27 October 2013

Like mother, like daughter.... #expatlife



    

My lovely daughter Christine has written a little story, a story of her expat life. She wrote it today on her blog tine. and I love it (as I do all her posts). We share the gift of gab, laugh at our own jokes and have a similar point of view on life. I wonder where she gets it from? ;)


       Christine's story..
STOML. (story of my life)

I have lived in five countries in my short twenty-two years of life:


United States of America.

Australia.
New Zealand.
England.
Vietnam.

Home-sick reaches an all new level when your family is spread across four different countries. My trips home can cost more than a semester at University (New Zealand). I don't have many childhood friends and I don't have a bedroom covered in 90's pop-star posters. My belongings are compiled in a plastic container, stored under a bed that has been placed in seven different bedrooms. I have attended four different schools and have multiple international sim cards. My best friends are my family and our family dog has seen more travel than some people will in a life time. I have two passports and have the customs routine down pat - walk fast and learn the art of 'weaving'.





'Is that an accent I detect?'


No, it is just something I like to put on to make myself appear to be more interesting.


Put my brothers and sister in the same room and your mind will be boggled with the voices that surround you. We each live in different countries, two of us born in another from the others. Most of us are happy to expose our duality in citizenship, yet some of us decide to affiliate ourselves with just the one. It is funny how important your passport actually becomes. Without it you would be stuck - who would want that? I don't think I have spent more than six weeks in more than one place in the last year. It can get tiring, that is for sure. There is a point where you want it to stop, but you are afraid of the kind of levels of crazy you will become once you settle down.



A well travelled pup. 

Family time usually just comes once - Christmas. Twice in a year is a treat. Under one roof is a miracle, even if it is only for a short period of time. Where to meet is the question. Where is home? Don't bother asking. You know the saying, 'home is where the heart is'? The true essence of that phrase only applies to those who move around a lot. Those who can look at pages like this and laugh at how much you can relate. You come to realize how small the world actually is, and how important things like Facebook actually are. You develop a preference of airlines and know an airline bargain when you see one. The value of your air points membership far surpasses your bank account (at my age that is). Majority of your friends will never spend the night, let alone meet the rest of the clan - for that would be one expensive meet and greet.




It's not sad though, it's happy - because those who travel never stay in one place for long and are always bound to come back. Home might be where the heart is but nobody ever said you have to leave your heart in just one place.

