Today on GoAbroad, we are thrilled to bring you GoAbroad's list of the Top Expat Bloggers. From learning a new language to adapting to the intricacies of a new culture, these expat bloggers offer unique perspectives on calling an international destination "home"--and will inspire you to get out and see the world, one country at a time! Each blogger was selected by GoAbroad editors based on the quality content of the blog, an interactive presence on social media, and a general kick-@$$ attitude when it comes to meaningful travel. We honor each of them today with this special feature, and encourage you to check out their blogs for more updates and information.
For Matt Kyhnn of Backpackingmatt.com, life has always been a journey. Back in 2007, Matt graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Political Science, and ended up traveling to Ireland and the United Kingdom on a working holiday. The plan was to spend four months working and traveling in Ireland, followed by six months working and traveling in Scotland before spending a quick two months traveling around mainland Europe. A little over a year later, Matt returned home with a new appreciation for experiencing the unknown. Is your head spinning like ours from all that traveling? These days you'll find Matt calling New Zealand his temporary home base, and when he's not taking advantage of the outdoor activities, he's updating Backpackingmatt.com to offer "budget conscious travelers and backpackers destination specific advice, stories of adventure and exploration, travel reviews, and inspiration to get out and travel the world."
As a marketing graduate, writer and perpetual traveller, Beverley of Pack Your Passport originally left her marketing job in the United Kingdom in 2010 and has been living, working and travelling round the world ever since. She spent two years working and traveling in Australia, before taking her adventures to New Zealand to do it all over again. As recently as this month, though, Beverly is now preparing to leave New Zealand in May, heading back to England for three months before she moves to Thailand to teach English. Beverley isn't kidding when she advocates for 'packing your passport' when you're on the go as much as she is. If you're on the lookout for "everything you need to know about living, working and traveling round the world," Pack Your Passport is a resource not to miss out on.
Leah of Hiking in Heels has plenty of ways to describe what her blog covers: "heart-pounding adventure, wanderlust, charting your own path, experiencing new things, living the life you always imagined, joie de vivre." These phrases and more encompass the travel magic that is Hiking in Heels. Leah herself is a self-professed, twenty-something college graduate who decided to spend a year traveling and living out of a backpack. Her travelogues on Hiking in Heels cover her journey of self-discovery as she explores new places & chases her dreams. She notes that she hopes the blog "will serve as a resource for girls who are equally stylish as they are adventurous." For every traveler who has dreamed of heading out and taking on the world, Hiking in Heels will inspire you to make your own dreams a reality.
Sometimes it takes 'breaking' off from one life in order to start another. For Lauren of The Life That Broke, a job loss during the economic downturn of 2009 turned into an opportunity to move to Australia and pursue a career as a full-time freelance writers. If that's not a source of travel inspiration, we don't know what is! Lauren herself is a native of the New Jersey Shore, with experiences that include tutoring, being a reporter for Philadelphia newspapers, being a magazine editor, and professional blogging (of course!). These days, you'll find Lauren making a life for herself in Sydney, and inspiring other travelers and expats to get out there and see the world. Her travels have taken her to 40 American states and a dozen countries, including China, Italy, England, Fiji and New Zealand - meaning that The Life That Broke will have plenty of resources to keep you coming back for more!
Dori of the blog, From a Yellow House, describes herself in a nutshell: "I'm an American expat from Georgia, living in the English countryside with my husband, who I affectionally call "Brit Boy" or "Hubby." In addition to this, Dori is a photographer, one of the 2010 Alive Magazine Women of the Year, and an all-around amazing resource for travelers interested in the expat lifestyle. She notes that she often get emails from her readers with questions about how to go about things when seeking an expat life, and it never gets old for her to be a source of advice for them. Her accessibility as a writer and advice-giver comes through in all the posts on From A Yellow House - further establishing the blog as a resource that should be added to every wannabe-expats' reading list! Dori also describes herself as a person who "just pushed ahead with this life" which has us thinking that for all those interested in the expat lifestyle, it couldn't hurt to take a page from Dori's book of experiences.
