I’m Steph, double expat (Germany, UK, US), married to a Brit for almost 20 years, and Mama to two teenage Third Culture Kids (TCKs). We currently live in Austin, Texas, which was not on my original agenda, but has confirmed, yet again, that life is full of surprises.
I think I was born with a nomadic gene. I remember vividly how excited I was when I first discovered traveling, and how I loved to hear about my grandparents’ stories of life abroad. My maternal grandma lived in Paris for a while, while my paternal granddad studied in Edinburgh. Some of my earlier relatives even emigrated to the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries, so I do actually have some distant cousins in my current country of residence!
I have always loved languages, and how learning a new language could transport you into a different world. Watching my two daughters grow up learning two languages from birth and be comfortable in several cultural surroundings is one of my greatest joys.
Living in other countries has always fascinated me, and when we moved to the US just over ten years ago, I finally decided to write about it! I was curious to see how much my perspective and attitude would change over the years while living in and absorbing a new culture. Or actually, cultures, as CA and TX are pretty different!
I’ve also experienced reverse culture shock. Moving back to the UK after seven years abroad was a much bigger deal than I had expected, and made me confront who I had become, and what I wanted from my life. I’m still figuring it out…
What I do know after all these years is this: I will always struggle to pacify my nomadic heart and my craving for a physical place of respite at the same time. There is no point trying to pin my hopes and dreams on just one place. I have to carry that place within myself. I have many places that I love, and I know where my strongest roots are. They’ll always be there, but they’re not stopping me from growing a few more along the way.
On My Bedside Table
- Monday Morning Emails, Terry Anne Wilson
- Oona Out of Order, Margarita Montimore
- Make Me German, Adam Fletcher
- Misunderstood: The impact of growing up overseas in the 21st century, Tanya Crossman
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
- Das Herzenhören (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats), Jan-Philip Sendker
Podcasts I’m Listening To
Blogs I’m Reading
- And Then We Moved To, personal blog of author Mariam Ottimofiore
- The Wednesday Chef
- Separated by a Common Language
- Anglotopia for Anglophiles
- Shanghai Calling – aus dem Expatleben einer Familie