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My favourite places in Europe so far

My favourite places in Europe so far

After years of living and travelling in Asia, the United States, Central America, and Oceania, I was ready to spend some time in Europe. And what a time it has been. With more than six months left on my visa, I’m looking forward to doing […]

Packing tips for ladies on the move

Packing tips for ladies on the move

If you’re a serious traveler, rather than a once-a-year vacation kind of girl, you need to do some serious planning before you start. In this case, time is of the essence, as they say. By allowing enough time, you can do a super job on […]

Life advice for families on the move

Life advice for families on the move

Your career might require you to relocate on occasions, or a move might come about simply because you desire a life change. It could be, sadly, that due to the breakup of a relationship, one of you might decide you’d feel better at home, returning to your roots and bringing the children back with you.

Whatever the reasons for families needing to move, there are ways to ensure the transition from one place to another, one country to another, can be as least disruptive as possible. Of course, a move can be stressful, but preparing well for it can minimize that stress.

It may be that a community already exists at your new location; consisting of people you may have met before through work, or who share a similar background to you and speak the same language. Even so, it would be well worth the effort to learn some of the language and customs of the new country you are locating to. Familiarize yourself with some of the cuisine of your new destination, and prepare some traditional dishes. Involve your children in the food preparation and give the meal a real sense of occasion. Find out about recreational facilities, beaches and parks. This way, you will feel less apprehensive about the change, and more like you are beginning a new adventure, with exciting opportunities and new places to explore.

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If you are choosing your own new home, as opposed to moving to military accommodation, for example, find out everything you can about the immediate vicinity; explore it online together as a family. Different aspects of the area will appeal to different members of the family, and it’s sure to be a fun journey of discovery.

New schools and educational facilities for your current family (or one you might be planning to have in the future) will be towards the top of the priority list. You may even give home schooling some thought – it would be less of a life-changing event for the children that way, but may deprive them of the opportunity to make new friends and immerse themselves in the new culture. As a family, look at the websites of new schools, and discuss the benefits of a new school together. It may have terrific sporting facilities, drama classes, a swimming pool or an award-winning soccer team. It may have educational opportunities that simply did not exist at your previous location.

Singapore is one destination where it will not be hard to make new friends among the thriving expat communities. You’ll be able to connect with other parents easily through school-supported networks. American international schools are very likely to provide connections to many and varied groups. Look for links to religious groups, common interest groups such as sport or dining, cultural organizations and even recommended babysitters and home helps. Such a support network will really help you to settle in and make new connections quickly and reliably. The local embassy will be a valuable source of information for you – from legal affairs to arts and culture. It will detail citizen services and act as a point of reference should you need it.

You will be busy making new friends but it’s so important not to forget your old ones. Friends and family will be keen to keep up with all your news and progress, and maintaining these connections will make the transition easier and less unsettling for your children. There’ll be new customs and celebrations in your new destination, but make time to still celebrate and engage in the customs of your home country. Make Christmas just as special for your family, wherever in the world you may be – whether your new home has a chimney for Santa or not.

Do look out for each other as a family; some might be more adventurous and outgoing, and readily able to adapt to life changes. Others may find it very much harder; they may have had to leave behind special friends and places – maybe even a much-loved pet – and the transition for them could be difficult. Allow family members their own space but take notice if you sense they are becoming withdrawn and downhearted. Make time for family activities and games, either indoors or out. Involve all family members in planning special meals or days out on Sundays. Go shopping together; get to know your new area together.

Prepare well for the journey (sweets, coloring books for younger children) but importantly too, look forward to the destination.

 

 

Top 4 Ways To Stay Entertained When Travelling

Top 4 Ways To Stay Entertained When Travelling

Traveling is amazing there’s no doubt about that, but there’s also a lot of time spent in airports, on planes, trains and buses, and just generally feeling a little bored. If you’ve got some time to kill and wondering how best to spend it, then […]

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Healthy When Traveling

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Healthy When Traveling

Traveling is by far my favourite hobby,  I love seeing new places, trying new foods and filling my phone’s memory up with great travel pictures. However, if you’re traveling for longer than a week or traveling regularly, then you may struggle to stay healthy on […]

5 Reasons Comfort is Important When Bike Riding

5 Reasons Comfort is Important When Bike Riding

Whether you’re new to biking or you do it all the time, you may not have been fitted for a bike in some time. This is crucial, as comfort is one of the most important aspects of bike riding.

