The Expatica team is comprised of people from all over the world, many of who are expats themselves. We understand your questions, your trials and tribulations, and all the challenges which come with growing new roots. But further than that, we share the goals to help bridge communities, foster open-mindedness, and devise sustainable ways of living locally while thinking globally.

Our staff

Founder: Mark Welling

Expatica Team: Mark Welling

Mark has a long history as an entrepreneur. He founded Expatica in the early days of the internet as a platform to help expats feel at home in their new countries. Many things have changed since the start of Expatica; not only Expatica itself but the internet – and the entire world. His strong belief is that the world can evolve for the better when enough people take up the challenge to become positive change-makers. It is his mission to convince people that we, together, can create a better world for all.

Jedi Master: Hans Groen

After working with Expatica from 2008 to 2011, Hans rejoined the company after the summer of 2014. Co-director along with Mark, he also manages sales and ensures we’re stocked up on cookies. 
Hans is at the core of Expatica’s philosophy that the high quality of our content serves our audience and partners alike. He fosters a unique collaboration between sales and editorial to bring great added value and traffic to our partners without ever sacrificing the objectivity of the advice we provide. Hans is a big fan of sports, the environment, his family, and organizing brewery tours.

Expatica Team: Hans Groen

Editor in Chief: Marie-Charlotte Pezé

Expatica Team: Marie-Charlotte Pezé

Marie has lived in many countries (France, the US, Australia) before settling in the Netherlands, and tried a few careers on for size – from filmmaking to finance – before finding her calling in journalism. She found the perfect home at Expatica, after working with Iamsterdam and publications such as Time Out, Télérama, and Le Figaro. Her greatest passion is people: those she loves, those she’s yet to meet, and those she hopes to help navigate this complicated world, even from a distance.

Managing Editor: Sophie Pettit

Born and raised in the UK, Sophie is an adventurous editor and lifestyle journalist with a serious case of wanderlust. Before moving to the Netherlands, she spent eight years living in Hong Kong, heading up a lifestyle website and exploring Southeast Asia. Over the past decade, she has written for numerous lifestyle and travel publications including Time Out, Culture Trip, Localiiz, and Discovery. She now enjoys creating inspiring content to help Expatica readers live the expat life to the fullest.

Sophie Pettit

Deputy Editor: Adam Nowek

Expatica Team: Adam Nowek

Originally from Vancouver, Adam is an editor with interests ranging from urban design and digital nomads to disaster relief and modern conflict. Based in Amsterdam, he has plied his editorial trade with offices both big and small, including the United Nations, Pop-Up City, and After lengthy sojourns in Brussels and Hong Kong, Adam is always on the lookout for a city with cozy coworking spaces, edgy architecture, and, of course, local craft beer.

Senior Editor: Christian Lapper

Christian is well-versed in expanding his comfort zone, having lived in four countries – the UK, the US, South Korea, and Spain – before moving to the Netherlands. With a background in digital marketing, he wants to make the expat dream an accessible reality for people all over the world. When he’s not searching the Netherlands for the best Korean food, he’s busy perfecting the art of writing his own bio. Critics say he still has some way to go.

Expatica Team: Christian Lapper

Affiliate Manager: Farhad Rizwan

His career in digital partnerships provided Farhad with plenty of opportunities to see the world, with many international clients and colleagues. Traveling and experiencing different cultures pushed him to seek experiences outside of the UK, and now he resides in the Netherlands. Having worked with start-up and name-brands alike, he strongly believes in ethical marketing practices for readers and brand partnerships. Our emphasis on these partnerships rather than plain revenue was one of his main motivations for joining the Expatica team.

Expatica Team: Farhad Rizwan

Sales & Editorial Assistant: Benjamin Ng

Expatica Team: Benjamin Ng

As a second-generation Chinese immigrant growing up in London UK, Ben has spent his whole life mixing cultures. Having settled in The Netherlands, he now has to contest with a third unique culture in his household. It is from this that Ben has fostered his strong beliefs in cooperation, compassion, and tolerance, despite his aloof demeanor. His work behind the scenes is the glue that keeps Expatica sane. His main pastime is trying to get enough rest when his kids allow him to, which is never.

Our freelancers

Writer/Editor: Gayatri Bhaumik

Always ready for her next adventure, Gayatri took her first flight at 10-days-old and hasn’t looked back since. After long stints in Bangkok, Melbourne, and London, she’s now based in Hong Kong. She contributes to publications across the globe, including The Loop HK, Destination Deluxe, Royal Bank of Scotland ContentLive, Luxe City Guides, Forbes Travel Guide, and Elite Traveler, and runs her own digital content agency, The Wordsmith’s Ink.

