Balanced Melting Pot

Life Abroad

In Culture, Ex-pat, Immigrant Families, Parenting, Questions on August 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Early on in college, I began harboring a passion for international development. My dream was to spend my career working in different developing countries and learn about their cultures. Upon completing my degree, I realized that I was glamorizing the ex-pat lifestyle and there was a lot of commitment needed to succeed in that field (I also got married and had a strange urge to settle down 😉 .

For years after that, I thought that my international bug had fizzled and I had become more realistic about my priorities. Well, lately I’ve started getting that itch again – and for some reason this seems like the right time.

Only now, my concern is how my children will grow up. Already, it is difficult trying keep a healthy amount of Haitian culture in their lives (hence, this blog :-)), and now I would have to juggle three or more cultures. I would like them to remain assimilated to the American culture while away, but I wouldn’t want them to stay completely shielded from the culture of the “host” country. You would think I go around looking for trouble!

Well, I am hopeful that I can achieve this balance. If you have any ideas/success stories on how to do it – please share. If not, I will know that I will be the Neil Armstrong of cultural harmony :-).

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  1. Wow, what a fascinating dilemma. I can, of course, offer no advice or valuable insight whatsoever–but just wanted to say that regardless of the particular balance you strike, I think raising your children amid different cultures and giving them such an international upbringing can only benefit them.

    I didn’t grow up traveling at all; my family was quite poor when I was young, and I didn’t get the chance to leave the US until I was 22. I definitely plan on having kids someday, and truly want to find a way to travel with them, expose them to other countries and cultures, regardless of what my financial situation is (considering I’m a writer, it’ll probably be pretty poor). Can’t wait to follow your blog, and see how it’s done!

  2. Thank you for the words of encouragement! Now, if only I had all the right answers 🙂

    That’s great that you’ve made travelling and learning about other cultures a priority. There is just so much to learn about out there.

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