April, 2017

Episode 009A: Expatreonistan

A new country awaits you. We kick off a brand new segment, Culture Shock Flashback, which turns the tables by featuring foreign nationals living in the US describing what it was like for them to move to America. Host Marty Walker takes you way back to the 80s and describes her own experiences of domestic culture shock growing up in the Midwest. Marty’s first foreign friend, Helena, describes what it was like to be a Swede living in Springfield, Missouri thirty years ago during the heyday of televangelists.

Get early access to this episode by becoming a supporting member of our community on Patreon.

Episode 009: Belgium with Meredith Bethune

It’s easy to get seduced by glamour shots of sunsets on beaches, luxury hotels, and basically EVERY other person on the planet having much more fun than you. And if you’re a travel writer, then you’ve hit the jackpot, right? Not so fast. Just like any job, there are perks and a few downsides. In this episode, American expat and travel writer Meredith Bethune shares what it’s like to create articles for some of the big names such as Conde Nast, New York Magazine, Travel and Leisure, National Geographic and many others. We get insight on her writing process, how she works with editors, fights writers block and procrastination, all while making her home base in Leuven, Belgium. And when she’s not writing? Satisfying her obsession with Belgian beer.

Learn more about Meredith Bethune at

Listen on iTunes  OR  Google Play OR Stitcher


[00:54] Why do so few Americans travel to Europe?
[2:44] What is life like for an expat living in Leuven, Belgium
[3:33] The world’s longest bar?
[4:13] Why do people in Brussels and Wallonia speak French while others speak Dutch?
[5:48] Fear of  travel?– Does such a thing exist?
[7:25] What’s a day in the life of a travel writer?
[9:49] How to get past the blank screen as a writer?
[11:54] Book: Bridge on the Drina
[15:06] French fries vs. Flemish fries– What’s the difference?
[15:54] Belgian chocolate…but who consumes the most per capita?
[16:17] Abbeys, monks, and beer– What do they have in common?
[17:26] Does Belgium have their own version of Nascar?

Meredith’s Beer Recommendations
Triple Karmeliet

Additional Links
Embassy & Consulates of Belgium in the US
Cost of Living in Belgium

Episode 008: Germany with

We catch up with anonymous blogger OGM — who posts hilarious observations of Germans, odd things his wife says, beer and food reviews and much more at, which has attracted a massive following. He’s from Portland. She’s from Niedersachson. They married 4 years ago and OGM dives headfirst into a new life in Hannover, Germany. What does he love most about Germany besides Blood Tongue? I’m never bored. Ever. — OGM

Length: 33 minutes

Listen on iTunes  OR  Google Play OR Stitcher


[02:04] OGM Meets his future German wife
[06:21] Being a teacher in Germany
[07:37] Tiers of schools/students
[10:04] Preparation for the move
[10:52] A trip to the dentist
[14:26] Unusual benefits of knowing a second language
[15:20] Typical day in the life
[15:50] How the blog began
[19:38] German characteristics
[21:25]  Social tips/understanding
[23:08] The coconuts and the peaches
[24:26] Greasing the wheels of business
[25:01] American misperceptions of Germans
[25:50] Beer and meat
[27:53] German weather and suspicion of all things cold
29:30 Book: Prisoners of Geography
[29:58] Political climate

OGM’s other book recommendations

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Hannover Tourism
German Consulates
Visa guidelines

Rocket German