Category Archives: serious

The Languages of Our Leaders

We expect a lot from our world leaders. We want them to be incorruptible, selfless, and diplomatic—three qualities that, apparently, is a bit too much to demand of some of them, currently, but that’s a discussion for another time. We also want our leaders to lead by example; compassion, strength, and determination as more of(…)


Has Politically Correct Language Gone Too Far?

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary the term politically correct is defined as “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.” While erasing problematic language from our rhetoric is great, it seems these days that people tend to get offended over every(…)


Expats Abroad: You May or May Not Have Mail

The contingencies of expat life are myriad, fluid, unique, and occasionally blessed with exception. While contending with a mind-boggling number of challenges in your new home, the life you’ve “left behind” doesn’t end as much as it lingers in the distant background. Today’s digital nomad may be free to roam the planet, but somewhere, someplace,(…)


Catalonian Crisis: Is Language the Root of Nationality?

The story of Catalonia is a complicated one, but it is one heck of a fascinating linguistic phenomenon. Catalan plays a fundamental role in the region’s debate for independence, serving not only as fuel for the opposition but as the highest expression of identity. Before we dive into cultural debates, I want to make it(…)


Health Care Abroad: Something to Consider

Several months ago, I found myself, once again, in a Taipei City Hospital emergency room. It was a fairly busy evening patient-wise and I was lying on a gurney in the far corner of the lobby with an IV drip tagged to my wrist, waiting to be admitted for further care. This vantage point offered(…)


The Key to Health, Wealth, and Happiness may be Learning a Foreign Language!

Most people have pretty common goals when it comes to living a full life. We want to be happy. We want to be healthy. And, at a lot of us wouldn’t mind being wealthy too. You may be wondering how in the world you can manage to achieve all three of these things in a(…)


The Coconut: Rising Above the Shame of Being a Second Generation Language Learner

“You’re not really Mexican. You can barely speak Spanish. You’re more like a coconut, brown on the outside, white on the inside.” You can laugh, just not too hard. As a second generation Mexican American raised in predominantly white neighborhoods, I’ve heard it all.   Language is powerful Strong command of a second language can(…)


How the Stereotypes of Nationality, Ethnicity, Race, and Gender May Affect Your Expat Experience

The scope of my expat experience is limited to Asia. However, an informal survey of random online expat forums – as a member and visitor – confirms my suspicions: It’s the same everywhere, and by “it”, I mean the conditional happiness of people trying to make the nut* in foreign countries. *Make the nut =(…)


Your 90-Day Plan to Learning a New Language

Are you taking a trip or making a big move overseas and hoping to get a grasp on the language before you go? Picking up a new tongue is a lifelong endeavor and you’ll never run out of new things to learn, but sometimes time isn’t on your side when it comes to gaining a(…)


5 Myths About Teaching English in Asia, Busted

Thinking about leaving your comfort zone for a crack at teaching English in Asia? Not so fast. Before you even think about purchasing an airfare, for heaven’s sake, do your homework. Here are five of the more predominant myths about teaching English in Asia, busted: 1. Anybody can do it Residency requirements vary from country(…)