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Category Archives: FAMILY

Traveling on a kid-friendly budget: Six days in Uruguay, South America

Want to know more about our family trip to Uruguay, it’s capital, Montevideo, the charming province of Punta del Este and the historical province of Colonia del Sacramento? All within a family-friendly budget, spread out thru bus rides, hiking trips, smart hotel and dining options searching! Just stay tuned (or send us a message using the comments section below – we will be glad to share our travel tips and family challenges!) 😲

For now, we will leave you all with a few collage pics from our traveling family Instagram (@expatmomof3) profile. Thank you for stopping by!

Now, heading to Colonia del Sacramento!

Day 3 In #Colonia #Uruguay #traveltips #travelguide @atalantaworld Classic old #cars #vintage cars Kids were in awe! 🤔 😘 #postcardsfromtheworld

A post shared by Raquel, travelmom:🙎👸👱 (Brasil) (@expatmomof3) on

Back in Montevideo, for some amazing History of Soccer!

Day 4 #travel #Uruguay #ApaixonadosporFutebol!!! ✌💘🏃 Visiting the #Soccer #Stadium that hosted the 1st #WorldCup, 1930 🌎⚽🎖🔝 12 national teams participated: 4 European, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and the host & champion, Uruguay! 🎖 Needless to say, it was a lovely #FamilyAffair ⚽⚽⚽🏃 #EstadioCentenario was built between 1929 and 1930 to host the First #FIFA World Cup, as well as to celebrate the centennial of Uruguay's first constitution. Listed by FIFA as one of the #football world's classic stadiums. On July 18, 1983, it was declared by FIFA as the only historical monument of #WorldFootball – the only building of its kind. #history #sports #futbol #futebol #Montevideo #discoversouthamerica #Family #travelguide

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Another great, safe and enjoyable bus ride, took our family to the charming beach resort region of Punta del Este…. for some well-deserved endless vacation time!

Viagem em família! #LosDedos en #PlayaBrava #PuntadelEste #travel #photography #Uruguay #SouthAmerica

A post shared by Raquel, travelmom:🙎👸👱 (Brasil) (@expatmomof3) on

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A family affair. Snapshots of our first 2017 travels: Ouro Preto (UNESCO Heritage Site), Mariana (mining town) & Inhotim (largest open air museum of contemporary art), Minas Gerais, Brazil

Praça Tiradentes, Ouro Preto:

Gold Mine in Mariana, MG

Explorando #minadeouro em #Mariana #MinasGerais GoldMine #Brazil #family #travel #expatlife

A post shared by Raquel, travelmom:🙎👸👱 (Brasil) (@expatmomof3) on

The Lima-Mirandas surrounded by Gold Dust 😎😆 Visiting & walking thru the Gold mine in #Mariana #MinasGerais

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Inhotim,Open Air Contemporary Art Museum

#openair #Brazil #museum #Museu #Arte #Inhotim #photography #Art #MinasGerais #family #travel #botanicalgarden

A post shared by Raquel, travelmom:🙎👸👱 (Brasil) (@expatmomof3) on

#Museu #Arte #Contemporanea #Brazil Our last afternoon in #MinasGerais #inhotim #brumadinho

A post shared by Raquel, travelmom:🙎👸👱 (Brasil) (@expatmomof3) on

 
 

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Snapshots from the 2016 ‘Toys for Tots’ in Brasilia, Brazil. Thank you, US Marines!

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From our Expat Family to Yours… Happy Holiday Season, and Happy Travels!

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Life in the Foreign Service: and our next assignment is….

Could we be any happier? We got (again!) our #1 pick as our onwards Foreign Service Assignment post:

Obviously, more to come… but for now, I only have one thing to say:

YAAAAAY!

Stay tuned… 🙂

Written by Karen Hastings

History and Havana go hand in hand. The name “Havana” conjures images of Spanish conquistadors, revolutionary heroes, and the literati and glitterati who once basked on these sun-splashed shores. Today, the fascinating history of Cuba’s capital awaits travelers at every twist and turn; in the cobbled streets of Old Havana, in the beautiful Cuban Baroque buildings, the historic forts, museums, legendary restaurants, and lively public squares.

A fiesta for the senses, Havana is a city made to stroll. Listen to live rumba music on a street corner, feast at restaurants where Hemingway once dined, or inhale the salt-soaked air along the famous Malecón. But perhaps the best part of a visit to Havana is the people. Friendly and outgoing, the locals are proud of their culture-rich Caribbean city and happy to share its historic treasures and many hidden gems.

 
 

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Expat Identity Crisis: on Privilege, Mobility and Belonging. A Personal Essay.

Expat Identity Crisis: on Privilege, Mobility and Belonging. A Personal Essay.

Wegener's Wanderlust

Lately, there have been a few articles circulating on Facebook describing life as an “expat” (here and here) and the book club I recently joined just picked “The Expatriates” as our next read. So I have started to think a lot about what it means to be an expat—and this has brought on a bit of an identity crisis for me.

