Archive | September, 2013

Introducing our guest blogger for October: Elise Campbell-Hand

30 Sep

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Elise Campbell-Hand is an Aussie who is living in London.

She is a mother of two and has a background in business management and charity work.

Elise and I met when we worked together at Edmund Rice Camps SA Inc. She was the Business Development Management and I was the Volunteer Coordinator. Shortly after I started Elise moved to London for her husband work in August 2008 and I moved to San Francisco the second time for my husband work in October 2008.

It has been some time since we have seen each other but we keep up in each other’s news through Facebook and emails.

Elise has experience being a expat for the last 5 years. Her journey has been a great adventure and included the birth of her two children.

Thank you to Elise for taking the time to write the blog and sharing her expat life with the readers.

Look out for tomorrow’s guest blog.

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble!

29 Sep

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Halloween is upon us!

With October fast approaching, it is time for trick or treating, costumes, pumpkin carving and corn mazes.

Halloween is celebrated around the word, but no one celebrates Halloween like the Americans do.

Growing up, scary movies were not my thing. I used to be scared of the movie Witches by Roald Dal. But then as time went on I started to love Buffy, Angel and scary movies. Though I have to say horror is not my thing,

Trick and treating is done is Australia but not to the same degree. The costumes here are amazing. Some people deck out there whole house for Halloween, there are parties, candy collecting and Haunted Houses set up with live actors to scare the crap out of you.

So this year I have decided to embrace my inner Halloween and do it all- carve pumpkins, finish corn mazes and even walk through Haunted Houses.

So to get in he mood I am watching Hocus Pocus and eating candy!

I will keep you posted on my Halloween progress.

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Hawks take the win!

28 Sep

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Today I dedicate my blog to the Hawks, who took victory over The Dockers in yesterday’s Australian Football League Grand Final.

What a great game. This year we celebrates in style at the ACC Grand Final Party in San Francisco! We joined together with 400 other Aussies and International expats to celebrate a game we love.

The night was full of James Boags beer, meat pies and catching up with Aussie mates!

I have been a Hawthorn supporter for 9 years. I have moved all over Australia and did not have a specific team I went for, so I joined hubby in supporting the Hawks. Since then they have won two premierships in 2008 and 2013!

You got to love Aussie rules! I mean the players are fit, the atmosphere electric and a place you can eat a four and twenty pie and a beer on a cold day.

Well congratulations to The Hawks! Many more premierships to come! You did you supporters proud!

We are the mighty mighty Hawthorn! We are the mighty might Hawks!

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30 goals before I am 30 progress.

27 Sep

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With 6 days until I turn 30, it is time for a goal update.

In my last post I advised my last ten goals. See below my goals and progress.

21. Visit Orlando Florida – Planned for December.

22. Run a 5km race under 31 minutes – working towards, currently 34 minutes

23. Sing the National Anthem at an up coming Aussie event – working with ACC and will audience later in the year.

24. Spend more time with Hubby– in process

25. Enroll in a pastry course– need to research

26. Advance my event management skills by gaining experience in new events ( festivals, concerts and fairs) – volunteer for upcoming festivals.

27. Be an audience member at a talk back show ( Bethenny show) – got tickets

28. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge– to be done on my birthday weekend.

29. Start mailing Christmas cards to friends and family members again- Christmas card and present list started.

30. Last but not least- my greatest fear is heights and fast rides so go on the fastest, scarest ride at Disneyland. Plans to go to Disneyland in October.

Most of the above I have achieved. The next goal to tackle is goal 25. Enroll in a pastry course. So today’s goal is to look into options.

I started to think about my goals. Then realized why does it take a significant birthday to make me create and achieve goals?

Maybe because I find purpose in a significant birthday or that I feel like life is going by so quickly that I want to achieve more.

What ever the case is, time to go achieve some goals!

Home is where the heart is

26 Sep

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A house is your castle
A home is your retreat
A house is your home
Home is where the heart is

So over the years I have become a pro at making my new house a home. Mum alway said set up your house as if you are not moving. Put your photo out, hang your pictures and unpack those boxes.

