About Me

Surrey in S.B.

I’m a 60-something single female expat, originating from London, and a naturalized Canadian now living and working in the Southern California desert. I’ve lived, so far, in a total of four countries, in one of which I needed to learn both a new language and a new alphabet. All four countries required cultural adjustments, although some were more drastic than others.  That said, I’m only fluent in one language, can stumble along and frequently trip myself up in two others, and know about 30 words of Spanish.

Why this blog?

Having spent much of my adult life making my way through graduate school, with each degree separated by several or more years of work and changes of location, and working as a psychotherapist, most recently with young children, I finally began longing to escape from the rat-race of earning to pay off debt, studying hard to climb higher up the ladder, and working too hard in community mental health, with too little time for simply living, and loving, life, let alone maintaining reasonable standards of health and fitness. The time had come to think about retirement—and not just retirement in place, but about retiring somewhere with a culture and climate that is a better fit for who I am.

The purpose of the blog is to chronicle and share my journey to overseas retirement and “expat”-dom in a new location—to identify the questions I had to answer for myself and the process of getting myself to my eventual destination. Since I’m a baby boomer, it seems reasonable to assume that at least some of my age-mates have something similar in mind for their own retirement and might appreciate, and perhaps even enjoy, following this journey, and also wish to dialogue with me and each other about their own decision-making process and what we all find when we begin to investigate the locations that interest us in the process of becoming “expats”. N.B. “An expatriate (sometimes shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).” Go here for more details.