When I moved from West Virginia to Germany at the age of ten, no one considered my American mother and me to be “expats”. In a village with a population of 3,000, we were simply “the Americans”. My mother had married a German, and we had settled into a very rural (and very German) way of life. Of course, there were no other Americans in the village, nor traces of a significant international “expat community”. As a pre-teen, I was quickly absorbed into life in…

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UPDATED: “Moving is the 3rd most stressful life event”…

How crazy it is that this topic is always so current?

and once more, our nomadic family finds itself jumping the ‘ bidding-season’ ropes… It never fails. Always exciting, nevertheless, stressful… Are we, Foreign Service folks, somewhat creatures of dark sarcastic humor? We must be, otherwise, what could be a logical, plausible explanation for continuously putting ourselves – and respective hauling families – through such an ordeal?

A long time has gone by since I first prepared this blogpost… And yet, it remains so current! Even celebrated my birthday surrounded by bubble wrap & moving boxes – it was pack out season! 😮 The original post was “Inspired by the FS Blog Round Up, I decided to do some research and put together a pack of interesting information about moving and packing, including my personal comments. Some of the “facts” were actually quite new to me.

Others, made me laugh. What about a bit of my life as a ‘rolling stone’? 😮 That’s exactly how I feel, moving every so often!

Also found some “advice” on moving with small children – supposedly, “moving with kids could be a breeze, if you plan ahead”. This is probably my favorite, and I ask: “how much ahead to you need to plan? maybe before you were joined by your kids??” 😮

Anyway, here are some of the ‘facts’ about moving and packing:

Comment: Really?! Would have never guessed! 😮 Moving is trauma, ranked right up there with getting a divorce, losing a job or burying a loved one. But chances are you already know that. So here comes the question:

So.. Why we do it???

** just a rhetorical question! We all look forward to those intense

finding-sorting-wrapping-packing-storing days!

  • One-sixth of all Americans, an estimated 43 million people, move each year. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Comment: And 50% of all moves take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day – that’s just weird – at that time, I had no idea why the preference! [** U.S. school year/calendar (thanks, Carla!)… now it does make sense – another hint that I’m a foreign-born spouse!] 😮

  • Individuals move 11.7 times in their lifetime. (from: U.S. Census Bureau)

Comment: Already crossed that mark, even before meeting the husband and joining the FS…

  • The typical moving customer is a married couple between the ages 25 and 44, with one or two children between the ages of 2 and 11.

Comment: Good to know we’re not alone. It comforts me to know there are several other parents out somewhere, screaming and kicking … 

And here are some of the “advices”:

  • Get back to normal: For the sake of the entire family’s happiness, try not to take too long to resume doing what your family enjoys.

Comment: I’d really appreciate knowing how to get back to normal after a move, not taking long to resume to your ‘normal’ routine. Maybe I’m always too busy trying to prevent the kids from killing each other, that I may loose focus…

  • Pack late (late?) – The actual process of packing up and putting things away in boxes may be emotionally trying for preschoolers, as they see familiar and favorite objects disappear into boxes. Try to pack your preschoolers’ belongings as late in the moving schedule as possible, and reassure them that their belongings will be going to the new house.

Comment: You don’t realize how much stuff your kids have until you start packing.  BTW, where are the kids? Make sure the answer to your question is on the top of your to-do list! 

  • Pace Yourself: Your already busy schedule keeps you on your feet at all times, and moving adds a whole new list of things to do.  Plan ahead. Give yourself several weeks to pack for your move, that way you are only packing a few boxes a day. This will decrease the amount of time you need away from your everyday responsibilities, including your kids. In other words, it’s not only about keeping your kids busy, but it’s about making yourself more available during your move.

Comment: Would love to know how to pace myself. One day I’ll learn. Not next year. Not in this decade. Also, how could I “buy” several weeks ahead, for packing before a move? If I’m able to manage a semi-smooth “packing & moving” event, ensuring that our car keys and travel documents won’t be packed away with our HHE, I’ll be pretty lucky!:o  Here is some good advice (at least for me!) about keeping it real for the traveling children (thanks to “Family-Travel-Scoop”): Do talk frankly with your children about the move Do let your child express his/her feelings Do acknowledge their frustrations/anger Do research the country you are moving to with your child Do let your child say goodbye properly to the place you are leaving Do expect an adjustment period when your child has mixed emotions Do keep traditions from home alive in your new home Do maintain regular ties with family back “home” Do bring items (e.g. framed pictures) and put them in each home you live in a similar place Do involve your child with any decisions that may affect him/her if possible

Good luck to all the ones moving out this season! I’m glad we don’t have to think about packing for at least, another 8 months… Oh, boy!!

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in FAMILY, humor, TRAVEL

 

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