Keyboard return key

Repatriates and the value of intercultural skills

Earlier this month the British Council launched a report about the value of intercultural skills in the workplace. It concludes that, ‘Employers understand the value of intercultural skills to their businesses. In fact, they value these skills above many technical abilities and formal qualifications.’ So, intercultural skills would be good things to have on your … Continue reading

A break in the commute

On my journey to work there is a point where the train line rises above the roofs of the houses and I can see all the way across the city. It is fleeting so I have to avoid falling into my commuter cocoon before I get there so I don’t miss it. Each morning I … Continue reading

Tree in autumn

Home climates: snowdrops and falling leaves

I’ve been reminded by a mild spell and the sight of the sunshine that the weather makes a huge difference to how I live and how I feel about it. I do like to see the change in seasons, although I prefer all other changes to when it gets darker and danker. I lived once … Continue reading

Pair of distressed shoes

People watching and shoes

Standing idly on the train station platform this evening, I decided there was nothing better to look at than the shoes of the people swarming around me. I prefer to think that still says more about the station and my computer-tired eyes than my proclivity for shoes. A train pulling in provided me with an … Continue reading

Tips for successful repatriations

[This post originally appeared over at Move Guides.] In my earlier Blogger’s Q&A for Move Guides, I was asked about the three tips I would give to any repatriates before journeying back to their homeland. I said, ‘Be positive, plan (from before you move abroad if you can) and do not expect it to be … Continue reading

China Town plaza

Shopping malls

Looking at my globe often makes me think not just of other distant places, or of a well-chosen gift, but of the shopping centre it came from. This was a welcome sanctuary on returning to the UK: a brand new air-conditioned mall with chain stores, a food court and a familiar, inside-outside light filtering onto … Continue reading

Photograph of beach hut

Repatriation cheat sheet

I’ve finally put together a short ‘cheat sheet’ for people preparing to repatriate to their home country. Repatriations and return migrations are very common but they are not talked about as much as moves abroad, which is why I chose to do my PhD research on the subject. My research was with British households returning … Continue reading

Chinese wedding figures

Proofreading and gendered language

I have been happily tapping away on Pages for a while now but only used the proofreading function recently. I already had the spell checker turned on so my pages are decorated by red dotted lines where I resist the opportunity to correct/’Americanize’ my spelling (note to self: change dictionary language). Running the proofreader on … Continue reading

Chinese soup spoon

The smell of home

Reading about the salmon in my last post I learnt that apparently salmon are guided in their return migration by the smell of the stream where they were born, and that is how they know how to get home in order to spawn. The sign in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (written by the city’s aquarium) asks, … Continue reading

Canadian return migration: salmon, geese and butterflies

When I was in Canada recently I learnt to appreciate the scale of animal, insect and bird migrations a little more, particularly the huge journeys made by hosts of salmon, geese and Monarch butterflies. It was not that I didn’t know about these before but there is always something about witnessing events or their settings … Continue reading