Expat Life

World’s Oldest Man Turns 112 with the Help of Sumo

The oldest man in the entire world is 112 years and 259 days old. He was born on July 25,1905 and lives on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. The age of this Japanese man has been verified and he credits his longevity to his sweet tooth and sumo wrestling television programs. Guinness World Record Breaker There was some extensive research into the origins and age of Masazo Nonaka of Hokkaido, Japan. Earlier this month, Guinness World Records presented him with a record-breaking certificate as the oldest man in the world. Enjoying Retirement  Nonaka, has outlived his wife, brothers and sisters but has 5 children and a large extended family. He lives with his family and enjoys his retirement spending time with them and their two cats. Eating cake, soaking in hot springs, and watching samur...

Why Are Spaniards so Obsessed With Window Shutters?

Spain enjoys plenty of hours of sunshine. The opportunity to have light-filled homes is available the majority of the year, yet homes are often completely shut off to natural light. Why are Spaniards so obsessed with window shutters? Afraid of the light? It seems like Spaniards are afraid of light. As a foreigner living in Spain this is one of the first things one notices. When walking or driving either in a big city or a quaint village one will notice that almost all of the homes will have their shutters drawn. Darkness even in winter  Most shutters in Spain are kept closed all year. Even in the winter months when it’s not so hot. Many expats living in Spain are attracted by the many days of sunshine the country receives and need light all the time. Popular culture In most of Europe the u...

Living in Hong Kong

Relocation to any new destination always brings with it advantages and disadvantages. Expats will soon find Hong Kong China is no different. The more prepared you are for living in Hong Kong, the more successful your move will prove to be. The good news is that Hong Kong daily life makes it one expat destination where the upside seems to far outweigh the downside. Today, Hong Kong is a vibrant, dynamic city. It showcases the stark contrast between Asian and Western cultures while drawing upon both cultures to create the city the vigorous, energetic city it is. Is Hong Kong A Good Place To Live? This bustling city is typically described as one place where “East meets West”, reflecting the local culture’s effervescent mix of Chinese roots with influences carried over from its period of Briti...

The 5 Best Countries for Start-ups

Starting a business anywhere is a challenge. Grit, determination and a marketable idea are what it takes to start a business, but these 5 best countries for start-ups make it just a little bit easier to get off the ground. The best countries for entrepreneurs were based on a number of factors by the U.S. News and World Report. Factors included are a skilled and educated workforce, developed infrastructure, a well-developed legal framework, and easy access to capital. Germany  Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy and the largest one in Europe. This country has a mix of transparent business culture, highly educated workforce and start-up friendly policies. All of these combined pushed it to first place. The local government here also makes it easy to get started with a new venture....

London Has the Highest Rents in Europe 3rd Year in a Row

London has been named Europe’s most expensive city in which to rent a flat. Uncertainty around Brexit and the future of the financial hub haven’t seemed to alter the rental market at all. London has the highest rents in Europe 3rd year in a row. Just how much more? London is currently almost £3,700 higher than the average monthly cost of renting across Europe. A mid-market three-bedroom apartment in prime areas of London costs around £5,398 a month. And that’s unfurnished. Rent in the capital is almost four times higher than the average rent in other major UK cities although rent in other cities is also increasing. Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow have all seen larger rent increases due to high demand. Surge in purchases of buy-to-let properties In 2016 the changes to stamp duty led to pe...

What You Need to Know Before Your International Move

An international relocation is equal parts exhilaration, frustration and terror. The logistics are formidably complex and almost unbelievably time intensive. International moving is not for the fainthearted! However, the art of making your relocation as painless as possible lies with your planning and preparation. Great relocation services companies can take much of the sting out your relocation. They can carry much of the load around packing up your home and preparing it for international shipment. However, you will still find yourself facing a seemingly inexhaustible checklist of tasks to coordinate, government officialdom to deal with and last minute panics to endure. International Moving Made Easy Assuming you’ve found a great job with a fabulous overseas company, you still need to ens...

