The second edition of Jo Parfitt’s Forced To Fly is the much anticipated, updated anthology of expat experiences – finding humour in the strangest of circumstances and unusual places – and is a great read on many levels.
The book is in two distinct parts. The first, serious advice to anyone contemplating living overseas, from how to cope with culture shock, how to be happy, building emotional resilience to relocating and ten top tips for a smooth flight. All of it sound, practical, proven advice for anyone embarking on an overseas move, whether it’s their first or their fifth.
(Like childbirth, the pain of an expat relocation is long forgotten before the prospect of the next move is on the horizon, and it helps to have a reference like this on hand for when the next posting drops from out of the blue, as it always does.)
Part Two is where you’ll find the funny, real-life experiences, blunders and faux pas of expats – from arrival, settling in, to saying goodbye. Again. This second edition contains more than twenty new essays from writers such as Jack Scott, (whose Perking the Pansies is currently listed for the Polari First Book prize), Apple Gidley (Expat Life Slice by Slice), Debbie Fletcher (Bitten by Spain), Niamh Ni Bhroin (The Singing Warrior), Carrie Sanderson and published poet Sareen McClay. Bloggers AdventuresInExpatland, DisparateHuisvrouw, IWasAnExpatWife, Expatcalidocious and my own Wordgeyser, make their cyber contributions to bring the expat experience to life. All nationalities with unique experiences from around the globe.
What you’ll take from this book is the realisation that humour is the most essential thing in the expat tool box – it will help overcome trials, tribulations and traumas we could never have imagined in our former lives. Laughter, and knowing others have walked the path before us and survived, is empowering and allows us not to take our problems, or ourselves, too seriously.
Yesterday afternoon as I sat in front of a Dutch Motor Accident Claim Form, (in Dutch, obviously) wondering where the heck to start to fill it in, and in dire need of either alcohol (for medicinal purposes) or a cigarette (I don’t smoke), I picked up Forced to Fly.
A stiff cup of tea and several chapters later, spirits lifted and equilibrium restored, I was once again awed by the men and women who face life’s international challenges with wit, candour and the ability to find laughter anywhere and in anything, however bleak.
Publication date 5 OCTOBER 2012
ISBN 978-1904881416 (print);
ISBN 978-1-909193093 (kindle)
298 pp, paperback