When I first had the idea for this book, getting started was slightly intimidating. I didn’t know what kind of response I would get-if any at all. But I knew that as an expat I had stories to share, and if I did, others must too.
What came flooding into my inbox were tales so rich and bold that my initial insecurities were but a fleeting memory. Stories came in from across the globe, transporting me into the streets of Libya, Boulangeries in France, a hospital in Kazakhstan, and a strange situation in a Saudi Arabian security office. Through the pages of this book I laughed my way through crazy family adventures in the African jungle and shared in the sorrow of grieving from a far.
I am beyond proud to introduce you to this group of strong, global women, who through their words, have made me feel like I have found my tribe. They pour out their experiences of life abroad to make up the pages of this don’t-miss book, Once Upon An Expat.
I also think it’s important to mention that all author royalties for this book will be donated to Books Abroad, an organisation that promotes literacy and education in developing countries.
Once Upon An Expat will be available on Amazon in June.
Jasmine Mah, “Pride and (Bus) Prejudice”
Jasmine grew up a second-generation Canadian in Edmonton, Alberta. A true romantic, she is an avid cook, wine drinker, and wanderluster. Jasmine studied Italian(Russian, and Spanish and promptly forgot all but the former) and Pharmacy at the University of Alberta and thoroughly enjoyed her community pharmacy practice after graduating in 2013. She was a practicing pharmacist for just more than one year prior to packing her bags for Bergamo, Italy where she now resides indefinitely with her ridiculously good-looking Italian fiancée and an even handsomer cat, Puffo. She has written online for Travel Fashion Girl, Pink Pangea, and Insiders Abroad and was featured on an episode of House Hunters International. She blogs about the search for the good life on Questa Dolce Vita (This Good Life) and is currently committed to writing in Italian for 365 days on The Jasmine & Jhumpa Project inspired by Pulitzer Prize author, Jhumpa Lahiri’s “In Altre Parole”. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:@questadolcevita.
Leah Moorefield Evans, “Transition Woes”
Leah Moorefield Evans moved abroad 11 years ago and has since lived in Georgia, Ecuador, Ukraine, and Paraguay. She is the proud mother of four fantastic expat children and runs the blog www.afterschoolplans.com, which provides resources and ideas for expat families regarding education and transitions. She has published On the Move Kids, A Relocation Workbook, a picture book called Patches, the Moving Bear, and was the editor for Raising Kids in the Foreign Service, a book of essays by a widevariety of authors. You can find these books and more at http://afterschoolplans.com/afterschoolplans-bookstore/.
Amanada van Mulligen, “Losing My Grandmothers”
Amanda van Mulligen is British but has lived in The Netherlands since 2000, where she divides her time between writing, trying to Britify her Dutch children and getting to grips with the quirks of the locals. She is a contributing author to the expat anthology ‘Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style’ and blogs about her expat way of living, loving and parenting on Expat Life with a Double Buggy. You can find our more about Amanda van Mulligen and her writing on http://www.amandavanmulligen.com. Follow her on her Website, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter: @AmandavMulligen.
Carole Clark, “Le Bonjour”
Carole has been travelling around this planet since before she can remember. When she was just 18 months old, her parents packed up their belongings with her in tow and moved from their home in Switzerland to the wild plains of Western Canada. Since then, she haven’t been able to quit and has made her home on 3 continents, first as a student and now as an expat. Needless to say, all this travelling has given her some experience to reflect upon, and plenty of material to write about. Recently, she contributed an article to Kula Magazine, Bali, about travel and her other passion, Sophrology, which will be out in June 2016. You can read more about it on her blog at: Inner Roads Sophrology.
Amelie Sanchez, “Riding the Subway”
Amélie M. Sánchez was born and raised in France. In addition to her current expat assignment in Germany, she spent some of her childhood years in Iran and Tahiti and found it quite natural to move to the United Statesupon marrying her American soulmate. She taught elementary school in Connecticut for seven years, a career she put on hold in order to explore her writing self in more depth while raising her two children.