We have to admit how much we love the name of this blog - after all, isn't a large part of being an expat learning a new language? Conjugating Irregular Verbs comes to GoAbroad from writer Aidan Larson. Aidan describes herself as "an east Texas girl who, through some miraculous turn, is living a life I didn't even know to wish for." In addition to her own experiences, the blog incorporates the adventures of Aidan's family living abroad with her - or as she describes them, " the ones that make it special." If it's on your bucket-list to live abroad with your own family, Conjugating Irregular Verbs will offer the perspective of a woman and mother about town in the South of France. The blog brings to readers a freshly optimistic view on living a French life that that has "been hard-won through all my screw ups, discoveries and serious faux pas." Whether it's book reviews, hotels, festivals, restaurants or historic sites, Conjugating Irregular Verbs will offer all the tips and advice you need to make the most of a life in France.
Russell VJ Ward
Jumping back to Australia, we find British-born expat and writer, Russell, of In Search of a Life Less Ordinary. This is a travel blogger who isn't afraid of exploring both the good and the bad that comes with relocating abroad. His tendency towards exploring the finer details of creating a new life and home abroad makes In Search of a Life Less Ordinary just that - less ordinary. He originally left England in 2003 in pursuit of a life that stressed more outdoor adventures, and seeking "a healthier, fuller way of living life." After a stint in Canada, you'll now find Russell fulfilling his life goals in Sydney. His blog covers various aspects of his adventures in being an expat abroad, leaving no stone unturned. In his own words, Russell says that "if you have a passion for living a different way of life and treading a less ordinary path, then this blog is probably for you." We couldn't agree more!
Alan and Heidi
The four-person family of Alan, Heidi, Lars and Anya is a true testament to making the expat lifestyle possible for a family. Wagoners Abroad was created with the mindset of living life with passion, and following one's dreams - exactly what this family is doing by creating a life for themselves abroad. After originally meeting each other during a backpacking trip to Mexico, Alan and Heidi can now be found in Spain with their children, Lars and Anya, as they embrace the world, and share their experiences with the hope of inspiring other travelers. In Alan and Heidi's own words, "We quit our great careers and decided to take a chance, but it feels right. Please join us in our adventures and comment along the way. We hope to inspire and let you know it is okay to think outside of the box. You too can be a Family Living Abroad." Inspired yet? Us to!
Meet Cat of Sunshine and Siestas - after trading in her heels for espadrilles five years ago, Cat blogs about life as a guiri in Seville, Spain and all that goes along with it: "traveling in and around Spain, teaching abroad, pesky Spanish idioms and how to eat like a Spaniard." Her initial introduction to the country began when she studied abroad in Valladolid, before then moving back to teach English in Seville. Cat notes that she hasn't looked back since, racking up 28 country stamps in her passport throughout her travels. Nowadays she says that she's "finding olive oil to be an appropriate substitute for butter, that teaching is my thing, and that Spain might just be my final destination." As an expat, you can't ask for more than that!
Last but certainly not least of our Top Expat Bloggers is Laurel of Monkeys and Mountains. Although a native Canadian, Laurel has called Germany home since 2010, documenting all her adventures and experiences on Monkeys and Mountains. We love her reason for how she ended up in Germany: "It had something to do with a German boy (J.P.) that I met on a shark diving trip in Costa Rica and later married." As original as it gets! Prior to moving to Germany, Laurel called home to Thailand, South Korea and the United States, adding even more divesity to her travels. Did we also mention that Laurel loves castles (she's made it her goal to visit as many as of Germany’s 25,000 castles as she can) and her favorite travel experiences are related to adventure and animals (whether it's shark diving in South Africa or kayaking with crocodiles, Laurel's done it). Yep, you definitely need to add this blog to your expats-not-to-miss-out-on list.
Congrats to each of these unique travel bloggers! Did we overlook any other awesome international expat bloggers? What are some of your favorites? Share them with us in the comments below!