Every where I look I see graduations. Cambridge and Boston are alive with the activity and color of students who have finished their college or graduate school education. From the bright red gowns of Boston University to the maroon gowns of Harvard, you can't escape this season. And neither can your third culture kid who … Continue reading Graduation Gifts for Your TCK
"When you’ve spent your whole life as a cultural chameleon, you end up not knowing what color you were when you started, who you might have been had you been from someplace, what it feels like to belong fully to a people, a tribe, a neighborhood, a city." from Rachel Hicks in "To My Adult TCK … Continue reading Born to Belong
There come's a time in the lives of most adult third culture kids, many expats, as well as immigrants and refugees when they want to go 'home.' Sometimes it's after a short time of living away; other times it's after years, but always it comes with a sense of great anticipation coupled with a strong … Continue reading So, You Want to go Back ‘Home’?
Like seasons and birthdays, our comings and goings were a normal part of our lives. When we reached adulthood, we would meet others who had never moved and we would be amazed. On the surface, we felt arrogant - "look at us, we've been everywhere" was our silent thought that shouted loudly in our attitudes. … Continue reading Like the Seasons….
Murree Christian School P.O. Jhika Gali, Murree Hills, Pakistan I can picture the scene as if it was yesterday. I am lying on the top bunk in my dormitory. The louvered windows allow a mountain breeze to come through and the sun shines brightly through pine trees. It is springtime in Murree and I am … Continue reading Memories of Home
"Home is not an answer to a question. It is my grandmother’s front porch where I first saw how dark the night was supposed to be. It is the swimming pool in our first apartment complex in Portland where I learned to see without looking, underwater with my eyes closed like the mermaid I knew … Continue reading Home is Not an Answer to a Question
Some of you may remember a big announcement last year. It was about a book. A book that I was so excited about. I talked about it on the blog and on social media sites. I had a book reading and signing. But something just wasn't right. That book, that precious book where I let … Continue reading About a Book….aka Kill Those Darlings!
We are just back from an amazing trip to visit our son in Thessaloniki, Greece, followed by a conference called Families in Global Transition that encouraged and inspired us. My heart and brain are full. Being able to be with our son, see his surroundings, meet his friends and absorb the beauty of Thessaloniki was … Continue reading Notable Quotes from Families in Global Transition
It’s a sunny day in Thessaloniki. The sky is indescribably blue and Mount Olympus is in full view, the snow capping its peak like marshmallow fluff. From far away snow is so pretty! I got up early, knowing that I didn’t want to be rushed, instead opting for a leisurely coffee and pastries. We came … Continue reading I Hate Saying Goodbye
"So - your parents chose your husband for you." The women speaking to me was not posing a question; she was making a statement. I took a breath, not sure of how to respond. No, my parents did not choose my husband. Cliff and I met in Chicago and realized after a short time that … Continue reading An East-West Conversation
"But those people who are fishes out of water were often the most vibrant ones in the room. I’ve begun to recognize a social type, the Amphibians — people who can thrive in radically different environments." David Brooks "The Rise of the Amphibians" In a recent article in the New York Times, David Brooks writes … Continue reading Amphibians, Chameleons, and Cross Cultural Kids
Through all the travel and all the moves, I've hung my heart a lot of places around the globe. But none is so special as Pakistan. "Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and … Continue reading Hanging Our Hearts Around the Globe
"Third culture kids, immigrants, refugees, foreigners." "We find each other in unlikely spaces. In the shared experience of other, we find belonging and rest, whether in a short ride to an airport or a long-distance phone conversation. These moments of connection seem to come at the right time, sustaining us until the next encounter, preventing us from … Continue reading No Better Place Than This…
"...but we also knew what it was like to feel temporary, to keep your eye on the clock, to normalise the inevitability of departure so completely that you didn’t think about it, even though you always thought about it." It was six years ago when my mom told me that from age 6 through age … Continue reading Normalizing Departure
As a public health nurse working with underserved communities in Massachusetts in cancer prevention, I’ve been greatly challenged as we look at racism and inequality in communities that we serve. We are doing this because the evidence of health disparities in non-white communities is overwhelming. One of the ways to begin to address this is … Continue reading A Life Overseas – “But they aren’t as smart as I am”….
A few months ago I was invited to do an interview with Orthodox Christian Network. The interview was with Father Chris Metropulos, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts. I was invited to respond to several questions about growing up in Pakistan, about living in both Pakistan and Egypt as an adult, but … Continue reading On East and West (and In Between!)
Just a short walk from my workplace is Beacon Hill, a historic Boston neighborhood with narrow brick streets, antique gas-lit lamps, and row houses. Beacon Hill is beautiful and quintessentially Boston. Visitors from around the world walk through the streets, finally making their way back to the red-bricked Freedom Trail that winds through the city … Continue reading Christmas on Beacon Hill
I’m from the edges of the map the edges of the Pacific I’m from the edges of the room the outside looking in I’m from Southeast Asia unless you mean my nationality I’m from the U.S. unless you mean where my heart is I’m not from here wherever “here” is by Cindy Montgomery Wyneken A … Continue reading ”I’m not from here…wherever ‘here’ is.”