Nitsa Olivadoti, “Silent Competitions and Busted-Up Bus Stop Conversations”
Nitsa Olivadoti is the author of Cicada’s Choice and Cicada’s Consequence and Cicada’s Closure (due out end of 2016); a set of fictional novels based on her maternal grandmother’s immigration experience. She graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2000 with a Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting. Her visual work has been displayed in shows, online and localgalleries and festivals. In recent years, she has moved her focus to writing abroad about her expat experiences. Nitsa chronicles her expat stories on facebook as she continues to complete the Cicada Series and works on other fictional stories inspired by the countries she visits. You can find Cicada Series on Facebook and Twitter, Abroad- Short Story Blog on facebook and you can also visit www.cicadaseries.com .
Ashly Jeandel, “Baby Bumping in France”
Born in the heart of Canada, on the vast prairies in 1986, Ashly Jeandel grew up in the small town of Erickson, Manitoba. She lost her father when she was 19—to cancer and as she struggled to make sense of it all she filled her backpack and began a journey which would take her all over the world and finally to the small village of Ventron in Eastern France. There she met her husband and the adventure continued, many challenges as she settled into a new culture. She is now married, has two children and runs her own successful business as an English consultant and teacher. (www.clareellaconsulting.com) She and her husband also own a Gîte which enables Ashly to continue to meet new people from all over the world. www.gite-de-la-feuille-d-erable.com
Kathryn Streeter, “One Trip Guaranteed to Stretch Your Marriage”
Kathryn Streeter is a full-time writer, mother and wife. Highly mobile, she’s moved 22 times in 24 years of marriage. Her writing has appeared in publications including Literary Mama, Story|Houston, Scary Mommy, elephant journal, Mamalode, The Good Men Project, CSMonitor and Erma Bombeck. Streeter’s creative nonfiction essay “Through The Sand: A Driving Lesson From Dubai” was a finalist in The Briar Cliff Review Creative Nonfiction Contest and published in The Briar Cliff Review, Volume 26. She is contributing author of best-selling anthology “Feisty After 45: The Best Blogs Of Midlife Women.” Find her at http://www.kathrynstreeter.com/, on Instagram @kathrynstreeter and Twitter @streeterkathryn.
Olga Mecking, “The Sun Worshipers”
Olga Mecking is a writer and translator living in the Netherlands with her husband and three children. Olga writes about the expat life, travels and parenting on her blog, The European Mama and has also been published on other websites, including The Wall Street Journal, Scary Mommy, The Huffington Post and Babble. When not blogging or thinking about blogging, Olga can be found reading, drinking tea and reading some more. Follow her Website/blog: The European Mama and on Facebook and Twitter.
Lizzie Harwood, “A Paris Office Job ain’t all Ladurée Macarons”
Cecile Dash, “Diary of a Mom in Congo”
Cecile Dash is a fulltime career mom, who put aside her professional career three years ago when an opportunity presented itself for her family to move to the Republic of Congo. Living in Central Africa has been both challenging and fun, and Cecile quickly established a new life. She began keeping a journal from the first day and has now shared some of her writing with us. This book will be her debut as an author. Cecile continues to share her writing and experiences with the world through her blog www.supermomabroad.com.
Lesley-Anne Price, “Lost in Libya”
Lesley-Anne is a mother of three children, Andrew, Kristina and Katherine. Born in Hong Kong, she lived there until she was 10 years old and her family moved back to Scotland. She grew up in Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland, initially studying History at the Aberdeen University and ending with an Honours degree in Sociology . After marrying her husband Jonathan in 1998, they moved to Pescara, Italy for one year. From Italy they moved to Libya, with their baby Andrew, where they lived for 5 years. Two girls daughters followed: Kristina, who was born in Libya and Katherine, who was born in Malta . The family returned to Aberdeen for three years, before their next posting to Kuala Lumpur, where they spent five years. Currently they are enjoying living in Houston.
