No other ‘expat expert’ has quite such a punishing schedule as my dear friend Robin Pascoe. And just as I find myself returning to my own Middle East stomping grounds of Dubai and Oman (check out the Muscat International Mobility and Relocation conference in April), Robin regularly returns to the Far East. Fans of her great books, Homeward Bound, Moveable Marriage and Raising Global Nomads will know that she lived in Bangkok, Seoul and Beijing during her time in expatwifedom.

Now she returns, going to Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and BAngkok, starting on Feb 17th. Her schedule is punishing, for she will be making 25 presentations during her stay. Do NOT miss this chance to meet her, hear her own personal stories that will resonate with you like nothing else. She’ll make you laugh, she may make you cry, but her solid wisdom and practical advice will have you leaving the room with a spring in your step – and a book in your hand. Check out her itinerary now here on her blog at Expat Expert.

It’s been brewing for a while, but at last I can share the good news. Actually, it’s not good news, it’s brilliant news! Along with some of my favourite people, people who are experts in the expat world, I have been invited to my favourite place in the world to be part of the first ever international mobility conference in Oman. Brainchild of TCK Omani Sharifa Albarami of Al Jazeera Global, education specialist, Rebecca Grappo and old friend, counsellor and all round good egg, Jane Jaffer, the International Mobility and Relocation Conference will take place on 19 and 20th April 2009 at the newly refurbished Al Bustan Palace Hotel.

It’s a terrific program, with Robin Pascoe and Ann Houston Kelley and myself all presenting at least twice. And the setting! Did I ever tell you that the Al Bustan is my favourite hotel in the world? Or that Muscat is my favourite place? Or that the Omanis are my favourite people?

Until January, the only similar conference is Families in Global Transition, which I have attended and presented at five times – but it’s in Houston, Texas. So, thank you Muscat for filling the gap. I hope to see you all there.

EARLY BIRD RATE BY DEC 21ST Save 15% on the OMR fee if you book by Dec 21st!


My great mate Robin Pascoe (The Expat Expert) conducted a large international relocation survey earlier this year, sponsored by Canadian movers AMJ Campbell International, entitled “Family Matters!”

Thanks to those of you who read my blog and newsletter and who responded to the terrific attempts at publicity by countless others who, like Robin, know how much family matters, she received a massive 655 workable responses from expats and their family members (14 years of age and above). In addition to 30% of the respondents being male, one of the other notable aspects of the survey was its array of open-ended questions – which in turn resulted in a wealth of very open, honest, heartwarming and heartbreaking responses.

To be one of the first to see the results (as Robin has literally only put it up an hour ago), just click here.

If you are in HR – read it and take note

if you are part of an expat family – read it and take heart

Well done, Robin, a tough job that many will appreciate – including me.

TCK experts and webinars

September 2, 2008

I’ve long been a fan of Paulette Bethel’s work and was delighted to find that she is the brains behind a site called TCK Academy. Here you can take part in webinars with some of the industry’s biggest experts. Listen to past webinars with those such as Ruth van Reken on the 7 Things you should know about TCKs and Robin Pascoe on raising global nomads. Do not miss out.

I’ve just had a look at the HSBC survey, downloading the results from the “>Easy Expat blog. I had a bit of a mooch around the site and it looks pretty good, though I was fed up to see neither my books nor Robin Pascoe’s in their list – but maybe I did not look hard enough.

The survey interviewed over 2000 expats and it seems Singapore is, the UAE and the US are the best places to live. So that’s why my best mates are all off to Singapore! The Netherlands, where I live, came 7th in the poll, so I guess I’m not doing so badly.

But the survey is all about lifestyle, luxury, saving, accommodation and length of stay – nothing about how the kids adjusted, if the spouses found work, or if they found ways to feed their soul. No surprise there. I guess if I was doing a survey funded by a major international bank I’d not be interested in those questions either. Thank goodness Robin Pascoe has done a survey on what matters to the family. I can’t wait to see the results of that one.

Slightly cynical, moi?

Meet Robin and Reiko

March 27, 2008

I have just returned from the Families in Global Transition conference in Houston (my 4th) and met up with old friends and new. As Barbara Schaetti, of Transition Dynamics says, ‘it is a reunion of strangers’. Don’t you feel like that sometimes?

Anyway, Reiko Keehn is one of the new kids on the global transition block and was determined to take a photo of two old hands – Robin Pascoe and myself – with her. Robin and I hope that Reiko will take her youth and her enthusiasm into the world and become the trailblazer she deserves.

here we are:


Attend a conference

February 28, 2008

I’m so excited. On Monday I go to Families in Global Transition in Houston. This is my fourth trip to the conference and the conference’s 10th anniversary.

It is also 10 years since my first expat conference, when in 1998, I went to Paris for Women on the Move. It was there that I met Robin Pascoe and it was there that I first really ‘got’ why I felt like I did to be a global nomad.

If you, like me, enjoy learning from the gurus, and being among other people who ‘get it’ maybe you should try one of these conferences. Do you attend any already? If so, please tell us which ones and don’t forget to add their contact details.