Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thinking Like a Modern Nomad (2014 #nomadnote Roundup)

Modern nomads are driven by existential migration, the urge to explore frontiers. Traveling around the world means that you spend time in urban areas and rural environments. You leave your family and friends at home and live a life many of them can't relate to. A modern nomad is adventurous, connected and global.

Many nomads relate to the incredible lives of the adventurers in the National Geographic Magazine. 

Or imagine a new life when we live on another planet...

Nomads reflect on the impact of travel, building and power generation on the planet. 

Being a nomad creates a conceptual gap between you and residents who claim you shouldn't have the same rights as people who live there.

Nomads love to be connected.

Nomads reflect on where home is...

Comparing the Expat Experience (2014 #nomadnote Roundup)

Is Ecuador the best place to be an expat? What's the business trend that will change your life next year? These #nomadnotes look at research from different companies that will help you prepare for changes to your global life.

How Hard is it to Become a Global Leader? (2014 #nomadnote Roundup)

Becoming a global leader is a difficult task. These example talk about the number of global leaders in a global company and how successful they are.

Talking the Expat Talk (2014 #nomadnote Roundup)

When you move around on an international assignment you will need to decide what level of proficiency you need in the local language. Students have time to become fluent but if your working and living abroad with your family you might choose not to learn the local language.

Frolicks, Foibles and Facts of Expat Life (2014 #nomadnote Roundup)

Your everyday life changes when you move abroad: the people you see, the parties you go to, the taxes you pay and where the welcome is all change. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Champion Chicken: The Coop du Monde Battle!

The competition is over and there is a winner! Sharon's Coop du Monde won, although it was very close. So close that we couldn't decide on the day of the competition, so we slept on it and in the morning I claimed victory over Kim.

The video shows the different preparations and talks about the different influences from each nation on the dish.

Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras Together Make a Winning Recipe
You can hear and see both of our processes and influences in the video, but here's the description of mine.
The chicken was browned in coconut oil in a large oven-proof dish; wine and chicken stock (in equal amounts :-)) was added until it covered the chicken. This step brought in influences from two of the countries, Honduras, known for its use of coconuts and France, known for its tradition of cooking chickens in pots (and wine!).

Although the Coop du Monde book includes a stuffing step, I didn't make any for this dish.

I also chose not to add the potatoes to the pot. I used a traditional Ecuadorian recipe for potato pancakes called llapingacho (which you'll hear me mispronounce many times in the video) and stuffed them with Swiss cheese.

Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the pot for carving and made a sauce with the juices by adding coconut milk.

I plated the chicken with the llapingacho on the bottom, a chicken breast on the top and spooned over the coconut milk sauce. The dish was garnished in the style of a fanesca, a traditional soup made to celebrate Easter in Ecuador with leftover hearts of palm from Kim's dish, some peanuts and boiled eggs.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Is it Cool to be a Polyglot?

Do you speak five languages? If not, you're falling behind the pace of a growing number of expat student, according to a recent InterNations study.

Many people would think of fluency in two languages as being ahead of the curve, but the growing number of polygots are focusing on developing language skills for many reasons.
Parents are recognising that language skills are more important for their children's future. Language skills may be seen as a way to gain entry into the new global economy and, as most people believe it's a lot easier to learn a language as a kid than to go through the arduous task of learning it as an adult, parents are making this choice for their children.

It's also conceivable that the current global economy is contributing to this surge in the number of languages spoken by students. Youth unemployment is at unprecedented levels in many countries.

The inability to find a job could sharply boost the size of the population who identify themselves as (expat) students. Rather than wait for a job they are overqualified for to open up at home, many would rather return to school to boost their credentials with foreign language skills.

Other types of expats wouldn’t find language skills to be as pressing as they are assured employment for the length of the assignment (with or without fluency in the local language).

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Is Language Training the Answer?

Although language is an obvious difference between cultures, often times in business it's more important to have partnership building skills than to be fluent in another language. When you're considering going into a new market, like China, there are regulations that require you to have a local partner.

Choosing a partner and convincing them to choose you is your goal. If you are unable to convince a local company that you care about doing business with them, then it's unlikely that fluency in their language will tip the scales in your favor. Start by thinking about your values and how they would match or complement a local company.

