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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Experience the Life of the City

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Allison Williams

Allison Williams (Moon Seattle)

Allison worked as a writer and editor in New York City for eight years. When the lure of the Northwest became impossible to ignore, she relocated to Seattle and has since realized two lifelong dreams: summiting Mount Rainier and poking sticks into the campfire without being yelled at.

She earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where her fiction thesis won the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. Her journalistic work has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a nomination from the City and Regional Magazine Association. As senior editor at Seattle Met magazine, she covers travel and the outdoors by hiking every trail and driving every road she can find on a map.

You can follow Allison on Twitter (@aliwill) and Instagram (@aliwill12).