What is ‘Greetings from Abroadland’ book about?
Greetings from Abroadland – Experiences of Family Life Abroad is a colourful cartoon & guide book about living abroad as a family.
The book shares stories and information about:
1. Moving abroad
2. Adapting to a new place
3. Kids’ school and daycare abroad
4. Language issues
5. Environment’s effects on everyday life
6. Creating a home abroad
7. Visiting family and friends in the native country.
Each chapter is an equal mix of text and illustrations. In addition to the personal experiences and intercultural experts’ viewpoints, there are 35 real-life cartoons and 75 tips how to make the most of your time abroad.
Back cover text
When I, my husband and our two-year-old child moved abroad, it was only supposed to be for six months. Seven years later, and one family member more, we’re still here! I know. I know. It’s a common story among people who move countries: the journey can take you and it can shape you. The ride is bumpy but mighty. If you’re joining us, remember to pack your bags with curiosity and humour!
My family has lived in Finland, Australia, Singapore and Switzerland. This book shares our experiences and adds to them some wise words from intercultural experts on the big issues: moving; adapting; language; weather; education; home and visiting family and friends in the native country. Each chapter is a fun and useful mix of cartoons, tips and stories. This may seem like a rollercoaster but it’s real life to us and many others abroad. Hop on board!
What is the background of the book?
Together with her family (husband and two sons) the author Helena Jalanka has lived in four countries in eight years. The family has experienced:
• 4 intercultural moves across the continents: Finland -> Australia -> Singapore -> Australia -> Switzerland. 12 homes in a variety of locations and communities.
• Being in many roles: freelancing, studying, volunteering, being a stay-at-home parent, working in full-time employment and as a contractor.
• The ins and outs of attending primary schools in three countries – both international and local schools.
• Day care in four countries and nannies from two additional countries.
• Having a baby abroad.
• Lots of travelling.
• Moving independently and once with the help of a company and moving to a new country and continent with two weeks’ notice.
• Moving with only suitcases and once having some of the belongings shipped.
• The challenges that come when one spouse works in another city or travels a lot.
• The difference of living in a country where you know the local language versus one where you don’t.
The book was born out of these experiences. Helena had been drawing cartoons of real-life situations and thoughts as a foreigner, drawing helped her to deal with the experiences and to see humour in them. The drawings formed different themes which became the chapters of the book.
By sharing the family stories and intercultural experts’ viewpoints in the book, Helena hopes to inspire other families to make the most of their time abroad, to see the humour in everyday life and to feel that they are not alone abroad. As Glennon Melton, an author and activist, has aptly said: “A good day is a good day. A bad day is a good story. At the end of the day, it’s all good.”.
“Helena has insightfully and expressively captured her life abroad. With both words and illustrations, this is a rich compendium of honest and relatable family stories. How can you not love an illustrated tree, laden with ‘heart-shaped leaves from friendships’ and ‘colourful birds singing thousands of stories’? This book is a treasure!”
Terry Anne Wilson, Co-author of Monday Morning Emails
“Helena shares her light-hearted story of raising a family internationally, giving excellent and practical advice for the new or seasoned global family.”
Sandra Bissell Cross-cultural Trainer & Life Transitions Coach
“Moving means preparing yourself for the unknown, and Greetings from Abroadland helps you do just this!”
Mariam Ottimofiore, Expat Author and Writer at And Then We Moved To
“This book is a great mix of story and really helpful advice on key topics that relate to international relocation…”
Louise Wiles, Author of Thriving Abroad: The definitive guide to professional and personal relocation success
Where can you get the book?
The book is available in several online bookstores such as:
Title: Greetings from Abroadland: Experiences of Family Life Abroad
Text, illustrations and layout: Helena Jalanka
Hardcover: 92 pages
Publisher: Springtime Books
Published: 22 Nov. 2018
Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 20.3 cm
Genre: Non-fiction, Cartoon & Guide Book
Keywords: Living abroad, family life, TCK, identity, belonging, home, adaptation, expatriation, international family, parenthood abroad
Target audience: International parents. Those who are about to move abroad, are living abroad or have lived abroad with kids.
Kirjeitä Shanghaista, a review on a Finnish blog
Feedback from readers
“Stories are so familiar and nicely written and pics straight to the point! The book is pleasure to read: a great combination of personal experiences and theory.”
“It feels as such a book which is easy to go back to, and you can read certain parts according to your mood and situation.”
“In these times of global mobility, this book is suitable for every bookcase.“
“The book immediately ended up in the hands of my (teenage) daughter and [I could see] a strong sense of belonging […]. I have to wait for my turn.”
About the author
Helena Jalanka is a creative designer who is originally from Finland and lives now in Switzerland with her husband and their two sons. Previously the family lived in Australia and Singapore.
Helena’s background is in digital media and lately she has been focusing on visual storytelling. Helena has a Master’s in Art and Design, a Bachelor’s in Communications and she has also been studying social psychology, one of her many interests.
For more images email: email@example.com
Also images on Instagram @abroadland