best expat books & expat health insurance advice


Best Books for Expats and People Planning a Life Abroad


The Medibroker expat health insurance experts run a Twitter chat for people living abroad, and we recently asked the #ExpatHour community to share the books that inspired them to move to another country. The feedback led us to discover a new library for travellers and those planted on foreign soil. We’ve used their insights to create a list of the best books for expatriates and those searching for expat health insurance.


What are your favourite books about living abroad?

These books about living, loving and learning around the world will inspire the restless upon you to make the move and will entertain those of you who have already flown the familiar nest of their home country. They will also make you evaluate whether you have what it takes to thrive in a life overseas. We recommend you read these books for more info about what it takes to be an expat, but if you need to find the best expat health insurance for yourself, make sure you contact our Medibroker experts.

Expats often choose to live close to other expats and tend to socialise with people from their own country rather than locals. Reading books about expat life is an alternative way to take comfort in your shared experience while still immersing yourself in the local culture. To read about the challenges, whether real or fiction, that somebody else faces in their day to day life as a foreigner in their new or even now familiar country can be a welcome reassurance that the expat experience is a shared one.

These books also narrate the delights that expat life can offer. The authors touch upon the comical misunderstandings and lessons that shape the expat experience. They will have you nodding your head in understanding and thinking, “Me too”.

For seasoned expats, you can start to take the intricacies and charm of your new country for granted. These books will remind you how extraordinary expat life can be and why you moved in the first place.


#1: Our Ecuador Retirement by Donald Murray

In his first best-selling book, Our Ecuador Retirement…The First 8 Months, Don tells the story of his family’s life leading up to the move and describes their first 8 months living in a South American country they had never even visited beforehand.


#2: Expat Life Slice by Slice by Apple Gidley

A humorous look at the life of a serial expatriate or so-called ‘citizen of the world’. Apple has lived in 26 different countries across Africa, Australasia, America and more, which may make your own expat adventure seem a little tame! This book immerses the reader in every sensation of life in the countries that Apple has called home.


#3: Expat Women: Confessions. 50 Answers to Your Real-Life Questions about Living Abroad by Robin Pascoe

This book addresses issues faced by women considering a move abroad and will reassure you that you are not alone in your apprehensions. Experienced expats Andrea Martins and Victoria Hepworth share a wealth of wisdom and positive tips to motivate you at every stage of your expat journey. The book doesn’t just appeal to women. This review by expat blogger Russell Ward shows that all types of expats and travellers, regardless of gender, can identify with the female expat experience!


#4: Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt – Expat Stories from Kazakhstan by Monica Neboli

An introduction to the Kazakh landscape, people and cultures as experienced by its expatriates – both those who are passing through and those who have decided to stay. In this mammoth anthology, 24 authors from 11 countries show us this Central Asian country as they know it and reflect that although expat life is often difficult, it is not without its rewards.


#5: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises is the definitive piece of literature about expatriation. The novel portrays the colourful ebb and flow of a group of 1920s American expatriates as they immerse themselves in Paris and Spain and attempt to understand their status as expats. The displaced souls among you may recognise something in the quote, “You’re an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.” And remember, to find the right international expat health insurance, contact our Medibroker experts.


#6: Diary of an Expat in Singapore by Jennifer Gargiulo

This laugh out loud book records the tongue-in-cheek journey of an expat in Singapore, told through vignettes, witty observational snapshots and Top 10 lists such as “Things first-time visitors to Singapore say”. Expats in Singapore and elsewhere will enjoy this book, and people living abroad with children will enjoy Gargiulo’s account of enlisting her young son to translate for her!


#7: Perking the Pansies – Jack and Liam move to Turkey by Jack Scott

This account of a gay couple fitting into the cultural landscape of a Muslim country highlights the issues that expats face regardless of their sexuality. Jack and Liam move from rural Turkey to the beating heart of Bodrum and their narrative peaks and troughs with misery and joy.


#8: Sunshine Soup; Nourishing the Global Soul by Jo Parfitt

When Maya’s husband’s job posts him in Dubai, she has to adapt to life as a ‘trailing spouse’ in the UAE, and her two young sons acclimatise. Follow her family as they uproot from normality and learn about the Emirates while dealing with culture shock and homesickness.


#9: GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad by Margaret Malewski

Caught up in fast-paced careers that increasingly involve travel and international relocation, many young people find themselves living and working abroad, often at the cost of meaningful relationships and a sense of connection. This guide shows career-driven young expats how to thrive in overseas assignments. Specifically for the 25-39 age group who are looking to further their career.


#10: Diary from the Middle East by Heidi Vaughan

As business opportunities are drawing unprecedented numbers of Western families to the Arabian Gulf region, more people are curious about life in the Middle East for expats. Written from her home in Qatar, Mrs Vaughan’s Diary is not a guide to living in the UAE or its neighbouring countries, but rather an honest look at day-to-day life for expatriates who may only know the region from television news reports.


Have these books created a lust for new pastures in you? Learn more about making the move abroad whilst looking after your health.


If you are researching, planning or already enjoying life overseas, you will need the right international health insurance for your expat country that is also suited to your individual needs.


Click here to fill in our short form and our Medibroker expat health insurance experts will get back to you.

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