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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What Does A Bike Have To Do With Parenting? Everything

What Does A Bike Have To Do With Parenting? Everything

Imagine you are riding a bike up a hill. The hill isn't that steep, but it isn't flat either. You shift down into second gear and have to stand to pedal at the same pace. Once you get to the top of the hill, you look back, and you think, "Wow. I'm kind of out of breath. That was a longer hill than I thought." Now imagine that you attach a bike trailer, one of those really snazzy fancy ones with seats for two kids, to the back of your bike. You head up the same hill but instead of easily pumping up the moderate hill, the hill suddenly looks massive, and your progress slows to a crawl while your leg muscles scream with every pedal forward. At the top of the hill, you don't look back or reflect on your accomplishment, but you collapse into a heap and wonder how you're going to do it again tomorrow without killing yourself. [Tweet "You...
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Make Your Corner Of The World A Better Place For Our Children

Make Your Corner Of The World A Better Place For Our Children

My mom used to tell me, "Always leave the world a little better than how you found it." That meant everything from picking up litter on the street to being a kind and generous person in daily life. Positive contributions were the measure of a good life. I gaze at the two tiny blonde heads that are watching a cartoon in the living room. I hear my son inform his sister that, "This is the last show, okay?" as he sets a self-imposed TV limit for them both. They have no idea what is happening in the news around the world. They don't know that prayers for love and peace have gone unanswered and that hate and violence are dominating the headlines, hashtags, and hearts worldwide. The innocence of childhood will protect them from those horrific realities for a bit longer. Our job isn't to shield them from the evils of the world but give them the tools and knowledge to combat the...
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The Big V Gets Zero Sympathy From Me

The Big V Gets Zero Sympathy From Me

My husband is a sweet, generous, and caring man. He buys all of the groceries, cooks all of the meals and is an extremely hands-on father. He showers me with affection and love even when I'm feeling gross, unwashed, and unkempt. In my opinion, he's essentially the Gold Standard for husbands and fathers everywhere. "But, Lisa, if he's so great, why do you want to cut off his balls?" you might be asking. Indeed, he asked me the same thing. To which, I replied, "You don't have to if you don't want to but then you'll need to find another woman to bear your children because I. Am. Done." We discussed the Big V—as in, vasectomy—and mutually decided it was the best option for closing our reproductive cycle as a couple or for him to find another woman to bear his children. We concluded that I had served my time. I was a good soldier. I had altered my diet, abstained from alcohol, carried...
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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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