living abroad

Why is Norway the Happiest Country in the World?

Norway regularly places in the upper ranks of annual surveys about quality of life, and this year’s World Happiness Report ranks us as the happiest country. It has made headlines all around the world but left many people asking one simple question: why?

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Helpful French Phrases for Travelers

What many mistake for snootiness in Paris actually an ingrained social formality that, from an outsider’s perspective, can feel very old-fashioned. People still greet their neighbors cordially and hold doors for each other regardless of gender. If you want to make a good first impression and feel like a local tout de suite (immediately), commit these phrases to memory and employ them liberally.

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How to Use North American Electronics in France

If you choose to bring your electronics with you when you make the move, you’ll need a series of transformers, adapters, and regional setting work-arounds to make them work in France. Expert author Aurelia d’Andrea explains everything you need to know, and advice on making the switch to PAL electronics.

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Being a Woman in New Zealand

There’s a lot of good news when it comes to being a woman in New Zealand. Generally, women are educated, well treated, and respected in New Zealand. But the picture isn’t all rosy. They face the same challenges as women in the US and Canada with compromises to their careers as primary caregivers and the pervasive danger of violence against women.

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Geography and Climate of Thailand

Moving to Thailand means not only getting used to a whole new set of rules and social customs, it means navigating an entirely new physical country too. While a general overview of the lay of the land is helpful for a traveler, for an expat, it’s one of the keys to a successful life.

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Talking Cricket in New Zealand

To most North Americans, the rules of cricket are rather mysterious. After all, a single match can last for five days! But playing can be good fun, and even watching might enthrall you after you’ve figured out how it all works. Here’s a brief overview that may help you follow the conversation in the local pub.

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Useful London Real Estate Terms

There are numerous types of properties available in London, and the range is staggering: from converted lofts to terraced houses to apartment blocks—with everything in between. The whole process of finding accommodation in London (especially a home purchase) is very different from the procedure used in the United States, so be prepared for a bit of a roller-coaster ride when trying to rent or buy a home in London. To get you started, here is a helpful list of important British real estate terms for both buyers and renters.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.