Lifestyle


Protecting Yourself Legally While Abroad

02 November, 2011 15:56  Erin Erin

Globe and Gavel © fotomatrix - Fotolia.comAs the Amanda Know case was battled out in the courtroom and in the media, the common question was:

If she's innocent, What did she do wrong?

As an expat, it is likely that you are not altogether familiar with the laws and legal system you are living within. Many people aren't entirely familiar with the legal system they are born into. However, this is a vital aspect of leading a happy and safe expat life. From the bizarre investigation and trial of the American Knox in Italy, to much more mundane issues of visas, purchase of property, and the use and transport of drugs, expats and travelers should understand their rights and responsibilities wherever they go. (More)

   


How Bad is Traffic in your City?

05 October, 2011 10:39  Erin Erin

Traffic © Urbanhearts - Fotolia.comThe IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey finds that many people have crossed their pain threshold for traffic and congestion. With more than one billion cars on the road worldwide, an increasing number of respondents say that roadway traffic has increased their levels of personal stress and anger. (More)

   


Bike Share for Locals and Travelers

24 August, 2011 09:10  Erin Erin

Alignement de vélos à Paris (Vélib) © mat75002 - FotoliaTraffic, congestion and pollution have long been a plague on cities. While public transportation helps to abate some of these problems, it is not always available. One of the best options in many cities is to take to the road - by bike. Two wheels rather than four can not only lessen the environmental footprint you have on the world, it can also provide faster transport, it's cheap, has distinct health benefits, and it can also help you form a stronger bond to the city around you.

City Bike Programs

Many cities are now seeing the value of having a community of bike riders. City governments are adding bike lanes, riders are forming groups, and routes and tips are posted online. "Utility cycling" is a term that refers to cycling not done primarily for fitness or recreation, but as a means of transport. Bike sharing and inexpensive rentals are gaining in popularity for both tourists and residents. Cities want people to get out there, and get riding. (More)

   


Respecting Ramadan as an Expat or Traveler

19 August, 2011 09:22  Erin Erin

Muslim fasting activities in Ramadan month © Jasmin Merdan - FotoliaWhat is Ramadan?

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan. Believed to be the month that the Qu'ran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad, participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking smoking, sexual intimacy with their partners and negative behaviors like swearing, lying and getting angry from Imsak, which is just before sunrise, until Maghrib, at sunset. This is in order to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice. Ramadan is much more than abstaining, Muslims believe Ramadan is a time to read the entire Qu'ran and is an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind. (More)

   


How to Battle Culture Shock and Win

27 July, 2011 11:13  Erin Erin

color glob icon © Marina Zlochin - FotoliaThe bad news: Most people will experience some form of culture shock.
The good news: It is manageable and you can overcome it.

Culture shock tends to hit every individual in a different way, and even members of the same family can have a vastly different reaction to the change. The key is to understand the phenomenon and prepare for it. (More)

   


Expat Kids- A Baby Abroad

18 July, 2011 11:03  Erin Erin

Pregnant belly map © Luis Louro - FotoliaHaving a baby is a joyous occasion, but offers challenges unlike any other. Insurance, health of the mother and baby, finances, child safety, and the whole birthing process can be overwhelming. As terrifying as the experience can be, know that giving birth is international and happens every day, everywhere. It is estimated that 4.45 people are born every second worldwide, which is 267 every minute, 384,000 thousand every day, 140.4 million every year. That's a lot of babies.

As with so many things, a little research will help prepare for the newest expat. Whether it is a first baby, first baby abroad, or another little traveler, being prepared before their arrival is key. (More)

   


Eating Vegetarian/Vegan as an Expat

13 July, 2011 17:53  Erin Erin

un panier de légumes frais. © thieury - FotoliaEating abroad can be a challenge as the names of the dishes, way they are served, and ingredients can be entirely different from those you are familiar with. Even a slice of pizza in New York City is vastly different from a piece of pizza pie in Italy. Trying to stick to a vegetarian, or especially a vegan, lifestyle can make these already challenging conditions seem impossible. (More)

   


Homosexual's Rights & Celebrations

01 July, 2011 00:25  Erin Erin

Rainbow flag © RikkeThe last few weekends have been filled with festivities. As always, summer brings out the festivals in cities around the world as people are celebrating: Music, Food, Environmental, and- of course- Gay Pride. In America, June has officially been declared a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month by former President Bill Clinton since 2000 (this was slightly amended in 2009 by President Barack Obama proclaiming June to be LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexualism Pride month). However, the US continues to struggle with recognizing the rights of the LGBT community, as does much of the world.  (More)

   


How to make a Happy Expat Kid

18 February, 2011 10:50  Erin Erin

Baby with puzzle globe. © Anetta - FotoliaBecoming an expat arouses all sorts of fears. What if I can't learn the language? What if I can't find anywhere I like to live? What if nobody likes me?
Take those fears, and now imagine you are 10.

Children of expats are lucky to join in on these cross-the-world adventures and most will be better people for the experience. This can be hard to explain to the child you are uprooting from their extended family, school, social group, and everything they have ever known. Considering expat kids don't get much of a say in the matter further compounds anxieties about expatriating.  (More)

   


All Aboard! Train Travel Gains Popularity in the United States

12 April, 2010 11:07  EasyExpat EasyExpat

During much of the history of the United States, train travel was the primary means of long-distance overland routes. With the invention of the airplane, train travel suffered a rapid decline. However, in the 21st century, Americans have begun to rediscover train travel. Between May 2007 and May 2008, Amtrak, the nationally subsidized railway system in the United States, had a 15 percent increase in ridership for long-distance routes and a 14 percent increase in ridership for short-distance routes. Americans are learning what other travellers around the world have always known; train riders enjoy a number of advantages over their counterparts who make overland journeys by bus, plane or automobile.

Getting There is Half the Fun

On a train ride, passengers enjoy scenery that is frequently little more than a "fly over" on a plane ride. Trails and Rails is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and Amtrak designed to make the most of this advantage. National Train Day is one of several programs sponsored by Trails and Rails as a day of celebration for American railroad systems. For 2010, National Train Day is scheduled for May 8, with programs planned for cities across the country, including Washington, D.C. , Chicago and Los Angeles. (More)

   


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