Expat round-up: home comforts, discoveries and memories

expatroundupIt’s the same around the world; everyone seems to be getting ill this year. It seems everywhere I look on blogs, FB and Twitter people are suffering from colds and flu. I had to cancel two meetings in London–I hate cancelling meetings, but I was so rough I just couldn’t cope with the three hour round trip journey into London and back home again. I should have spent the day curled up under a blanket with hot drinks reading all day, but instead I spent the day agonising over if it was the right decision to cancel those meetings. I even mentioned it on Facebook–and was intrigued by the replies which seemed to be divided culturally with one group agreeing that they always felt bad for calling in sick and the other group not feeling remotely bad. Another cultural difference to add to the list us expats notice? Check out the replies to my post here, Sick days around the world, and let me know what you think!

I remember the early days as an expat when I got ill; all I wanted was to be at home, to have all the comforts of home near me. Lemsip? It was weird and foreign and I didn’t know how/if it could help me no matter what my neighbour said. But after 20 some years living in the UK this is my home and this is where I find my comforts. How do you find comfort in your host country? For me it was living here long enough for everything to become familiar. Stop by Julie Dawn Fox’s blog to see what she has discovered gives comfort in a foreign country.

One way to become familiar with your host country is to explore it of course, and I love reading posts where expats have been on little adventures and made discoveries in their host country–even if it’s just a neighbourhood walk. The pleasant surprises and vistas that expat life gives us are all part of the grand adventure we have set out on! Gina at Sweet Serenity has shared one of her moments of discoveries in A little walk. I loved reading this because of her enthusiasm for these discoveries!

Sometimes the moment of discovery is spontaneous, like Katherine Lightner pulling her car over to take a quick shot of a rainbow–but those spontaneous moments have some of the brightest gems! Rainbows are rainbows the world over, but the view they frame can differ wildly. Katherine has caught a beautiful British scene here. And then she has carried on the theme in her house, click here to see what I mean: What a rainbow looks like. I love Katherine’s photos all across her blog, so spend some time exploring there!

One of the things I enjoy about living near a world city is that not only do we get to learn about Londoners, we also get to learn about all the other nationalities who call it home. And blogs give us the same insights–I love this post by Selena on her blog Oh The Places We Will Go when she joins in with 4000 other Kiwis for the 30th Annual Waitangi Day Pub Crawl. Six degrees of celebration. I feel like I’ve learned a bit more about New Zealand now, just by reading Selena’s post!

My favourite post of the week, probably because it reads like a bio of one of the characters in a book I might have studied for English Lit, has been Nappy Valley Girl’s post 1978-84, from her Growing Up Expat Series. I loved the modern colonial scenes she describes, the carefree life, the adventure and the expat culture all told from a child’s point of view. What amazing stories! And I am looking forward to the next in the series–it’s become my mini-serial.

Have a post you’d like to share? Please do in the Linky below!


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About Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is the author of The American Resident, where she blogs about making a life overseas, raising a blended family, herding cats, chasing chickens and attempting the Good Life in Essex. Michelle is a freelance writer.


  1. 09 March 2013 / 13:50

    Thank you so much for the mention Michelle. I was thrilled to see it!
    Happy to be with such great company.

    • 09 March 2013 / 16:51

      Pleased you’re pleased Gina! You are indeed in good company, there’s some great expat blogs on the net these days. I’m just excited to be able to highlight some of them!

  2. 11 March 2013 / 23:16

    Hi Michelle, Thanks for the mention. You made me smile when you said you now find Lemsip comforting – we have a stash of it here in Portugal and stock up when we go to the UK because they don’t have anything as good here 🙂

    • 12 March 2013 / 18:22

      Ha! It’s funny how we can get used to things–and how a thing that used to be bleh is now a home comfort… I can understand why you stock up!