I’m Steph, double expat (Germany, UK, US), married to a Brit for 21 years, and Mama to two teenage Third Culture Kids (TCKs). We just moved to New Jersey from Austin, Texas – both places that were never on my original agenda, but show, 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 almost twelve 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, TX and NJ 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
- Scattered Minds, Gabor Maté
- Make Me German, Adam Fletcher
- The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
- My Dark Vanessa, Kate Elizabeth Russell
Expat Podcasts I’m Listening To
- Expat Happy Hour
- The Germany Experience
- The Expat Cast
- Geopats Podcast
- Expat Hour Podcast
- Expat Family Connection
YouTube Channels I Like
- German Girl in America
- Deutsche Welle: Meet the Germans
- Lost in the Pond. British Accent. American Life.
- Antoinette Emily. A New Zealander in Germany
- Hayley Alexis. Denglish Leben.
- Wanted Adventure. An American in Germany
Blogs and Websites I Like
- And Then We Moved To
- The Wednesday Chef
- Separated by a Common Language
- Anglotopia for Anglophiles
- Shanghai Calling – aus dem Expatleben einer Familie
- I Am a Triangle
- Almonds & Sunset
- Bad Days Abroad
- Aspen Abroad
- The Adventures of Steffi
- French Bias
Other Podcasts I’m Listening To (yes, I have other interests)
Places I Love (in no particular order)
15 Random Facts About Me:
- Number 1 on my travel bucket list: New Zealand
- If I could only eat one type of food for the rest of my life, it would be: potatoes (you can take the girl out of Germany, but…)
- I love: the smell of neoprene
- I hate: anything pumpkin
- As a teenager, I wanted to be: an actor or singer (but never told anyone)
- I’m really good at: packing & unpacking and turning a house into a home
- I’m really bad at: remembering song titles or lyrics even though I love music
- My 5 dream dinner party guests would be: Stephen Fry, Trevor Noah, Esther Perel, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke
- My indoor happy place: the cinema
- My outdoor happy place: a landscape with mountains
- I would love to be able to: sing
- My favourite colour: greenish blue
- I’m happiest when: I’m out in nature
- People appreciate me for: my loyalty
- People don’t appreciate my: inability to follow instructions