Three kids walking like Egyptians


About the site: Communicating Across Boundaries was started in January of 2011. I had come back from a relief trip to Pakistan and was restless to find a voice. The site began with a couple of posts and it has grown from there. The focus of the blog is largely cross-cultural communication with an emphasis on faith and third culture kids. You will also find a series called The Reluctant Orthodox, a set of short essays that chronicles my journey into the Eastern Orthodox Church. If you are a third culture kid or are raising third culture kids, you may want to take a look at the TCK Resources. 

About the creator: Marilyn R. Gardner is an adult third culture kid who grew up in head shot 7Pakistan and then lived as an adult in Pakistan and Egypt. From Boston to Pakistan and many points in between, she blogs about life, faith, travel, third culture kid peculiarities, cross-cultural communication, Pakistan, the Middle East and more. With a love of people, books, film, and the world, she invites others to join in the conversation.

Marilyn birthed 5 kids on 3 continents, and went on to raise them in Pakistan and Egypt before moving to the United States. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 15 minutes from the international terminal where she flies to the Middle East & Pakistan as often as possible.

Her first book, Between Worlds: Essays on Culture & Belonging © Doorlight Publications came out in July 2014. Passages Through Pakistan: An American Girl’s Journey of Faith © Doorlight Publications was released in March of 2017. Her writing also appears in the book What a Woman is Worth © Civitas Press published 2014, Among Worlds Magazine, and A Life Overseas – The Missions Conversation . In addition, in 2014 she was listed in 101 Culturally Diverse Christian Voices on the Link Between Worlds Blog. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

You can also find her writing at:

Robynn Bliss
Robynn Bliss

About Robynn:  Robynn is holder of a Canadian passport and a US Green Card. Raised in Pakistan, she went on to live in India for 15 years as an adult. Robynn is honoured to be married to Lowell and to be mother of three intense thinkers who articulate constantly their agonies and joys. She lives and learns between worlds and processes that and more every Friday You can find her posts at Fridays with Robynn.

We love to have guest posters! If you feel like you have something to share around faith, cross-cultural living and working, being a third culture kid, working in immigrant communities and more, I’d love to hear from you. Just fill in the form at the bottom of the page and I will be in touch.

Thank you for reading!

Communicating Across Boundaries is about learning to express views on culture, faith, values, beliefs, and more in order to arrive at points of understanding.

This blog is one of millions of blogs available on the internet.  My hope is that it will be of interest to many and serve as a voice for Readers as well as Authors. That it will become an “interchange of thoughts and feelings through writing that takes us to, and across, the outer limits”.

I respect and appreciate honest dialogue, so please join the conversations through the comments. That said, the comment policy is not a democracy. I hold the sole right to not publish rude comments or ad hominem attacks!   

I would love to hear from you! Please fill out the form below and submit!

62 thoughts on “About

  1. I love to read content from fellow TCKs. So glad I found this site. Your posts are always thoughtful and well-articulated. Thank you!
    PS. I visited Iraqi Kurdistan in 2013 and was welcomed with such warmth and hospitality by the people I met there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marilyn, you are living a fascinating and diverse life. It’s wonderful that you are sharing it on this blog. I just read your post about how to help someone who has just had a loss and is grieving. It’s so needed, because people say the most outrageous things. Thank you for that thoughtful post.


    1. Munazza – I’m so happy to hear from you and so sorry it took so long to connect! Thankyou so much for coming by. Where do you live in Pakistan? It is my adopted home and I’ve spent more time there than I have in the United States! Would love to hear more but just know I’m so glad you came by and so glad you liked the post my husband wrote on Iran!


  3. Hi, I really love reading your blog. You have a singularly unique outlook and perspective on the world that is so refreshing to encounter. Your posts never fail to make me think and deliberate deeply, which I think is the mark of a brilliant blog.

    So, I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award, to find out more, check out http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/ or http://laurasdimension.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/versatile-blogger-award/.

    Thanks, and I look forward to reading more of your fantastic posts.



    1. Laura – yesterday was a crazy day of work for me and I woke up this morning to read this message! Thank.you.SO.much! Your words are full of affirmation. I’m heading over to your blog and please know you made my day!


  4. Delighted to find your blog through Melissa at Outbound Mom. It’s a fascinating life, that of an expat! I enjoyed a few years as a child and now am going on my 26th as an adult. Looking forward to reading my way through your blog.

    Thanks for sharing!



  5. Marilyn-

    It looks like I’m a little late to the party, but I’m glad I found you (not sure how I got here). I work for a non-profit that raises money for international humanitarian and environmental projects around the world. I appreciate the voice you bring to the discussion that reminds us all that the world is a much bigger place than we can even comprehend.



    1. Laura – you so are NOT late for the party :) So glad you came by and your site looks like something to blog about! I would love to have you do a guest post or I could write something and link up. Right now I’m trying to raise awareness and money for fistula operations. I think I do this mostly because when I forget how big the world is I get petty over some pretty stupid stuff….so thank you for your affirmation on the voice. Would love to hear more about your work. Thanks again for coming by!


  6. Massively impressed – what an eventful life you’ve led! I came over through a third party link to ‘saudade’- which made my day, week and month by the way!- and will certainly be back to read more. Great read.


