Lasairiona — Las for short — is a something, Irish expat. She spent nearly eight years in Houston, Texas and 18 months living in Pune, India. Las can also be found on Twitter. about expat life in Houston in our Expat Arrivals Houston city guide. Q: Was this your first expat experience? My first expat experience was when we moved to Houston, Texas.
A: I moved to Houston with my then-boyfriend, now husband, Colin. Q: Why did you move; what did you do? Q: What did you enjoy most about Houston? How would you rate the quality of life compared to your home country? A: I loved the convenience of Houston.
Q: Any negative experiences? What did you miss most about home? Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life there? Did you experience any particular elements of culture shock? But Texas is a world of its own and the US varies from state to state. Q: What was the cost of living compared to home? Was there anything particularly expensive or particularly cheap in Houston? A: Gas was cheap — both for your car and for your heating.
Electricity AC all summer! Q: How would you rate the public transport in Houston? A: Non-existent. The closest we got was the park and ride to the rodeo every year. Q: How would you rate the healthcare in Houston? Are there any hospitals you would recommend?
A: Expensive but second to none.
Houston is one of the biggest medical hubs around. Are there any areas expats should avoid? A: I think every day petty crime in the city itself can be quite high. I disagree with categorizing places with safe or unsafe though — I think crime happens everywhere and criminals are opportunistic.
Some of the nicest neighbourhoods in Houston will still have crime. Q: How would you rate the standard of housing in the city? What different options are available for expats? Q: How tolerant were the locals of foreigners? Was there obvious discrimination against any particular groups? Did you ever experience discrimination in Houston?
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A: Houston is a melting pot of culture, with a huge expat community. I never witnessed any discrimination, though my husband was once yelled at in subway by a Hispanic lady for not being able to speak Spanish. Q: Was meeting people and making friends easy?
How did you go about meeting new people? Once I was mobile, it was easier.
I ed my husband's spouses association, and over time I ed two choirs and a self-defence gym so I made some great friends. Q: Did you make friends with locals or did you mix mainly with other expats? What advice would you give to new expats looking to make friends with the locals? A: In the beginning, it was mostly expats.
But through the choirs and gym, I made a bunch of local friends — which is important if you work in an area with a transient workforce. Q: How did your spouse or partner adjust to your new home? Do you think there are any specific challenges for a trailing spouse? Being a trailing spouse is harder than being an expat. My husband got to go to work every day and do the job he was trained to do. Mine was completely turned on its head. Q: Did your children settle in easily?
What were the biggest challenges for them during the move? A: Lewis was born in Houston. He settled into life in India and here in Northern Ireland very well, though. Q: What were your favourite family attractions and activities in the city?
Q: What were the schools like, any particular suggestions? A: We never used them, but the international schools have great reputations and I know the public schools in Katy are great. Q: Is there any advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals to Houston or the US? A: Yeah, buy my book! No, really though, be patient with yourself and take time for YOU. As a stay-at-home mom at the time, my concern with each move has typically been the family unit and keeping cohesion.
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In India and back here in NI, I was focused on getting things in place for my son, and supporting my husband after he lost his job. You are important too.
Also, do something scary every day. Take the driving test. Go to the grocery store in the next town over.
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Breadcrumb Home Articles. Interview with Las — an Irish expat who lived in Houston. Updated 10 Feb About Las Q: Where are you originally from? A: Newry, Northern Ireland. Q: Where are you currently living? A: Larne, Northern Ireland.
Q: When did you move here? A: I moved back to Northern Ireland in November Living in Houston Q: What did you enjoy most about Houston? Meeting people and making friends Q: How tolerant were the locals of foreigners? Family and children Q: How did your spouse or partner adjust to your new home?
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Final thoughts Q: Is there any advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals to Houston or the US? Expat Health Insurance. International Removals. Transferring Money Abroad? Expat Health Insurance Quotes.