-C.
~~~~



As for mom/mum..
My heart is spread wide and far...
from the effervescent Christine in New Zealand 
to my adorable Claire, in the USA. 



Last week we had a 'boys' reunion in Australia. 
Patrick, my eldest son, is with the Australian Army, stationed in Darwin. 
He showed us around and left Connor (my youngest) walking on cloud nine.
I think the photo below says it all. 
Big brother is now the BEST BROTHER in the whole wide world!




Come January 2014 we have a few more moves. 
Christine will move to Sydney to take up a new job, 
Connor will also move to Sydney to move into boarding school life. 
Patrick will take up a new assignment in Melbourne
and Claire will carry on with college in the USA

As for Mom and Dad...
Chateau Mango in Vietnam will be our home base,
with a whole lot of love and air miles spread 
between Australia and America.

So where is home?
It's complicated.
;)

Christine writes...ConGRADulations 101 

and we all get this...

45 comments:

  1. "To thine own self be true." Thank goodness for today's technology so we can stay in contact with the people we love, no matter where they live. - http://marypellerito-goingnative.blogspot.com/2013/10/off-season.html

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    1. Lovely to read Christine's STOML. Family gatherings must be loud and fun when you do all get together. My kiddos are on their 2nd country - Netherlands and now US, and are both British as they Huzz and I are Brits but they have never lived there. Who knows where may be next. It all makes for an interesting life and a wealth of stories.
      Lovely photo of your eldest and youngest sons.

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    2. Could not agree more Victoria...very interesting indeed. I hope your children are enjoying the experience...and Mom and Dad too!

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  2. Jeanne, you must miss them all so much! You must be so amazingly strong to cope with all your children living so far away - thank goodness for Skype! I hope that 2014 will bring you all together for some happy family times x

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    1. Hi Gillie...Skype..Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, What's App, Snapchat..thank goodness for all social media , it makes staying in touch so much easier. xx

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  3. ............and they will always be independent, self-sufficient, and oh so thankful their that their parents enabled them to enjoy life in so many corners of this amazing world.

    I visited Christine's fun blog - she's a hoot and obviously well on her way to a wonderful, adventurous, interesting life. Your 'boys' are so handsome and it's lovely they are close........and sweet Claire hopefully is enjoying her college years here in the US.

    It must sometimes be quite a job to get the family together in one place..............hopefully this holiday season, looming closer by the day, is going to be one such happy occasion Jeanne.

    Happy day dear.............always enjoy reading what's happening.
    Mary X

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    1. Thank you Mary..you are a sweetheart! I am counting the days until Christmas..57 days. ;) xx

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  4. Wow! I am speechless! Mainly because I cannot even fathom this and secondly because it sounds a bit exciting to me! For what it's worth…I never attended that same school for more than one year while growing up since we moved around a lot…Memphis, Denver, two cities in California and two places in Birmingham. My whole life I swore that my kids would attend the same school for their entire life…and they did! Until college. However, I experienced some wonderful things and saw so much of the country that I otherwise would not have been able to see. My kids complain that they had to be in the same school for 4 year old Kindergarten to 12th grade. I guess the grass is always greener but I truly do appreciate both sides of it! Loved reading this!

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    1. Thank you Carolyn! I spent my school years in one small town in New England and can appreciate both worlds. I get the 'grass is always greener' and laugh when I think of the number of times I have used that phrase with my children. Ah..the things we say as parents! ;) xx

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  5. And so I find myself in the Florida waiting room of Vet, speaking French to ailing cat, thinking it might be comforting as it was spoken to him for years in Paris and Antananarivo, his birthplace. Can see it and Paris years on his cat passport, really. My best orchids here were given to me by friends Nick, first met when I lived in Mexico, and Brett before they moved to/returned to Sydney from Miami. In a couple of weeks I'll be in DC with people from my days in Viet Nam. So yes, I so understand and warmly appreciate the tales of your daughter and you.

    My very best wishes, Joan

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    1. So glad Joan..I thought you might! Enjoy your days in DC, I am sure you are very excited. BTW...you mentioned growing up in Lowell, MA.. my Dad did too. ;) xx

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  6. How BEAUTIFUL is that!I am subscribing to her BLOG right now!

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    1. You are so kind Contessa...I know she will be thrilled! ;) xx

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  7. Wow, Jeanne, you have the most gorgeous family. And FAMILY it is, as they must feel that their relationships to each other and to you are a grounding part of identity, given all the changes in latitude and longitude.

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    1. Thank you Lisa..love the notion of latitude and longitude..that one is a keeper. ;) xx

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  8. This was a great read Jeanne, I very much enjoyed it.

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    1. Thank you Simone...Christine will love hearing it.. xx ;)

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  9. Profoundly moving Jeanne - I love the honesty and wisdom. Hugs to you - the Mother - and looking forward to seeing you in Sydney. F x

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    1. Same here Francesca...I should be around a lot more in 2014. If I am lucky, I might be able to join you one time on a wander around Sydney with our cameras. xx ;)

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  10. Hello Jeanne,

    I loved reading Christine's story. Your children seem so mature and joyful. Your are great parents.
    Have a wonderful week

    Helenx

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    1. Thank you Helen...she certainly is that! Best wishes to you... ;) xx

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  11. And here I worry about having only one daughter living away from home. It is a real credit to you and your husband to have given such balance to your kids and to allow each one to find his/her own way. With Connor going to school in Australia, you now have one more reason to go there. I hope that doesn't take away from your visits to the US. I think of you often, Jeanne.

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    1. Thank you Linda.. I should be in New Hampshire for about four-five months next year. I hope we get a chance to catch up! ;) xx

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  12. Absolutely fascinating - I think there is a book in this, and you or your daughter should write it.

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    1. Thank you Teri...I will be sure to pass that one on to her! ;) xx

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  13. I just love the way Christine writes , it is so fresh and young, just like her beautiful photo.
    I've told you before Jeanne how amazing I think your family is, the strength of your ties that have to run literally across continents is inspiring.
    Also have to tell yo that I keep popping back to look at your pictures of Tahilla Farm, I think you've found the most wonderful property
    love to you
    Sharon

    xx

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    1. I know Christine will be so thankful for you very kind comments Sharon..so lovely to connect with you today! xx

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  14. Christine and Jeanne, thank you for sharing your thoughts, your lives. Christine raises many intriguing questions. Her story is quite touching. Here's to precious family times. (And may you always have a good connection...thank you social media.)

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  15. Four utterly gorgeous children!
    Where DO they get it from??
    As if I didn't know.
    xo

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  16. You have a beautiful, adventurous, lovely family! Enjoy them!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie, I try every chance I get! :)

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  17. What a wonderful story. You have an amazing family, all living far and wide but united as one. Enjoy the adventures and also the times spent together.

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    1. Thank you Pamela...they make my world go round and round... ;)

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  18. "It's not sad though, it's happy - because those who travel never stay in one place for long and are always bound to come back. Home might be where the heart is but nobody ever said you have to leave your heart in just one place."
    Christine summarizes well your family story.

    I can share her sentiments:" I don't have many childhood friends and I don't have a bedroom covered in 90's pop-star posters."

    Amazing and interesting that all of you are separated and staying in different places for different reasons. All of you endure. You and Mr. H. have courageous children.


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    1. That they are Edgar...I think the very same very day. :)

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  19. This is really beautiful, and yes very remarkable since most people don't have that type of life/family/home experience.

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    1. Thank you Mary..it surely is different to the way I grew up. ;)

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  20. Dear Jeanne,
    I can relate to your life and your daughters life and what she wrote.
    I was never an ex pat. I grew up in a colonial world. You would get bored, by the time I told the tales of my life and my travels with my parents and my own family.
    Today.. i can truly say.. Alentejo is my home. We have lived in so many places and different homes.
    Its added to my life such wealth. Wealth of knowledge on can never learn from books.
    Adding to this Sailing South and North Atlantic oceans.. with 4 children.. Ahh the tales that are remembered in our home.
    happy days.. best wishes to your son and daughters.
    Some people, never have the chance to even leave their village or town.
    we are blessed.
    val x

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    1. We are that Val..thank you for sharing your story. Would love to hear more about your story one day..xx

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  21. You must be so proud Jeanne. Christine sounds so special. Your family's story is remarkable and it leaves me in awe... I think it takes a certain type of person to be able to adapt so well to a traveling lifestyle.
    I'm still taking baby steps. :)

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    1. Thank you Leslie...baby steps are good, best to let the change settle in slowly. Before you know it, you will be embracing it wholeheartedly. I know you have a move coming up...very exciting news! x

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  22. Your daughter has a great way with words! She is a good writer! and she is still so young.. smart kid!

    www.azrakunworld.com

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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