Ah, the life of an expat. Most of us only dream of packing up for a new life abroad. As daunting of a commitment it may be to leave a family and home behind, experiencing a new country for the long term can be an equally fulfilling endeavour. Some expats relocate to foreign lands reluctantly to spend a year or two abroad. Others board a plane and never look back.
Before moving abroad, the word expat brought to mind the military wives, forced to leave their homes to follow their husbands. The term “expatriate” derives from the Latin prefix ex (out of) and patria (native country or fatherland). Expats typically decide to leave their home country for a career pursuit or to fulfill a personal dream, rather than out of economic necessity.
In my opinion, Australia is one of the best countries to be an expat, from the beautiful beaches and warmer climate to a laidback lifestyle and work-life balance. Not to mention the lack of language barrier and similar culture making for a smoother transition. Even so, I fantasize about life as an expat in Asia or Europe in comparison, and get my daily dose of inspiration from my favourite expat blogs. I’m blushing on you…
Amanda is blonde, bold, and beautiful. What’s not to love? After moving to Portland with her college sweetheart and deciding a 9-5 job wasn’t for her, the dynamic duo sold everything and packed up for a new life. They spent 2.5 years in South Korea where the language barriers made for a life-size game of charades and sticky situations. Next they moved to New Zealand where they spent three weeks in a campervan before finding a place to live.
Amanda gives an honest perspective on the struggles of travel blogging and long-term travel. She shares post ideas, tips on growing your travel blog, and types of travel bloggers. Her photography tutorials on shooting at night, fireworks, and astrophotography are pure gold.
Iceland was honestly never on my radar before Kaelene filled me with a daily longing to visit. Here’s her non-conventional story: Oregon girl visits Australia, meets an Icelandic boy, looks on map to figure out where in the hell Iceland is. Fast forward three years, girl moves to Iceland to be with boy.
Kaelene shares her awkward encounters with the locals, similar to my experiences in Australia. Her tips for expats, living abroad and thoughts on not needing to fit into a blogging niche hit home on so many levels. With our love of wine, strong bonds with our mamas and discovering our passion for travel in Australia, I know Kiki and I would be fast friends.
Originally hailing from North Carolina, Casey set out to “follow” her husband through the air force. After spending three years in Germany and traveling to 28 different countries, the pair recently made their way back to start a new chapter in Florida, where Casey is living out her dreams as a travel agent. (Hire her!)
Casey reflects on the rainbows & butterflies we seem to portray in the digital world and how travel can change your entire outlook on life. Her custom itinerary map tutorial will come in handy planning my next trip!
What makes expat life so addictive is that every boring or mundane activity you experience at home is, when you move to a foreign country, suddenly transformed into an exciting adventure. When abroad, boredom, routine and ‘normal’ cease to exist. And all that’s left is the thrill and challenge of uncertainty. – Reannon Muth
Kelly is one of those people you meet and can’t help feel an instant connection with. As a fellow yank down under, we never ran out of things to talk about. She left me too soon in our friendship, but I couldn’t be more proud of her new venture teaching English in Thailand!
KP began the Where in the World meetups to connect Sydney travel bloggers. To date, she’s traveled to 30 countries, studied in and lived in three – all before turning 23. Her quirky series such as Crazy stories down under and expat guides fill me with endless entertainment. Now Kelly wants your story, realizing she’ll never possibly be able to see everything this vast world has to offer.
Ariana, while not technically an expat, calling Australia home for the past 20 years, knows her heart will forever remain in her birth country of Bosnia & Hercegovina. Sadly the war took her privilege of growing up in this beautiful place away. She is one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met and am lucky to call her a friend.
In 2013, she returned “home” for the first time since the war, and has been back three times since! She savoured the smell of fresh bread from the pekara, hearing the ezan call from the mosques, walking down old cobbled streets, knowing despite the hardships and tragedy which hit this beautiful country in the 90’s, people are moving on. Join Ariana as she rediscovers her roots and show the world the beauty of Bosnia and why this heart shaped country should be on everyones bucket list!
Jayne is a Londoner living in Sydney and “accidental” travel blogger. She went from studying law to social media buff, as what began as a hobby turned into a career. She shares my obsession with street art and sweet treats, so of course we get along just swimmingly.
There is so much truth in her love/hate relationship with Sydney (the good surely outweighs the bad). She shares her lessons learned from 40 countries before she was 30 and tips every expat can use for being a tourist in your own town. After five years of experience, I value her list of blogging mistakes to avoid.
Carly had the opposite experience of me as an Australian expat in America. After six months of travels, she has returned to Queensland, Australia, but forever has a severe case of wanderlust. I’ve learned from experience that travelling together will make or break your relationship and will change it forever. Carly share’s her tips to survive and thrive in couples travel.
The best part? She has an equally gorgeous identical twin!
Margo is a Virginian currently calling Heidelberg, Germany home. She chronicles her escape to a world bursting with charm, cobbled stone, and accents: Europe. Instead of tour buses and museums, she thrives on the unique, offbeat experiences such as boating in Austria, kayaking Lake Killarney, or exploring fairy tale castles of Bavaria.
Interested in visiting Europe? Check out her comprehensive City Guides to Amsterdam, Venice, Paris, Prague and more! 10 amazing one week Europe itineraries and dreamy AirBnb’s under $100 (with a view!) Her lessons learned on making it as an expat ring true.
