Expat stories 3: The Rellies

Welcome to Part 3 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.

Today we are honoured to host some of my relations! Where better to look for good advice than close to home, and those that know you best.


First up we have my aunt, Sarah, who is one of the most organised and efficient people I know. Honestly, it’s a bit scary. She has lived in lots of cool places including Hong Kong, Sydney and Manila, and now resides in Switzerland.

P.S. How rad is this photo Sarah sent me?! This is her in Poipet at the end of the 80’s. I mean…

Why did you become an expat?

I did not intentionally become an expat. It has been a by-product of serial serendipity and nosiness rather than a well-thought-out grand plan.

What advice would you give to a brand new expat?

Integrate. Don’t live in a bubble (as far as possible).

Michael and Liz

Next up we have my uncle and aunt, Michael and Liz. They now live back in the UK, but have previously lived in New York and also Sydney. Sensing a pattern here? Michael and Liz were so helpful to S and I when we first decided to make the move out to Sydney, and have been nothing but supportive ever since. They’re just very cool people.

Why did you become an expat?

I became an ex pat because Mike was offered a good job that he really wanted in New York and I was happy to go along for the adventure.

What advice would you give to a brand new expat?

My one piece of advice is to accept every invitation for the first 3 months. You never know where and when you will meet new friends!

Thank you to my lovely family for letting me share their stories with you. They’ve been an inspiration to me and I hope they do the same for you.




  1. 20th April 2017 / 17:46

    That’s so awesome that you have so many members of your family that have been expats, or still are! And I feel like y’all are pretty much drawn to Sydney with so many family members having lived there or are living there! That picture of your Aunt at Poipet is so cool! She seems like such an amazing person!

  2. 20th April 2017 / 18:27

    Nice! My family is a bit like that! My mother lives in Switzerland 🇨🇭- after the initial move aged 13 I have been an ex-pat a further 4 times. I think it’s addictive. Ps I am still having panic attacks about moving to Australia

  3. Jen
    20th April 2017 / 21:41

    I love your Aunts advice, it’s so important to not live in a bubble. It will benefit you greatly to integrate yourself. 🙂

  4. 21st April 2017 / 01:03

    I’m not an expat, but I really like the idea of accepting every invitation for 3 months!

  5. 21st April 2017 / 07:00

    It’s awesome you have so many family members with experience of expat life to help you! I know you and S will make the most out of your time here in Sydney, and I’m looking forward to reading all about it! 🙂

    Hope you are having a great week and have a wonderful weekend ahead of you 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  6. 21st April 2017 / 09:43

    This is great advice for expats – sage and so important! I agree with previous comments that it’s great you have family members who were trailblazers in this respect.

  7. 25th April 2017 / 02:56

    I especially love the advice about accepting all invitations in the first 3 months.
    Yes, that picture of your aunt is phenomenal.

  8. 26th April 2017 / 22:22

    How lucky are you to have so many supportive people around you! And people who have done similar things too!

  9. 8th May 2017 / 20:52

    This is such a cute series! My parents (and I, by default – haha!) became expats when I was 2 years old and my Dad got posted overseas for his job. That first picture is so so cool! She looks pretty badass hahaha.


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