Tag Archives: Bay Area

Arriving as a expat and becoming a local

15 Nov


So the decision is made that you are moving, not to a near by town or suburb but across the world to the USA! You are excited, nervous anxious and so much more!

You clean out your house, pack up and ship your items, have a going away party, eat all your favorite foods at your favorite restaurants and then the day comes that you leave on a jet plane. Good bye home, hello America.

As you land into your new town, you take your first steps in the USA, you think to your self ok I am here, now what? What do I do next?

Well here are my top 10 tips for expats arriving into the USA. Each week I will expand on my tips and provide you with more information in relation to being a expat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1- Discover– get to know the city you live in. Take a hop on/ off bus and discover all the different neighborhoods and areas.

2- Research– website hunt, read expat blogs, websites and get tips from those that know.

3- Network– the best pieces of expat advice I have been given is from word of mouth. Join meet up groups and expat groups.

4- Credit History– open up a bank account, start a credit card, lease a car but most of all start your credit history.

5- Create a home– live as though you are not leaving! Buy furniture, rent an apartment, set up your house the way you want it and make it a home.

6- Embrace American and your homeland traditions– celebrate Thanksgiving, Super Bowl, 4th July! Share your celebrations with your expat and American friends.

7- Insurance– make sure you have health insurance

8- Join a club– what ever your interest are join a club or group. Be it Aussie Rules Football, Netball, Amateur Theatre or Pool.

9- Get involved in your community– do a local fun run, attend a trivia night or a restaurant opening.

10- Get your California Driving license- by law you are required to get your license within a certain timeframe of arriving in the USA.

Now set off and enjoy your expat journey!

The Expat Loop is back!

11 Nov

It has been a few months since my last post and due to popular demand I am back.

The reason for my absence was a complicated pregnancy and an 8 week early arrival of our beautiful daughter Grace.

Our gorgeous daughter was born October 3rd at 1 pound 13 oz and has spent the last 6 weeks in the nicu. She is doing well and will be home in the coming weeks.

Over the past few months I have had countless requests for advice, information, resources and my experience in moving to the usa.

So with that in mind I am going to concentrate my upcoming posts on providing information and knowledge to expats moving to the Bay Area.

Being a expat is an experience that should be embraced and enjoyed. Sometime it can be frustrating to find the information you are looking for.

So let me guide your expat journey! It is about the journey not the destination!

Cupcakes are my friend!

19 Sep

There is nothing better than a delicious, light, fluffy, tasty cupcake. Doesn’t matter what flavor, just the thought of a cupcake makes me smile.

Growing up I didn’t eat cake. I know sacrilege right? Cake wasn’t my thing so I would have ice cream cake for my birthday. Then over time, I started to like certain cakes.

To be honest my favorite is a vanilla cupcake with sweet vanilla frosting. I think you can tell a lot about a cupcake show by there vanilla cupcakes.

My favorite cupcake shop/ bakery. Is the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC. There cupcakes are the best. Though considering I don’t live in NYC, I have had to find food cupcake shops in the Bay Area.

Everyone has different cupcake needs, some like them smaller, more frosting, fluffy or with sprinkles while others want more flavor and a gooey centre. I have been on the hunt for cupcakes for my birthday and found the following places the best in the Bay Area.

In no particular order:

1- Kara’s Cupcakes ( Walnut Creek)

2- Primrose Bakery ( Pleasanton)

3- Nothing Bundt Cakes ( Del Mar)

4- Frost Cupcake Factory (Campbell)

5- Miette Cake ( San Francisco)

So on this sunny Thursday. Why not have a cupcake for morning tea?

I know I will!

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a cupcake!


Aussie’s are everywhere

14 Sep


Aussie’s have a love to travel and are living all around the world. So no matter where you go- supermarket, expats events, airports, local attractions to name a few there are alway Aussies around.

So it was to my surprise last night that I went to a expat networking event and was the only Aussie attending. Not to mention most people there hadn’t met a Aussie in the Bay Area before. I was shocked!

Aprox 17,000 Aussies live in the Bay Area alone, I find it surprising that other expats have never met another Aussie in the area. With that said Aussies connect with other Aussies, and that gave us an idea.

Yesterday brought inspiration to my girlfriend and I. After meeting a lot of other Aussies of late who want to meet other Aussie/ Commonwealth expats we created a meet up group. There is a big need for regular expat events and socializing.

The group is a an opportunity for expats to meet, socialize, share experiences and network with other expats.

Check out Bay Area Aussie & Commonwealth Expats.

Top 5 Aussie things to do in the Bay Area.

7 Sep


Being a expat, homesickness is something we live with. Some are home sick all the time, while others just every now and again.

I have been asked by a fellow blogger what are my top Aussie things to do in the Bay Area to cure homesickness.

So in no particular order:

1. Aussie Rules Footy: got to love our footy. GGAFL( http://www.ggafl.com/) and Sacramento Footy (http://sacfooty.webs.com/) is the place to see it. Either strap on your boots and have a play or be a spectator.

2.Australia shop: Australia Product Co (http://www.aussieproducts.com/mobile/) San Jose or Australia Fair in San Francisco (http://www.australiafairinc.com/) is the place to go for Aussie food. From time tams, cordial, pies, laminations, pavlova eggs and top and fill they have it all.

3. Australian Chamber of Commerce events: if you are wanting to celebrate some Aussie events- AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, Anzac Day to name a few check out http://www.sfaussies.com

4. Netball: want to play a bit of sport and socialize with the girls. Check out San Francisco Stars Netball. (http://starsnetball.com/)

5. Cricket: missing the days of hot weather, beer and watching a good cricket match. Look no further than Marin county. To watch or become a part of the Marin Cricket Club or another club in the Bay Area take a look at the website http://www.bayareacricket.org/

Being Australian is amazing and though Aussie expats are far from home there is always another fellow aussie close by, aussie events to go to and aussie sports to be played.

” Aussie Expat will always call Australia home”


Top 5 weekend getaway in Bay Area.

5 Sep

A fellow blogger asked me what my recommendation of weekend getaways in the Bay Area are, so thought I would write a blog about it.

The Bay Area is full of great places to visit – wine country, lakes, ski areas, national parks, beaches and so much more.

Below are my top 5 weekend getaways. In no particular order:

1. Yosemite– 3.5 hour drive from the Bay Area. A stunning National Park, great in summer and winter. The park is full of hikes and waterfalls.



2. Napa Valley-1.5 hours from the Bay Area. beautiful wine country. Some of my favorite wineries are Mumm, Domain Chandon, Sterling and Vi Sattui


3. San Luis Obispo– 4 hours from the Bay Area. Lovely beach destination with great attraction such as Hearst Castle. Fantastic food and the best crab I have ever tasted.


4. Lake Tahoe– 3.5 hours from the Bay Area. Great in summer and winter. The lake in summer time is great for kayaking and water sports. Winter time Tahoe turns into a winter paradise.


5. Santa Cruz– 1.5 hours from the Bay Area. Fantastic beach destination with a fun boardwalk full of amusement park attractions. Other activities include cruises and the mystery spot.


So go out and discover The Bay Area. There is so much on offer, no matter what your interest are there is something for everyone.

Start exploring today!

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