Guten Tag, y’all!
Whenever I find cool things online, I like to share them. Usually, this means emailing my friend Tanekia to say “Ooh, check this out!” I find a lot of stuff that I’d like to share here on TatianaInFlux, but then I think to myself, “Self, is this too off-topic for the blog?” and maybe I just email it to T and call it a day. But–a key part of this here site is the word “Flux”–meaning things can (and should) change from time to time. So I think I’m going to start sharing more things that I love, even if they’re not necessarily related to Germany, life abroad or travel. Let’s call this “Ich liebe…”: “I love.” I think this new addition (and other changes I’m mulling over) will keep you AND me from getting bored!
And after all that preamble, this first edition is TOTALLY about Germany and life abroad and travel. It’s all about my favorite expat lifestyle blogs. Living abroad entails a few overarching themes that, while maybe not universal to every expat, certainly seem to be common to many of the expat narratives I read. These include things like defining a new identity; a desire to travel and interact with other cultures; reflecting on the nature of nations. And–often–a lot of pretty pictures of the “Wish I was there!” variety.
So, without further ado (and in no particular order), here are a few of my favorite blogs about expat life.
The blog: Oneika the Traveller
Why you’ll love it: Oneika’s travels have taken this Canadian native to 60 countries on six continents, and her blog is filled with stunning photos and practical information about these places. There’s also great information about the countires she’s lived and worked in, including China and England.
Required reading: Five Reasons Why My Travel Style has Changed
The blog: Nicole is the New Black
Why you’ll love it: If you want hilarious, no holds barred commentary on living, working and traveling abroad, then this is the blog you want to read. This Berlin-based American (and new mommy!) also runs the Women of Color Travel Chat on Twitter, which is a great resource for connecting with like minded ladies.
Required reading: FAQ With a Black Expat in Berlin
The blog: Our Journey, His Purpose
Why you’ll love it: Every time Natalie posts something, I find myself nodding in agreement (and sometimes talking to the computer, like “Girl! Yes! You are so right!). Right around the time I was getting ready to move to Wolfsburg from Alabama, Natalie was moving from Atlanta to Berlin with her family. As a fellow Southern girl, I love reading her meditations on faith and family, along with the challenges and joys of living in a completely different world. And did I mention that she’s a former college cheerleader, a former classroom teacher and a current Zumba instructor? Faith, family and fitnesss through the lens of life abroad. Awesome.
Required reading: Christmas Season Traditions…Fully Present
The blog: Littlefoot’s Journey
Why you’ll love it: Do you ever feel like just up and moving to another country? Most people who feel this way only talk about doing it, but Mickla actually did it. She left NYC, moved to Barcelona, and taught English for the better part of a year. On Littlefoot’s Journey, she chronicled both her physical and spiritual journey–sometimes lighthearted, sometimes serious, always carefully introspective. She’s now back in the States and contemplating the next phase of her journey. Needless to say, I’m following along.
Required reading: Bucket List–40 in 40
The blog: Deja Vu
Why you’ll love it: This blog contains well curated posts about Paris’s soulful side from the perspective of Hanna, a stylish Swede (with FANTASTIC hair). It’s nice to see a side of Paris that isn’t so postcard-esque.
Required reading: French Lesson #20
The blog: Paris in Four Months
Why you’ll love it: You know those romantic pictures of Paris that make you want to pack up and move to the city of lights? Well, Paris in Four Months is full of them. Carin Olsson, a chic Swede, is the woman behind the lens.
Required reading: 5th Arrondissement
The blog: Life and Composition
Why you’ll love it: Bessie Akuba-Winn, the uber talented globetrotter behind this site, posts of mix of high quality photography, travel stories and creative inspiration.
Required reading: Seduced by Paris
The blog: Jive Turkish
Why you’ll love it: As you can tell, the woman behind this blog has a way with words. Erika, the lovely woman behind this blog, has the scientist’s gift for analysis coupled with the griot’s way with words, and it makes for some BEAUTIFUL writing. And though Erika changed her focus from being specfically about expat life–“This about stuff and things and living and whatever randomness comes to mind”–lucky for us, there are plenty of stories about life as an American in Dublin.
Required reading: It’s the Little Things
The blog: Flying House
Why you’ll love it: I totally want to be Tina when I grow up. Her gorgeous American family lived in Spain and Morrocco before settling in Copenhagen, Denmark. I’d also like to raid her closet.
Required reading: moving abroad: a ballerina in copenhagen
The blog: Expatriate Games
Why you’ll love it: If you combined a few things that I really love–namely writing, California, life abroad and cool women with a sense of humor–you would totally get Bethany, the cool chick behind the blog Expatriate Games. A California native in Montreal, Bethany populates her blog with great stories and tons of jokes. Also–she can write. I have a space ready for her on my bookshelf, somewhere in between Neil Gaiman and NK Jemisin.
Required reading: Every Breath You Take, California
The blog: Leslie Forman
Why you’ll love it: Leslie is a “California native living in Chile by way of four years in China.” This trilingual, entrepreneurial chica also gives great advice about starting a career abroad.
Required reading: Dear China: It’s Not You, It’s Me. Let’s Be Friends Forever.
The blog: Liv Hambrett
Why you’ll love it: I’m a sucker for good writing, and this Germany-based Aussie’s blog is full of it! Her observations about Ze Germans are spot on, and reading her posts always makes me say, “Damn! I wish I had written that!”
Required reading: The Wind Up
The blog: Kisses and Croissants
Why you’ll love it: I only recently discovered this blog by an American woman living in France, and I’m already a fan, and it’s not only because I relate to her story of moving for love. Her writing shows a great sense of humor, and her Mythbusters series is fantastic.
Required reading: Frenchie Mythbusters: The French & Wearing Deoderant
The blog: Ellie & the German
Why you’ll love it: Alechia’s blog is one of the first blogs I started reading after I moved to Germany, and she is definitely a kindred spirit. She’s very honest about expat life–the good, the bad and the ugly. Most expats will tell you that you can feel like a round peg in a square hole; reading Alechia’s blog makes me happy that there’s someone out there to validate that “It’s not me, it’s them!” feeling that I sometimes get in Germany. Plus she can cook. Plus she and her husband are super cute. Plus… well, you get it.
Required reading: Why I Cannot Imagine Moving Back Home
The blog: American Black Chick in Europe
Why you’ll love it: When I first considered moving ‘cross the pond, I had one overarching question: What’s life like in Europe for people like me? Happily, Terra’s blog was was there to answer just that. Her title says it plainly, and so does she, giving honest assesment of life in Europe (she’s lived in England, Belgium and Denmare–and has visited tons of other places!).
Required reading: Ask an Expat: I Want to Live Abroad–How Do I Do It?
The blog: Making Magique
Why you’ll love it: Though her tagline is “A silly American girl in Paris”, Haleigh strikes me as anything but silly. Fun, lighthearted, stylish, talented–all these words come to mine. And did I mention the PICTURES? Artistic, original and envy-inducing.
Required reading: Paris Guide
Whew! Finally, we reach the end! Please show these ladies some love, and if there are some expat blogs that YOU love, let me know below!
NOTE: Photos are the property of the respective bloggers.