Hi! I'm Carole!
Find out more about me here
My name is Carole Hallett Mobbs and I am the mother of an expat child - well, she's now officially an adult! We spent 12 years living overseas, following my husband wherever his job took him. In 2006, when our daughter had just turned five years old, we left Britain to start our expat life. And in February 2018 - we moved back to the UK.
So, I have experience of both ends of expat life. There and back again!
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Expat Life - The Start
In 2006 our little family, plus two young cats flew to Tokyo, Japan and plunged into expat life in possibly one of the most ‘foreign’ countries in the world. It was wonderful!
After nearly five incredible years in Tokyo, including one enormous earthquake, we moved to Berlin, Germany with one cat and one dog. A couple of years later we were off again to Pretoria, South Africa.
In February 2018, we returned to a snowy UK with the dog mentioned above and two different cats. Repatriation has, so far, been the hardest move of all.
Expat Life Mentor
To describe myself, I use these words: extremely independent, efficient, honest, no-nonsense, calm (most of the time) and very practical. I specialise in common sense and simplification.
My CV covers many more than the prescribed two pages and my background in customer service, IT, media, training and publishing plus corporations of all shades helps me understand all walks of life. And it has to be my (long!) experience of life, both off and on the road, which really gives me authority on expat life.
Personally, I have travelled extensively. Most of my travels were done before motherhood. Some trips were on business and some were holidays which were often extended back-packing travels (see my Time Line below for more details). Almost all my trips were undertaken solo and independently.
Loving Expat Life
My husband also travelled almost constantly for his work. In fact we met overseas whilst working for the same organisation. However, neither of us had actually lived overseas until we moved to Japan. It was very much an ‘in at the deep end’ experience and a fantastic opportunity for adventures and a challenging learning curve to match no other. We survived with an open mind, an appetite for adventure and assistance from more experienced expats.
I would now like to help you find your own way to enjoy your new life in a different country.
Scroll down to meet my family and support team, and then a bit further to view a timeline of my life... so far.
Meet My Support Team
Tim and his beloved Landrover en-route up the Sani Pass in South Africa. It's his fault we lived overseas. Thank you, Tim!
Rhiannon, the expat teen. Remarkable young lady who loved international life and teaching herself languages.
Kita, the Shiba Inu. Our souvenir from Japan. Neurotic, scared of everything, hair-shedding machine who hasn't read the breed manual.
Kasumi, AKA Sumi. Calm and scarily intelligent. Doesn't like British weather as we rescued her and Git in South Africa. Apparently part African Wild Cat.
Nogitsune. AKA Git. AKA Bebe and so many other names! He's weird. Was found in a bush at a couple of days old and hand-reared. Loves British weather.
All you wonderful supporters of ExpatChild.com over the years. I couldn't have done any of this without you.
The Story of My Life - So Far!
Born (reluctantly, according to Mum) Pontypool, Wales. Yes, I really am that old. Sigh
Moved to Okehampton, Devon. School and stuff. An idyllic childhood spent up trees in the woods and tramping adventures over Dartmoor with my best friend. First foreign holidays in the mid-70s to Majorca, Tunisia and Yugoslavia – which was quite an unusual thing back then.
Left school (hurrah!) Got first job aged 16. Learned a lot – mostly how to make coffee for fussy people and file things. And how to use and program a Commodore 64 computer.
Got a new job. Learned a lot – mostly how to deal with fussy people and file things. And more importantly, how to count money and do maths, finally. Oh, and learned to drive = freedom.
Got another new job (same company though) and moved to London. Learned a LOT – no more filing this time. Moved into IT at just the right time, at the start of desktop computer revolution. Had an absolute ball. Bought a flat. Love London.
A big year. Redundancy. Badly done, but turned out to be the best thing ever, as it kick-started me into a fabulous new career as a self-employed, freelance IT trainer and support analyst. Worked in loads of companies, from finance to media and everything in between. Travelled to Venezuela (solo back-packing) and Sri Lanka.
Still self-employed and loving it. Wonderful and memorable solo back-packing trip around South America: Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru and Bolivia
Aren’t you bored with this yet? First overseas business trip to Dusseldorf, Germany. Felt very important! Also first taste of 24 hour working days. That’s IT contracting in the 90s for you.
Another big year. Contracted to travel for work – my dream finally came true! Finland, Estonia, Lapland. And Hong Kong where I met some chap who ended up becoming my husband. Managed to fit in another (and as it happened, final) solo back-packing tour of Thailand and Malaysia, culminating in visiting the inaugural F1 race at Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur. Good times 🙂
Move travel for work. This year included Hong Kong again, USA, Ireland, France, Italy. Lots and lots of 24 hour working days.
Massive year! Work took me to Austria, Italy, Sweden, Russia (another dream realised and saw the Bolshoi Ballet on my birthday), Solomon Islands (wow!), Australia, Barbados. Totally life-changing event in a hotel room in Moscow… discovered I was pregnant. Gave up work. Daughter born (premature, but reluctantly – it must be a family thing) in October.
Difficult year. My darling Dad died. Started my own publishing company and produced a local magazine.
Sold my company. Moved to Tokyo, Japan. Amazing place. Worked as a freelance writer and web master for a UK publishing group.
Earthquake in Japan. Moved to Berlin, Germany. The two events were not connected, we were due to leave Japan then anyway, very sad.
ExpatChild has been running a year by now. Very unexpected opportunity to move to South Africa. So we grabbed it. Great decision.
And now we are all back in the UK after some amazing experiences.