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Expat Focus on ‘Everyday Asia’ & AMWF advice

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Check it out! Expat Focus featured Everyday Asia as a Top 5 Expat Blogs – India. For those not familiar with Expat Focus, it is a website that provides all sorts of resources for expats plus also features expat blogs and discussion forums.

They also just published an interview with me. Woo hoo!

Hello Mumbai

Hello Mumbai

Here’s a quick ‘cheat sheet’… for details read the full interview here:

  • Who the heck are you? Check out about
  • Where, when and why move? Travel tales… how I got hooked on going away!
  • What challenges did you face? Typical starving student stuff but all good fun
  • Other expats in your area? Originally almost none. Now oodles! In stumbling distance even…
  • What do you like / dislike about life where you are? Lots and nearly none 🙂
  • Biggest challenge? Eve teasing… the other side of my love affair with India
  • What advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps? Extract below…
  • What plans for the future? More of the same!

Photo taken in Bandra, Mumbai

Bandra street art with Japan connect

One topic on my mind which clearly leaked out in this interview is stories of Asian Male / Western Female (AMWF) couples choosing a new life in Asia.

As someone who first came to Asia twenty-five years ago and, let’s be honest, has been in more than one relationship in this part of the world, my perspective encompasses phases post rosy-tinted “I’m so in love!”

That doesn’t mean I’m cynical but it does mean I felt compelled to dish out some probably quite un-wanted advice to those in that “head over heels” stage!

So here goes young folks in an AMWF / AFWM relationship living in their Asian spouse’s home:

  • While it is important to embrace the culture of your spouse and adapt to your immediate surroundings, make it work for you…
  • Get a job!! Or continue University studies… Or engage in some kind of activity that enables you to build something which is yours and not dependent on your new family
  • Don’t expect your spouse to always ‘translate’ the world around you… embrace it! Learn the local language, build a network of other folks willing to answer your ‘dumb’ questions, keep trying new things
  • No matter where you are in the world – be true to yourself!

So… anyone agree or disagree with this advice? Have anything more to add?

Agony aunty Carissa welcomes your thoughts!

Ignorance isn't bliss (Photo taken in Bandra, Bombay)

More Bandra Street Art

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  1. Congratulations! It’s great!
    I agree with you – on getting a job, being engaged and learning the language. Goes a long way.

  2. Good advice and they are so true. Though we ain’t a AMWF relatiomship but the exact opposite my wife did just the same when moving to Germany last year. By know she has more than just basic understanding of thegerman language and can communicate freely on certain level with strangers, she also learned to adapt the culture here thus far fairly well. In comparison I studied five year Chinese and know much less than what she learned in six months! (Okay she had an intensive language course for that time but still!)

  3. Marta says:

    Congrats on the interview and feature! And I totally agree about learning the language… although I would recommend it to anyone living in the country! 😀

  4. Congrats!! And great words of advice about embracing the culture, learning the language, and being yourself. I think I am more myself in Asia than I ever was in Canada.

  5. Hope Townsend says:

    “Get a job!! Or continue University studies… Or engage in some kind of activity that enables you to build something which is yours and not dependent on your new family”

    I agree! I am learning that trying to blend in with my husband’s Filipino culture doesn’t mean I should lose myself in the process. At least continuing to pursue interests of your own is important to prevent feelings of isolation and all-round crazyness.

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