Expatica Team: Gayatri Bhaumik

Senior Writer/Editor: Gary Buswell

Expatica Team: Gary Buswell

Based in London, Gary has been freelancing for Expatica since 2016. He’s had various past lives as a community worker, a record store owner, and even a brief stint as a postman before pursuing a career as a writer/editor. A versatile writer, he enjoys getting stuck into social and political topics and has written for The Fair Observer, Eurasian Review, Modern Diplomacy, and The London Metro among others. Gary is also involved in projects monitoring the UK media and he occasionally writes creatively, although mostly for his own amusement. His plans to launch a side career as a drag artist called Busty Substances has been put on hold thanks to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. 

Consulting Writer/Editor: Keith Fernandez

Can you be in several places at once? Keith certainly thinks so. The global nomad lives between Amersfoort, Dubai, and Mumbai. An entrepreneur and newsroom leader, he writes about everything from beauty to blockchain. His byline has appeared in Gulf NewsThe NationalThe Times of IndiaWired, and Cosmopolitan. Away from the coalface, the former cookbook editor spends an inordinate amount of time dreaming up new gluten-free recipes—which he’ll put into a blog one of these days.

Expatica Team: Keith Fernandez

Writer: Megan Janicke

Expatica Team: Megan Janicke

Megan is a writer, entrepreneur, and adventurer. She managed a television newsroom in Texas before taking off on a world bicycle trip in 2014. Her travels took her across several countries before she pedaled through the Netherlands, fell in love, and never went home. These days she’s a freelance writer, specializing in B2B content for tech and tourism companies. Megan really believes in the power of storytelling to change hearts and minds. That’s why she’s passionate about the written word – as well as bicycling and Tex-Mex food.

Writer: Danielle Richardson

Danielle is a UK-based journalist who’s worked in consumer journalism for the last eight years for a range of publications, covering entertainment, health, and finance. When she’s not beavering away at a laptop, she’s usually planning her next getaway, from driving the coasts of California and southeast Australia, to scaling the hills of Lisbon. A keen runner, she’s hoping to start using races abroad as an excuse for future holidays (or perhaps vice versa!)

Expatica Team: Danielle Richardson

Writer: Valentine Sergon

Expatica Team: Valentine Sergon

Valentine is a lifelong travel addict with a history of odd jobs, including teaching, travel guide, and a brief stint as a fruit gleaner. She loves all things of the written word and her writing spans everything from must-visit cities to university admissions to this funny thing called adulting. Offline, Valentine enjoys cooking, wintry strolls, and writing old-fashioned letters to friends all over the world.

Writer: Graham Turner

Graham is a UK-based journalist, having returned there two years ago to work as Digital Editor for lifestyle publication i-on Magazine in Edinburgh. This comes after living in Hong Kong for seven years, working as an Editor for Time Out across two stints. Since going freelance, his career highlights have included covering hard-hitting topics such as cat fashion parades and breathable mesh pants – yes, they’re worth the money. 

Expatica Team: Graham Turner

Writer: Alicia Walker

Expatica Team: Alicia Walker

Alicia Walker is Canadian but has been living outside of Canada for more than half her life in the UK, Hong Kong, and now Singapore. Although she hails from hardy stock, The Great White North may never let her back in as she now puts on a hoodie if the temperature drops below 28 degrees. She was the editor of a food magazine for a decade and various lifestyle magazines in Hong Kong and the UK previous to that. She now writes scripts for children’s television in Singapore and content on everything under the sun for Expatica.

Writer: Marianna Cerini

Marianna Cerini is a Rome-based freelance journalist covering travel, culture, and lifestyle. Her words have appeared in CNN StyleConde Nast TravelerWWD, and Al Jazeera English among others. Before settling back in the Eternal City, she lived in London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and traveled extensively across Southeast Asia. She thinks running is one of the best ways to explore new places (especially at sunrise!) and is currently trying to master the art of Indian cooking.

Marianna Cerini

Writer: Una Dimitrijevic

Una had already lived in three countries and learned three languages by the time she was nine. She has a hard time staying still but has now seemingly settled in Lille, France, for a near-record of five years. It helps that the city is just a hop and a skip away from Paris and London, two of her regular haunts. Una studied languages and European politics before working in the arts for a few years, but is now a freelance writer and translator, and loving her solitary workplace.

Writer: Sarah Harvey

Sarah is a British journalist who fled the drizzle in 2010 and has now lived in eight countries on four continents. She has a background in news journalism in London but found writing about paella and dolphins infinitely more enjoyable. Having previously worked as editor of a lifestyle magazine in France and news editor of a travel journal in the Maldives, she now writes freelance articles about various places she has lived in across Europe and Asia. Getting embedded in a country, discovering the culture, and learning from the locals is her passion.

Sarah Harvey

Writer: Joana Taborda

Joana has had a thirst for traveling ever since her parents took her on her first flight abroad to London. Since then, she’s had a chance to visit several countries, but somehow she always returns home to Portugal. Working as a travel writer, she spends her time between the Portuguese capital Lisbon and the semi-tropical island of Madeira. She loves hopping on a train to little-known towns, drinking the local craft beer wherever she gets off, and writing about it all for the likes of Atlas ObscuraFodor’sLonely Planet, and DK Eyewitness.