Archive | August, 2013

Love at the departure gate

31 Aug

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As hubby leaves tomorrow morning. It is another moment from Love Actually.
A warm embrace before he leaves on a jet plane for 2 weeks.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and I would have to say that though that is correct, it doesn’t come without a bit if heart ache.

I mean my heart breaks every time we say goodbye but then when he arrives home it is like we just started dating. The new relationship feeling, warm fuzzy butterflies and feeling giddy as a school girl.

We have spent a lot of time apart. The longest time was 4 months when we first got together and I went to summer camp in California. It isn’t easy to do but it does make your relationship stronger and you appreciate each other more.

So with another goodbye tomorrow, I will hug and wave goodbye knowing that I would rather spend half my time with hubby then all my time with someone else.

You know that moment in ” Sleepless in Seattle” where she go to meet him on the top of the Empire State Building. He isn’t there and then at the last minute he arrives to get a teddy bear,that his son forgot. Then they look at each other and know they were destined for each other. That is how I feel about hubby.

So on that romantic note I will leave you with my favorite quote from “Sleepless in Seattle”.

As the quote goes ” It was a million tiny little things, that when you added them up, they meant we were suppose to be together.”

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Friends around the world

31 Aug

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One of the most important things to me in life are friends. Friends have always been there for me and I will treasure always.

You can have friends for different reasons- from school, college, sporting or hobbie groups or that you have met through other friends.

Each of them are amazing and each of them bring so much to my life.

Being a expat and living abroad,when I first arrived in the USA many years ago, I longed for a good friend who I could just call up and have a girls coffee with. It took time but I now have a few girlsfriends that I can do just that.

Sometimes it is hard to make what I like to call ” a girls catch up date”

You just met some one through a sporting group or through a friend and want to catch up or met up again but are not sure what to do. To me it is like dating again. You don’t want to appear desperate and ask her out to coffee, movie or to join a pre arranged gathering, as she will think you have no friends but you dont want to wait 3 days and lose the momentum. So really you are between a rock and a hard place.

Have you seen the movie ” I love you man” I think it is just like that. If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. So I googed make new friends, how to get close friends, how to have coffee with a friend and to my surprise there are many how to guides for these situations.

So I have no rules for asking a new friend out for coffee. I think when you meet a new person, either in person, by phone or email you either click and have things in common or you dont. I have made a few new friends this week though San Fran Stars Netball Team. Funny how you can be over the other side of the world but still met someone from your hometown. Love it. With these new found friends they reached out to me and I called one of them and wrote back to the other. We now have become friends.

I am a big believer that you can never have to many friends. But to find a true friend, well that is something special.

Thanks to all my friends – new or otherwise from around the world, love each of you and though I may be on the other side of the world to some of you, I am only a call away and always here if you need me.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one” – C.S Lewis

Australian food- oh how I miss thee!

30 Aug

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From yummy pies, sausages rolls and farmer union ice coffee to lamingtons Tim tams and Vegemite. Australia food is like nothing else.

When you start dreaming of pies you realize you have a problem.

Food in California is good and yummy but you can’t beat the Aussie food goodness.

So how do I beat this I ask myself? Well I think it is time to embrace my inner chef and make some Aussie food.

So with that said the first recipe will be the meat pie. Not something I have made before but will give it ago. I will put pictures up of the complete product.

The other thing I miss is Australia wine. My favorite wine is the Sauvignon Blanc. I love nothing more than a crisp, delicious s. Blanc from the Adelaide Hill. My favorite is Shaw & Smith. This type of grape wine can be found in north California but it doesn’t have the same taste and flavor. So if anyone has some California wine suggestions let me know.

Today is the start of the labour day weekend so that means the weekend is upon us.

Well until I make pies and find wine. I will have to stick to bubbly and pretzels.

Happy Labour Day weekend!

Food network obsessed = introducing Food Loop Review

29 Aug

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I am on this planet to eat amazing food and wine.

From lamb roast, pumpkin ravioli and lobster moray to sweet cupcakes, pavlova, chocolate slice and macaroons.

Food is my soul and I like nothing more than a stunning dinner with a glass of wine.

So when moving to America, a highlight is The Food Network. Watching Ina Garten, Chopped, Cupcake wars, Iron Chef, Diners Drive in and Dives and Masterchef.

I always thought I would become a chef but then I did work experience in a kitchen in year 10 and after a week of peeling vegetables, plucking quail and catching the bomb alaska on fire, I knew I would rather enjoy food and wine than be a chef.

So as part of my expat journey I want to try amazing food and wine in California.

There junk food like animal fries and Taco Bell. Then chocolate from ghiradelli. Then the food I love quality food made with local ingredients.

So as my journey continues I want to visit restaurants and wineries in the Bay Area and surrounds.

