EXPERT EXPATS: PART VI

Lauren Fritsky - Expert ExpatIn part six of our Expert Expat series we interviewed Lauren Fritsky, blogger at The Life That Broke. Lauren lived in Sydney for 3.5 years and moved back to the US for an adventure in NYC.She is still blogging about Sydney expat life, travel and writing and now also life as a newlywed repatriate.

If you are planning to move to Sydney, just visit or want to know more about expat life, you’ll find tons of great info on Lauren’s blog.  Follow Lauren on Twitter and keep up with travel, expat life , U.S. and motherhood blogging!

Find out more about expat life in Sydney and expat blogging in Lauren’s Expert Expat interview:

What did you find to be the most difficult thing about moving to a new country?

Not knowing all the logistics and ways of doing things–how to take public transport, how to properly order a coffee, how to set up a bank account, the red tape you need to go through for certain things. It’s all different in a new country, particularly from the East Coast of the US where I’m from, where everything is fast and convenient (for the most part).

What do you miss most about your country of origin?

Friends

Where have you noticed stark cultural differences?

Punctuality, Religion, Traditions, Work Ethics, Social Situations

Do you have a favorite website or blog about your country?

I loved reading Brooke vs the World at the time I lived in Oz. Brooke is a personal friend who I saw regularly while living in Sydney.

What is your best tip for people moving to or visiting your country?

Read as much as you can before you go. It’s better to not have too many surprises when it comes to things like the cost of life, getting health cover, how you’ll mail things back and forth between home, etc.

Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?

It was definitely higher in Sydney and it made me be a stringent budget-keeper. I spent less on food and never shopped for clothes. I would drink and eat less when I went out to avoid spending too much. I tried to take public transport over cabs as well.

Have you run into any bureaucratic, insurance, tax or medical issues as an expat?

Taxes were tricky because I was a freelancer my first two years in Oz. So I owed America money. I also applied for two different visas while there which meant a lot of paperwork and waiting for answers.

What advice would you give expats to help them fit into their new community?

Read and connect with bloggers or other expats online. Go to travel meetups like Travel Massive if it’s in your new city. Connect with others from home.

When and why did you start your blog?

I started my blog the day after I lost my job in the global recession, on June 17, 2009. I called it The Life That Broke because of that job loss and also the end of a long-term relationship earlier that year. I wanted to document how my life as I’d known it had completely fallen apart and how I was going to rebuild it. I’d had in my mind the idea to move to Oz when I started my blog but didn’t apply for the visa until two months later. My blog then became a chronicle of my move to Australia, my time and travels there and my move back to the US. I have now incorporated other themes into my blog such as motherhood and traveling with children.

Thank you, Lauren for sharing valuable information for expats around the world!

Read all of our Expert Expat Interviews.

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About the author...

Pesach Woznica is a licensed CPA in Colorado State, originally from Toronto, Canada where he earned a Bachelors of Administration at York University and then extended it to an honors degree specializing in accounting. Pesach has assisted thousands of US expat taxpayers with their tax returns, FBAR, IRS audits and negotiating settlements in U.S. tax court.