Entries by Vivian Chiona

When old rules and roles no longer serve us (expat story)

We all bring rules from our childhoods into our adult lives. But which of these rules prevent us from experiencing a more joyful life? Through her own story, author and accompanying spouse Margaret Ghielmetti offers a gentle way to explore the rules and roles that may no longer be serving us, especially as we navigate […]

Holding the fort abroad: Tips for solo parents

Expat parenting can bring its own unique challenges – and especially if you find yourself parenting abroad with a partner who works away from home a lot. Drawing from author and coach Rhoda Bangerter’s webinar on the topic at the FIGT (Families in Global Transition) 2021 conference, we offer a summary of the challenges that […]

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Gaming: Tips for Parents

Many parents have concerns about video gaming and their children spending too much time in front of a screen. We discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy gaming and how to support your child to get the best out of their gaming experience.

Are you feeling safe in your relationships?

To connect with others, it’s often important that we feel safe with them. Safe to be ourselves, to be vulnerable, in order to feel comfortable. Yet we’re all different, with different past experiences, and that can mean we feel safety in different ways. What makes you feel safe in social interactions? And how can you […]


Do you eat when you feel stressed, sad, happy, lonely, bored or angry? We all have different ways to cope with negative emotions and feelings, and emotional eating is one such way. Janine Schaeffer, a nutritional consultant with a background in psychology, explains the roots of emotional eating and shares her advice on how we […]

Feeling blue this festive season?

Some of us, this year more than ever, might be dreading the upcoming festivities. Not being able to travel home to be with loved ones is going to be tough for so many people. While some might be putting a brave face on, determined to decorate the tree no matter what, others might be just […]

Tips for communicating with your kids

Trying to get your message across in a busy household takes work. Getting your children to listen to you is another mountain to climb. Remember that it is a two-way process and learning to honestly talk to each other can really help. Clear conversations can help alleviate conflict and create calm. This article outlines some […]

A healthy dose of nostalgia

Is there actually such a thing as a healthy dose of nostalgia? Most expats will be familiar with those pangs of nostalgia that can hit at any moment. Being overcome by a nostalgic fog can have both its positives and negatives – it can be triggered by a negative feeling while resulting in an improved […]

Expat life: which way next?

Recent events have probably been causing us to ponder a true expat dilemma more than ever: where to next? (Not that we are taking journeys anywhere just yet.) As expats, most of us will be faced at some point with the issue of moving to another city/country or going back ‘home’ (unless we stay expats […]


It can be extremely stressful when we or someone we love becomes ill abroad. As well as the (very normal) physical and mental turmoil of illness, we often find ourselves dealing with additional challenges that are unique to international life. At the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference in March 2018, I got together with professional healthcare […]

How I Became My Home

This year marks a decade of me being an expat and I see now that I’ve felt between homes for all this time. Only recently did I realise that this feeling of belonging everywhere and nowhere has created a subtle but constant pressure in my life.

Leaving your pet behind.

Expats often have to leave pets behind and are then taken by surprise by the depth of their grief or guilt. Though some expats do relocate with their animals, for many it’s just not possible. Excessive transportation costs, lengthy quarantine periods, a different lifestyle or new accommodation that’s not appropriate for pets, may mean you need […]

Love-expat: How far would you go for love?

A significant majority of the expat population is the ‘love-expats’ – those who became expats because they chose to follow their partners. It is common to use terms like ‘expat partner’, ‘trailing spouse’, or ‘accompanying partner’ for those who have followed their hearts to another country. I prefer, however, to use the term ‘love-expats’, as […]

How travelling helped me to settle.

We speak to culture/travel blogger Tea Gudek Šnajdar, who talks about the special role that travel has played in her expat experience. Exploring her new country and taking advantage of the many opportunities available to travel outside of it has led Tea to find new purpose and perspective – and to a career that fascinates […]

6 tips on how to make friends

Leaving your friends and support network behind can be one of the greatest challenges of an international relocation. But, as every expat knows, it also creates space for new friendships and the opportunity to engage with people you might not have met in your comfortable home environment. The question is: how do we make new […]

In search of home.

Home, Charles Dickens writes, is a word stronger than a magician ever spoke. A word that houses under its roof an entire universe of virtues. To feel at home implies an essential alignment – an ease with the world and with oneself. We all have our ways of building our homes; our own little spells […]