Considering a move overseas? Questions to ask and answer

Maple and Mabel blog, authored by Jose Walsh

Apparently, there are over one million Australians living and working overseas at any given time.

Until a fortnight ago, I was one of them. But it took me about five years to actually pluck up the courage to pack my bags, say goodbye to my comfortable life and move halfway around the world to Ottawa, Canada (in the dead of winter, what was I thinking?!)

Why did it take so long, especially when it had been a dream I’d nurtured since I was a teenager?

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A love letter to Ottawa

'A love letter to Ottawa', a blog by Jose Walsh

Hey Ottawa,

I know I was a little shell-shocked when I arrived in early February.

For someone who has never seen snow before, rocking up in -14 was pretty rude of you, despite everyone assuring me that this was a really ‘mild’ winter for Ottawa.

Personally, I like seeing my taxes on a price tag than having to work it out in my head, and I’m not crash-hot on your tipping culture. I’m still a little bewildered by your fervent obsession with ‘All Dressed’ chips. And the whole milk-in-a-bag thing. Oh, and that you have a 60* temperature swing between winter and summer! Come on.

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada. 'A love letter to Ottawa', by Jose Walsh.
Parliament Hill on my first day in Ottawa

But having lived here for the past 11 months, there are just so many things I love about you.

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Tel Aviv: A travel guide for the nonstop city

Shakshuka, a traditional Middle Eastern dish of eggs baked in tomato, served with hommus, bread and fresh garnish

It only took four nights for Tel Aviv and I to fall in love.

A buzzing city soaked in history and politics, Tel Aviv boasts some of the best shopping experiences in the world and is tailored to keep even the fussiest foodie well-fed. And don’t even get me started on the beaches.

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Travel tips I swear by

Over the past few years, I’ve travelled in many different styles.

I’ve biked down a main road in San Francisco in peak hour traffic, successfully passed through a Hezbollah security checkpoint in Beirut, done a solo trip to Paris, gone with the girls to Bali, and island-hopped with my husband. I’ve recently returned from a spectacular trek through Jordan and a 6-day stint in Israel. I love travelling with others, but I’m also digging the challenges and perspective-shifting experiences that only travelling alone can bring.

I hope these travel tips are especially useful for women, regardless of whether you’re travelling with your partner, group of girlfriends, or going it alone.

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