Camille Armantrout, “An Unbelievable Bus Ride”
Camille Armantrout lives in rural North Carolina with Bob, her husband of twenty odd years. They were lured there by a group of like-minded progressives, many of them farmers who value the simple pleasures of local food and community. Seasoned expats, Bob and Camille have lived and worked in Belize, China, Guam, Nicaragua and Ghana. Camille recently co-authored “Two Brauds Abroad – A Departure from Life as We know It” with Stephanie De La Garza. A memoir with travel tips and advice, Two Brauds Abroad was crafted from a year and a half of correspondence between Camille in Africa and Stephanie in Costa Rica. For more information please visit Camille’s Amazon Author’s Page, Amazon Book Page for Two Brauds Abroad, Two Brauds’ Webpage, Two Brauds’ Facebook Page and Camille’s Facebook Page.
Sarah Murdock, “Mrs. Matt in West Africa”
Sarah Murdock was glad to escape from eight years of working in Washington, DC to a life in rural Africa as a newlywed, where she lived as a missionary for 15 years. She feels at home just about anywhere, having also grown up overseas, and dislikes being asked where she is from. She hopes to travel more with her family in the future, but for now is happily settled in Wyoming, USA with her husband and three children, enjoying the wild outdoors, seizing opportunities to pretend to be a cowgirl, and seeing moose from her bedroom window. She is a contributing author to Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of pregnancy, birth and raising a family in a foreign country, published in 2016 and available from Amazon both in print and ebook format.
Chandi Wyant, “Forbidden Falconing”
As an independent woman from California, Chandi found her recent three years in Qatar to be the most unusual of her international experiences. She has also been a solo expat in Italy, Switzerland and England, and has been returning to Italy with unremitting passion since she first lived there at age 20. Chandi’s book about her 40-day pilgrimage walk in Italy will be published in 2017. When she’s not dreaming in Italian, she can be found teaching history, writing about travel and expat life for her website, (paradiesofexiles.com) and sharing her photography on Instagram,(@paradiseofexiles).
Margaret Ozemet, “The Price of Beauty”
Margaret Özemet is an American teacher and writer who fell madly in love and suddenly found herself sharing a tiny apartment with her new husband and his parents in Turkey. After a few years and a couple kids, she’s back in the U.S. and trying to adapt. Her work has been seen on numerous online sites, print journals and anthologies, including New Letters, Hippocampus, Red Fez Magazine and Scary Mommy to name a few. Her work can also be seen on her weekly blog, Laughter is Better Than Prozac. Keep up with her though her website: margaretozemet.com, on Twitter @MOzemet or on Facebook.
Michelle Estekantchi, “Returning Home”
Michelle Estekantchi Worships her son, loves her husband. She is a stay at home mom who used to have a fab career that she sometimes misses. She also enjoys fashion and all things glossy as well as a heart to heart, soul searching conversation. Likes to live by the ocean and thrives in the sun. A citizen of the world? Maybe. Definitely, a local in many cities around the globe.
Ersatz Expat, “A Celebration of Problems and Resolutions-A Very Expat Christmas”
Ersatz Expat is a 30 something global soul, a perpetual expat. She has been a working expat, trailing spouse and expat child; born in the Netherlands to a Dutch/Irish family other destinations include Norway, UK, Nigeria, Turkey, Venezuela, Kazakhstan and various locations in Malaysia. In her early years Ersatz Expat travelled with her parents and sister, these days she travels the world with her husband, three children and three pets. In 2016 the family moved to Saudi Arabia, her 11th international posting. Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon.
Margo Catts, “Land of No Logic”
Margo Catts was born and grew up in Los Angeles, where one of her earliest memories was of hanging on the airport fence watching planes take off. International travel waited until children were raised, but after choosing travel over air conditioning one year after another, the dream of living overseas finally came true with a move to Saudi Arabia. She works as a freelance writer and editor, and her first novel, Among the Lesser Gods, will be published by Arcade Publishing in the spring of 2017. She now lives with her husband in Denver, Colorado, where she still looks overhead and wonders where the people in that plane are going. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @margocatts, and follow her blog at margocatts.com.
