3 AM in the First Class Lounge

I have never been in a first class lounge before. This hits me as I sit in a chair at three o'clock in the morning at a first class lounge in the Qatar Airport, my head resting on on of those brilliant, semi-circled plane pillows. We are here because of an extra long layover after … Continue reading 3 AM in the First Class Lounge

Like the Seasons….

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….

Home is Not an Answer to a Question

"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

Hanging Our Hearts Around the Globe

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

A Life Overseas – Creating Place

I'm at A Life Overseas today talking about creating a sense of place and home. I would love it if you joined me!  In recent years, authors have released a plethora of Christian books about home and place. From Jen Pollock Michel’s Keeping Place to Tish Oxenreider’s At Home in the World, many have a lot to say … Continue reading A Life Overseas – Creating Place

Normalizing Departure

"...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

Advent Reflection – Silence and Liminal Spaces

When I wake in the early morning I am always struck that our home is silent. There are no voices raised in conversation; no arguments, no agreements. There is no music, no sound of chopping or mixing from the kitchen, no sound of running water. Of course if I really listen I hear noise from … Continue reading Advent Reflection – Silence and Liminal Spaces

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

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

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

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