Not surprisingly, language skills companies like Rosetta Stone will disagree with me; for a different business perspective listen to my #nomadnote.

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Friday, 13 June 2014

Coop du Monde, A World Cook-off Competition!

Global sick days are here! The World Cup started yesterday with Brazil playing Croatia in the Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo. 

Until June 26th, people all over the world will be in bars rooting for their home country to win. Although we may feel anxious for our countries, what we really want to hear is "goal!"

Expats have the toughest time choosing sides. If your home country didn't qualify (like mine) then you get to choose another team. My host country the USA did, but I hear that they have no chance of winning and I'm not sure I want to support an underdog when it isn't my underdog nation. I don't want to offend the passionate supporters of the USA, but this year I'm going to support Brazil!

Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole...

To celebrate the competition Kim and I are going to compete in our own World Cup cook-off. I recently published a cookbook, Coop du Monde, that helps you be creative with roast chicken dinners. In honor of the game we are going to play our cook-off in different stages starting with a roast chicken dinner inspired by the grouping of the nations.

Cooking Competition
Cook a roast chicken dinner inspired by the cuisines of any member (or combination of) the group.
Sunday - 29
Cook a bar snack that you think the fans would like.
Create a cocktail inspired by the national drink.
Cook a dish inspired by the national cuisine.

Kim and I will judge each round using the honor code. Check out our draw for the group stage...

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Generational Accounting: The Cost of Living Abroad and Your Kids (#QR)

Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world to live in. Being an expat in Singapore has lots of advantages: the weather is good, there are lots of great bars and restaurants, and incredible islands to visit for the weekend. Singaporeans are spiritual and love food, life and family. But there are downsides, inequality is obvious in the city.

Today's broadcast looks at the generational cost of choosing to live in an expensive city and what it means for your kids education.

To learn more about the cost of living, schooling for your kids and What You Should Know Before You Go, take the course at

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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

#globalhub March: Expats in the Danger Zone! situation in Ukraine shows how quickly the political landscape of a country can change. It was only a short time between an agreement between Kiev protestors and the government being mooted by the media to the presence of Russian troops controlling Crimea. Civilian airports were quickly closed and the talk for escalation to armed conflict got louder.

Taking an international assignment can often mean long stays in global hotspots. Stability can suddenly give way to chaos. How would you handle a political crisis while abroad?

Join us today at 4 ET @globalhub1 to discuss how you feel about conflict and international assignments.

Q1: Would you take an assignment in a danger zone? Why or why not? #globalhub

Q2: Does your company have an evacuation plan? #globalhub

Q3: Do you have a plan for an emergency return to your home country? #globalhub

Q4: In a crisis who would you turn to: government, company or family? #globalhub

Q5: What financial premium do you put on safety? #globalhub

Q6: Are expat or local connections more important in a volatile region? #globalhub

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

#globalhub January 2014: "To England and to other things." Lawrence of Arabia

Your nationality can quickly become an issue when you live in another country. When you choose to live abroad, you might not be prepared to represent your country as that isn't your intention. But you might, by default, be asked to defend it.

People want to choose where they live in the world, but most countries aren't set up to support citizens

Migration think tanks are opening the dialogue between supranational bodies, nation states, and citizens to find ways for countries to protect their citizens while they live abroad. So far it is difficult to see how the old rules will work.

Whistler Blower or Traitor?

America is discussing how to deal with Edward Snowdon. Although he leaked national secrets, the government is contemplating a plea bargain so he won't have to live in exile.

The editor of The Guardian was asked to give evidence before a Parliamentary Committee in the UK and was asked if he considered himself a patriot. He seemed shocked to be asked this question, but the argument of the MP was if the information is classified for national security reasons, why would you publish it so that people who want to hurt us can get access to it?

Today's #globalhub is about patriotism.

Q1: Do you think expat is still a good term for people who live abroad? #globalhub

Q2: Have you ever been asked to explain the actions of your home country while abroad? #globalhub

Q3: Do you think your home country considers its citizens abroad to be important? #globalhub

Q4: Have you ever had to choose between two countries? #globalhub

Q5: Are you a de-facto ambassador for your nation? #globalhub

Q6: How important is a path to citizenship for foreign employees when you choose a global location? #globalhub