Shannon Day, “A Man From Another Land”
Carissa Cosgrove, “Coming of Age in the Middle Kingdom”
With decades of writing gathering dust in beautiful wooden chests, Coming of Age in the Middle Kingdom is Carissa Cosgrove’s first published piece of personal writing. An avid traveller, she has navigated 638,185 kilometres of the globe, according to her map on Trip Advisor. She does not have a blog, but regularly thinks about starting one – usually at three in the morning. Instead, Cosgrove is a lone parent to one lovely and creative little boy and the owner of FastWarren Communications; a business dedicated to providing high quality, efficient communications services to small businesses. A j-school graduate in a small town, she has most recently given herself to the dream of periodical publishing. Her newly divined publishing house Armagh Press will deliver the first edition of her magazine #YGK Inc. in the summer of 2016. You can find her at www.fastwarren.ca, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MsCGrove.
Lisa Webb, “Stranded on a Non-Deserted Island”
Formerly the assistant principal of an elementary school in Calgary, Canada, Lisa and her husband filled their suitcases with maple syrup and moved their life to France. After spending 5 years making French babies and eating baguettes, their expat family has recently moved to Borneo, Indonesia. Lisa is the author and publisher of the bestselling children’s book series, The Kids Who Travel The World. Having travelled to 46 countries herself, she hopes her books will encourage families to grab their passports and explore the globe together. Lisa has been published as a contributing author in six other anthologies, using her experience and passion to publish this book, Once Upon an Expat. You can read about Lisa’s expat life and travels with her family on her blog, Canadian Expat Mom. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and find more of her stories on The Huffington Post.
Marcey Heschel, “Colours That Do Not Exist”
Marcey Louise Heschel is a Canadian mother, wife and therapist living abroad in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. She and her growing family moved from Canada to Texas in 2012 due to her husband’s career. In 2013 she gave birth to a little Texas Star named Sophia and in 2015 they relocated to Malaysia. Marcey spends her time as an expatriate raising Sophia as well as seeing clients at a marriage and family therapy practice. With an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a graduate degree in counseling, she has found a niche counselling people of varying ethnic backgrounds. She recently started an expat support group for struggling spouses dealing with relocation stress and anxiety. She is a loving mother and wife, passionate therapist, avid traveller, half marathon runner and advanced scuba diver. She enjoys writing about her adventures, travels and cultural experiences on her blog www.marcey.me. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @missmabes.
Gabrielle Yetter, ” Year of Magic, Mystery and Chaos”
Gabrielle Yetter is a writer who loves to travel…and a traveller who loves to write. She has lived in India, Bahrain, South Africa, England, USA and Mexico. She was a journalist in South Africa, owned a dining guide in San Diego, wrote a book about traditional Cambodian desserts and freelanced for publications and online sites in the U.S., The Netherlands, South Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2010, she and her husband, Skip, sold their home, quit their jobs, gave away most of their stuff and bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia. For the next three years, she volunteered with an NGO, wrote two books (The Definitive Guide to Moving to Southeast Asia: Cambodia and The Sweet Tastes of Cambodia) and, in June 2015, co-authored Just Go! Leave the Treadmill for a World of Adventure with Skip. She and Skip are now house sitting around the world, taking care of homes and pets from Italy to Greece to Nicaragua. Visit her website at www.GabrielleYetter.com and follow the couple’s adventures on their Facebook page (The Meanderthals) or their blog at www.TheMeanderthals.com.
Kimberly Tremblay, “The Dawn”
Kimberly grew up in St.Albert, Canada where she obtained her B.Ed from the University of Alberta. After teaching for just over a year, she and her husband decided to move to Calgary, Canada where she continued to work as a teacher. Over time she became very interested in the mental well being of her students and completed a M.Ed in School Counselling. Kimberly then worked as a school counsellor for four years and had two children before moving to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After a year she has settled into expat life and she shares her experience in this story, her first publication.