Whether you’re looking for a womens beach cruiser or considering finding some cheap hybrid bikes for sale here are 5 reasons why comfort is so important when bike riding:

  1. Nerve Problems

Nerve and hand problems can range from an annoying but mild pain in your fingers or palms to numbness of a couple or all of your fingers, and even loss of strength. This is known as ulnar palsy or cyclist’s palsy, and is caused by pressure on your ulnar nerve. Back, shoulder, and neck problems are also affected by how your handlebars are positioned. That’s why it’s so important to have a comfortable position for your handlebars and switch them up regularly.

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  1. Overuse Injuries

While many people set their saddle height to ensure they have a suitable knee extension, most people don’t measure the knee angle at the top of the pedal stroke. Not only does this massively impact your level of comfort during the ride, but it can contribute to a number of overuse injuries. You may find that a shorter crank puts less stress on your knees.

  1. Joint Pain

Unless you really work hard to find a comfortable riding position, you may end up with pain in your joints, particularly your Achilles tendons and knees. Once you’ve found the most comfortable position for you, stretch some arm warmers over your knees which will give you some stability and compression.

  1. Back problems

If you don’t have your handlebar at an optimal height, you may end up with some serious back problems. That’s because you can end up with too much weight on your hands, forcing your neck to bend into an uncomfortable position in order to see the road properly.

  1. Aches and Pains

Along with the above health problems, if your bike isn’t in a comfortable position, you’re likely to experience a range of aches and pains. This will mean that you’re less likely to go out for a ride, and you’re also less likely to enjoy yourself once you’re riding. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have the most comfortable riding position every time you ride.

How comfortable is your bike? Do you find yourself missing rides due to discomfort? If so, it may be time to find a new bike or get your bike professionally fitted. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

5 Budget Destinations for Winter

5 Budget Destinations for Winter

While many people associate traveling exclusively with the warm months of the year, the truth is that winter can bring its traveling jollies as well. In fact, there are a lot of pretty amazing places to visit during the winter too- and this stands just […]

How to Enjoy the Best of Paros

How to Enjoy the Best of Paros

Paros is an island in Greece, specifically in the Aegean Sea, that is unique compared to other islands in the area. Unlike Mykonos and other islands, Paros offers a more traditional ambience that blends really well with the modern holiday amenities. If you’re travelling to […]

Christmas Gift Ideas When You’re Overseas

Christmas Gift Ideas When You’re Overseas

Whether you’re living overseas or simply on a holiday during the Christmas period, it can be challenging thinking of what to get your family from afar. I’ve spent many Christmases overseas, so have become used to shopping for family from a distance. One of the greatest challenges associated with sending gifts overseas is working out how best to ship them. Shiply offer great shipping solutions, especially if you’re buying something from Ebay that’s listed as collection only. When you’re overseas during the holidays, make a little effort to send something to your friends and family at home to let them know you’re thinking of them. Here are my top gift ideas when you’re overseas:

  1. A Physical Gift off Amazon or Ebay

This will vary from person to person, but I really love buying things that are either self care for the women in my life, such as body scrubs, face masks, etc and something more practical for the men in my family. Suggestions for men include things like a nice professional looking backpack or travel set, beard care, new pieces of technology such as an Apple TV or new phone. What you will choose depends on who you’re buying for, but it’s good to focus on something they may want but might not set aside money for, for themselves. I suggest buying any physical gifts in early December so you’re sure they’ll arrive in time.

  1. A Voucher

Consider buying a voucher for their favourite restaurant, a fun activity or something unexpected like an Escape Room. Vouchers make for easy gifts when overseas as many can be purchased online and you don’t have to worry about delays in getting the voucher to your recipient. It’s instant! I like to focus on experiences because it’s a really fun memory and something different.

  1. A Trip to See You

If your budget can afford, why not surprise a close family member or good friend with a trip to visit you, wherever you are overseas. This could be the best Christmas present for both of you as you’ll get to spend some time together and create some memories together. Obviously this will depend on your budget, but if you’re too far away for this to be realistic, you could consider meeting somewhere in the middle to help cut costs down. This would be especially great if you have your own children and would like to spoil a grandparent with some quality time bonding with your children.

  1. A Skype Call

While this isn’t really a gift, sometimes the best thing we can give someone is our time. This can be harder when we’re far from home, but technology has made some things a lot easier. Schedule in a Skype call with your loved ones so you can properly wish them a happy holidays and catch up on everything going on in their lives. This will take only minutes out of your day, but could easily make their day.

What are you planning to get your friends and family for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Looking for a vacation destination with a difference?

Looking for a vacation destination with a difference?

Are you sick of the same-old same-old vacations? Maybe you really want to get off the beaten path or see some ancient history? If you’re looking for a vacation destination with a difference, your next vacation should be to Israel. Here’s why:   The Food […]