Tales of Wanderlust

American Expats In The Balkans

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The Balkans

Albania, Europe, Expat life, The Balkans

10 Things No One Tells You About Expat Life

1. You will find that home becomes a fuzzy concept rather than a place. Pieces of your heart are left in worlds along the way. You find places that resonate so strongly that they become part of you, yet home is no longer a place. 2. You will be standing in a store and a song from your home country will come on. (If you’re from the U.S. the chances of this happening are pretty high). The pang of homesicknesses will hit you so hard it will ...
Albania, Budget travel, Europe, Expat life, The Balkans

A weekend in Vlore, Albania with kids

Day 1 Last weekend, we took off on our first little road trip in Albania. We’ve been here a month now. I can’t believe it. We bought, licensed, and insured our car on Tuesday, so by Friday at 4:00, we were off! We decided to visit Vlore on the Albanian Riviera which is a couple of hours away. We drove from Tirana and stopped in the smallish city of Fier for dinner. It’s worth a stop. Its beautiful! We had pizza at a local ...
Albania, Food, The Balkans

Fergese- A Traditional Albanian Dish

I don’t pretend to be anything other than a total novice when it comes to Albanian food. I consume it. It’s lovely. The end. Last weekend, though, I decided to attempt to make some Fergese. Mainly because I just couldn’t seem to get it off my mind. Since I was far too lazy to get dressed and go out, I turned to Pinterest and Google, to help me piece together the basic ingredients to make it. It was surprisingly, quite ...
Albania, Europe, Expat life, Family Travel, The Balkans

Finding Your Center as an Expat or Long-term Traveler

I wrote last week about the stages of culture shock and where I was in those stages. It was raw, it was real. I’m happy to say that I think I’ve broken through the fog and am loving our new life here in Albania. Tirana has captivated me once again. Moving is stressful. Moving across the world is more stressful. When you move to a country with different food, language, customs and social mores, it puts your brain and emotions on ...
Albania, Europe, Expat life, Personal, The Balkans

Culture Shock

I’ve always heard this term and thought I understood what it meant. I don’t really get culture shock, I’d think to myself, as if I was somehow immune to it. Well, yeah, you sweet little peach… It’s not that hard to adapt from one western destination with great food, culture, and comfort to the next. In fact it’s often thrilling. Like a natural high! But culture shock is a lot more complex than the image of a tourist freaking out over ...