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Expat Focus

Author: Expat Focus: For Anyone Moving Or Living Abroad

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Expat experiences, information and advice for anyone moving or living abroad. Visit Expat Focus at for more.
121 Episodes
Today’s guest built a successful business - and brand - around her passport country’s most popular food - pierogi. And she did it in the bustling city of Shanghai. Gosia Modlinska shares why she first moved to China a decade ago, how she navigated local rules and regulations as she ran her polish dumpling business, and why she pivoted to cocktails and became known for serving up one of the best martinis in town.
Welcome to another year of Expat Focus podcasts. We’re kicking off 2023 with an episode about life and career change, which tends to go hand-in-hand with a decision to move abroad. It’s certainly true for me. Actually, this year marks 10 years since I decided to quit my job and life in Australia, to move to the UK to see what else I was capable of. My guest is Midlife Career Change Coach Josh Peck, who talks about our common motivations for making a change, the three key elements for success, and the common reasons that can hold people back. Josh, thanks so much for joining me on the Expat Focus podcast.
Hey there, it’s Carlie with the Expat Focus Podcast.  It’s another festive themed episode! We’re discussing Christmastime in South Korea and Spain with American expat and English teacher, Jesse Sweed. We talk about festive activities in the classroom, the perils of the Secret Santa gift, Spain’s Three Kings Day and how Jesse’s experience of the holidays in three countries has influenced how he celebrates this time of year with his own family. Oh and a little footnote - I have a "pooping log" question in this interview that seemed to stump Jesse - it turns out, it’s a Catalan Christmas tradition.
Did you know that fried chicken is a Christmas tradition in Japan? And that the festive season is more about romance and gift giving between couples than arranging presents for the kids? Former expat and current Japanese tour company founder Nicki has lots of other fun facts to share from her 10 years' living in the country. So, whether you are an expat in Japan, planning a trip there, or just curious about how Christmas time is recognized in other parts of the world, I hope you enjoy this chat with Nicki.
Expat Life In Croatia

Expat Life In Croatia


When American Sara Dyson moved to Croatia in 2012, she couldn’t find any local resources in English to help her. So as she figured things out - like residency and healthcare, Croatian culture and learning the language, she posted about it on her website,, to help other foreigners. Close to a decade later, Expat in Croatia is a full-blown business, and Sara is about to become a Croatian citizen. In this interview, we talk about why Sara moved to Croatia, the ‘one giant grey area’ that is local bureaucracy and how to work through it, and what she loves about the Croatian way of life.
The continent of Africa is our destination today. We’re going to be talking about living and working in Rwanda with Italian expat, Giulia, who decided to take a leap away from her life in Europe to follow a job opportunity. Giulia talks about her first impressions of the city of Kigali, and why it’s known as the ‘Switzerland’ of Africa. We also talk safety, work opportunities and local workplace culture, Giulia’s experience with the health care system, choosing to ‘not’ learn the local language, ordering warm beer, and the personal growth that happens when you leave your comfort zone.
Have you ever visited a city in a foreign country, and just felt immediately at home? That was Laurel Wright’s experience whilst on a solo European holiday from the USA. Wanting to escape the hustle culture of LA, she decided to pack up her life, and move to Berlin. We recorded this chat a couple of months back, and talk about what Berlin is like in the summer, how she found a job and navigated German bureaucracy, freelancing in Berlin, workplace culture and making friends with locals. Laurel also explains the ways in which her quality of life - and perspective - has changed for the better since her move abroad.
Do you have your eye on a rundown old property in the French countryside? Are you planning to leave your big city life behind for a simpler one? Do you really know what to expect? Best-selling Author and Editor Janine Marsh gave up her city life in London and made the move to a neglected farmhouse in Northern France more than a decade ago. Find out what attracted her and husband Mark to the Seven Valleys, the creature comforts they had to leave behind in the big smoke, what they’ve learnt in their many years of renovating their home and trying to be self-sufficient, and the point at which they truly started feeling like locals.
Today’s guest is an accidental social media influencer. American, Kacie Rose Burns has amassed a community of over one million people across TikTok and Instagram. And it all started with a little video she posted on her way to her new life in Italy. When I told a friend I was going to interview Kacie, she said “I just want to meet her in Italy and eat gelato together.” And that’s exactly the vibe you get watching Kacie’s social media videos. We chat about what led her to leave her career in New York and move to Florence, Italian culture and food, including what you should never do to pasta, and some of the opportunities that have come her way thanks to her social media fame.
Joining me today is award-winning podcaster and Business Strategist, Christine Job. She has spent the past five years living in Valencia in Spain, and her podcast, Flourish in the Foreign, celebrates the voices and stories of black women, and women of colour, who are - just like her - living and thriving internationally. We talk about Christine’s own journey abroad, passport privilege, and how her experiences differ as a woman of colour in a foreign country. Christine also discusses how life in Spain has healed her, and helped her to become the person that she is today.
Breathwork Academy Creator Artur Paulins first left Latvia to study in Denmark knowing zero Danish. He later moved on to London with no connections or contacts. And then after a good 10 years abroad, a gut-feeling told him it was time to move home. We chat in this episode about his repatriation process, feeling like a stranger in the country he grew up in and how, in the process of returning home, Arthur had a realisation about his next path.
Whether you’re doing it solo or as a family, a lot of energy goes into planning an international move and getting settled in a new location. And it can take a toll, both physically and mentally. So, what can you do to help keep your overall health in check? I’m chatting to an expert from one of our health partners - Cigna - in this episode, to get some insight into recent trends, and recommendations on how to make good health a priority, no matter where you are in the world.
Recently on the show, we heard from a couple who made the decision to move to Oman, and were off within a matter of weeks. Today’s guest has been planning his family’s move abroad for many years. In the summer of this year, 2022, Max Lee, his wife and their two young kids will leave the USA for Taipei in Taiwan. In the lead up to their much-anticipated overseas adventure, they’re nomading around North America. I caught up with Max when they were in Mexico to talk about their plans and expectations.
My guest today moved to Sweden from the UK, for love. But she felt a connection to the country long before meeting her partner. Katy Hetherington has quickly accumulated loads of first-hand experience in how to navigate different aspects of Swedish life - everything from getting set up, to getting a job, becoming a citizen, having a baby and even building a house. She’s going to share her top 5 things to know before moving to Sweden.
Expat Life In Oman

