In May 2020, I conducted a remote housing survey of Stockholm. I read extensively about Sweden’s herd-immunity approach to COVID-19 and how the government is not enforcing business closures.
The term “Third Culture Kids” refers to children raised in a culture other than their parents' or the culture of the country named on their passport. You may not have heard of this term before, but many children can find themselves in this situation – job opportunities, especially in the technical or engineering field, are often global and expatriation is common.
Over six months after the first COVID-19 case was reported, countries across the world are still adjusting to the new “normal.” After conducting almost thirty real estate interviews across nine Asian cities, the difference in city positioning, restrictions, capacity, and others’ perception of each city is stark, and the executive segments of these markets are responding differently.
I arrived early in the morning at Kinshasa’s N'djili International Airport this past January 29th on a connecting flight from Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, I expected the same chaos that I experienced during my previous surveys in 2003 and 2008, but I was pleasantly surprised.
On my most recent trip, I surveyed Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital and most populous city in Tanzania. While conducting my survey, I observed that several areas have developed in order to cater to expatriate needs. While overall availability of goods and services is consistent, certain categories are lacking and require purchases to be made on home leave or through travel to nearby international cities, like Nairobi.
The decision to move the Nigerian capital from Lagos to Abuja was made in 1976. However, after many years of planning, development, and construction, Abuja finally replaced Lagos as the political capital in 1991.
Before my trip to Brazil, I heard both positive and negative impressions of the country. Since it was my first time visiting, I was interested to see which kind of experience I’d have. It ended up being a bit of both.
I arrived in Cape Town during Stage 4 load shedding, when state-run energy company Eskom was conducting one of four scheduled two-hour blackouts. In Camps Bay, I passed expatriate quality homes along the water and saw that every home displayed a large security company sticker. I also noticed that, even during a blackout, electric fences were still buzzing.
While South American countries have a wet season, the duration and severity vary. Knowing this and having traveled extensively throughout the continent, my February survey delivered some unique experiences. I encountered urban flooding in both Brazil and Paraguay and in both instances the flooding occurred subsequent to a relatively short period of rainfall. Both times also seemed to be a failure of infrastructure more than anything else.
This February I surveyed Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, South Africa. After 30+ travel hours from Boston, I arrived in Cape Town eager to decompress in my hotel room. Once there, front desk staff informed me that I could not check in yet because the power was down. They explained that the typical length of a blackout is two hours and this one had started about a minute after my arrival.