Celebrating Easter Across Cultures

One of the most beautiful Springtime celebrations is Easter. Typically, the very first thing that comes to our minds are bunnies and colourful eggs. Well, Hollywood did a great job of creating the same associations worldwide, but in the real world it’s different. Easter traditions vary around the world. Here’s a selection of countries with descriptions of how people are celebrating Easter across cultures. Chocolate Bilbies instead of bunnies for an Australian Easter Instead of the Easter Bunny, Easter Bilby has been visiting Australian kids since 1991. Rabbits destroy the land and crops and eat everything in their way. For this reason, the Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation started a campaign that replaced the traditional Easter bunny with Bilby. These animals have big, soft ears like r...

Happiness Around the World: 2018 Edition

The World Happiness report ranks 156 countries by their happiness level and helps to track the changes and identify its reasons. The report covers six key focus points which are: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity, which helps to indicate the level of happiness. Interestingly enough, this year the research also concentrated on immigrants and their satisfaction level as an additional focal point. Not surprisingly, the top ten positions remain the same as in the last two years. Seems like there is a stable pattern with just a few swaps between ranked countries. Since the differences among these countries aren’t big enough, this is why the list looks like it has done in previous years. The first top 6 places are taken by countries located in Europe....

Annual Income Taxes for Non-Resident Property Owners in Spain

If you haven’t made an annual Tax declaration as a RESIDENT in Spain, but you own a property here, then you are obliged to make a Tax Declaration as a NON- RESIDENT each year before the end of December. A typical case is a couple who live permanently outside Spain (in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany or any other country), but own a second home in Spain which is used for their holidays, etc. The Spanish Inland Revenue automatically assume a benefit from the property, to cover the assumption that a property owner is using the infrastructure in Spain, i.e. roads, airports, public services etc., and therefore, should be contributing to the Spanish tax system. They have developed, a self assed, NON RESIDENT TAX DECLARATION to cover this situation, called Deem Income Tax. Although an owner may ...

Expat Travel Secrets That Will Help You Save Money

Before the internet, travel clubs were considered a cutting edge way to get the insider scoop on huge discounts. They fell out of favour as travel agencies took over the then exploded with the Internet as OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). The constant demand for better deals, however, has frozen the leverage of OTAs and shifted favour back to the travel club business model with the added bonus of online convenience. Travel the world or stay local…at great Hotels…at great Restaurants…experience great Adventures and Activities with your family and friends. Members of TheTopTravelClub.com and their families and friends can Go-Direct & Save at over 1400 global independent travel operators with thousands of adventure and activity tour deals PLUS additional direct access to thousands of excepti...

Why You Need to Start Taking Your Mondays Seriously

It is an honest public opinion, Mondays are always hard. Especially if you have been having a relaxing weekend. For this reason, there is a theory stating that it affects work performance, motivation and productivity. People take their time to get used to their work routine again on a weekly basis, each Monday. As it turns out, this is not the worst day of the week. Victory day Recently Redbooth, the data collaboration software provider, had research made investigating which day of the week is the most productive. The study concentrates on task accomplishment percentage, which ensures that Monday is the day. The task accomplishment reaches 20.4%, whereby on Fridays it only reaches 16.7%. Tuesday is a second “high” day with 20.2%. The report claims that “given the relatively low completion ...

Luxury Travel Trends In 2018

Going on vacation can be more exciting than just spending time relaxing by the hotel’s pool. Let’s take a look at six of the most popular luxury travel trends in 2018. Glamorous camping Note down this new word for your dictionary. Glamping is a trend which will change your thoughts about camping. It is a classy way to spend time in nature, for people with exclusive tastes and needs. Inspired by traditional tented houses in Africa, rugged log cabins in the Alps and beautiful cabins in Hoshinoya Fuji in Japan, offers people luxury along with an adventure in nature. Moreover, there are some predictions that travelling in luxurious camper vans will be extremely popular in 2018. Seems it is about time to prepare the ground for summer adventures! Private air expeditions Some of us might be time-...