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: Drink and Drugs: The Hidden Aspect of Expat Life

Given the lifestyle and constant change inherent in expatriate life — multiple moves, excessive work demands, travelling partners, loneliness, homesickness, stress, and peer pressure to name just a few — it isn't surprising that substance abuse is a challenge in global living.


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"What do you mean you don't know what your Home Leave plans are yet?" one expat said to another recently. "Don't you know that flights have to be booked months in advance?" piped up another. "It's probably too late now. You could be stuck here all summer." "We have had our tickets for ages, since January in fact! They were booked the minute we got back from Christmas leave! " said a third.


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By Robin Pascoe

While living in foreign countries, expatriates are in chronic danger of being isolated and too often feel 'disconnected’. One solution, writes Robin Pascoe, is for expats to use their time and energy to help others. Ellen Wiesenfeld is no stranger to postings in poverty-stricken countries. Her husband's UNICEF career has taken them to the capitals of Burma, the Sudan, Laos, and for the past two years, Bangladesh. Not exactly Club Med postings. But for some reason, living in Dhaka has transformed her.


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By Robin Pascoe

"Have we met before?" one expatriate woman asked another, a cocktail glass in her hand. "Only on about seventeen other occasions," answered the second women, trying hard not to throw the contents of her own glass in the woman's face. "Really?" said the first woman, nonplussed. "I can't seem to remember your name."


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By Robin Pascoe

An expat pet was recently put on a diet by a local veterinarian. It seemed he was not getting as much exercise as he could be, and had packed on a few extra kilos since moving abroad. The vet broke the news to both the pet – a Shetland sheepdog – and his owners just as he was about to plunge a needle into the dog's rear end.


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A child's culture shock is not that much different from an adult's. It is an initial reaction to an uncertain and different environment. But never forget that your traveling child is not just a miniature adult. A child is, afterall, a child, and will have more needs which cannot be put on a hold as an adult's can. What are some of the causes of a child's culture shock


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: Family Life Overseas

Family life overseas is a whole lot different than it was at home. It's not that you never had to accommodate change at home. New situations and new people didn't seem to come up as often as they do overseas. Parenting itself, and the interaction of the nuclear family grouping, is fundamentally the same anywhere in the world. But overseas, situations always seem magnified because they are happening abroad, far from the familiar home. This is especially applicable to how the family functions together.


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: ...Who Am I?

By Robin Pascoe 

One of the biggest emotional headaches for spouses moving abroad is the temporary loss of the critical qualities which a woman needs to keep her ego from collapsing in total despair – self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of her own identity. In my experience, the first social invitation provides the litmus test for how those qualities are faring overseas. If you fail the test, you're in good company.


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