The Return of the Lost Wedding Dress

The Return of the Lost Wedding Dress

Five years ago, I discovered that my wedding dress, photo albums, and a few fragile items with sentimental value ended up in a dumpster somewhere in Atlanta, Georgia.It wasn't my choice to throw away my beloved sentimental items but that of our property management company. I discovered it long after it had happened, so there was nothing to do but accept what happened and move on.I tried to rationalize away my sadness and to make sense of the grief I was feeling over *things*. Afterall, nobody was sick, nobody had died, but I was still heartbroken over this loss. Sentimentality is expensiveWhen it comes to sentimentality, highly mobile people select their "must have" items very carefully. Each relocation costs money and each box packed represents only the items we "must have" or what we think we must have when we move to a new place.During every relocation, boxes are lost or damaged. Basements flood and houses catch on fire—my wedding dress...
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Balancing Careers And Family Life As An Expat

Balancing Careers And Family Life As An Expat

This post is the second in the Global Women Discuss Love, Loss, and Family Abroad series between the women of the Expat Coffee Club and Knocked Up Abroad Again. Click here to read the first set of questions and answers between the two groups of women.   Amanda: For the past three years, I have been working in the world of International Development. Since most of the work is contractual, I’ve also been doing the “long-distance thing” with my boyfriend in Canada during my last two contracts (five months in Ghana, and seven months in Bangladesh/Nepal). This time, my contract is for an entire year in Bolivia, so my boyfriend agreed to take a year off work (he’s a Chiropodist—a foot and ankle specialist) to come travel with me. We both agreed that it’s a good chance to explore the world, work on our Spanish, and live outside of Canada to learn about a new culture. I know it’s really difficult to find someone...
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What Scuba Diving Taught Me About Marriage

What Scuba Diving Taught Me About Marriage

During my third year in college, I signed up for a marine biology course that required a two-week excursion to Honduras for practical application of everything we had learned in the classroom. The scuba training involved sessions in the shallow end of the outdoor university pool. Before we were cleared for diving, we had to successfully demonstrate all of those skills during an open water dive. We squeezed into a university van and headed to a nearby lake. Even in warm southern Florida, February is a cold time of the year to go scuba diving, and the water was bone-chilling cold. The final task of the exam simulated a disaster scenario—your tank runs out of oxygen, and you must head back to the surface without air. You can never hold your breath underwater while scuba diving—you must have a steady stream of bubbles escaping your lips unless you want to risk lung collapse and stroke. The instructor, my dive buddy, kept his hand...
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