How to do a long distance relationship

Last month I spent looking after my two kids on my own. My husband was a away in Chile, hunting out a good school and a home. As a couple we’d done the long distance relationship thing before, but it’s always tough. Sure, at times it’s been glamorous (yes darling, let’s meet in the Philippines), at times it’s been rather…
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Connecting Business Class flight? Learning from my UK-Chile nightmare

Hoorah we made it to Chile! New Year, new country. It was a tough journey. In fact, as a family it was the toughest trip we’ve ever done. It wasn’t travelling with preschool age children which was the issue (on the whole they were well behaved). Nor was it the length of the journey (18 hours wasn’t fun, but the…
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Anyone else (panic) buy before a new expat adventure?

American novelist Ira Levin once said, ‘Anyone who needs more than one suitcase is a tourist, not a traveler’.   This has got me thinking. In January I’m moving with my husband and kids to Santiago, in Chile. We’ve just our stuff shipped last week and now we’re surviving with the basics. It’s been a logistical nightmare sorting our stuff. A container from…
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The true price of expat life: no grandparents

I’ve been rather poorly these last couple of of weeks. My husband has been away in Chile and it turns out that looking after two preschoolers with a strong dislike of sleep doesn’t agree well with my body. It’s times like these that I appreciate my parents more than ever. My grandparents are truly grand My mother and father have…
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Expat stress can make your speech go funny

Did you know that stress can affect your speech? Neither did I, until today. I’ve been rather poorly recently and the doctors can’t figure it out. My tongue is swollen, my mouth is full of ulcers and I get the shakes now and again. At night time it gets so bad that I wake up to little pools of blood…
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Expat mums: Do you suffer from EMS?

Expaters, do you suffer from bleeding gums, eczema flare ups, extreme fatigue, sleepless nights, dizzy spells, nausea and / or mild grumpiness? If so, chances are you’re suffering from EMS (Expat Mum Syndrome). Symptoms usually manifest themselves at the beginning of a new expat adventure and worsen when the patient’s spouse is away and unable to share the childcare responsibilities.…
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Mindful packing for expats (and surviving with just a teapot)

We move to Chile in January. Plenty of time, you say. Yes, but we’re getting our stuff shipped this week. As an expat for most of my life I should be used to it, but it’s turning into a logistical nightmare. I’m drinking tea to calm my nerves. I moved to the UK with my first son (Sebastian), a big…
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Sod it, the packing can wait

These last few weeks have been chaotic. The kids have been off nursery for three weeks due to a sickness bug. Three weeks. These last few days they’ve been healthy enough to run around, shout from the top of their lungs and need entertainment (Muuuuuuummy! We need play dough… Quickly!), but were possibly contagious, so we’ve had to keep them…
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Is your expat life one big coincidence?

Everyone has their Magnolia moments. The incredible coincidences that shock, surprise and steer life in another direction. For us expats are these freak encounters not such much bizarre occurrences, but a normal part of life, however? Recently I posted on a question about Chile on an expat Facebook group. I’m looking to move there with my family in January and…
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Born abroad: how not to give birth as an expat

After giving birth most women slump into their beds exhausted, smiling for cute photos with the latest addition to their family. As for me, based in Switzerland and set to move to Belgium I was dealing with rental agencies. ‘Sorry, Madame you don’t seem to understand – I can’t show you around the apartment. I’m in hospital… I just had a…
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