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Category Archives: Career

10 Tips For Relocating to a New Country

Playa Grande in Punta Uva, a seaside village in the Límon province of Costa Rica.

With a growing number of countries offering Digital Nomad Visas and as a recent podcast guest on this topic*, it occurs to me that I have a unique perspective that may be helpful. Whether you are looking to work remotely or to change your lifestyle, here are a few tips if you’re considering relocating to another country (or if you’re asking for a friend…wink, wink).

1. Make a list: No, not a to-do list, but a passions list! What are your interests? What brings you joy? What are the things that you’re passionate about but have never found the time to pursue? Use this list to guide your ultimate destination.

2. Do your research: Create a list of must-haves and build your destination list around it. BTW – your passions list should be part of your must-haves. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but you want to make sure that you find a good fit for your life or how you want to live.

3. Take a trip: Break out that passport and travel! It’s a big world, go explore it. You can’t get the feel of a place without getting the feel of a place. When you visit, you can do a few tourist activities, but make sure you get some local flavor. Talk to the hotel concierge or your Air BnB/VRBO manager or host for some local experiences and/or local people that can serve as a guide. Also, talk to the indigenous people about their country.

4. Be flexible: If you’re moving to a new country, don’t expect the nuances and rituals of your previous home. Learn something new, have patience and if there is a new language, learn it (people will appreciate your effort and respond to you differently).

5. Make connections: Social media can provide you with a window into different countries. There are groups for just about everything. Join a few that match your needs (I joined a Black Expats in Costa Rica Facebook Group about three years prior to moving.)

6. Create a plan: No, everything doesn’t need to be etched in stone, but at least plan your logistics: moving, selling or storing belongings, finding a renter or buyer for your residence, etc. This should include a timeline.

7. Credentials please: Particularly if you’re moving with a family, have your vital records and paperwork stored in a manner that it is easy to access. I mean passports (obviously), health records, birth certificates, ID cards and other country-specific administrative records.

8. Make a budget: You are no longer a tourist. Make sure you account for the essentials (rent, utilities, healthcare, food, transportation) as well as some splurges along the way.

9. Follow your heart: This is your journey. What is right for you may not be right for someone else and that’s okay. Don’t be deterred if everyone is not onboard with your move (this excludes your family unit – you need some consensus). Do it anyway!

10. Enjoy the ride: Even if this isn’t your final destination, lean into it! Slow down. Take in the scenery and culture. Find your tribe. Have some great experiences!

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2022 in Career, Family, Health, Reflection, women, worklife balance

 

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Podcasts: love ’em or hate ’em?

Everyone has a podcast these days. You can find them on just about every topic: some have a very niche target say, Stephen King book fans or Queen Sugar enthusiasts, and others have a broader audience of self help or a celebrity’s musings.

Yours truly in Delaware last fall for my girlfriend’s podcast Grown Women Shit.

I remember prior to the pandemic, I had never listened to any! Can you believe it? I can think of at least two people in my circle being horrified and wanted desperately to help me find my show(s).

Now, I’m about to dip my toe in… My significant other and I have been saying for at least the last year, when we moved to Costa Rica we would launch it. Well… we’re here! We’ve known each for 31 years (whew, that doesn’t sound right!) and we’ve had some great conversations. Some have been filled with laughter, others not so much. So we’ve decided to take our show on the road!

Talk to me! Tell me if you do podcasts or not. Let me know some interesting topics that you haven’t heard discussed and would like to. Please be respectful. 😉

 

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Passion Project

Many people don’t know that I am the executive director of a non-profit based in Delaware called Empowering Single Moms, Inc. I am that behind-the-scenes person who maintains the website, conducts intakes, brainstorms, creates content and strategic plans.

Dr. Crystal Edwards is the face and personality and my long-time college friend. She is a brilliant educator and speaker who is all about public service. We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We create a network and community for Single Moms who often feel (and sometimes are) alone. Our programming is developed to support them in their journey to create better lives for themselves and their children. It’s alot of work and we sometimes take two steps back for every one step forward. However, the reward is transformative for all involved.

Check us out and share with a Single Mom who could benefit. (Our service region is limited to Philadelphia, PA and a few counties in Delaware and Newark, NJ). We could always use volunteers and donors!

empoweringsinglemomsinc.org

 

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The Water’s Fine!

I’m slowly dipping my toe back in…

It has been many months, longer if you count consistency. I haven’t been able to write. And it’s made me off- balance, not myself… There’s just been SO MUCH NOISE, I couldn’t. This is not something that you want to admit as a writer. But there it is, I said it!

And so I’m testing the water.

A few things changed that have freed me. I quit my job a year ago. (A job where I was attacked by microaggressions on a daily basis, not to mention ignored by the director of our group.) Then, and this is a big one, I moved. My son and I relocated to Costa Rica. Right?!?? I said it was big. It’s what my soul needed. The United States stopped working for my family years ago: its racism, violence and frenetic pace were crushing us.

Now, I’ve joined a Black Writer’s Group. I revived my blog. I’m dusting off my four, copyrighted poetry books…

And I’m feeling goooood (nod to Nina Simone).

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2022 in Career, Family, Reflection, writing

 

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For the Love of the Game (and kids)

chris long

Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end, Chris Long, is playing for free. Good for him.

And he was part of an important meeting about racial injustice and NFL players’ right to express their frustration with that injustice. Good for him.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in Career, Civil Rights, Education, Race, Sports, women

 

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Chi-town’s Finest

Part of me wishes the officers would’ve taken this picture in plain clothes away from the precinct, yet identified themselves as Chicago police officers. Then we could witness the real basis for the reprimand that they still would’ve received. Perhaps it would lose some of its visual power but the truth would be plain.

#ColinKaepernick

 
 

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Dear FLOTUS: Various ‘Love’ Letters

michelle-obama-slide-3g05-superjumbo

A beautiful dedication to the First Lady of the United States.

Thank you New York Times.

 

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Women’s Equality Day

Supposedly, that’s today… Is it really or just a hashtag?

Yesterday, I bumped into an acquaintance that I hadn’t seen in a while; she is blessedly pregnant. She is going on 40 and never thought she would have children because that’s what she’d always been told. 

As I shared a bit about pregnancy and motherhood, I asked her how she was doing.

It’s been interesting.

She said that about three or four times, but with a smile so I wasn’t worried. What she said next changed that… her employer does not have maternity leave. 

[A quick aside: I worked for an employer with no maternity leave, however this was a small non-profit and there was short-term disability after seven days.] But we are talking about a large, stable organization. 

Not only is there no maternity:

  • There is no STD until 90 days;
  • Can’t use the sick leave bank (even as a participant) unless you have a cesarean; and
  • You can’t have leave donated to you.

Her plan: bank as much leave as possible until December, tap her savings and get back to work as soon as she can.

But they have FMLA so at least she’ll have a job to come back to…

It’s 2016 y’all! Happy #WomensEqualityDay!!!!

 

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Emojis Strike Again

google female emojis

Last year, emojis scored the Word of the Year. Then, we learned of more globally-inclusive and representative icons to complete our digital chats.

Well now, we have female emojis that move away from the stereotypical. Thanks to some designers at Google, these female empowerment emojis could be coming soon.

The team chose professions dominated by women as well as ones that show a rising female workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of Labor.

Since 78 percent of women use emojis, we want what we want…

more female emojis

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Career, Girls, women, Youth

 

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Walmart Reneges

Are we surprised?!!?

Former DC Mayor Vincent Gray sold out getting a higher minimum wage for DC residents to get Walmart to build in Southeast DC. For nothing… there will be no more stores built in DC.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Career, Politics, Youth

 
 
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