London is beautiful, bustling with life, and full of charm. Central London is absolutely gorgeous and I fall in love every time I go there. There is so much to see but unfortunately, so little time if you are a tourist. One of the merits of being an expat is that you are a tourist in the city where you live and you can enjoy this all year round. Whatever the case, don’t worry. Even if you only have a couple of days to spend in London, you’ve got a number of sightseeing options to choose from. My favourite so far – London Duck Tours.
Moving abroad is an exciting experience but it could be quite stressful and challenging. There are so many things to consider, organise and get done before you leave your home country. Mary Johnson has prepared some useful tips on how to begin your expat life smoothly and minimise the pressure.
1. Choose the right destination.
Moving to a new place is a thrilling adventure, so choosing the right destination for you will make the transition even smoother. Researching the customs, holidays, and cuisine can help you make up your mind on where you’d think you’d fit in the best. Keep in mind that every place is different, so drafting up a pro and con list can also facilitate your decision. If you are still undecided towards the end, you can also think about visiting the destination directly beforehand to see if it’s the right match for you.
Hello again, my dear readers!
This is not exactly a blog post – parenting, family, expat or whatsoever. Neither is it a recipe or book review. I just wanted to say ‘Hi again’ to all of you who happen to stop by and read my stuff. Thank you for that, I deeply appreciate it.
If you’ve been wondering where I have been for the last few weeks (and my tiny little ego hopes that some of you have been wondering lol), the answer is quite prosaic – I was at home, our new home. Yeap, we moved home last month. Huge heaps of belongings waiting for me to pack and unpack, organising things, etc., etc. You know how it is, pretty stressful. Even if your new home is not so far away from the previous one. At least, my boy didn’t have to change school. He loves being at that school with his friends, so we thought it would be better for him to keep going there for now.
I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth (in this case, my hand) but yes, 2017 will be the year of NO plans. I am a person who always makes plans, plans for pretty much everything – from the family’s dinners to moving house. Not this time, not this year. While many bloggers seem to be setting goals and writing them down on their blogs (I actually admire them), I am thinking of changing my own mindset.
Living in an everyday chaos and jumble has been a terrifying thing for me ever since I can remember. Not having a plan, not organising my time, not getting things done the way they should be – oh, how daunting it all sounds! But I think the insane pedant in me must be silenced. The pursuit of perfection must be ceased. Because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s time for a new approach.
It’s Christmastime already. I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, cosy and joyful.
Our little family of three is celebrating on our own. This is one of the frustrations of being an expat – there are people you miss badly at Christmas, people who are still there, in the homeland, and you desperately want to give them a hug, to talk to them in the snugness of your own home, the home you have spent so many Christmases. Well, nostalgia will never cease.
But now it’s Christmas. And we are happy. Continue reading
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Definitely. To me, Christmas has always been such a special time. As a child, I loved the spirit of Christmas so much. Now, I am an adult and a mother too, but my fondness of winter festivities has not changed.
What if I still believe in Santa? What if I still believe in magic? I know, it doesn’t sound rational for a grown-up to believe in Santa’s secret village, elves or flying sleighs. But it is Christmas, we are allowed to believe in anything good, in anything that could beat unkindness, hopelessness or misery.
And I want my child to believe. In Christmas. In Santa Claus. In the power of good. In the power of family and home. Christmas means happiness. It means thousands of precious family moments. This is how I want him to perceive this time of the year. If believing in magic is what it takes, so be it!
The school year in the UK has begun. Mums and dads of first-time pupils know how exciting a moment it is for both parents and children. But what about the expats and their kids? This is our experience…
Last week my son started Reception. His first week at school. Previously, he attended a UK nursery so I didn’t expect him to be too anxious now. Still, I thought he would feel a little bit uncomfortable being entirely in an English-speaking environment again. I was even prepared for a tantrum on the first day. I was almost sure there would be one. After all, he had spent the whole summer with his mummy and he probably had forgotten what it felt like being away from her.
Another travel post on the blog? Not really. Just a couple of lines to say goodbye to my little Bulgaria and greet the UK again. Our holiday in Bulgaria is coming to an end. A few more days and we are flying back to London.
Am a sad? No. I have enjoyed every bit of our long summer break. I love spending time with my mother, she is amazing and I adore her. This time, I have also taken full advantage of staying with her – no unpleasant everyday chores, no worries about the cooking and planning the weekly menu (well, I miss the cooking but I’ll be catching up with it soon. 😀 ). Thank you, mother! You are a star, I mean it.
I have met all those people close to my heart who make the homeland a place I want to return to. Now, it’s time to go back to our new home, the United Kingdom. It feels like home and we love it, it must be home then. And I miss it already.
Children ask questions all the time. I love that. I love kids’ curiosity. Sometimes, it looks like an endless inquisition but I never get bored. I always answer my son’s questions because I know this is the way he learns about the world. It is OK even when he begins a long ‘why’ examination. I admit, I have no clue why he asks ‘why’ at least a hundred times a day.
No problem at all, my boy. I will keep replying to you patiently doing my best to find meaningful answers.
But some questions are more difficult to answer. The questions a child of immigrants could ask their parents. My son has been asking me where we live for over a year, or with other words since we moved to the United Kingdom.
An ordinary, innocent question that just comes out of his mouth, nothing disturbing. Kids never ask in order to be mean or hurt adults’ feelings wittingly; their nature is too pure for that. I’m sure my son’s only intention is to make it clear. And this is what actually worries me. Because every time he asks where we live, I see a confused little boy standing before me.
A child’s birthday means party – balloons, funny hats, birthday cake, lots of presents, and at least a dozen kids to scream merrily around. A child’s birthday may look differently, too, and this doesn’t make it a bad day. This was how our son’s fourth birthday looked like, different. Not the usual celebration, no other kids, fewer presents than he got the previous year. But it was a celebration of a happy family. And I haven’t seen our boy that excited for months. Because birthday doesn’t mean presents, nor does it mean a bunch of flowers for the kid’s mother. It means a bunch of emotions.