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

When You Can’t Settle in the Place You Call Home

A couple of years ago, an anonymous letter came to Communicating Across Boundaries. The letter began like this: It just doesn't go away.... The writer goes on to speak of an unsettled weariness and dissatisfaction, a boredom with life in one's passport country. "I’m afraid I may have a chronic case of ennui. Most of … Continue reading When You Can’t Settle in the Place You Call Home

A Brief Reflection on Airports and Life

I am bleary-eyed at the Orlando airport. There's a reason why the infamous "they" tell you to get to the airport early - long security lines extended far into the lounge area. We sighed as we inched our way through, a bright green electronic sign informing us that the process would take 35 to 45 … Continue reading A Brief Reflection on Airports and 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

Traveling Mercies

When I was a kid there was a prayer we prayed every time we set out on a trip, which was often. My childhood was marked by travel and transition so you can know that we prayed this prayer frequently. Every trip was prefaced with a prayer that included a little request for “traveling mercies”. … Continue reading Traveling Mercies

Oh Canada

Today I’m boarding a plane and going home. While the Canada Goose is turning her beak to the south, I’m turning mine to the north. I’m off to Canada! Canada is where my story started. There’s a warm and weird nostalgia that comes over me when I think about Canada and all things Canadian: Coffee … Continue reading Oh Canada

Here’s to the Lonely Ones 

Here's to the lonely ones, sitting at airports on Sunday nights. Here's to the tired ones, weary of travel and goodbyes, idly eating granola bars and sipping coffee from styrofoam cups. Here's to the mom, traveling with kids, weary of meeting the needs of little ones who are out of their habitat. Here's to the … Continue reading Here’s to the Lonely Ones 

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

Unsettled.

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The I’m From post that Robynn’s daughter wrote so long ago continues to inspire people. I love this piece called Unsettled. It speaks my heart. Take a look and peruse Emily Greene’s blog. 
Enjoy!

I am from

generations of pioneers. I follow trails made by

unsettled hearts

seeking more.

I am from

dusty shoes lined up at the door,

woven rugs hung on the walls,

and tables laden with bread and tea

Emily Greene

This post is a response to “I’m From…” found at Communicating.Across.Boundaries. Originally written on my personal blog under maiden name Emily Harris. 

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Thoughts on Sharing our Stories

“Perhaps the greatest danger of our global community is that the person in LA thinks he knows Cambodia because he's seen The Killing Fields on-screen, and the newcomer from Cambodia thinks he knows LA because he's seen City of Angels on video.” ― Pico Iyer At a dinner party years ago, our host, a man from England, was waxing wise … Continue reading Thoughts on Sharing our Stories

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

A Moment Between Worlds

I’m sitting in a Pakistani Restaurant in Los Angeles, just two miles from the airport – because that’s what we do when we are global nomads. We find comfort foods and places wherever we go, places where we can kill the saudade. I arrived just a couple of hours ago from New Zealand and knew … Continue reading A Moment Between Worlds

“I wouldn’t give it up for a moment!”

....and other things we wouldn't give up! [With thanks to Michele Phoenix.] I love playing the game "Two truths and a lie."  It's a get-to-know-you game, designed so that strangers can begin feeling comfortable with each other. The premise is that you tell a group three things about yourself. Two of them have to be … Continue reading “I wouldn’t give it up for a moment!”

Traveling While White

Blogger's note: I have received some good feedback and pushback from this article - always good when you write a piece like this. Based on the feedback, I realize that it's is not necessarily the simple black and white issue I have made it to be. I still hold to my original premise, that many, … Continue reading Traveling While White

A Lonely Planet

I'm sitting at Gate 97 in the International Terminal of San Francisco's International Airport. It's evening and weary travelers are staking their claim to prime seating locations -- the areas with booths and plugs are going first, followed by side seats near plugs. Our electronic age demands above all that we keep our gadgets powered, … Continue reading A Lonely Planet

Valley of Weeping

We arrived in the Bekaa Valley and immediately felt the temperature change. It was cold and damp, the sun hidden behind a grey cloud. We entered a cold, concrete warehouse full of large, blue bags and boxes. This is where food and supplies are stored for refugees in the area. A truck was parked outside and volunteers were … Continue reading Valley of Weeping

The MK/TCK Aversion to Being a Tourist

Attempting to be 'good' tourists on our last day in Amman I love travel. I love planes. I love airports. I love that feeling of getting another stamp in my passport, of going into unchartered territory, of waking up on the other side of the world. But I hate being a tourist. I hate associating with … Continue reading The MK/TCK Aversion to Being a Tourist