Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

To pick up from where I left off in Tales from Lagos, the publication of Nigerian Gems had stalled. Graphic designer Els Van Limberghen volunteered to do the layout and design; we printed a copy on our home computer and painstakingly glued it together to create a mock up; Judy Anderson, Sara Dobbs and Martha Peterson … Continue reading Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

Career and the Expat Spouse

The expat financial equation looks healthy for a married couple, but the numbers change dramatically in the case of death or divorce. After I posted Feminism and the Expat Spouse, my dear friend, let’s call her Chloe, shone a light on career decisions from a different perspective. She says, “Giving up our careers, even if it … Continue reading Career and the Expat Spouse

Susan Bradfield, From Physiotherapist to Photographer

To mix things up a bit, I have planned a series of interviews with people I admire—individuals who by changing career path or country, have their own winding narrative. Today, I feature Susan Bradfield, who has transitioned from physiotherapist to photographer and has lived in Melbourne, London, Shanghai and Zurich. Her approach to finding and … Continue reading Susan Bradfield, From Physiotherapist to Photographer

Feminism and the Expat Spouse

When I gave up my job to become an expat spouse, I worried that I'd undermined the feminist cause. I've revisited this decision while writing my book series, because my protagonist, Tara Scott, struggles with the same dilemma. She wonders, “Have I betrayed feminist ideals? All those years, women fought for equal rights, and I … Continue reading Feminism and the Expat Spouse

Tales from Lagos

The concept for Nigerian Gems, Expatriate Tales of Adventure was simple—to create a snapshot of our Lagos experience through stories, snippets and photos. Many expats had already written emails or blogs about quirky moments, outrageous anecdotes or insightful observations. We wanted to collate these diverse voices to share a range of experiences with friends and family … Continue reading Tales from Lagos

Four Tips for Surviving Compound Life

The idea of compound life is intriguing, rife with opportunities for drama. But I prefer to live in a harmonious environment, rather than the set of a soap opera. After seven and a half years in compounds in Lagos and Doha, I’m here to tell you it is possible to survive, if not thrive, in … Continue reading Four Tips for Surviving Compound Life

Ishahayi Beach School Foundation

The problem with writing a book to raise funds for a school building is not only do you have to write, edit, publish and market the book, you have to actually build the school. The entire scheme was completely nuts. But it worked. The key to our success—our secret weapon—was community. We arrived in Nigeria … Continue reading Ishahayi Beach School Foundation

Sunrise Court

Our decision to move to Nigeria (back in 2004) felt like stepping off a cliff. We wrote a pros and cons list and mulled it over ad nauseam. Many of our Melbourne friends and family were aghast, especially as Brutus and Maximus were only five and three years old. By contrast, my boss at the … Continue reading Sunrise Court

29 Brown St

There was The Wolf of Wall Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street and a Miracle on 42nd Street. Even Desperate Housewives had Wisteria Lane. Not me, I gave my first novel the woebegone title 29 Brown Street. The book explored the impact of place—a specific address—on the central characters … Set in Melbourne, Australia, in 2002, 29 … Continue reading 29 Brown St