Carole Hallett Mobbs

Expat Life Mentor and Consultant

Founder of, host of The Expatability Chat Podcast and The Expatability Club.

Hi! I'm Carole

Expat life is a journey through time zones and emotions. Time zones are easily dealt with: The emotions, sometimes not so easy.

I am the mother of an expat child - well, she's now officially an adult (ouch!).

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. In February 2018 - we moved back to the UK.

So, I have experience of both ends of expat life - there and back again!

The Story of Our Expat Life and Why ExpatChild Was 'Born'

Expat Life - The Basics

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 and two different cats.

Repatriation was the hardest move of all.

These days, my daughter has left home, my husband is working overseas on a solo posting while I continue to collect cats and help expats make sure their expat life is the dream life they deserve.

Moving with a child is easy!

It was 2011 and we were coming to the end of five fabulous years living as expats in Tokyo and preparing to move to Berlin in a few weeks.

Moving countries is challenging at the best of times. And this was not the best of times.

My daughter was nine years old and about to embark on her second country-move. Our first relocation was a dream, because moving with a very young child is easy-peasy. Once they’re a bit older it becomes more difficult. (Understatement!)

In the run-up to that move, from Japan to Germany, she was so unhappy. Struggling with the idea of moving to an unknown country; away from the only school she’d known, leaving her friends and the country she’d spent more than half her life. Japan was her home. Now we were uprooting her to an unknown country.

There was nothing in the ‘Mum Guidebooks’ about this kind of upheaval. So, I Googled for how to help her prepare for this move.

And found nothing. Absolutely nothing! Well, nothing useful, anyway. All I found were terrifying stories of adult expat kids who were deeply damaged and in therapy due to the lifestyle their parents chose.

Hells bells, what were we doing?

But then everything shifted...

On 11th March 2011, the fourth most powerful earthquake ever recorded hit Japan; swiftly followed by a devastating tsunami and then concerns of a potential nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant. In six long, terrifying minutes, life changed for millions of people.

Yes, we were in Tokyo when that hit. 

Traumatised, now she just wanted to get out of Japan ASAP. And as nine-year-olds tend to do, she veered between being perfectly normal to being a nightmare - and having nightmares.

Finally, we left Tokyo & arrived in our new, non-shaking home country, Berlin in Germany. With a new ‘friend’ – PTSD.

Between the earthquake & leaving for Berlin, I was busy online in between parenting and keeping her calm.

I was writing and talking a lot during that time: live blogging, social media, radio interviews, newspapers, keeping everyone updated with ‘life in Japan’ through my personal blog, Japanory. It was relentless. And I burned out.

Solving the Expat Child 'Problem'

working through the lack of support

Everyone expected me to continue writing. The pressure was immense. But I was busy supporting my girl. My brain was frazzled.

I stopped writing, I stopped pretty much all online activity. But I needed an outlet for my writing. So, I started to ponder about writing a book. A book about moving overseas with children. How to help them, how to prepare them for a move.

Chapters were outlined, research was done. Questionnaires were sent to fellow expats. And after a year, I had a very decent outline and draft.

Then I thought – what was my first move when faced with this issue?

Google! It wasn't a book, it was an instant response that I had needed.

Why was there nothing online to help me prepare my child for moving overseas? Did everyone assume, like me, that moving abroad with kids was simple? Were all these kids destined for therapy when they grew up?

Surely prevention is better than a cure?

A website, not a book!

A book wasn’t what was needed. What was needed was a website; a hit on Google. A website full of quick, easily digested content with practical, sensible advice to help anyone moving anywhere.

Not a full on fluff-fest. Something written in plain English that could be absorbed simply and easily, while getting on with parenting and daily life.

When I had stumbled across anything distantly related to moving abroad with children, I found myself wading through pages of vague, fuzzy gibberish. I simply didn’t have the time or mental energy for that. My profoundly under-pressure brain simply wasn’t up to translating such psychobabble.

What I wanted, what I needed, was straightforward, uncomplicated and sensible information that was quick to absorb for a busy parent, and could be applied to any family moving overseas.

So, I created just that! And was launched in 2012. Since then, it has grown to cover every aspect of expat life with several hundred articles at your fingertips.

Supporting Expat Parents and Partners with Their Move and Life Overseas

Since ExpatChild was launched, I’ve met hundreds, maybe thousands of expat parents and accompanying expat partners and learned a huge amount from each one of them. The insight I have gained is incredible.

ExpatChild grew quickly, and in response to the new information I hear from my Expateers daily, the articles now cover all aspects of expat life. Whether you're a parent or not, you'll find something of interest here.

More expat support for you!

In the past few years, my experience and insight, plus our lived experience is shared via my Expatability Chat Podcast, and directly to many 1-1 clients.

Helping expats of all levels of experience build a successful life, career, and family overseas.

I've created various other resources for expat parents - written books, eBooks, checklists and masterclasses, too. Anything I can think of to help you can be found here and on my other site, Expatability

Now, you can make use of my understanding, knowledge and experience in a brand new format – in The Expatability Club.  

The Expatability Club is the only expat community and advice hub that supports you from home to away, and back again. You'll never feel alone or unsupported.

Your 'one-stop-shop' for succeeding abroad!

All my authentic, real-life experience has enabled me to help expat parents on a one-to-one, highly personalised basis. It’s my passion to support expat parents with their move and life overseas with practical and no-nonsense advice.

Ultimately, this helps you support your children with their expat life to enable them to grow into fabulous and well-adjusted global citizens. And I do this as quickly and as efficiently as possible, through one hour, one to one chats as I know how under pressure you are right now.

Get into my expat world today; join The Expatability Club today

Or find out how else I can help you navigate your life overseas.

When I first moved abroad, I wish I’d had the support I can now offer to you!

I created in 2012. Since then, it has grown to cover every aspect of expat life with several hundred articles at your fingertips.

Get in touch

Drop me a message!