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A Heartbreaking Decision Even I Didn’t See Coming

I’ve been holding on to a secret for a while now. The truth is, every time I let down my guard and allow myself some space to think about it, my body starts to shake and my eyes swell up with tears so think there is no room for them to go anywhere but out. Even now, having only written two sentences, I’m already in sobbing position. But there is no more time to hold on to this. By this weekend, much of...

going trick or treating Dominican Republic

Going Trick or Treating: An American Tradition with a Caribbean Twist

When I was a kid, in our suburban New Jersey neighborhood – which could have been any suburb in the States – going trick or treating was everything. We ran home from school to switch our book bags for empty pumpkin buckets and began our evening’s work because make no mistake, this was a job. Our costumes were well thought out and practical; they had to withstand the dropping temperatures of the evening. There was no time to return home for...

roots and vines

Made of Root and Vine

When a tree is planted, its roots grab on to the soil beneath and it begins carving its new home. Each day it digs in further; slowly and securely spreading its roots deeper. With each inch it becomes further invested in that space. The tree soaks up its surroundings. It makes its home and settles in the ground below. Here, it is nourished. It finds comfort here and grows here, and will grow here for generations to come… if you let it. I was a tree –...

being connected to a community

Are You a Goldfish in a Bowl?: Being Connected to a Community

At the end of our recent Lip Sync Battle Party, our friend and DJ, informed me that there would be one more act. Huh? Typically being the one surprising and planning events, my organized mind was not prepared for this. What do you mean another act? That I didn’t know about? With no time to investigate what was happening, they asked us (me and two other Jens) to sit down and they rolled this video made by the Carol Morgan School expat community...

moving abroad with kids

Moving Abroad with Your Family and What to Consider

Last week, a college friend emailed me with some questions about moving abroad. Being a parent can certain;y make this decision harder and I started thinking about other people who might be thinking about moving abroad with kids but not sure where to even start thinking about it so I revamped & upgraded this post that I had previously published at Expat Village.                      I couldn’t have known that that conversation driving home from the doctor...

Labels we give expats

The Lame Labels We Give Expat Spouses

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to labels we give expats – women or men – who courageously decide to put their jobs or lives on hold to support their spouse’s work assignment in a different city: trailing spouse, expat wife, accompanying partner – and I gotta say, they all suck. I can say that because I am one. Not only is the lameness of these labels inaccurate (as if I trail behind my husband while he walks masculinely ahead...

Aldeas-Infantiles-SOS-Los-Minas

Visiting Aldeas Infantiles Orphanage: Finding Real Christmas Spirit

Husband and I have known since year one in DR that we wanted to take our kids to the yearly Aldeas Infantiles orphanage Christmas visit organized by the middle school National Junior Honor Society. It became even more possible, last year, when Husband became the advisor for NJHS* and actually do-able this year, now that our kids were older. Find more information about Aldeas Infantiles SOS.*      Pulling into the orphanage for a Christmas visit would have been special enough. Some...

What My Kids Have Learned Living in Dominican Republic

What the Dominican Republic Has Taught My Kids

This post was originally published on The Planet D We are in our 5th year of living abroad with our two babies that were born here, on this beautiful island of the Dominican Republic. I know, immediately you think we live the life of tropical dreams: kids with messy, salt-water hair that knew how to surf before they knew how to crawl, coconuts for snacks, and piña colada happy hours. While some days absolutely look like this, it hasn’t all been easy. Parenting...

Gratitude Through Travel Series

How Travel Feeds My Gratitude

There is a moment of transcendence that occurs sometimes when I’m surrounded by family and friends, drinking a glass of vino, overlooking some perfect corner of the world. It’s more than feeling blessed, more than a moment of gratitude. Maybe it’s what yogis describe in their practice; a space of peace, of center, of feeling like all is right and that my place in the world is a beautiful place to be. In those times, travel makes me grateful because whether I’m home or...