Life

An Aussie’s first trip to Walmart

Walmart: Where you can buy a gun, a bolt of fabric, a laptop and a pet fish. All without leaving the air conditioned confines of the store. For the Australian’s out there, it’s like combining Spotlight, The Good Guys, Pets Warehouse and… well I don’t really know where you’d buy…

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Australia’s Same Sex Marriage vote from overseas

Australia’s plebiscite, or “survey”, on same sex marriage is about to get underway via the postal system. But what does that mean for Australian expats who want to have their say? Aussie’s of voting age all over the world will be able to vote as long as their names and…

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Aussies Round the World: Challenges of cross-national relationships

This is a guest post by Aussie expat Melanie, who inspires expats over at her blog, The Wandering Darlings. She writes about her her life in the UK with her British fiance and their bunny Bruce. Here she writes about the joys and difficulties of cross-national relationships. Find her on Facebook and Instagram for more…

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10 lessons learnt from moving abroad

My two year “America-versary” crept up and slinked by quickly. I had an inkling that moving abroad would change my outlook on life and the world, but you never really know how you’re going to react to a place until you’ve lived there a while. Having lived in both the…

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Expat life: Dealing with sickness and tragedy

Sickness and tragedy aren’t generally things at the forefront of an expat’s mind, until of course, something happens to a friend or family “back home”. Often times the guilt rolls in waves, leaving you with “what if’s” and questions that can’t possibly be answered. Frankly, those questions shouldn’t even be…

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Redwood City 4th of July in Pictures

The Redwood City 4th of July Parade was my first, and so far only, taste of the Independence Day holiday in the US. If you don’t already know, the day marks America’s independence from the British more than two centuries ago. It’s celebrated with parades, fireworks and more star-spangled clothing…

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The US electronic “visa” for tourists (ESTA)

This is a guest post by Josh Hobson, who has written an in depth website on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) used by the United States. Why is this important to you? If you’ve got family or friends coming over to visit for the first time, who haven’t…

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7 weird ways to survive a US heatwave

Please don’t revoke my Australian citizenship when I say this, but there’s been a heatwave in San Francisco this week. The mercury soared to 39c in some East Bay suburbs on Sunday – and San Jose and Redwood City weren’t very far behind. Of course, the whole of Australia is…

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Expat birthday: celebrating my unbirthday

I sat down to some strange emails in my inbox this morning. Everyone gets those pesky online shopping newsletters, reminding you that your one duty as a human being is to amass as many “things” as possible. This morning, I got one wishing me a happy half-birthday and inviting me…

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11 best junk foods in the USA

Regular readers of Bright Lights of America already know that I spend a fair whack of my time whinging about how terrible junk food in the US is. Namely the chocolate. I don’t understand how anyone could enjoy Hershey’s. I may have misrepresented the array and quality of junk food on…

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