Sept 22 Twitter Party—#KnockedUpAbroadAgain

Sept 22 Twitter Party—#KnockedUpAbroadAgain

We want to hear your stories about parenting in foreign countries. Do you have a travel story you want to mention? Maybe you live far away from friends and family. Are you a military family? If so, this Twitter party is a great way to share your perspective. "Twitter Party, what's a Twitter Party? Will there be drinks?" Answer: Yes! But it's totally BYOB. You can connect with fellow travelers, expats, and explorers around the world without ever leaving your comfy sofa. To celebrate the amazing launch of Knocked Up Abroad Again, we are hosting a Twitter Party where we are discussing pregnancy, birth, and parenting experiences. All are welcome at our table and you do not have to be living abroad or have children abroad to participate. If you have an interesting experience or a funny travel story, travel tips, or something new to share, we want to hear about it! Be sure to include the hashtag #knockedupabroadagain in all of your Tweets so...
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Top 10 Ways To Be An A+ International House Guest

Top 10 Ways To Be An A+ International House Guest

  Benjamin Franklin said, "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." However, when you are traveling internationally to visit your friends and family, this rule does not apply. In my diverse network of expat friends, I have never once heard someone say that they do not like having visitors. In fact, everyone says how much they look forward to hosting friends and family and are disappointed when people don't want to visit. It seems that the longer you live abroad, the hungrier you are for the familiar. Not only is it wonderful to reminisce with old friends but we also love showing people how we live, where we work, and where our kids go to school. We love sharing the different culture and the local languages and customs with our friends and family who many have never experienced it before. If you want to guarantee an invitation back and a free place to stay at your expat friend's house, here are the top...
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How To Travel Light As A Family

How To Travel Light As A Family

  As a family, we have traveled all around Europe and the US on planes, trains, and automobiles but no matter where we are headed, we employ these core approaches to traveling lightly. As a mom of two kids, I found that I needed my arms to remain as free as possible to hold little hands while walking on busy streets or helping them up into their seats on the bus. Here's what worked for us:     1. Do laundry wherever you are We generally never pack clothing for more than five days and plan on doing laundry along the way. We stay at Airbnb apartments that usually have a washer on site and a kitchen. This has transformed our traveling experiences with children.     2. Backpack and baby wearing We prefer to use backpacks to keep our hands free for wrangling and carrying our children. Roller bags are good but you lose a hand and dragging it through Europe can be extra difficult over cobblestone streets. They...
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7 Reasons Why Expat Moms Make Excellent Spies

7 Reasons Why Expat Moms Make Excellent Spies

Let's look at the facts—expat moms have all of the qualities needed for top spies including adaptability to new cultures and languages, the ability to survive torturous conditions of all sorts, and the ability to blend into new environments with ease and grace (sometimes). The TV series, The Americans was nominated for their first Emmy Award and is a brilliant example of why expat moms would make excellent spies. Secret agencies are missing out on a likely untapped resource by not pulling expat moms into the espionage field. Here are seven reasons why expat moms would make excellent spies: 1. Sleep deprivation torture wouldn't be effective on expat moms. Expat moms are experts at time zone changes and have already learned how to survive on minimal sleep thanks to years of babies, toddlers, and partners who toss and turn throughout the night. Need someone to travel halfway around the world on two hours of sleep? An expat mom is your gal. 2. The perfect cover. Nobody would suspect Jane down...
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“Slotting” it up in Sweden

“Slotting” it up in Sweden

When we said we were heading to one of Sweden's most famous "slott," my mother thought I was saying a bad word in English but really, "slott" means castle in Swedish and our activities were pure and innocent. Being a tourist in your city is a fun way to expand your horizons without ever leaving your comfort zone. We are currently on a budget (buying a house is not a cheap endeavor in Sweden, nor is a new roof and new windows for the aforementioned not-cheap house), so we've been on the lookout for interesting things to do in our backyard (relatively speaking) that we've never done before. About an hour and a half from our house is one of the most famous castles in Sweden. Swedish castles aren't that impressive, in my opinion, after viewing other European cities' gothic style castles. We've been to Neuschwanstein—a most impressive mountaintop castle in Germany—and I'm not sure anything can top that. This day trip...
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What Pregnant Women Should Know About the Zika Virus

What Pregnant Women Should Know About the Zika Virus

  In the past few days, both the US CDC and WHO have issued guidelines for pregnant women regarding the Zika virus and I wanted to provide more information based on the research I conducted. Zika is very similar to dengue—a virus with which I am intimately familiar.  I investigated two dengue fever outbreaks in Brunei back in my field-work public health days. All of the underlined text is linked to scientific articles if you want more information. Where is Zika now? There was an explosive pandemic in 2015 that has everyone at WHO and US CDC quite nervous, and for good reason. As of week 3 in 2016, the following countries have Zika confirmed cases: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela. January 13, 2016 a case was reported in Texas, US. January 15, 2016 another case was reported in Hawaii.   What is the Zika...
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Travel Like A Pro With Your Child

Travel Like A Pro With Your Child

  The holiday season is soon approaching and living abroad often means lots of travel! Traveling with kids can often be a stressful event for parents but, here are some travel tips to make the whole trip fun for the family. 1) Plan, plan, plan. If you didn't plan trips before having kids, it's time for that to change. Having a plan reduces the headache of trying to figure out things on the go. 2) Have a plan for when things don't go as planned! Stock snacks, games, books, or a mobile device so there are activities if your well thought out plan becomes derailed. 3) Don't over-schedule your family. Kids (and parents!) need down time. That's the whole point of a vacation, right?? Make sure there is a slower rest day among activity filled days. A half day of board games or baking makes for great rest-day activities that include an afternoon nap too. Having a rest day will reduce crankiness for everyone! 4)...
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