Blog - ExpatJoy

ExpatJoy - Passionate Global Living with Sandra Bissell



Happy International Women’s Day!

Women’s Day can mean so many things, and today, I celebrate each woman in my life, including each of you reading this blog post. I feel called to start by honoring each of the women who came before and after me in my family. Including: – Great-grandmother Filomena Otsuni, who I never met. She immigrated […]


Either accept or convert

Sometimes our plans don’t happen the way we imagined. That’s life. I know. I find that by first accepting the situation as it presents itself, if possible without much fighting, allows us to transform it. As many of you know, my husband and I moved to the D.C. area last year. So, last February, we […]


A Very Special Day Indeed!

Today is a day of celebration for my family and for the United States of America ! Twenty-six years ago, I became a mother on American soil. Kyle conceived in Japan, and unbeknownst to may husband and I immigrated to the land of the free in my womb. This January 20th, I’m beyond grateful to […]


Brag Away for Improved Self-Worth

Today I’d like to spotlight one of the practices I’ve been using and teaching for the last three years.   In my community, it’s called bragging. When done in a safe space, it’s a tool that allows a woman to openly talk about her accomplishments and be validated by others, without judgment. It’s easy, yet so […]


Overwhelm is a Choice

I have been feeling overwhelmed by all the bad news since yesterday.  Overwhelm is not a new feeling for me. Indeed, it’s one of the faces of my many saboteurs – those annoying voices in my head.  There are lots of valid reasons to justify my overwhelming feelings today. Some of these reasons are mundane, […]

roda de mulheres

Happy Nollaig na mBan!

Today, many Brazilians celebrate the Three Kings Day.  For many people who decorated their homes in December, it is also the day that we dismantle the Christmas tree, and put away the year-end decorations.  Interestingly, it’s Little Christmas, or Women’s Christmas, in Ireland, the date that ends the Christmas celebrations.  On this day, women get […]


Saboteurs in my head?

If you are curious to learn more about saboteurs, ‘those little people running inside our heads’, mentioned in the first article of Times magazine edition – The Power of Joy, I invite you to put yourself in my place in the photo above. Imagine that you are centering to start your daily exercise. Only this […]


ExpatJoy FB Update

Dear ExpatJoy FB Members, I have some news to share with you! After a hiatus of posting here, and lots of soul searching about how to best add value to the expat and immigrant communities in which I navigate, I’ve decided to repurpose the two ExpatJoy FB groups to focus on Brazilian women & families […]


Capoeira in my Life – Engaging and Learning from Many Mistakes

‘Capoeira enchants me. I no longer can let it go from my life. It’s an art form I learned from our ancestors.’ ( This is the beginning of ‘This Art’ song.) Back in 2004, I trained Capoeira under master Brasilia, in the city of Sao Paulo. It was at his space on Avenida Pedroso de […]


Are We All Biased?

I have a heavy heart today with all that’s happening in the world. Of course, I’d prefer to know what is the right thing to do or even say under these conditions. Unfortunately, I don’t know. What I do know is that cultures reflect the conditioned and accepted behaviors and thoughts of their citizens. I […]