Posts by Francine Carrel

Voting & Politics in Spain

Spanish politics is a complex and fractious subject. You’ll learn more about the average Spaniard’s views by sitting in a bar and chatting than you will from guides like this, but I hope this overview is useful (it might prepare you for the pub conversations).

Continue reading  

Opening a Bar in Another Country

The reality often turns out very differently. Hard work. Crippling losses. No spare time. Descent into alcoholism. Sorry to sound a little grim, but the risks are real. A huge number of bars fail within their first couple of years. Yet running a bar can be, for the right person with the right drive, a profitable and fulfilling business. One …

Continue reading  

Global Healthcare

This guide deals with the thorny and very topical question of global healthcare for expats. Whether you are retiring to a foreign country or living there to work or run a business, this will be an issue of concern to you.

Continue reading  

The Currency in Spain

The euro in Spain Spain joined the European Union (EU) in 1986. It was one of the first countries to adopt the euro (having previously used the Spanish peseta), in the first wave of 1999. The fixed conversion rate was €1 to 166.386 ESP (Spanish Peseta). From 1999 to 2002, Spain was in a ‘transitional’ status – meaning that both …

Continue reading  

The Climate of Italy

If you’re hoping to live or work in Italy, look closely at the climate in the city you’re considering – and, if possible, visit at different times of year. A warm, sunny spring can turn fast into an unpleasantly hot summer. Winters are generally bearable across the country, but some places come with risks of storms.

Continue reading  

Germany – Facts & Figures

Germany is one of the big players in the European Union. It’s often referred to as the EU’s de facto leader, or the economic powerhouse of the union. It’s got the biggest population, the largest GDP, and the most exported and imported goods in the EU.

Continue reading  

Public Holidays in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is an Orthodox Catholic country, but it doesn’t celebrate the swathe of Saints’ days that some other Catholic countries (e.g. Spain) do. As well as the major Christian holidays, Bulgaria focuses on its own history, culture and military talent.

Continue reading  

Facebook Groups for Expats in Turkey

Joining a few Facebook groups is a good way to get a feel for the expat community in Turkey. Find expat events in Turkey and chat and share ideas, experiences and – occasionally – frustrations with like-minded people. Tell us if you’re part of a group that you’d like us to add.

Continue reading  

Local Press and Other Turkish Media

Turkish media is varied and competitive on the surface – but much of the media, across all mediums, is owned by large conglomerates with other business interests. This means that Turkish news media, whilst it does cover stories from different angles, is somewhat restricted in its viewpoints.

Despite this, I would recommend that anybody living, working or doing business in another country makes an effort to consume local media. It is a great way to learn about the culture, as well as current events, and Turkey is no exception!

Continue reading  

Public Holidays in Turkey

This guide lists the national public holidays of Turkey, and gives a little background on the meaning and importance of the days.

Turkey is a secular country, but its population is almost entirely Muslim; so it is no surprise that this is reflected in their national holidays.

Continue reading  

The Climate in Turkey

So, instead, we’ll take a look at the seven regions of Turkey. Truth be told, even the regions are large enough and varied enough in weather and climate to make it worth your while to check out the average climate in specific cities – but this guide should give you some idea of what you’ll experience. The date below was …

Continue reading  

How Things Really Work in Turkey – the Authors

The book Find out about How Things Really Work in Turkey here. Başak Yıldız Orkun Başak is a partner at the Orkun & Orkun law firm. Her legal speciality is advising foreign individuals and companies who are relocating to Turkey to work, retire or set up a business. She and her team of lawyers and accountants provide a full range of legal, accounting, …

Continue reading  

A quick look at… Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s inclusion in our Property Investor Show programme (via Melanesian Waterfront Real Estate ltd) was a beguiling one – and also quite timely, as we were receiving BBC alerts about Prince Charles’ new position as heir apparent of the Commonwealth (as the top job is not a strictly hereditary position, there was some question of who exactly would succeed Queen …

Continue reading  

Transport Links to and around Turkey

Getting to Turkey is simple. Getting around Turkey requires a little more thought, but the public transport system is fairly modern and the roads are improving all the time. If you don’t know the language, it is particularly important to plan ahead if you want to use public transport in Turkey. Work out your route from the comfort of your …

Continue reading  

The Internet in Bulgaria

Depending on where you are in Bulgaria, the internet can be surprisingly speedy or hair-pullingly slow. The popular expat city of Varna, for instance, has notoriously bad internet speeds – whilst little Pazardzhik (with around 70,000 occupants) has the fastest internet speeds in the country.

Continue reading  

The Climate of Bulgaria

Although Bulgaria is not a huge country (at 110,994 square km), it does straddle several climate zones.

Temperatures depend on where you are – the southwest, by the Mediterranean sea, is mildly subtropical. The plains of the country are temperate. The mountainous regions are much colder (great for skiing).

Continue reading  

Religion in the United States

Freedom of religion is enshrined in the US constitution, and the States – whilst being overwhelmingly Christian – are home to communities of many faiths.



As always, look carefully at the city of region you’re hoping to live or work in before making a decision. Will you be able to find somewhere to worship? Are the religious attitudes too conservative for you to be comfortable? Is there a high level of discrimination against your faith?

Continue reading  

Sex & Sexuality in the United States

While the US is a developed nation, there are still some issues when it comes to sex and gender.


As with so many things in the US, the details are all at the state level. Carefully examine the state you’re considering for any ‘deal breakers’ when it comes to gender, sexuality or gender issues.

Continue reading