Carole Hallett Mobbs
Expat Life Mentor and Consultant
Helping you move smoothly and confidently into your expat adventure.
Sharing authentic and practical insights about navigating your move and life abroad.
Welcome to My Expat World!
Let me tell you a little about me. And it has to be a little, as I've done a lot!
- Founder of ExpatChild.com, the original, and, of course, the best place to find advice and information about moving and living overseas with your children
- Author of 'Expat Education: An Expat's Guide to Choosing a School Overseas'
- Mother of an expat 'child', who is now an adult
- 'Trailing spouse' (ugh)
- Cat and dog wrangler
- Unique, independent, straight-talker, problem-solver. Efficient, logical and no-nonsense. And blunt, apparently! Basically, this means I say what I mean and I mean what I say.
I can help you build your foundation for a successful life abroad, so that your expat life is your dream life. Let's get YOUR expat adventure off to a brilliant start!
I’ve Done a Lot of Stuff. A Lot...
But I'd better stick with what's relevant here...
Quick business-y background: I have worked as a Bank Teller: IT Trainer: IT Support & Helpdesk: Customer Service Trainer: Presentation Trainer and Adviser: Print Publisher (I owned my own magazine): Freelance Writer and Editor: Web Master: Blogger: Creator of ExpatChild.com, The Expat Directory and, of course, Expatability. I'm pretty adaptable!
I'm British, with a daughter, a Japanese Shiba Inu (dog), and two South African born cats. Oh, and a husband - it's thanks to his career that we moved abroad. Prior to meeting him (overseas) I had personally done a lot of travelling, both for business and pleasure. The latter was often backpacking solo in various places.
Until February 2018 I was a ‘trailing spouse’; following my husband wherever his job took him. And no, I don’t like that title, but I’m not tremendously bothered by semantics in this instance. There are far more important matters to concentrate on.
As a family, we lived overseas for 12 years. Our final move 'back home' was the most difficult. Everyone said it would be hard. Did I listen? Nope! Silly me. It was, and still is, hard.
Where Have We Lived?
Our first overseas relocation, in 2006, was to the amazing city of Tokyo, Japan. What an incredible start to expat life! Daughter was just 5 years old when we left the UK and her entire education has been overseas. As Husband's postings are generally for around 4 years or so, we were all set to leave in 2011 when the big Japanese earthquake hit. Our departure was fraught with problems and we all left a large part of our souls in Japan.
From Tokyo we moved to Berlin, Germany, which was a very different expat experience. Our stay there was cut shorter than normal. Husband was offered an unexpected job in Pretoria, South Africa, so off we went at short notice after just a couple of years in Germany.
South Africa was amazing. As an avid amateur, naturalist, Africa was a dream come true for me and I will remember my time there forever. Day-to-day life was quite tricky. Not in the sense of hardships that more developing countries offer, but it's not the easiest of places to live, especially for a teenager who needs independence.
Then Husband's office realised we hadn't actually been back in the UK for all that time and recalled him at the end of his posting. No more overseas postings for us as a family - yet.
About My Expat Websites
ExpatChild.com launched in 2012 and aims to make moving abroad with children easier for all the family. It's chock full of articles about moving abroad with children. And without children. And moving back home again. And everything in-between. This site simply has lots of practical, honest and useful advice for anyone considering a move and life overseas.
ExpatChild came about after our move from Japan to Germany. Whilst trying to plan our move from Japan to Germany I could find nothing online that spoke to expat parents in general. No advice on how to choose a school from halfway across the world, no information about preparing your child for a move, nothing. So, I started one!
The original format was as an online magazine - I guess I was missing my print publishing past. Later, it became the Google-able site it is today. It took off very quickly and ExpatChild soon became the go-to site for parents moving overseas with their children.
The Expat Directory was born a couple of years later to fill another niche - to showcase genuine, expat-friendly businesses.
Expatability was originally designed as a private members club to collate the many hundreds of articles on ExpatChild and put them into a more efficient format to help expatting parents on a more personalised, one-to-one basis. I had received so many questions from readers of ExpatChild over the years that it made sense to create a differently formatted space to share the actual steps to preparing to move abroad. However, the tech behind the creation proved too costly and time consuming to maintain.
There is now SO much information online for people moving overseas with their kids that it's difficult to find the details that relate to you and your personal situation. It also means you need to know what you're looking for in the first place! But how can you find out exactly what to prepare for if you've never lived abroad before?
And yes, I include my own ExpatChild site in that amount of information. While I was the first to write about these specific issues, many others followed and now we are awash. My ethos for ExpatChild is that the articles are fairly generalised and accessible to any person, regardless of where they come from and where they are moving. Naturally, it cannot dig deep into individual family's needs. That is only something that can come to from a one-to-one discussion.
So, instead of swimming against the tide of an ocean of information, with Expatability I can give you the one-to-one guidance you want. I do this in person, online via the magic of video calls.
I had been in South Africa with my husband and 2 children aged 11 and 16 for 2 months when I first ‘met’ Carole online. The children were settled in school and my husband in his job and the honeymoon period had come to an end for me. I'd had given no thought to what I was going to do personally or professionally during the moving process, and to be honest I was regretting the move.
Whilst searching for information online I 'met' Carole. Despite Carole and her family going through the whole relocation again themselves with a young child, they were also dealing with the trauma and upheaval of when the earthquake and tsunami that stuck Japan 2 days earlier.
Carole took time to advise me of the steps/mountains I would reach, in what order and when and what the next hurdle would be. She warned me of the pitfalls and gave me advice on how to handle things and really helped me to understand the process of life as an expat.