Expat: Life and Love

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Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? How was it?  How do you navigate dating, when you are an expat these days? My husband and I were introduced by a mutual friend we had. Our first Valentine’s was sweet and the best I had ever had. The rest is history as they day.  Now, as a married couple we don’t celebrate Valentines, out of mutual choice. We relish stealing a way to create our own time and space as a couple, when it’s less commercial to do so. Married, single or dating, how’s life and love for expats?




Through expat blogs, I realise that expat communities can be quite close knit.  Sometimes I wish had that experience. I have friends from my home country, they’re not the ones I see or speak to on a regular basis. However, in close knit communities, it could be like living in a bubble.

Pamela in Beijing is adamant about Resisting the Expat Bubble She sees language as a way in for her extrovert daughters.  She empowers them to learn the language of the land. All the while assessing her own ability to acclimatize to the country. She asks herself the deep question, ‘Is it really appropriate for me to impress my own ideals, norms and values onto a country that I have chosen to live in?’ Read her blog to find out her answer.

Yet, not matter how settled we are there are times when we want a taste of home. I remember the day I discovered Golden Ray cooking butter in Tooting Broadway market! It was a block of heaven.  Immediately I was catapulted back to 1980’s Trinidad and the cooking meals that my grandmother created.  Natasha says that in France you can find anything. If you don’t know were to find a particular item, there will be someone who knows where to find it.  Although, she warns ‘…take no notice of the food police that frequent themselves on the English-speaking forums here in France.’ Read the blog to find out what is her British Bunker Supplies In France.





In her post, A Very Merry Un-Valentine’s Toni, she talks about how much calmer Valentine’s Day is in the UK. She says that in the UK, it seems to be more about romantic love, while in America, when her children were young, ‘…often asked to take cards or little gifts into school for their classmates.’ While in the UK she noted that ‘…Nothing required at school, no last minute card-buying for distant relatives and no themed decor.’

Valentine’s or not, who doesn’t luv a good wedding? Jersey girl talks about A big fat expat wedding she attended. When the invitation came, she was a reminder how special expat friendships are. She says, ‘…Everyone there, had been in their lives for years, been through ups and downs with them, but no one knew them for those 3 years like we did. 


I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up. Let me know if there are themes you would like to see covered.  Of course if you have a post you would like to be considered for next month’s round-up, please email me on [email protected]  or DM me on Twitter.

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About Maria Tumolo

Maria Tumolo is a Trinidad-born Surrey based stay at home mum, blogger and aspiring published children’s book writer. She moved to England in 2001. She lived in Cambridgeshire for a few months before moving London, where she’s lived ever since. Prior to marriage and children, she earned a BA in English from The University of The West Indies, Trinidad 1998. Her career history has spanned from Libraries to Further Education.
Her blog The Tiger Tales explore topics such: expat parenting, education, mixed heritage family life, food and beauty. The way to her heart is a Trini Dalpuri Chicken Roti. 


  1. Dominique Hamilton
    15 March 2019 / 12:00

    Being an expat living in England myself, I very much enjoyed reading your post. I do encourage my own children to be as much part as the local comunity and cukture as possible and I struggle more to give them insight and knowledge into their mother and fathers cultures. All four members of my family were born in a different country and I jokenly refer to ourselves as the ‘International Nations’ union.

    Conveying four cultures is no small task and I worry that when the family bonds in our respective countries weaken or fall away the inheritance will be watered down to a point close to near non-existence.

    • 18 March 2019 / 16:42

      Hi Dominique thank you for your comments. I totally understand what you mean but our very being is rooted in our culture and upbringing which will impact on how you parent.

      Our children may or may not have the full benefit our cultures but it will not be lost as long as we ourselves cling on to our family back at home and our culture. Also, the bonus, our children will think more globally they will embrace all that they need to live their authentic lives.