Oh, the places we’ll go.

Or, adventures in expatting (verb, intransitive – the habit of living in countries that aren’t one’s own).

Booyah, Shakespeare, I just invented a word, too.

Or so I thought. This is a verb that has been hovering on the edge of my consciousness for a while, but it wasn’t until I idly looked it up to discover a raft of references in the Urban Dictionary that I realised why I feel part of neither one world or another. Even the wryly humorous term expatbagger (see note) seems to me to refer to someone who moved to one different country and then returned to their home country, rather than someone who left their original country, has travelled around and lived in a couple of others, and just hasn’t gone back home yet. In my current place of residence there are a high number of transient, short-term contractors passing through in a similar manner to me, but this is an exception. In previous places I’ve found myself part of a community who have moved in and stayed long-term. So what should I call myself that would fit the bill? More


An anniversary

Three months! Darnit, mi gente, I really let the ball drop, roll under the cheap seats, sneak off out of the ballpark and head post-haste for the getaway vehicle. Well, it’s certainly time to get these nimble blogging fingers limbered up again. And I plan to start with a reflection.

September 25th marks the day each year where I reflect on my life since I took redundancy and headed for the exit. The first year it fell just after I cancelled my return flight and made a go of life abroad, longer term. Things were still very uncertain. I was living in a guesthouse in a small, Peruvian jungle city eating lentils and boiled eggs, both of which I boiled in a cheap electric kettle. Yes. In the kettle. In the tiny bathroom. Hell, those were the days.

By the end of my second full year away from home, life was somewhat more stable and involved things like frying pans and salad bowls again, generally used in a kitchen. This, while less pioneering, was probably a much healthier sign for both my digestion and my prosperity in general. I had managed to squeeze in a visit home to take the edge off the homesickness any traveller feels after the novelty and regular emails and dispatches to and from home start to dwindle. I caught England in the midst of a glorious English summer: the 2012 Olympics, an epic thunderstorm, walks through the Essex wheatfields and strawberry-picking all reminding me why it takes a journey to realise a home. More

The Wire: a guide to modern teaching

I made it to the end of term one. This meant no sleeping, not enough eating, and a lot of marking and grading for the final couple of weeks. And, in the same way that I encourage the students to reflect on the gains in their work and find the areas they need to improve in, I am trying to work out the same things in my teaching.

Of course (although they haven’t worked it out) when I ask them to reflect, I’ve already written out for them in no uncertain terms what they are doing well and what they need to improve.

Who does that for me?

Ex-officer Pryzbylewski of the Baltimore Major Crimes unit, that’s who. More

We’ve come a long way, baby

On my way to bed – tired, stressed – I suddenly realised: it’s two years to the day since I departed Heathrow for Mexico D.F. A sunny Saturday, a backpack on my back, a dream in my heart and a plane ticket in my hand. And a redundancy cheque in the bank – that helped considerably – cheers Eric Pickles!

Last year I wrote a lengthy blog considering all the places I’d seen and things I’d experienced. There was a lot to say. This year things have been more tranquil. More

Feathered friends

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