Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Preview of Expat Life in 2011

Expat Explorer always aims to provide expats living across the globe with interesting and useful information, in the hope that it makes life as an expat that little bit easier. Well, today is no different. Very excitingly, ahead of the full Expat Explorer Report launch in November, the preliminary results of the Expat Explorer 2011 Survey have been released this morning and can be viewed by clicking here.

If you are new to the Expat Explorer Survey, it is the biggest survey of its kind, now in its 4th year and surveyed 3,385 expats from over 100 countries to bring you fascinating insights into expat life everywhere.

For example, did you know 63% of expats surveyed have more disposable income since relocating? And despite an optimistic economic outlook amongst expats generally, only 64% of expats intend to remain in their current country?

Six new countries have been added this year, and the league table has changed dramatically. Plus, Thailand is the number one expat destination when compared globally across economic and lifestyle factors taking the top spot from Bahrain in 2010.

Expat Explorer will be updating you with the full results, trends and insights in November when the Expat Explorer Report is released, but for now check out the preliminary findings here. What trends have you noticed over the past year as an expat? Are you planning to stay where you are? Leave a comment in the box below or send a message on Twitter to @ExpatExplorer.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Peace Day

This Wednesday, September 21st, is Peace Day, a day of cease fire in every country in the UN, and a day for the celebration of peace across the globe.

Regardless of whether the country that you are living in, from or transiting through is in the UN, in peace time or war time, September 21st is a day that reunites families, brings together people who may never have met before and spurs them on towards a common goal.

Last year many people across the world arranged events to raise awareness not only for Peace Day, but for the causes that it aims to stop. In London people walked barefoot, these students in Logan, Utah spelled out Peace One Day by lying on their school field, Paris held the official Peace One Day benefit concert. This just goes to show the absolute range of things that you can do to contribute to Peace Day this Wednesday.

This year, find out what is going on in a town near you and join in, you might just meet some dear friends as well as helping a good cause. And, as always, let us know what you get up to!

Just to get you going, here are Expat Explorer's top ten everyday things you can do to promote peace on Peace Day:

  1. Smile more than usual. A smile can turn someone's day around, it can cheer them up and help them to spread happiness as well.
  2. Specifically only buy products that are fair trade and from companies that promote peace in the countries that they work. It might take a bit of homework, but it is worth it.
  3. Ban all bickering from your home and workplace. Smiles all round please!
  4. Try and understand everyone's point of view, whether you agree with it or not, see what you learn.
  5. Say sorry first.
  6. Support a charity with your time or money that promotes peace locally, nationally or internationally. Every little helps!
  7. Show and share your support of the cause by downloading the Peace One Day app here.
  8. Tell someone else about Peace One Day and encourage them to do something to support it.
  9. Watch a documentary that supports peaceful relations, like this one.
  10. Pledge to extend your personal Peace Day for longer than one day.

One final video before you go though...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Parties, patterns and pictures

Once again the eyes of fashion lovers across the globe descended on New York for a week of beauty, innovation and pure creativity for the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  News of celebrity antics at wild parties filled the pages of fashion magazines, and anticipation is building to see if this year’s closing party will better than last year’s closing party, which payed homage to the life and work of Andy Warhol accompanied by copious amounts of the artist’s favourite tipple – Dom Perignon.

And all to showcase the next season of trends for your threads, will it be prints or patterns? Polka dots or pastels? Prim or preppy? Pancy green or panama blue?

So if you really want to know what wonderful creations walked along the catwalks of New York over the last week (and, like Expat Explorer, you didn’t have a ticket) have a look at some of these beauties, along with their sketches. And in case you were wondering just what trends are hot on the New York catwalk, wait no longer. Peplums are a must, sporty styles are in, and pastels actually will be huge this spring.