Nicole Deanne Webb, “Feels Like Home”
Nicole was a news reader with 24 hour news channel, Sky News Australia for a decade, before stepping outside the box (literally) for a change of pace in Hong Kong with her hotelier husband and (then) bump. After a four year love affair with the city that never sleeps, it was time to give up the skyscrapers and fragrant harbour and head north to the middle of China. Hello Xi’an! Almost two years into this hair-raising adventure, the trio have survived and thrived, learning enough Mandarin to order a coffee and stave off the ‘many’ keen photographers, keen to capture the foreigners in all their glory! She’s also collected enough fascinating and often unbelievable tales to tell a great story and is in the midst of writing her book on life in China. A passionate writer, Nicole has had her work published in magazines, online publications and media outlets across the globe. Her biggest thrill, working on her critically acclaimed blog, Mint Mocha Musings: The hotelier’s Wife, an Expat Affair in Asia. You can also find Nicole on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In.
Kristine Laco, “Here’s a Tip on the Tip”
Robin Renee Blanc, “Are You an Expat if You Don’t Know You Are?”
Robin was born in Missouri, USA and grew up bi-cultural, shuttling back and forth between her father’s home in St. Louis and her mother’s home in Nassau, flying on her own since the age of 7. This early exposure led to her love of travel and learning about new cultures: a French Club trip to Quebec in junior high; a high school exchange student in Brasil; a college junior term abroad in Vienna; and traveleing to South Africa in grad school, the year after apartheid ended. Robin earned a BA in International Studies and a Master’s degree in International Relations and has been an active volunteer with AFS Intercultural Programs since her return from Brasil. While teaching ESL in Japan, she experienced first-hand the transition from the Showa period to the new Heisei period. She is currently living back in Missouri with her two cats Greta and Riley. http://www.mydoterra.com/essentialoilstlouis/#/ Twitter: @RobinSTLMO
Stephanie De La Garza. “Wasting Away in Paradise”
Stephanie De La Garza from San Antonio, Texas was an I.T. professional for over 22 years when she decided to quit her job and sell just about everything she owned to live in Costa Rica. She worked with wild animals at a rescue center on the Caribbean then took on a house sitting job near Turrialba. She then moved to El Valle, Panama where she helped a couple start a butterfly tourist attraction. Deciding to then go to New Zealand, she worked on a sheep farm followed by heading to Australia to check off items from her bucket list. Stephanie traveled back and forth for a year and a half between both countries and but is currently living in New Zealand after gaining a one year extended visa. Find Stephanie on her website, Facebook and Twitter, and find her books on Amazon.
Tina Celentano, “Confessions of an Expat”
Tina Celentano is a Canadian expat from Toronto who currently lives in Washington State with her husband Rachid Tahiri, a Moroccan expat, and their cat Archie. Their two adult children, Alexis and Bianca, live in a nearby city. Tina began life as an expatriate in 1978 when she followed her dreams to Los Angeles. A college academic advisor by day and a writer the rest of the time, Tina blogs about her perspectives and lessons learned in love, life and parenting from the empty nest. She loves travel, film, music and tea in the Sahara. You can read more of her writings at her website, Facebook – Tina Celentano-Tahiri, LinkdIn – Tina Celentano and Instagram @tina_mc11.
Brynn Barineau, “The Making of a Brazilian Body”
Originally from Atlanta, USA, Brynn Barineau has spent the last decade in Brazil navigating a multicultural marriage and raising a bilingual daughter. After years teaching high school economics and explaining the US Federal Reserve to Brazilian teens, Brynn decided to pursue writing, an only slightly more daunting career. Her essays on expat life, parenting, and anything that warrants a facepalm can be found on her site Brynn in Brazil. She’s a passionate advocate for more diversity in children’s literature and to that end, is currently querying agents for her first young adult novel, which deals with issues of multiculturalism. You can follow Brynn along the humbling road to publication with The Slush Pile, a humorous and brutally honest podcast detailing her attempt to publish a debut novel. The Slush Pile is available both on BrynninBrazil.com and through iTunes.