I was an adventurer, but she was not an adventuress. She was a ‘wanderess.’ Thus, she didn’t care about money, only experiences – whether they came from wealth or from poverty, it was all the same to her.- Roman Payne
10. The Rachael Way
Rachael is a fellow Ohio gal (and great friend of mine!) who also got her first full time job across the world. We chuckle at the stark differences between life in China and Australia. Not to mention, she’s a teacher, and I’m an IT nerd. She is one of the most genuine and authentic people I know and this shines through in her blog. She opens up about the tough parts of being an expat, and I’m sure we can all relate to the feelings of disconnect, loneliness and confusion.
Kate is a British expat living in Frankfurt, Germany. Unhappy with her job, she took off on a life of adventure. Since leaving England in 2012, she’s lived in five countries, gotten married, and kickstarted her career. Guess what? You too can Quit Your Job and Travel the World.
She ponders how life would be different if she hadn’t spent a year living in France and 6 months on a greek island. Kate shares her thoughts on solo vs couple travel, how to move abroad for a year, and become an au pair. As expats, we all have those moments of longing to be home.
The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped. –Adam Gopnik
12. Treasure Tromp
Nicole is a California girl, documenting the treasures of life, one adventure at a time. She moved to Cape Town, South Africa in June of 2013, but is now back home treasure hunting in California. Her love of travel forever remains. I’m sure every expat known to man can relate to her 7 stages of long-term travel. She is a master travel photographer and check it out, this girl has been everywhere! I’d love to see that passport.
13. Where’s Wallis
Caitlin is an England gal, taking a sabbatical from her corporate career in finance for an adventure in Sydney. And I’m so glad she did or we never would have met! Lusting over her two week trip to Bali, Lombok, Gili Islands, and Kuala Lumpar. She recently launched a website for those lonely times of solo travel. Coming soon to a city near you! This girl is destined for great things.
14. Land of Marvels
Casey has a unique story, growing up in Saudi Arabia and has traveled the world ever since. She already has plans to visit Hawaii, Iceland, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Bali all in 2015! She features fellow travelers every each month in a destination series, where you could be next.
Check out her helpful tips on living like a local, credit card points, photography, balancing home and travel and so much more! Get an honest look on the truth about traveling: when you don’t like your destination, the less glamorous parts, and investing in moments. I could get lost in a Land of Marvels for hours!
Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was. – Jodi Picoult
15. As the Bird Flies
Frankie is originally from the UK, now living in Amsterdam with her Australian partner. How’s that for fun? She shares travel advice and inspiration and doing what makes you happy. Her passion is to help others travel and work without dependency on a fixed location. She shows how to be a digital nomad, transition from a full-timer to a freelancer, and maximise your blog’s potential to gain freelance work.
16. Rhyme & Ribbons
Amanda grew up in the deserts of New Mexico, but was won over by London (and a charming English boy- who took her on a pub crawl for their first date) during university and couldn’t stay away. She has a degree in acting but a love for sharing her travels with others. Check out her adventures as an expat in London– 5 years and counting!
17. We Laugh Anyway
Yalanda was newly married and almost settled, when the two decided they needed a change of pace. They packed their bags and landed in Seoul, South Korea. Their end goal is to live on the West Coast, but first are indulging their need for travel while young and able. She shares the shenanigans she gets herself into and odd bits of culture shock. I appreciate Yalanda’s honest perspective on being black in South Korea.
Rachel is an Australian working in Berlin, German. She believes wholeheartedly that we must step outside of our comfort zones, embrace every opportunity and continually push ourselves to broaden our experiences and grow as individuals. A few of her favourite destinations are Japan, Cambodia, Nepal, and India. She dishes on why you too should become an expat. Pretty convincing, eh?
Sara is a Canadian in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. After graduating in 2013, she took a job as an au pair in Koblenz, Germany. She chronicles her move and adventures abroad as an au pair nanny. When expat life gets you down, you get right back up. Resiliancy, baby.
Jessica is a San Diegan native, chronic over-thinker, caffeine addict, spicy food lover and serial expat. Sounds like we’d get along perfectly. She’s visited over 30 countries, many solo and without a ton of money in the bank. She studied in Buenos Aires and worked in Ecuador, then taught English in both South Korea and Madrid. She backpacked Asia for 5 months and has since quit teaching to blog and travel.
She admits to being stuck in the grey area of the in between, a feeling all too familiar as an expat. Life in another country isn’t always perfect, when depression strikes and lessons learned from a life of travel. How interesting is it that in our twenties, travel can be both the problem and the solution?
Jessica dishes on the secret world of travel blogging and why you shouldn’t start a travel blog (and what to do if you’re not going to listen). She gives advice on things to consider before moving abroad and how she left home with $4,000 and traveled for four years. America, we’re doing it wrong. So true.
There is a romanticized ideal of life abroad. It’s one where every day is full of new friends, carefree afternoons and spontaneous weekend trips. Life abroad seems like constant a fairy-tale land where expats clink glasses in honor of avoiding ‘the real world’ while basking in their new-found utopia.
I hope you found some new inspiration today. Check out Fearless Females edition and stay tuned next week for the dashing male travelers I’m crushing on!