Expat’s Lament

When American expat Elyn Aviva and her husband relocated to Asturias, Spain, after seven years in Catelonia, the safety net of knowing how to do things and where to go was suddenly gone and their spirits soon matched the region’s dismal winter weather.  

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Where are you from?

For global nomad, Bhavana Gesota, the question “Where are you from?” is not an easy one to answer. Are people asking, she wonders, where she was born? Where she lives now? Or, are they asking which passport she carries? Is there a single answer to this single question? Read on…

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Searching for the Familiar

Many of us travel in search of the different, the unusual, the exotic. But, for B.J. Stolbov, wherever he travels, he often finds himself searching for the familiar. Not the things that remind him of “back home,” but, rather, the moments of connection—to others, to nature, to himself—that each journey inspires.

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Trekking Into The Stone Age

A trekking adventure in West Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, a place where some people still hunt their food with bows and arrows, challenges preconceptions and produces unexpected insights for intrepid traveler Barbara Brown Allen.

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Blame It On Travel: Why I still have hope.

In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, Ellen Barone is surprised to find that she is still full of hope. Like everyone else, she has moments of disgust and despair, but then, almost miraculously, a ray of light shines through. How does this happen? She blames it on travel. 

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Are Cubans Happy?

Much as travelers may try not to make sweeping conclusions based on superficial observations, happiness is a common attribute applied to Cubans by foreign visitors to the island. In this reflective essay, writer and tango aficionado Maraya Loza Koxahn shares her experiences in Cuba and thoughts on happiness as viewed through the lens of music and dance. 

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No Maps in Marrakech

On their first day in Marrakech, Jennifer Shanahan and her daughter learned a crucial lesson: To navigate the Medina, a labyrinth of streets and shops, you will need a map (not a phone) to find your way. But, more importantly, you must never use this map in public.

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Where Is Home? A Collection of Very Very Short Stories

We challenged YourLifeIsATrip.com writers to tell us about home in 25 words or less. What it means. What it doesn’t mean. Where they feel it. Where they don't. Is it a person? A place? A memory?. And, don’t let the small size fool you — at the heart of each of these very very short essays is a powerful story.

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Night[mare] at the Opera, First Act

Kids and culture is a difficult thing to get right. How to introduce the kids to high culture while managing not to ruin it for the adults involved? Author Jules Older attempts to do just that when he buys tickets for the family to see Madame Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House. He'd hoped for the ultimate Believe-Me, You'll-Thank-Me-Later cultural experience. His young daughters, however, saw things differently. 

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We Are All Immigrants

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. 

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The Risks of Time Travel in Santa Fe

by Elyn Aviva

We punched in the entry code on the keypad on the side of the looming concrete storage building, opened the door, and walked down the empty, darkened corridors to our numbered unit. We unlocked the roll-up metal door and pushed it up, revealing a colorful hodgepodge of items stacked along the walls and piled on metal shelving units in the center. We were entering a mysterious domain, a mixture of refuse dump and Treasure Island. 


This was the stuff we had left behind six years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when my husband, Gary, and I moved to Spain. Now that were happily settled as expats in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, the time had come to clear out the storage unit. No more excuses.

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Fishing for a Future

by B.J. Stolbov


When I was young, my father took me on a father-son bonding/camping/fishing trip to some unpronounceable lake in upstate New York.  I learned to squeamishly poke a hook through a wiggling worm.  I learned to awkwardly cast a fishing line out into the lake.  And when I did catch a fish, with the point of the hook sticking out through its eye, I immediately learned, while screaming and crying, that I was no fisherman.  No fisherman either, my father and I gratefully agreed to bond by never going fishing again.

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