Catherine Nelson-Pollard - Freelance Feature Writer
Specialising in issues related to expatriate living.
Welcome and Bienvenue
The life for a British expatriate today is arguably much easier than it was twenty five years ago. Back then if you were going to live abroad, it wasn’t easy to find information on where you were going. If you went to live in a far-flung destination, you could often feel quite isolated, letters from home could take months to arrive, phone calls were expensive and communication tricky.
Today not only are there are a plethora of television programmes and publications advising on living and buying property abroad, but research can all be done via the internet on houses, jobs and schools in almost anywhere in the world.
So it appears to be very simple to up sticks and move abroad and also still be in touch with life and friends back in the UK.
Yet even though communication has improved the quality of global living, there are still many challenges that you may encounter once you have moved such as:
- Culture shock
- Learning a new language
- Emotional upheaval for yourself and for family relationships
- Living and adapting to a country with different rules and regulations
- Helping children adapt to a new life
- Finding friends in a new environment.
All these and more mean there is a big learning curve to go through to make moving and living overseas a success.
So how do I know so much about expatriate life?
I have lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and South America and experienced life abroad as a single person, as a spouse on corporate postings and for non-governmental organisations, as a working and non-working parent. During this time I have moved goods and chattels around eight countries and have been probably been through the gamut of all expatriate experiences that occur when living abroad.
I currently live in the French speaking part of Switzerland and I write and comment and give seminars on all that is good, bad and humorous about expatriate life. I also interview those who have made the big move abroad. Take a look under published work or on my blog
Living abroad can be exciting and an adventure. Discovering the customs, culture and languages of other countries can also be very rewarding and I encourage you to try it.