USA: Reverse Culture Shock

USA: Reverse Culture Shock

xavi at playground
The customs officer handed us back our passports at Dulles International and said, “Welcome home.”

All my life I’ve been a global nomad, so home has always been a fluid concept. If you add up the years spent in any one country, the US now comes out on top, which I suppose wins it the title of “home” (congrats America). But given that we’d just left behind our comfortable house in Morocco for temporary lodging with family and the fearful prospect of finding something new with our now drastically diminished buying power, home seemed to be farther away than ever.

Starting on the drive back from the airport and throughout the rest of our first weekend home, I was confronted with many things I had missed and a few I hadn’t.

Rubber surfacing on the playground: missed!

Gridlock around the DC area: Could have gone my whole life without seeing again.

Trader Joe’s: Be still my heart!

Inflammatory Cable News: See DC gridlock above. (more…)

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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INDONESIA: We Are All The Same

I’ve been lucky enough to look at motherhood from different cultural aspects. From the American side, the Indonesian side and to a glimpse of the Chinese side.

When I was still in the States, I lived a life like most American stay-at-home moms do. I cooked; I cleaned; and, I took care of my son, the ex husband and my stepsons to the best of my ability with the help of my ex husband, of course.

Then I came home for the first time to Indonesia when my son was 9 months old. We flew over 23 hours to introduce him to my parents and my family, just him and me. (more…)


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

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UK: Nappy or Diaper, It’s All English, Right?

When I announced to my friends and family that I would be giving up my teaching job in Oman to get married and move to England I didn’t receive the positive, supportive response I had hoped for. They responded with everything from “You can’t take Emily away! She loves her school!” to “You’ve never been to England!”

And, my personal favorite was from a British colleague who responded with a very puzzled look on her face with “Why?” when I shared my joy of becoming engaged and moving to England. She then gave me her blessing which was, “You do realize the weather is HORRIBLE over there?” (more…)