I will write a review each fortnight of my experience and it will be called:

“Food Loop Review”

I will post my first review in the coming week. As we get closer to Labor Day Holiday weekend let sit back relax, enjoy good food and wine with friends and have a few laughs, after all:

“Laughter is brightest where food is best”

Expat life, Expat wife, Expat Journey: How to set up and get settled in the USA

29 Aug

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Moving to the other side of the world is exciting, invigorating and a start of a new chapter. But it doesn’t come without it’s challenges.

From going to the supermarket, arranging a social security number and driver license, renting a house with no credit history and trying to find a job.

It can be a challenge, or as my Dad says a LE (Learning Experience) or a CB (Character Building)

So the questions I was asked this week is how do you tackle setting up and every day tasks in a new country. Well each country is different but I can speak from my USA experience.

Below are suggestions for setting up and tackling living in the USA

1. Research– I know you hear me say it, time and time again but research is so valuable. Visit expat website, local information websites, buy books on moving to the USA

2. Get a social security number ASAP– In the USA you can’t do anything with a a social security number. So apply as soon as you arrive in the USA.

3. Open a bank account – No matter where you live, you need a bank account. If possible open up an account in the first month you arrive as this will start to build your credit history

4. Join sporting or hobbie groups– This is a great way to meet people, have a taste of home and do something you enjoy

5. Network with other expat– Expat help expats. The best information and advice I have been given has been from other expats. So read blogs, forums, website and join expat groups.

6. Ask questions– If you don’t know how to get a drivers license or where to go to arrange health insurance then ask. Sounds simple but so true. Nearly every day I am asking someone something, today alone I ask the coffee barista about upcoming Bay Area events.

7. Attend information events. Check out sfaussies.com. I have included below the next information event.

AACC Business Seminar
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Venue: Bank of the West
295 Bush St, San Francisco

New to the US or been here for a while – refresh or learn about your healthcare options, credit scores and international tax information – this seminar is for you!

Registration: 6pm, Panel: 6:30pm, Networking: 7pm
Cost: $10 AACC Members, $30 Non Member – RSVP: http://www.sfaussies.com

Are you looking for ANSWERS!

* How do I set up bank accounts? What information do I need?
* How do I get access to a credit card?
* What is a Credit Score and how do I get it started?
* How do I find a place to rent/buy?
* Should I buy or lease a car? How do I go about doing this?
* What do I need to do to get healthcare?
* Should I invest money in a 401k if I plan to retire in Australia?

Living as a expat is a privilege, experience and something you will never forget. So don’t get torn up about the challenge and enjoy it.

As they say:

“It is not about the destination it is about the journey”

Love at the arrival gate

29 Aug

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Have you seen the film Love Actually?

You know the moment at the start of the film at Heathrow Airport, where everyone is arriving back from or to there destination. There’s hugs, there’s tears and the moments become priceless.

Over the past 9 years my husband as travelled. Some would say ALOT, some would say two much. You know what they are probley right.

The moment he arrives home it is just like that moment in the movie. The excited that he is coming home, a count down of how many sleeps until he gets home, giving him a hug on arrival and having someone to sleep next to that night.

Well today is one of those days, he is arriving home.

Being a expat it is a constant game of hello and goodbyes. You go back home to see everyone, you say goodbye to your expat family. Then you return and you have to say goodbye to your homeland family.

I am not good at goodbyes. Mum and I are the worse! In fact we don’t do goodbyes at the airport as a rule. Just too emotional and to hard. Instead we do a dinner or have a coffee and say our goodbye that way.

Hubby and I are very fortunate to have an amazing network in the USA. A second family, and as that family grows, we get closer to each other, it makes it harder to leave.

Love Actually is one of my favorite movies. I am a romantic. The idea of love and Christmas in one film well that’s just perfect.

So as I wait the day out to see hubby tonight I will think of that film and look forward to the moment we are in each others arms again.

Baseball- how you play the game!

29 Aug

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So as I sit 4 rows back from the front facing the third base. I ask myself why is baseball so popular?

Is it the cute baseball players?
The atmosphere?
The pump up music?
The giant hot dogs and beer?
Doing the Mexican wave?
Singing the national anthem?
Catching a ball?

Or is it in fact all of it combine? I mean where can you drink, watch sport, sing songs and have a good time. Well some my say at the footy, cricket or the basketball.

So I asked my USA buddy Whitey and his response “it is a time to hang out with your friends, have a drink, watch the game he loves and eat a giant hot dog”

So with that said it is back to baseball. Another American experience to treasure.

Think I might go get a hot dog ….

What is your theme song?

28 Aug

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Music is all around us. On the radio, iPod, cd, in stores and hotels. I love music, I love to sing and have been singing since I was young.

