Expat

The Challenge of Thankfulness

by Jerry Jones on November 19, 2017

Blah. Blah. Blah. That was my gut reaction when I got this challenge recently. Identify three things that you are thankful for and start every day focused on them.  See what happens. In fairness to me — I come from a place where “thankfulness” has been sugar-coated, watered down, sucked dry and beaten to death.  A place where “count your blessings” […]

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When you visit a country where the people don’t speak your language, there are several important phrases you should know how to say: things such as “Hello” and “Goodbye,” “How much is this?” “Where’s the bathroom?” and “Can I have ice with my water?” But when you move to that country, the stakes become higher. The […]

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The Five People Who Shape You the Most

by Jerry Jones on September 20, 2017

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn) Soak in that for a minute. Think it through. Is it true? For you personally? For everyone? For me it is one of those brilliantly profound and profoundly frustrating statements. It makes sense. A lot of sense. So much […]

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When Hard Things Happen Back Home

by Jerry Jones on August 21, 2017

There is something surreal about being on the other side of the world while major events unfold in your home country.  It leaves you feeling both connected and disconnected at the exact same time.   It is 7158 miles (11,520 kilometers) from where I am sitting right now to Charlottesville, Virginia (USA) but there is […]

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The Fine Line Between Expat Chaos and Rhythm

by Jerry Jones on July 24, 2017

People living a life overseas are a special breed.  We don’t so much make sense to the normal people do we? My family is on the tail end of a whirlwind, six week “home” (finger quotes) visit and we’ve been reminded every moment of it what a ridiculous life we have chosen. Seriously.  Who does […]

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On Home and Keeping Place

by Marilyn on May 10, 2017

“Home is a human place. Instinctively, each of us, male and female, knows the sound of its welcome – and the joy of our possible return. This community knows the challenge of creating home in odd spaces and places around the globe. We also know what it is to be homesick, to long for familiar […]

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Dear Life Abroad — I’ll keep my identity, thanks.

by Jerry Jones on January 25, 2017

“Loss of identity.” It makes every list doesn’t it?  Right near the top.  Up there with rootlessness, culture shock and horrible toilets. When you take a two column, pros and cons approach to life abroad, the word “identity” rarely makes it into the pro column.  In fact, if you compiled the sum of all of the […]

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Ten Things I Love About Christmas Far Away

by Jerry Jones on December 19, 2016

Cue the music.  Sing it with me. “Christmas Eve will find me Where the love light beams I’ll be home for Christmas If only in my dreams” Stop. What a sad, sad song.  “If only in my dreams?”  This guy spends the whole song building up the joy and jubilation, which is the magical connection […]

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k-fam-4

Just three weeks before we moved to China we celebrated with some of our very best friends.  Their son was turning 7 (that’s him totally owning the noodles).  We partied like we were shipping out tomorrow (even though we still had several days left and we were taking a plane). The ironic twist to that story […]

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To the “Non-Missionary” Living Overseas

by Marilyn on June 8, 2016

You are the one who is not a missionary. You are the Christian whose husband is with the foreign service or military. You are the Christian whose wife is a physician in a well-known hospital far away from your passport country. You are the business or military or foreign service family who moves too many […]

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Thoughts and Advice for a First-time Expat

by Marilyn on July 8, 2015

Ten commandments for Expats

A few weeks ago, someone who is moving overseas contacted me. This is her first time living overseas, she is going into the unknown, and wants to be as prepared as possible. Here is what I said to her: Dear Lucy (name has been changed) Wow – I’m excited for you and not a little […]

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A Note from an Impostor

by Marilyn on May 18, 2015

impostor

On Wednesday of last week, Laura Parker announced changes and new leadership here at A Life Overseas. Later that day I received a lovely note on Twitter from Denise James, co-author of the amazing blog Taking Route. Two days later, I received another encouraging note from Jillian Rogers, another woman from this community. And with […]

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