Expat stories 1: The Wanderful ladies

Welcome to Part 1 of my ongoing series featuring real life stories and advice from living breathing expats. It’s a thinly disguised way for me to store up wisdom from others which I can use when I have an absolute freakout about what I’m embarking upon. I thought I should do the right thing and share it with the internet at large, just in case it helps anyone else out. Enjoy.

I’m really happy to have found a community of friendly travellers who are genuinely that – a community, and friendly. That’s rare to find in the world of blogging nowadays, right? Quite a few of these lovely ladies are expats themselves and two have been kind enough to share their stories here.


Marcella is a Londoner living in Santiago, Chile where she is a teacher. She takes the most incredible photos, and her blog posts are like a party for your retina. In a truly mind melding coincidence, not only did Marcella and I study at the same university, but our husbands are actually friends. We had no idea for, oh, a good year of chatting back and forth between our blogs? Madness. Marcella and I met IRL over Christmas and she’s a genuinely lovely person. One day I hope we can meet in Santiago!

Why did you become an expat?

I have lived and worked in Santiago, Chile since November 2015 and It all happened in the name of love! I met my Chilean husband, Carlos, when I was travelling around South America in 2010. Of course we both thought it was a holiday romance but seven years later, we are still here to tell the story! We lived together in England before making the move to Santiago. I never dreamt of living abroad, but I am so glad it happened and we are loving our life in Chile, it’s the most beautiful country.

What advice would you give to a brand new expat?

Just say yes!  Saying yes will bring you so many options; meeting people, trying something new and really getting to engage with the new culture you live in.  Saying yes has allowed me to visit places that I didn’t even know existed and to really push me outside of my comfort zone.


Courtney is an American gal living in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and absolutely ADORABLE baby girl Leighton. You don’t believe me? Seriously, you have to go and check out her photos. That is one cute kid. Courtney shares about her life in Brisbane as well as holidays around the surrounding countryside. Courtney always has something positive to share and I look forward to going for a beverage with her in Brisbane at some point.

Why did you become an expat?

We became expats because my husband was offered an opportunity with his company to move to Australia. I actually grew up an expat kid moving around every few years and always saw myself settling down in Texas and staying there forever, but after living in the same city a few years I started to feel antsy and was ready to try somewhere new. My husband, on the other hand, was born and raised in the same small town and was dying to get out of the US and live abroad. He was ecstatic when I finally agreed to moving overseas and gave him the go ahead to start putting his name out there for a transfer.

What advice would you give to a brand new expat?

My biggest advice is get out of the house and put yourself out there. I am a pretty outgoing person once I am comfortable around someone, but I am not the type to approach strangers or go to events where I don’t know anyone. I quickly realized that I was going to be pretty lonely in Brisbane if I didn’t get over that. Sign up for MeetUp.com, check out Facebook groups for your area, or go to classes for something you are interested in. I met friends through workout classes, expat Facebook groups and even blogging.

My second piece of advice is get out and explore! Take advantage of being in a new country and use your weekends and holidays to hit the road (or hop on a plane) and see as much of it as you can.

If you want to join the community, head over to Marcella‘s page every Wednesday where you’ll be able to link up with the Wanderful Wednesday gals. Or you can find us all hanging out in the Wanderful Wednesday Facebook group. Thank you Marcella and Courtney for sharing your stories!!


P.S. I’m out of the country and without a laptop at the moment so please bear with me in replying to comments 🙂



  1. 6th April 2017 / 17:20

    Yay, it begins!! I’m so excited to read along 🙂 I don’t think I’d seen Courtney’s blog before so I’m about to check it out! And you are definitely right about the Wanderful community, it’s pretty unique within the blogging sphere 🙂

  2. 6th April 2017 / 18:37

    That’s seriously so funny that you and Marcella both went to the same college and that your hubbys were friends and you didn’t even know it! Talk about a small world! I love both of their advice to you, especially Courtney’s recommendation to get out and connect via social media. Social media and the internet has made meeting people so easy, so I know that you’ll be able to find some new friends when you move!

    • 6th April 2017 / 21:41

      Isn’t it crazy? And it’s so funy that it took us so long to realise that we’d actually met at a wedding way back when!

  3. 6th April 2017 / 21:39

    I love this, such a fun post and thanks so much for your lovely comments about my blog! I’m honoured to have been featured alongside Courtney 🙂

  4. 7th April 2017 / 00:33

    I can’t believe that about Marcella and you! Also, I just got so excited thinking about us meeting up for a bev! I love the wonderful family ❤️.

  5. 7th April 2017 / 06:36

    It is such a small world, isn’t it? Can’t believe you’r husbands both knew it other, so funny! I ended up meeting and befriending the niece of a friend of a friend who I know through church online when she was in Brisbane. We marvelled at how perfect the timing was and the coincidences that put us together at just the right times for us both, it was pretty nice and I’d love to go to the US and see her home there one day! 🙂 It really is such a small world.

    Hope your trip is going well! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  6. 7th April 2017 / 20:25

    I am so excited to have two new bloggers to follow! I love their advice. I am really bad about getting out and meeting new people. I’ve been on MeetUp.com for a while now but I just haven’t taken the plunge. Now I feel inspired to do it!

    • 13th April 2017 / 06:23

      I was a member for a year before I finally worked up the courage. Everyone was so nice and in the same boat so it isn’t nearly as awkward as you think.

  7. 10th April 2017 / 02:30

    It’s a small world after all 🙂

    Love their advice about becoming expats!

  8. 11th April 2017 / 07:39

    What a small world! How funny that you and Marcella had all these connections you never even realised!

    I want to say that I hope you’re having an amazing trip – but I know that you are! <3

  9. 12th April 2017 / 16:51

    Oh wow, Courtney and her husband have had such different childhood experiences, in terms of where they’ve lived, I wonder how the move played out for the both of them to begin with. #WanderfulWednesday

    • 13th April 2017 / 06:18

      He fell in love with travel and living abroad and the transition was pretty second nature for me, so luckily it all worked out well! We definitely are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to our upbringing though. I am always jealous of his friendships that he’s had since kindergarten.

  10. 12th April 2017 / 17:44

    I love hearing people’s stories – life can take some wonderfully unexpected twists and turns along the way, leading to all sorts of adventures!!

  11. 13th April 2017 / 15:35

    Fun post! I love hearing from other expats & the expat blog community is so fun 🙂

  12. 16th April 2017 / 13:15

    So nice to hear from Marcella and Courtney! And WOW that is crazy and your and Marcella’s husbands are friends in real life. What a small world. I totally agree with opening yourself up to new experiences and getting over your shyness. I always thought I was a shy person, but since traveling and living abroad, I feel soooo much more comfortable talking to strangers and doing/going to things alone.

  13. 16th April 2017 / 23:39

    Love these girls and their blogs! What a great idea for a series and to make yourself feel more comfortable in what you’re doing! Nothing better than finding someone to relate to! You’re going to be just fine and I can’t wait to follow along on your journey. I’d agree with both Marcella and Courtney on their advice too. Do those two things and you’ll be an expert at expat life before you know it! 😀

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