Being a expat you are forever renting an apartment, moving and downsizing. So today my blog is about making your house a home.

Below are my top 5 tips for making your house a home:

1. Unpack– sounds obvious but it is easy to not unpack everything. Make sure you unpack everything.

2. Set up house, as if you aren’t moving again- put photos out, hang pictures, buy new furniture if needed, set up house the way you want it.

3. Meet the neighbors– meet the people living around you. Go and introduce yourself.

4. Check out the area around you– locate the supermarket, coffee shop, restaurants, clothing stores.

5. Invite friends and family– invite family and friends to events at your new home. Hold a housewarming, Thanksgiving and Christmas. When you fill your house with loves ones it feels more homely.

No matter where you live in the world, make your house a home!

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Broadway at its best

25 Sep

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Ever since I was a little girl I have loved broadway. I wanted to be a performer in a famous musical.

Musicals are amazing. If my life could be a musical I would do it. Imagine if you could sing to each other rather than a normal talking conversation.
I think no matter what you sang it would put a smile on my face.

One goal I have had since I was young is to one day own a theatre. Yes a theatre! Not a movie theatre but a theatre for plays and musicals. There is nothing greater than seeing actors perform on the great stage.

Where does my love for musicals come from you may ask? Well mostly from my Grandparents and Mum. My first musical was The Phantom of the Opera, which I saw in Melbourne with my grandparents.

Since then I have collected theatre and show programs of every show I have been to.

My favorite musicals are ” Hello Dolly”, ” How to succeed in business without really trying” and ” Music Man”. Not your traditional musical choices like Phantom, Les Miserable or Cats but classics never the less.

Today I share with you, my readers, my passion for broadway and the love I have for musical and singing.

I may not own the theatre this week, this year or 10 years from now or even ever. But what I do know is I will continue to work towards the goal and reach for the stars.

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Homesickness- just creeps up on you!

24 Sep

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Homesickness is something you can’t predict, you don’t anticipate it and comes around quickly.

Homesickness isn’t like a cold or gastro, it is a knot in your stomach, a ache in your heart and a underlying urge to jump on a plane and go back to your homeland.

I have had homesickness many times, the difference with this move is I didn’t get it. I have gone 7 weeks and all good. I thought this time was different. I am older, more mature, it won’t happen.

Then the day came. Yesterday I was officially homesick.

The funny thing is there was no reason for it. Had a lovely weekend- my birthday party, caught with friends, spend time with hubby and signed up for Broadway Chorus. Then I was driving to target and all of a sudden I missed home. Strange.

Was it because I missed my Mum’s 60th birthday?
Was it because I had emails and messages from friends back home?
Was it because I was listening to Cold Chisel?

Maybe it was all the above. So I thought what to do.

Well why not cheer myself up with shopping, a movie and dinner with friends.

Today the homesickness has gone and I am feeling better. I guess what I have realized is a part of me will always miss home, my family and friends. I can’t beat it, I can’t change it. I just have to embrace it.

So this blog is dedicated to my loved one back in Australia. I think of you often, miss you always and you are always in my heart!

Pick up lines- did he really just say that?

23 Sep

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This blog was inspired by my recent experience. I was the receiver of pick up lines.

What is up with bad pick up lines? Do guys really think they work?

In the past two weeks, I have been a receiver of the following pick up lines:

” That is a fantastic dress, looks even better with you in it, are you single?”

” I think I have died and gone to heaven as I am looking at a angel”

” This must be your coffee as there is a love heart on it and I hold a key to your heart”

” Feel like getting dinner?, doesn’t matter you are married”

The problem is when the guy says this to me, I have no words. Not one world comes out of my mouth, for what feels like minutes. My typical response is thanks, married, no not single.

It got me thinking, are American men more forthright then Aussie men?

I mean I have been picked up in Australia but not normally in the street, train station or supermarket.

Are American men more confident? Do men honestly believe the line will work?