  7. Dear (Aunt-in-Law) Marilyn,
    I’m not sure you know that I’m one of the many subscribers to your blog, but I am certain you don’t know that you’ve become a part of my every morning. Your blogs make me smile, make me think, make me learn and make me share. I couldn’t be more “California Girl” if I tried, but your writing not only takes me places I’ve never been but it shows me those places through different eyes. I love it. Thanks!


    1. Maggie – I read this comment….then I read it again..and again..and…! I loved it. I had no idea you read it, and that you find it interesting and worth reading is unbelievably wonderful and affirming. Thank you seems inadequate. This is indeed a gift. Hugs to you, Mark, and the cutest little girl on ever earth. I am jealous that my brother had this amazing granddaughter!


  8. Congratulations on your recent nomination for the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award. To accept the award, please visit and follow the HUG Award Guidelines at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/. Please continue to let me know the names of persons and/or sites you nominate for this award by posting a comment on the HUG Award Guidelines page at http://ahopefortoday.com. May you be blessed as you continue the positive work you do for the good of all humanity. I am really looking forward to becoming more familiar with you and your site.
    Blessings, Connie


  9. It’s so cool to see people who are so open minded, and who lack the restrictions of past generations. You’ve had a fascinating life. I hope you continue being able to be so open minded to all cultures!


    1. SarahAlice – thank you so much for stopping by and for this comment. It’s funny how when it’s your own life you think “not fascinating at all” because it’s taken place in your own shoes and skin. I have been incredibly blessed I will say. Mark Twain has this great quote about travel being fatal to bigotry, narrow mindedness and prejudice, and while I know as a human being I still struggle with all those – I would agree with him that it makes you think twice and see through a different lens. Thanks again.


  10. Marilyn, what a fascinating life you’ve had. So great to see your heart for people and your faith. I’m following your blog now.

    I’m very new to blogging. I love to read blogs where the writer has a clear voice, like yours.


    1. So delighted to have you read! Welcome. I’m actually only 11 months into blogging and it has been a good learning journey so delighted to have you comment. It’s interesting that I use the word fascinating about other peoples lives but never think of it for my own! It was a dentist who said to me once “You have had a fascinating life – use it!” Still don’t use the word but definitely want to continue developing a voice. I look forward to getting to your blog as well.


  11. Hello Marilyn,

    I just replied to your comment on my blog but felt compelled to say something here as well. First, I really like the image on top of this page. Second, I ended up reading a couple of your posts because I liked the way you wrote, with openness & ease. Third, your most recent post (I have put up a link to it on my blog) sort of helped me figure out something I am going through currently.

    I look forward to more visits from you. And I hope to come back to read more insightful posts here. Thank you for visiting me!

    P.S. – By the way, I have an immaculate coffee table (am obssessed with de-cluttering). I guess you know what that means :) If you would still like to risk coming over to my blog, I would welcome you!


    1. Hahaha!! I loved the PS part best of all! Are you kidding – I LOVE people with immaculate coffee tables…it was just such a good title that I risked offense :)
      Thanks for coming over and I am so glad that the latest post helped. I am sure you can relate that there are times when I think why do I do this? And then I read a comment like this and am encouraged to move forward. So thank you!


  12. Dear Marilyn,
    I am thrilled to read your history in Pakistan as I was there at BCH at the same time. I may have been at your graduation from MCS! I will keep enjoying your stories. Maylenes father was our field chairman. She painted a picture for me to earn money in HS. I treasure it. Bless you. Barb(Evans) Knoll


    1. Barb – thank you so much for finding my blog and reading! I also have what I call my “early Maylene” (If there can be early Picasso’s there can certainly be early Maylene’s!”) So glad you read and commented and you probably were at my graduation. Did you know Ralph & Polly Brown perchance?


    2. Hi Marily,
      Yes, I did know your parents. Not sure they would remember me as we worked in different areas, but I knew them and recognized your Dad’s picture. If I am right they were with CBFMS. I worked in Shikarpur twice so they could go to AFC. I know Nate and Marty and many others of that era. Have been in contact with Arlene since Bill passed away, plus Mark and Donna, and Jon Mitchell and his parents and bro and sis. Love re-connecting. my favorite is Mosoor ki Dal and I drink Chai every morning and use Basmati rice and use curry spices a lot. I also love Pakistan with many good memories. Barb


  13. Dear Marilyn,
    please forgive my mistakes, I’m not used to write in english. Your blog is very nice, and I thank internet I can read about a so interesting experiences! I’m sure I can learn a lot from it.
    Regards from Italy,


    1. Thank you so much for this comment. My daughter just returned from 6months in Italy and loved it so much. Your English is beautiful….I wish I could say the same for my Italian!


  14. Just discovered your blog, Marilyn, through a link posted by a mutual friend. Happy to have found it and look forward to checking back in from time to time.


  15. Dear Marilyn,
    it is truly wonderful to see your blog. You look truly happy and lovely as ever. How long will you stay in Pakistan? Hoping that you can touch the lives of many people in a positive way.
    Have an enchanting and magical 2011,
    Petra and Jacqueline (Phoenix)


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