Expat Family

Ask a counselor: how do we process loss and grief?

by Kay Bruner on October 3, 2015


A couple of months ago, I put out a call on our Facebook page for new questions for the “Ask a Counselor” column, and I got a whole slew of TCK questions.  To those questions, there is pretty much one answer. What’s the most common reason that adult TCKs seek counseling? Unresolved loss and grief. […]

{ 1 comment }

The Far Side of Somewhere

by Elizabeth Trotter on September 21, 2015


I remember my first home service. All those awkward experiences like drinking water from the tap and flushing the toilet with potable water again. Or feeling naked and exposed with no metal security bars on the windows. Or handing payment to cashiers with two hands (like I do in Cambodia) and then being embarrassed, because […]


Nine Ways to Save a Marriage

by Editor on September 21, 2015


If there is one place where your marriage will suffer, it’s probably on the mission field. My husband and I waltzed into marriage crazy in love and stupidly naïve. After knowing each other only 4 months, we eloped on a white sand beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Then we spent the next five years running a […]


Dear Oldies (a letter from a newbie)

by Anisha Hopkinson on September 10, 2015


Hi there. It’s me, the Newbie. I read the 5 tips for Newbies about building relationships with Oldies and figured since the line of communication opened, I’d go ahead and share too. At a year and a half in country, I’m just over the ‘how in the world do I bake with a gas mark […]


My Kids Are Not Little Missionaries

by Editor on September 8, 2015


We don’t go into cross cultural missions without a fair degree of idealism. We would never leave our home, family, friends and culture if we didn’t think it was our calling and that we would make a difference. As parents, our children become part of that idealism. We can’t help having expectations and dreams of […]


Failing at Fatherhood (how moving abroad ruined my parenting)

by Jonathan Trotter on September 6, 2015


I sat on the floor, weeping. I was two whole days into living abroad, and I was already losing it. Those tears portended more, and in our first year overseas, the thing that knocked me down the most, the thing that discouraged and distracted and depressed me the most, was the sense that I was […]


The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 4, 2015

The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

A confession… I am that woman who balances twenty boxes of shoes at the register in Payless. Four pairs of shoes per person. The same shoe in incrementally larger sizes for the kids. Buy one, get one half off. I am that woman who, in late August, needs two carts at Target. I am that […]


Particle Physics Finally Explains Third Culture Kids!

by Elizabeth Trotter on August 23, 2015


Some of you know I’m a science lover. Our friends back in the States know this too, and a couple times a year they send us a package with their old science magazines (along with other treats). I love Magazine Arrival Day. Earlier this year I cracked open the September 2014 issue of Discover magazine […]


Harmonizing Sadness and Joy

by Craig Thompson on August 19, 2015


Let me add my voice to those who are praising Pixar’s Inside Out as a great movie for the cross-cultural community. I think we’ll be showing clips of it to expats, repats, and TCKs for a long time to come. (If you’ve not seen it and don’t know what it’s about, I suggest you read Kay Bruner’s discussion of the movie, from […]



The Newbie. In August of 2001, that was me. Standing in the dirty house that was going to be my home, totally overwhelmed by the barrage to my senses–smoke in the air, humidity on my skin, roosters crowing. What on earth was I going to cook? How was I supposed to get anywhere? And what […]


One Down, Three to Go

by Editor on July 28, 2015


I can remember when my wings sprouted and I longed to fly the coop. All I wanted was to be on my own and what I perceived to be free. I took any and every opportunity to do my own thing (for better or worse) and I’m not sure I even blinked when it was […]



“Feeling so fearful and alone since moving as a trailing spouse” Last month someone found my blog because they did an internet search for that phrase. It reminded me how much pain a trailing spouse endures. I remember the struggle; I remember the suffering. And while whoever typed those search terms is actually not alone, […]