So, what looks would you put on the stages of The Big Apple? Leave us a comment below with your fashion wish list.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sharing your Expat Life with your Global Friends

Last week’s blog on how to keep in touch with friends abroad using the latest and greatest technology was a great hit, which you can read all about here, but this post takes a little bit of a different view of the subject. Many expats, especially those who have had multiple postings, have trouble keeping their global network of friends and family up to date with where they are in the world and what they are getting up to.
Expat Explorer had discovered that many expats are using photo sharing website Flickr share their photos, both holiday snaps and more arty pictures, with people they know and rest of the web. It can be updated regularly, or not so regularly for those who are not so snap happy, and a link can be sent out on mass to all those people that you know and love, but may not have time to email regularly.
ExpatGeneva has some lovely pictures of place of residence Geneva, particularly this cute cow below:

 UK in Denmark Flickr user uploads pictures of expat life as an ambassador in Denmark, including pictures from Jim Paice’s, MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food visit to Denmark in August which chronicles important looking people in wellies:

And finally, Flickr user Auswandern Malaysia’s wonderful pictures of expat life in Kuala Lumpur:

Are you using Flickr? Send us a link to your Flickr site in the comment box below. If you don’t have one and set one up, please let us know what you think of it. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Expat Explorer's Guide to Keeping in Touch using Technology

Technology has been making the expat life easier and more accessible, both physically and emotionally, for decades now. From being able to travel across the globe in a matter of hours rather than months, to being able to check in with friends and family home and abroad practically for free, advancements in technology have been largely to the advantage of those living abroad.

Whether you are going away for Christmas or indefinitely have a look at Expat Explorer’s top ways to keep in touch when away from home, friends or family.

The basics
Most people who are familiar with the internet are familiar with email, but it is the only place to start when talking about technology and keeping in touch, and it keeps getting better. It is a great way of organising all of your contacts, of having a conversation with a single person or with a group of people. Basic, but does the job. The natural progression from email is instant messaging, like email, but, as the name suggests, used when you are both on line and can have a more fluid conversation. The downside of instant messaging, compared to email, is that you have to be on the same platform. For example, when emailing you can email anyone with an address, regardless of whether they are with Hotmail, Gmail or a company address. You can instantly message people on Facebook, more on that later, Gmail has its own instant messaging feature, as does MSN (Hotmail), Skype and many others. But you do both have to be on the same one. Skype has many more features than simple instant messaging, the most prominent of which is video messaging. Most laptops now come with a video camera, microphone and speakers (all the equipment needed for a video call) so that you just have to download the Skype software and you can start video chatting with friends and family across the world.

Added extras
Whilst the above might be everything needed to keep in touch with loved ones across the world, there is a whole world of technology out there to explore and discover. So here is a rundown of Expat Explorer’s top added extras for keeping in touch with technology. Blackberry Messenger (or BBM as it has become known) works well for instating keeping in touch with anyone on a Blackberry, with features such as group chat and being able to see when a message has been delivered and read. There are, however, drawbacks such as the fact that you have to be connected to the internet, so not great for roaming, plus it is only for Blackberry smartphones. Downloadable apps, such as What’sApp, are available for download on any smartphone and have many of the same features as BBM. Inevitably social networks must figure on any good keeping in touch with technology list, and the most popular ones are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is great for keeping up to date with what lots of friends and family are up to, photos that they share and who’s where is the world, getting married, having children (all those things that many expats feel they should know about their global network of loved ones). Twitter works well for short messages shared to many, sharing links and generally keeping in touch. The final piece of technology is a gem: Pandigital’s Photo Mail Digital Photo Frame. This fancy frame can receive photos sent in an email and show them instantly in the frame!

This is just a few of the ways that technology is making expat life all the better, but this is not the full list. What is your top tip for keeping in touch with your global network? 

Friday, 2 September 2011

A look back at the Summer Vacation

After last week’s very factual post about studying abroad, here is a more light-hearted topic; looking back over this year’s summer vacation period. Many expats will be familiar with having a rather long explanation to the question “So where do you live?” – especially when on holiday, so most expats will be comfortable with this:
This is a video shot by a German New Yorker, living in Berlin, whilst on holiday in Lisbon and the Algarve. Phew!

It’s a lovely glimpse into Portuguese life through the eyes of a global citizen. We’d love to see any video or pictures that you have of your travels.



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