Sally Rose, “What Mattered Most”
Born and raised in the piney woods of East Texas, Sally Rose lived in the Cajun Country of Louisiana, the plains of Oklahoma, the “enchanted” land of New Mexico, and the Big Apple, New York City, before leaving the US for Santiago, Chile, where she now resides. Sally has been “telling tall tales from a long, skinny country” since 2009. Sally’s books include Penny Possible, the true story of a service dog in training, and A Million Sticky Kisses, the story of her first visits to Chile as a volunteer English teacher. She blogs on her website at iamsallyrose.com.
No Fixed Address
Catriona Turner, “How Not to Say Goodbye”
Catriona Turner started her writing life in Scotland with angsty adolescent poetry and music reviews for student newspapers. For ten years as an English teacher she moulded angsty adolescents into better writers. Now she’s a parent and trailing spouse, and dabbling once again in her own wordsmithery. After spells in France and Uganda, she’s now having a different francophone experience in the Republic of Congo. As The Frustrated Nester she blogs about life in Africa, travel, and making each pitstop feel like home.
Rosemary Gillan, “Yes, Me Too”
Rosemary Gillan is profoundly thankful to Dr Ruth Hill Useem whose coining of the term “Third Culture Kid” finally established her identity in the multi-cultural mix into which she was born and the life which was to follow. Growing up in India as a child of Scottish/Indian/Portuguese/Irish/German bloodlines, she migrated to Australia with her family in the ‘70s. Within two decades, Rosemary met and married a hotel manager and thus began the Serial Expat lifestyle which took her to 12 countries over 16 years, having two children along the way. Writing tongue-in-cheek newsletters about her expat adventures to friends and family back home brought many requests for them to be turned into a book and after a slow start in 2013, Rosemary is now into the 4th chapter of “Tales of a Hotel Wife and Other Stories from Hell”. “Yes, Me Too!” is her first published work. Look for Rosemary on Instagram and Facebook.
Akajiulonna Patricia Ndefo, “The Evolving Vocabulary of Expatriate Life”
Akajiulonna is a wife and mother of three adorable, keep-her-on-her-toes children. Embracing the expat trail she bid goodbye to Geosciences and her home country Nigeria and took up shop with her family in The Hague, Netherlands, Pau, France and now in Calgary, Canada. She had been featured on Hajel’s Musings, discussing expat life, and her story in this book will be her first print publication. Patricia, as some of her friends fondly address her enjoys reading, writing, soccer, board games and ladies hangouts. She also enjoys travelling and is learning the art of doing that successfully with her on-the-go trio. Akajiulonna is currently pursing a career in Human Resource Management.
Angie Benoit, “The Ripple Effect”
Angie (Loder) Benoit had the great privilege to grow up in the small outport community of Cook’s Harbour (then approx. pop. 250), Newfoundland Labrador, Canada. A world away from her trailing spouse lifestyle that she has embraced for the past 9 years. Angie knows that so many animals are left behind when their owners choose a travelling lifestyle. She smiles when she thinks of the wonderful life she was able to provide Ripple. In this book, Angie’s first publication, she proves that this exciting lifestyle is possible, doable, enjoyable and sometimes more beautiful when shared with our beloved pets. Together, Angie, her Newfie Husband & their 6 year old, Danish-born son are ready to take on their next Country!
Jennifer Hart, “When Going Home Isn’t a Clear Choice”
Janneke Muyselaar-Jellema, “Choices”
Janneke Muyselaar-Jellema is a medical doctor, she has worked in the children and adolescent mental health field and in an asylum seekers centre in the Netherlands, her passport country. Born and bred in Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe) she knows what it is like to grow up as a third culture kid. Her parents worked in Africa for over 35 years. She has travelled to more than 25 countries. Janneke loves reading and is passionate about raising kids in other cultures, she blogs at DrieCulturen. Janneke works in medical education and in a child rehabilitation centre. Twitter @DrieCulturen email: email@example.com
Amel Derragui, “Lost and Found Between Homeless and Homeful”
Amel Derragui is a serial nomadpreneur and the founder of Tandem Nomads, a podcast show (online radio) dedicated to help expat partners take the leadership of their lives and build global portable careers. To listen to these inspiring podcast episodes and find great tips and insights go to: www.tandemnomads.com