoke with a dozen women who live or recently lived here, which in and of itself was an awesome... Continue Reading →

The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. — G.K. Chesterton

The potty party

When we decided to potty train our son I knew it would take a lot of effort, patience, and loads of laundry. I read a book about it, I cleared my calendar for 3 days, and I told my husband it wasn’t going to be easy every step of the way. But man, I had... Continue Reading →

New year, new start

Happy New Year, everybody! It’s taken me a little bit to get back into the swing of life here in Shanghai. I admit, I was not super excited about coming back home after our month in the States. Yes, I wanted our routine again, and I was tired of living out of a suitcase, but... Continue Reading →

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. — Mark Twain

The holiday hurry-up

The end of the year always brings with it the anticipation of family holidays, the rush to see friends at holiday parties, and the excitement of opening presents with little ones. As an expat, I feel a need to hurry up and get into the holidays even more than I did when I lived at... Continue Reading →

A Conversation on Perspective

When we accepted this expat assignment, my husband and I had family goals we wanted to achieve while living abroad. I also had a few that were just for my own growth and development. One thing I really wanted to focus on was being open to exploring and understanding other ways of life. I wanted... Continue Reading →

Happy birthday, son

My son is 2 today. I simultaneously feel that he has been a part of my life forever and yet I am still overwhelmed every time I realize that the little boy calling me mommy is looking squarely at me. He looks to me for everything—from the moment he wakes up and wants to start... Continue Reading →

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. — Ernest Hemingway

1 year in

Yesterday was our one-year anniversary of living in Shanghai. I thought it would feel more momentous somehow, and it ended up being just another day. But I think that's good. I think it means I have finally stopped thinking of myself as someone who just moved here, and instead look at my life here as... Continue Reading →

Back to school

Our son started his preschool class last week. It was a week of great highs and lows as he adjusted to this new place, and more importantly, adjusted to being there without me. Every new situation he faces causes me to feel of two minds: I want him to feel safe and happy but I... Continue Reading →

Is ex-pat life itself enough?

What is it like to be an accidental ex-pat? So much of what we think of when we imagine the ex-pat lifestyle is a conscious choice to branch out and explore new countries, either solo or with your family. But what if the path to ex-pat life is only a path in retrospect? Today we’re... Continue Reading →

Not good enough?

A common thread when meeting ex-pats on their journey through Shanghai is that most of them have much more experience being “away from home” than you do. As a first-time ex-pat, the events, activities, adventures, and feelings are all new for me. But for many of the women I meet, this is just the latest... Continue Reading →

The not-so-long goodbye

In almost a year of living in Shanghai, only recently did I experience my first true initiation into ex-pat life: a good friend moved back home. I knew it was coming, as she and her husband had alluded to the potential for months. But their final exit came fast, something I know now to be... Continue Reading →

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