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  • In this category you’ll find articles about being an expat, but also more specific articles about aspects of life in the Netherlands.

    If you’re looking for my articles about renouncing my US citizenship, it’s best to read those in chronological order, starting with this one: Giving up US citizenship?

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Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) updated

The last time I wrote about Holland’s peculiar Zwarte Piet (Black Piet) tradition was five years ago. I think it’s time for an update. Sinterklaas is both a person and a holiday. On December 5th each year (the holiday), Sinterklaas (the person) brings gifts to children at their houses much like Santa Claus does in…

10 things to know before moving to Switzerland

Switzerland, or what is officially known as the Swiss Federation, is a country located in central, western, and southern Europe. The federal republic consists of 26 cantons, and the federal authorities are based in Bern. It is geographically divided among the Alps, Swiss plateau, and Jura covering an area of 41285 square kilometers. The population…

Expat wellness: Life as an expat

I haven’t written an article in a long time about expat issues, despite the fact that my articles about expat life still get regular readers. My posts about renouncing my citizenship, in particular, are in my top 10 nearly every day. So when I was approached by Aetna International to collaborate with them as an…

close-up of the American flag, representing the American Dream

Watching America Fall Apart on my Renunciation Anniversary

One year ago today, I renounced my US citizenship. Here in the Netherlands, since last week’s US elections, friends and colleagues often ask me “Are you glad you gave up citizenship?” I always say “Yes!” but that’s a lie. I didn’t want give up citizenship then, and I still feel sad that I had to…

Hillary Clinton

The US Election, as seen by Overseas Americans

Watching the American election season from abroad is like slowing down as you pass a car accident on the highway. You don’t really want to see the damage, but you can’t seem to stop yourself from looking. It has nothing to do with you, yet you’re fascinated. The US presidential election I gave up citizenship almost…

Me and my voter ballot

On Receiving my California Voter Ballot

I won’t vote in the upcoming Presidential election. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I gave up citizenship last November, so I can’t vote in the US elections anymore. (If you want a general overview of my reasons for renouncing, here is my Medium article about it.) My renunciation date was November 18,…

American Flag

Indignation Fatigue and FATCA

A lawsuit against FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, was filed back in 2014 by Senator Rand Paul and the Republicans Overseas and, while I am certainly no fan of the senator, I support this lawsuit. It was, however, dismissed in April because the Ohio federal judge who heard the case decided that the…

"Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day etc", by Thomas Falcon Marshall (taken from Wikimedia)

So You Think You Want to Emigrate …

“If Trump gets elected, I’m leaving the country.” I don’t live in the US, but I have read comments like this on social media and in the news. Apparently, sometimes this isn’t just an idle threat. The Guardian cites a Luminoso survey which found that: … about 4% of 4.5 million Donald Trump-related tweets contained threats…

My cancelled passport was sent back to me along with my Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

On Receiving my Certificate of Loss of Nationality

Almost five months after my renunciation day, I received my Certificate of Loss of Nationality today. It seems ironic that it arrived on Tax Day. People keep asking me how that feels, but I have trouble formulating an answer. Certificate of Loss of Nationality = divorce papers The best analogy I’ve been able to find…

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