Thriving Abroad as an Introverted Expat

Sometimes I think I will never be a “good” expat. You see, I love my expat world. I delight in my life overflowing with people. But after nine years of living abroad, I’ve discovered that my expat lifestyle and introverted personality conflict in more ways than I ever imagined. I’ve struggled to strike up conversations…

Remembering Who We Are

Saudade: a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness. –A. F. G. Bell In Portugal of 1912   “Airports feel like home to…

10 Ways Growing Up Abroad has NOT Prepared Me for College Life in the US

I just finished writing a university entrance essay with this prompt: “How has living abroad prepared you for US university life?” Here’s what I wanted to say… 1. I’ve never driven a car in my life (except for a tractor in China), but I can maneuver through international airports. I live in Hiroshima, Japan, where…

When Everything Else is Disposable

…In her book Global Mom, Melissa Dalton Bradford writes, “That truth is that just about everything, every last thing, every object is, ultimately, disposable. Things are, especially when you have to wrap and pack and load and unload and heft their weight time and time again, not only comparatively little value, but they just plain…

My Heart… A Closed Book

“You always act so perfect all of the time.” A dear friend recently told me during an unexpected conversation. We sat on old, dusty couch in a dimly-lit hallway next to the women’s bathroom. Her dark eyes were questioning, troubled. Insecurity lay behind her carefully-guarded expression. I laughed off her comment awkwardly, not quite sure how…

7 Spot-On Ways TCKs Deal with Grief

One thing all TCKs have in common? Grief. What is the most common reason adult TCKs seek counseling? “Unresolved loss and grief,” writes expat counselor Kay Bruner in her article “Ask a Counselor: How do we Process Loss and Grief?” You see, TCKs attend many funerals. Hidden, heart-level funerals felt in the depths of our…

Leaving Narnia…My MK World

Something about transitions always brings on an identity crisis. Who am I? Where am I from? And where do I belong? You see, I’m a senior this year. I just started my last year of high school. Another huge transition is looming. Part of me is ready to become independent. I’m excited. I’m eager for…

‘Freeze This Moment’– A New Phrase for TCKs

‘Freeze this moment.’ I’ve discovered a new phrase for TCKs. It first hit me when my family and I were running through the Tokyo airport last week to catch a connecting flight. Okay. Running would be an understatement. Racing would probably be a more accurate description. It’s was the gasping, sweat-dripping, luggage-bouncing, desperate-looking, head-turning kind…

10 Questions Missionary Kids Dread

Ever talked to an MK before? Did you wonder why we looked a little lost? Why we tend to give people confused looks all of the time? Yeah. As an MK myself, I can say with confidence: we’re an odd bunch. Guilty as charged! But there’s more to the story than you might think. You…

For the TCK Who Has Ever Struggled to Fit In

So excited to share my most recent article “For the TCK Who Has Ever Struggled to Fit in” which was just published on UYD Media! A confession… I just realized I have a completely screwed perspective on what it means to fit in as a Third Culture Kid. You see, I’m a TCK who likes logic. I…