{EXPATRIATED} Amanda from Marshalls Abroad

Monday 8 October 2012

Sometimes I get the impression that people think we are crazy for leaving all that we are familiar with for a life abroad but we aren't the only ones who have chosen this lifestyle.  In fact, there are a lot of us and many of us blog about it.  Expatriated is a series to introduce you to other expat bloggers.


While I'm making my way back to Norway after 2 weeks in Houston, we have Amanda from Marshalls Abroad on Expatriated today!

-Where are you from and where do you live now? 
I'm from Santa Barbara, California and my husband is from outside Denver, Colorado. We are living right now on the beautiful island of Okinawa, Japan.

-How did you end up in Okinawa and what inspired you to make the move? 
We're here for my husband's job. We wanted to move here so much, thinking, when else can we live on a subtropical island in Asia?!

-What is the best part of living overseas? 
The time and adventures together. We love our family and friends so dearly and miss them, but this time overseas, being so far away, has been amazing for our marriage and the challenges and blessings of being abroad has brought us closer than we've ever been before.

-What do you miss most about home (besides friends & family?) 
After friends and family, I honestly miss everything at Trader Joe's, most especially Two Buck Chuck! On a serious note though, we badly miss being there for family and friends during important seasons. It breaks our hearts every time we miss a wedding or birth.

-What has been the most difficult thing to adjust to in Japan? 
Japanese! Goodness it's a difficult language! Very few locals actually speak English. We are trying to learn as much Japanese as we can (as we should!) but it is slow going.

-Any funny 'whoopsies' while adjusting to your new life? 
Haha, where to even begin?! In this language and our attempts at speaking it, 'whoopsies' happen all the time. The first one that came to mind actually has to do with American friends we had just made. Cam and I decided to have a bonfire on the beach one night and invited a group of friends. I also sent a message to two couples we had just befriended that said, "We're having a spur of the moment on the beach if you guys want to come!" accidentally leaving out the key word, "bonfire." Haha. WHOOPSIE! You can imagine what they thought.. They never responded until about a week later when we were at their house and I brought it up. We laughed SO hard and to this day, still do.

-Saving graces?  (ie things that made life abroad easier) 
My wonderful husband. He's been so easy-going and adventurous, and together we completely believe we need to live this season as vibrantly and adventurously as possible while we have it. Also - our church and close girlfriends and my womens bible study every week. I learn over and over again that good girlfriends and fellowship are so important in every stage of life.

-What is the biggest lesson you've learned from your time in Okinawa? 
Slow down, live simply, enjoy life and be so thankful for every moment the Lord gives.

-If you had the chance to move elsewhere in the world, where would you go and why? 
We dream of living in Europe together, Eastern or Western. Though my husband might answer this question with the Middle East!

-Any advice for the newly expatriated? 
We're not actually expats since we're military, but I would recommend making the place where you're living (wherever or whatever it may be!) into a beautiful home that is both comforting and inviting and represents you; taking advantage of each day - whether it be diving into the culture, exploring the area or traveling; and being vulnerable enough to put yourself out there to make new friends and reach out to someone who needs a good friend. Also, I think it's important as a military wife to be as flexible as possible and be open to all sorts of home and work opportunities. The last thing I'd say is to be thankful for the amazing eye-opening opportunity to witness and experience another country! It is such a great and lasting blessing!


Thank you Amanda!

I will never tire of Amanda's beautiful photographs and while I have a pretty nice view off my terrace, I'm not sure anything can compete with hers!  Amanda also regularly posts her delicious and healthy recipes that will leave you drooling!  You can follow her journey in Japan on her blog.


  1. Wow this really makes me want to go to Japan!

    I would love to participate in your expatriated series if you need anyone.

  2. I LOVE Amanda and her blog and delicious recipes! Amanda - I can't believe you're from SB - I'm from Ventura! We're just a stones throw away from each other {or at least we were}!


  3. Gorgeous! Such a good idea for a series. Looking forward to reading more :)

  4. What a beautiful post and opportunity!

  5. Can't wait to follow her blog! Love you expat series, it is so fun to read about people living the dream!

  6. I'm so glad you featured Amanda! I love her blog so much!

  7. I had no idea parts of Japan looked like that! Thanks for introducing me to Amanda's blog!


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