When B.J. Stolbov left the United States to live abroad, he knew no one and no one knew him. He chose to view this as an opportunity to shed the masks and roles and expectations of his past and focused on becoming the person he wanted to be. The result is a life of unexpected joy.
He studied the French tapes. He bought the French software. He even took the French immersion course. Jules Older was ready for Paris. He would sound just like Maurice Chevalier and leave the French with a better impression of Americans. He would be the Pretty American.
All Elyn Aviva wanted was a quiet, peaceful vacation in a rented cottage in Penzance, Cornwall. Noise, traffic, and a lack of privacy was what she got instead. Ready to call it quits and return home, she creates a mental trick that helps her to endure. Until it doesn't.
There's more to the Philippines than white sandy beaches, clear blue ocean, soothing waves, and swaying palms trees. When American expat BJ Stolbov settled in the Philippines, he traveled beyond and above the tourist-laden beaches to a world of lush tropical mountains and indigenous tribal culture and people. Discover his insider tips for exploring the mountains of northern Luzon.
As an American expat teaching English in high schools and universities in the Philippines, YourLifeIsATrip.com contributor BJ Stolbov's students often ask him, “What makes Americans American?” Learn why it's a question that he finds difficult to answer as America becomes increasingly socially and politically divisive and discover how his answer is still one that unites.
An old lock breaks on the front door of a Mexican casita, trapping the cleaning woman and a high-strung woman inside with writer/illustrator Jan Baross locked outside. The fun really begins when the woman panics and jumps onto the neighbor's roof and practically the entire barrio becomes involved in the search for a locksmith to free the captives.
Maria Natividad Pascua Olivar has died. Nanay Mary (Mother Mary), as she was known, was 76 years old. Her husband, Ruben Olivar died suddenly 36 years ago, leaving Nanay a single mother with six young children. Her eldest, Rowell, died when he was hit by a car at 6 years old. Her next eldest, Ronaldo died suddenly of a heart attack 9 months ago at the age of 50. With her four surviving children, two daughters and two sons, all now in the 40’s, around her bed, and after a long sickness, a confluence of incurable old-age illnesses, Nanay Mary breathed her last. She died peacefully.
My wife, Michele, and I spent much of our twenties in one of Taiwan’s lesser known cities, Tainan, where we soaked up the former capital’s unique culinary, social, and cultural delights. Food and rent were cheap while teaching wages were high. Meeting friends for a lavish feast on a whim was practically the norm.