Expat Life In Oman


Are you dreaming of just packing up your life for an adventure abroad? In this episode, you’ll hear from a couple that did just that. They made the decision to move from the UK to Oman, and in just a few weeks, they were off. Teacher Sheri Lennon and Author Matt Jardine will explain how they navigated getting the right visas, adhering to the local dress code, and working culture. You’ll also find out about the cost of living in Oman, how easy it is to make friends with locals, and what they believe makes the country such a great place for expats.
Before the pandemic hit, American Jake Doherty was running two very successful tour guide services in Bavaria. When Covid-19 completely decimated the travel industry, he had to find another way to put food on the table. In this chat, find out what motivated Jake to become a tour guide and settle in southern Germany, and why he set up his interactive cooking experience platform called Deri Dari.
Is it ok to travel for pleasure during a global pandemic? How do you weigh up the “risk” versus “reward”? And as the world currently deals with the Omicron wave of COVID, what measures can you take to make your travel as safe and as responsible as possible? American, Crissy Whalin is my guest to chat through these questions. In 2018, she started travelling the world full-time with her then 10-year-old son, Zephyr, and together they’ve visited 40 countries and more than 100 cities, documenting their adventures on the Instagram account, singlemombudgettravel.  Covid grounded them for a bit, but they recently took another trip, and Crissy is going to share her perspective on travelling during a global pandemic, while looking after yourself and the locals.
Finding your tribe, family, community, whatever you like to call it, is so important when you move to a new place. Expats Angelina and Bonny know this first hand, having moved to the UK from Poland and France. They started their business, International School of Life, to connect expat women globally, helping them to boost their confidence, unlock their talent and grow their network so they can thrive. ISL Co-founder Angelina Piechowska joins me in this episode to chat about her own challenging experience moving abroad, her work as a psychologist and solution-focused brief therapist, and why she’s so passionate about helping fellow expat women realise their full potential.
Following Brexit and amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is living and working in the United Kingdom as attractive as it used to be? In the past two years, we’ve seen a mass exodus of many expats from the countries they were calling home. The number of visas granted to Aussies to live and work in the UK reportedly dropped 74% in 2020. That same year, the UK issued 48% fewer youth mobility and temporary worker visas to Kiwis. But are New Zealanders and Australians beginning to come back to the UK? And what opportunities are they finding when they arrive? Clint Heine is the Manager and Director of Kiwis in London, a very popular Facebook Group set up to help New Zealanders – and Australians – to find jobs, places to live and socialise. He’s joining me in this episode to share his thoughts.
If you live in the UK or in the EU, you’ve no doubt noticed an unwelcome trend in added fees and charges when receiving parcels from online shopping. Even parcels sent from family and friends abroad are turning up with added fees to pay. There’s a lot of confusion about what these fees are for, when they should be applied, and why they’ve even come into play. And if you’re an expat business owner, you might be wondering what you can do to try to minimise the pain of these fees for your customers so that they keep coming back and ordering from you. My guest today is Matt Harrison, a Sales Director at tax compliance firm, Avalara. He’s going to explain where these fees and charges have come from, when we have to pay them and why, if customs forms are filled out correctly, it should still be ok to send parcels to your friends and family overseas for Christmas.
Comments (1)

Athena Chang

Very helpful!

Jun 29th
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