I’ve spent over three years working on a book about Third Culture Kids – and it is finally being released on August 15th!! Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century will be available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) as well as other ebook formats, and I will also be selling paperbacks in person.
I was particularly looking forward to two things: 1) my mum’s cooking, and 2) the colder weather. I also caught up with a few friends and worked on my book. Over 400 people have now completed my survey – people from over 60 passport countries, who have lived in over 130 different countries/territories.
At this year’s EPIC conference I had a team of 7 very enthusiastic and skilled young men to lead worship with. I also led a small group; we had a great time, with interesting conversations and some laidback silliness I think all teens need in life.
Changes in my accent and vocabulary have been a big part of my expat experience. There is an emotional toll that comes with having an accent that doesn’t match your passport. But it is a choice, and what I gain is worth the cost.
I struggle to tell you what I actually do in an interesting way. The highlights of my work are people and I don’t feel comfortable sharing stories that don’t belong to me alone. But I love what I do, and I want to share it with you.
A fun thing about my trips to Cambodia is relationships with the TCKs there. A highlight of the trip was when two students made comments about “saying goodbye to Tanya is easy – I know she’ll be back”. In TCK world, that’s a big deal.
My church expects to lose 30% of the total congregation every year. Last year the youth group lost 50% of our regulars. Cleaning out phone contacts I removed 39 people without deleting recent graduates – from a phone only 9 months old.
As my cab pulled up to the train station I suddenly realised I didn’t have my passport with me. Tianjin is so close to Beijing it didn’t feel like travel and it hadn’t occurred to me to bring it, but as I arrived I realised I would need it. Problem.
One class chose a unit on death/grief, and I was invited to speak to them! I am in no way an expert on death, but I have experience walking with TCKs through grief experiences. Loss is a constant, an ongoing part of international life.
EPIC was a 2.5 day conference – that’s 50 hours to cram in 5 worship sessions, 3 talks and a LOT of activities. There were 100 participants. I led a worship band of boys – they live in four cities, and come from the US, UK, New Zealand, and Korea.
Siem Reap is 6 hours from Phnom Penh, on small two lane roads through rice paddies, wooden stilt houses, palm trees, haystacks, and skinny cows. We stopped to buy snacks – fried tarantulas, bugs, pineapple, green mango with chili salt.
After my unexpected extra day in Phnom Penh, I flew out on Tuesday afternoon. I knew my fight was really two flights with a short transit stop, but hadn’t clued in that the transit stop was in ANOTHER COUNTRY until I got my boarding pass – from Phnom Penh to Vientiane. We flew to Wattay…