Phoenix Rising: a reflection on expat resilience and health crisis abroad

phoenix rising

“Have the courage to rise from the challenges of life like a phoenix from the flames or you’ll get lost in the ashes of despair, pain, and regret.” ― Nanette Mathews   Survive-Cope-Expand-Thrive As the wife of a neurosurgeon in a region of Italy known for adventure tourism, I often hear the kinds of stories that make most people move to get ducks in order before their next trip: a bike accident during their 50th wedding anniversary trip across Europe; …

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Anthony Bourdain Inspired Many

Anthony Bourdain inspiration

I never really watched Anthony Bourdain’s food slash travel shows. I’m not a big TV person anyway, but I did catch the tail end of a few “Parts Unknown” and got the gist. I appreciated the warmth and genuine interest that he showed the people he met on his travels, but a food and travel show for someone who has been a Triangle for 30 years, 20 of those years in the hotel business, just seemed like I was watching …

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Life’s Lessons Across Different Roles

Moving to Thailand five years ago was an experience that went beyond my and my husband’s wildest dreams. It was a life-changing journey that challenged us; broadened our horizons; clarified our priorities; allowed us to learn about, see and experience the world; and  that led to lifelong connections with others. It was so much more and better than what we could ever have hoped for or imagined. So it was with the same sense of adventure, excitement, and anticipation that …

Dig deep and shine on

international friendships

As Sir Richard Branson said, “Mood follows action.” I internalize that advice and do as much moving as possible. I exercise, travel, and experience NDBs (never done before). Eighteen months into my repatriation and new home, new perspective washes over me. Very similar to being a newlywed, when I worked two jobs, had chores, meals to prepare, and a very active lifestyle, I realize some parallels. Today, my children are grown and flown (my 20-year life’s work), I prepare dinners every night, complete household chores, …

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HALT – Four Simple Questions for Expat Stress

woman with head in hands and blog post title on left side of image

I remember rumbling around in an SUV along the chaotic, pot-holed streets of Antananarivo and my friends laughing about the little bag of almonds I always had tucked away in my pocket. Those nuts were my stress-reduction tool, my safety net – not because I have a health issue that requires me to always have food on hand, but because being in strange places heightens my sense of anxiety. Of course, I’m always in strange places…even “home” is sometimes strange …

Alexa, please play I Am A Triangle

Alexa Skill I Am A Triangle

We are super excited to announce that the I Am a Triangle “skill” has been published to Amazon.com and the Alexa Skill Library. This means you can now say “Alexa, please play I Am A Triangle” and hear our most recent article! What’s Alexa, you might ask?  Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant built into devices such as the Amazon Echo. The Echo itself is a speaker with a built-in microphone. Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant, like Siri from Apple’s iPhone. The …

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Re-Thinking our identity as trailing spouses: how we tell our stories

Street art saying I exist (in French) - Trailing spouse

Whether you like to call us accompanying partner, trailing spouse or expat wife (or husband), these words all bare some kind of negative and passive connotations. While they may be technically accurate, they often do not represent the whole truth nor do they do many women (or men) any justice. Inevitably when someone asks me why I live in Germany or why I moved to Germany, I reply: “for my husband’s job”. And there, with those words, I am labelled …

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Race

Mulatto Math

I never thought in a million years I’d be writing a blog post about race – for an expat community. I mean, as a British white women, is it really my place? But hang on a minute….. I have lived in 11 countries all over the world, I have my own race related stories, good ones, bad ones and very ugly ones. The thing is, as a white woman, in a serious conversation about race, at some point I can’t …

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At the Intersection of Important Events: Love and Breath in 76 Seconds

The Butterfly Effect I don’t believe things happen for a predetermined reason, but I do believe there are Intersections of Important Events that, when noticed and acted upon, can create an extraordinary life. The more you pay attention, the more you see the that everything is connected somehow. It’s a little like The Butterfly Effect— that part of Chaos Theory that says a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.  My expat love story was born …

Wayside, A Repatriation Reminder

Nitsa Repatriation

A storm is pummeling the coast of my country as I write this. The wind and the water, whips my home, where I have been back living in for one year. My gutter went wayside, the bottom of it flying across the back yard. Instead of getting it, I stare at it the white metal, rolling around from out my back window. It was the quietness of rainstorms such as these that I loved most about Munich. Days I could …