I grew up with all different types of music- jazz, broadway, pop, old school and so on.

Each life moment is represented by a song. For example:

The One Tree hill theme song- fun at Camp Bothin

Horses by Daryl Braithwaith- my dear friend Lucinda

Save the last dance for me by Michael Bubble- wedding dance with hubby

You raise me up by Josh Groban- My amazing Mum

Girls just want to have fun by Cindi Lauper- Jess’s 21st Birthday

Masquerade from The Phantom of the Opera- my first theatre show with my grandparents

I still call Australia home by Peter Alan- Australia and the Qantas ad

Daydream believer by The Monkees- memories of my Nanna

Shot through the heart by Bon Jovi- karaoke moments with Ja

Songs remind you of priceless moments, pick you up when you are sad and determine what you listen by the mood you are in.

So what is my expat journey theme song I ask myself ?

Is it leaving on a jet plane by John Denver or I left my heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett?

No my theme song for my expat journey- part 2 is….

California by Phantom Planet!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TZMCwa-Cvr4&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DTZMCwa-Cvr4

So I am off to the car, to drive on the 580 and listen to my theme song!

Trailing Spouse- Part 2

28 Aug

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A few of my expats friends reached out to me yesterday and ask if I would talk about trailing spouse, after the success of my first post.

Statistics show that a trailing spouse is a key ingredient to an successful international assignments.

As it is said ” happy life is a happy wife”

So here are my top 8 tips for being a trailing spouse:

– Make a house a home: don’t live like you are moving in a year. Set up the house,move furniture from home if possible.

– Transportation: Get a car. This will enable you to get out of the house, meet new people and attend social events.

– Find your own path: You need to make your own path and identity. Rather than being someone’s wife or husband you are so much more. So do hobbies you enjoy. I have a routine during the week, as if I was working.

– Put yourself out there: Get out there meet new people, do things you never dreamed you could or have time for.

– Find a mentor: Mentors are amazing. It could be a family member or a friend but someone who is or has been a trailing spouse.

– Concentrate on the here and now: Live in the presence. A international assignment can range from 1-3 years. It isn’t forever so enjoy it and live every moment.

– Stay positive:
A positive outlook goes a long way. Stay positive and you will attract positive people and positives things will happen.

– Embrace the country: Embrace the country you are living. Celebrate the holidays, sporting and cultural events.

If you are a trailing spouse and want to share your experience and tips email me at sarahjuliestone@gmail.com

Embrace the expat life and amazing things will happen..

An Aussie gentlemen vs an American gentlemen

28 Aug

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So what is the difference between. Aussie gentlemen and a American gentlemen you may ask yourself?

From Aussie language like ” my shout”, “fair dinkum”,”gday mate”, and “you little ripper” to the love of footy and cricket and finally the love of being an Australian. That is what being an Aussie male is all about.

I have never dated a American gentlemen so I can only speak from a friend perspective, but American gentlemen have buddies rather than mates, they enjoy american beer such as Bud and food like buffalo wings which isn’t really buffalo and they love to tail gate and that doesn’t mean being close to the car in front of you,

Today I was asked a interesting questions what makes me Australian, I said “I am from Australia” they replied “but what makes Australia , Australia” I thought about that questions and replied-

” Australia is a land of beauty, farmer union ice coffee, Aussie rules football, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the meat pie, cricket, amazing scenery, kangaroos, Crocodile Dundee and the attitude that it is the best place to live and be from”

Then I was asked what is Australian men like compared to American men. I replied “well you know the movie Australia when Hugh Jackman takes his shirt off and he is tan, hot and ripped, will just like that” “Nah just kidding”, I replied quickly afterwards.

Well I met my husband at a B & S Ball. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a Bachelor and Spinster Ball in the middle of a paddock where you drink, dance, through food dye at each other and have a hell of a good time. It is very Australian and very country! Random I know but 9 years later we are still together and happly married.

My friend replied- “we need an event like that in the USA, I would love to marry a Aussie guy”

It got me thinking that did I fall in love with my husband because he was Australian or because we have things in common? It was appealing that he was from Australia but that did not define him and I feel like love with his kindness, interests, personality and lets be honest he was hot!

So I guess the conclusion of this blog is all men are similar, doesn’t matter if they are from Australia, England, China or the USA. You fall in love with the person not the nationality.

With that said it is time for bed. I lastly want to thank each and everyone of you for reading and for your support. I have been blown away with the response to my blog and feel truly blessed that you are enjoying reading my posts.

If there is any topics you would like me to tackle feel free to email me at sarahjuliestone@gmail.com or send me a message.

So until tomorrow, I am Sarah, this is The Expat Loop and I am signing off good night,

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