The Expatica team is comprised of people from all over the world, many 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 lifestyle journalist with a serious case of wanderlust. Before moving to the Netherlands, she spent 8 years living in Hong Kong and traveling around Southeast Asia.

Over the past decade, she has written for various lifestyle and travel publications including Time Out, Culture Trip, Localiiz, and Discovery. She now enjoys creating inspiring content for Expatica readers looking to live the expat life to the fullest.

Expatica Team: Sophie Pettit

Senior Technical 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

Marketing and Social Media: Rocio Manzanares

Expatica Team: Rocio Manzanares

Rocio is a true born and raised expat; born in the Netherlands, she also lived in Mozambique, Nicaragua and Chile. She studied Business Economics and made her mark in many international companies before joining Expatica, which she loves because of its open and global mindset.

Down to earth but always positive and passionate, she lives her vegan, animal-loving life consciously leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible – preferably outdoors with a good book.

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

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

Senior writer/editor: 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.

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 south-east 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!)