Sunday, March 1, 2009

Expat Women

I stumbled on a website called Expat Women earlier today and now here it is after midnight, and I just…can’t… stop… clicking…

I know you know what I mean.

It started innocently enough, on a page called City Experiences. I clicked into the “Cairo” link and found a helpful (and surprisingly comprehensive) overview from an expat – where to live, household help, utilities, local employment, transportation, etc. Nice.

Well, that was easy – let’s kick it up a notch…ah, here’s Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I learn that the typical rent in popular expat areas runs between $950 and $2000, it’s easy to own a car, gyms are expensive, and that the tap water is supposedly safe to drink, but everyone filters or buys bottled. English is widely used, and a live-in maid can make your life easier for $120 to $250/month.

I also learn that, after three C-sections, the author says she can personally vouch for the hospitals. Did I mention these profiles are comprehensive?

I'm excited - I want to read about Mozambique, Hyderabad, Sri Lanka. But this virtual tome deserves more time than I have right now, so I set a bookmark, and on the way out I spot the interviews with expat entrepreneurs.

One woman runs a touring club in Italy, with a fleet of vintage 1950’s and 1960’s Fiat 500 cars. Another started a greeting card business in Venezuela. A lady in the UK publishes a family magazine, and a very busy-sounding American in Spain runs a massive business networking group, in addition to her own PR firm. These women are not messing around.

At some point – I’m out of control now, completely lost - I enroll for the Expat Women newsletter and qualify for a free e-book called Expat Women Winning Stories. I can’t recommend something I haven’t actually tried out, so one click later I’m reading funny, interesting tales (though not necessarily top shelf literature) that deserve a shout out for their honest approach and good-humored revelations.

Several stories later, I turn around and spot a Stories & Blogs link. Blogs! How can I leave now?

There’s Desperate Hotel Wife – Life Behind the Glamour and her stories about hiding from rampaging mobs in Bali. Something called Beth, Abroad – the Nibbling Marmot Goes Expatriate, reporting from Cambodia. Pickings are slim for the Caribbean (though I’m drawn to the family of eight missionaries from Minnesota working in Haiti, where I once visited a Club Med, oh so many years ago.) There’s nothing from Tuvalu, Nauru or Kiribati, but nine women write from Saudi Arabia, and a whopping 68 find time to tell us about the weather, the food, the traffic, and the accents in the UK.

I’m signing off now – really I am. But I’ll be back. And next time I’m bringing trail mix.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy, Thank you so very much for the shout out. It's one of the best blog shout outs we've read in ages. Thanks!

PS. Congratulations, you are our 800th blogger to list on our directory. We don't have any prizes for you - except we did give you a reciprocal shout-out here on our blog today:

Best wishes Nancy, Andrea Martins. :-)

Ted Warnock said...

Hi Nancy, How are you doing? Live the shore kina life for us will ya?!!

The template I chose for my page has a Blog list in the bottom right corner. When I am logged in I can click on a pencil icon near the list and open a configure window. There I can click "add to list" and copy and paste the URL of your blog. It will ask me if I want to follow the feed and that is something a bit different and you can do that too (the blog content shows up elsewhere, I don't really use it). The great thing about the blog list is it is chronological, so if you have several blogs in your list that you follow, the latest one that gets posted pushes that blog to the top of the list with the header of the post.

You can also probably get there by clicking "customize" in the upper right hand corner and clicking the "layout tab". If you don't see it available to you when in the layout tab, you may need to add it by clicking "add a gadget" and finding "my blog list" in the list of gadgets.

I hope this helps Nanc!


The Antiques Diva™ said...

I saw you mentioned on Expat Woman's newsletter and wanted to pop in give a quick Hello. I felt the same way as you did the first time I discovered the Expat Woman website! It's a wonderful resource and moreover, it's entertaining to boot!

I hope you get to live the life of your dreams!

Best Regards,