Though I have to say that it is flattering, it is hard as I am not interested and unsure how to respond.

When I met my husband he came up to me on the dance floor asked me to dance and that was that. No cheesy line and no awkward moment.

Can’t a guy just go up to a single woman and say hi, can I buy you a drink?

Well good luck to guys with the pick up lines. My advice less cheesy and more honest!

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Liebster Award- The Expat Loop is nominated!

22 Sep

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Thrilled to share with my fellow bloggers that I was nominated for the Liebster Award.

The aim of the award is to give new blogs exposure. Thank you to Tukaram from the View From Down Here, for the nomination. Check out his blog! https://expatinphilippines.wordpress.com/

I have to give 11 facts about myself, answer 5 questions, nominate 5 other blogs, and ask them 5 questions.

11 Facts about me:

1. I have moved to California 3 times
2. I love to sing
3. I am addicted to the Food Network
4. My favorite meat to eat is lamb.
5. San Francisco is my second favorite city in the world after Melbourne.
6. My favorite music is from Australia- John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes and so on
7. My first broadway show I saw was The Phantom of the Opera
8. I am a chocoholic
9.My favorite day is Sunday. The day I spend with hubby.
10.I love watching sex in the city re runs.
11. I speak to my mum everyday- text or phone.

My 5 answers to nominated questions:

1 What keeps you motivated to blog regularly? I keep motivated by the feedback, comments and suggestions from the reader.

2.What advice you give to someone thinking of becoming an expat? Do it! It isn’t the easiest journey, but it is rewarding and a once in a lifetime experience. Embrace the journey and dive on right in!

3. If you already moved – what do you miss most from your home country? Well of course my family and friends! Then the food! I miss Aussie food so much- pies, sausage rolls, Cadbury chocolate, lemon lime and bitters and so on!

4. Is music important in your life? And if so what musician has affected your life the most? Yes music is a huge part of my life. I am a singer and sing in Broadway Chorus. I think each moment in your life is represented by a song. John Farnham would be the singer that has affected my life so far.

5. What is your favorite book? Sad but true any lonely planet guide!

My 5 questions to my nominated bloggers:

1. Why did you start a blog?
2. What’s the best part about having a blog?
3. Where is your next dream destination?
4. What is your best travel tip?
5. What is your favorite destination in the world?

My 5 nominated bloggers

1. travelola http://travelola.org/

2. China Daily Mail http://chinadailymail.com

3. The cactus, the donkey and the Brit https://thecactusthedonkeyandthebrit.wordpress.com/

4. La Vale and Her World https://lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com/

5. Foreign sanctuary https://foreignsanctuary.wordpress.com/wp-login.php

Top Travel Tips

21 Sep

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I love to travel. Anytime, anywhere.

If my life could be a holiday, I would do it! Thoughts of a travel writer or blogger have come to mind on a few occasions.

With all that said, there are a few ways to travel- budget, mid-range, expensive.

Well I like a bit of all it. I think rather than the way to travel, it is traveling smart. A fellow bloggers asked me for my top travel tips for planning a vacation, so thought I would share:

Top tips to planning your next vacation!

Plan ahead– book flights early, do the research, hunt down good deals, obtain visas and passport.

Research– do your research. Yes it does take time but it will save you money. Take a look at Expedia.com, kayak.com or priceline.com.

Lonely planet guide– check out the guide for the area you are traveling, the guide has great ideas, maps and tourist information.

Talk to friends– find out what you can from people who have been to the destination. Ask friends, family, read travel blogs and websites.

Pack Light– pack your bag and then half it. We have a tendency to over pack. So make sure you pack smart and light. Always pack a spare pair of undies, phone charger and toothbrush in your carry on bag in case your luggage gets lost.

Time– make sure you allow time for your travel- to get to the airport, go through security and check in. It takes longer than you think.

Tourist centre– on arrival make your way to a tourist bureau. Get maps, information and guides to your area. Ask questions and get the lay of the land. You can never have too much information.

So go out and start planning your next vacation. There is a whole wide world to go and explore.


“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

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