Culture Shock: When Your Soul Takes Longer to Arrive

First you arrive physically and you are very tired. But only after a while, your soul gets here, too. Because the plane is very fast, but the soul takes longer to arrive.* On Friday, my youngest son arrived home after two months of travel. He experienced hospitality, adventure, and food across Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and … Continue reading Culture Shock: When Your Soul Takes Longer to Arrive

A Life Overseas -Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and … Continue reading A Life Overseas -Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

Where Our Experiences Find Life

My nephew, Tim, and his wife and baby are moving. They have been living in Mexico for the past two years, and their  time has come to an end.  When they joined the Foreign Service, they knew that theirs would be a life of hellos and goodbyes; that boxes and moving trucks would periodically turn … Continue reading Where Our Experiences Find Life

Moving Manifesto

Note: This essay is from Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging available here. April is the time when it hits many people that their reality is changing and a move is inevitable. This post is dedicated to all those who will be moving in the next 3 months. Be ruthless - check Don't go into memory … Continue reading Moving Manifesto

New Lives and Portable Memories

Every time I leave home, I'm struck by the fact that I have that choice. I'm not being forced out by violence, persecution, or a crooked landlord.  I choose when to go. I choose how to go.  I choose what to take.  An article in the NY Times called "In a Refugee’s Bags, Memories of … Continue reading New Lives and Portable Memories

The Grand Unraveling

For several months I had been calling Trump’s impending presidency The Grand Unraveling. He made campaign promises that seemed horrifying to me, he boldly made declarations of things he would do, things he would undo. During those campaigning days things seemed bleak, ominous even, but most of the time I assumed he was using loud … Continue reading The Grand Unraveling

The Travelers

“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.” ― Jonathan Safran Foer The picture of the sculpture is so remarkable I think that it cannot be real. It must be a photograph, digitally … Continue reading The Travelers

A Life Overseas – To the One Who is Left Behind

Hi Readers! I was at A Life Overseas yesterday writing to those who are left behind. You may have already seen a first version of this post a couple of years ago, but if not I would love it if you joined me! "You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between … Continue reading A Life Overseas – To the One Who is Left Behind

A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

Dear Robynn, I enjoyed your "Friday's with Robynn" post (A Hidden Pearl. January 29,2016). It really resonated with me, so thank you for posting it. It was very thought provoking for me. Earlier this year I experienced a very similar feeling to the one you had having returned from Thailand. My friends and I arrived … Continue reading A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

Get a Life

"Oh, for God's sake...get a life, will you?"--William Shatner   Connor left nearly a month ago to return to the University of British Columbia. As he and Lowell pulled away from the house I felt the bottle of grief shaken within me lose its scarcely screwed on lid. Before I knew it I was drenched, … Continue reading Get a Life

This is my Body–A Repost

when Jesus proclaimed, “This is my body, broken for you,” it makes me wonder if in some sense Jesus himself had to come to grips with his own body and its impending brokenness. He was about to endure the profound breaking of his own body. He leans into it and he accepts it. That has implications for me accepting my own body and my own brokenness.

Hospitable Me

One of the sweet daily habits of our marriage is that Lowell makes the bed. When we first got married and he was still dew eyed and love drunk he asked me what the one household task that I least liked was. I didn’t hesitate. I hate making the bed. I love a made bed … Continue reading Hospitable Me

The Cup of Mediocrity

"I would rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity" A number of years ago, this slogan from Stella Artois brewing company hung on our kitchen cupboard. It stayed there for at least four years. It captured the essence of what we felt life should be - a striving for adventure, discovery, excellence, … Continue reading The Cup of Mediocrity

Live Slowly; Enter in Gently

I find it impossibly difficult to return to writing after summer time. It’s so maddening. I finally have the space and the quiet I need to write and … nothing. Brick walls. Dead ends. The words refuse to come. I have nothing to say. I have nothing more to write about. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, … Continue reading Live Slowly; Enter in Gently

Podcast at Tandem Nomads

I knew as soon as I met Amel Derragui that, despite the age difference, she was a kindred spirit.  Amel was born in India of Algerian parents. Since childhood, she has lived  in 8 countries and 13 cities, giving her a perspective and broad view of the world. Between birth and age 5, Amel switched between … Continue reading Podcast at Tandem Nomads

On Making Recent History

I leave my Cambridge apartment mid-morning on a Friday. Usually I would be walking, but I am going to a store that is too far so I pull out of my driveway in our small, city car. The first person I see is our neighbor, Christopher. I wave and he waves back, a smile on … Continue reading On Making Recent History

“I Knew Flags, I didn’t Know Allegiance”

Last month, I found my son Micah's college essay. I was sorting through some papers in a desperate attempt to find a medical document. As often happens when you begin sorting, you find papers and letters from long ago and you end up lost in a past time and place. Micah's essay focused on our … Continue reading “I Knew Flags, I didn’t Know Allegiance”

The Language of Transition

"I do want to make sure we have a language for transition and crossing cultures and homesickness and living in a state of between-ness. I did not have that growing up and have found the TCK vocabulary helpful as an adult." Elizabeth Trotter as quoted from A Life Overseas Like Elizabeth, I did not grow … Continue reading The Language of Transition