One Expat’s thoughts on how life abroad is ruining her daughter’s life

Posted on October 18, 2014 • Filed under: Expatriates

After living abroad for a year and a half now (in the Mexican Caribbean and the Marshall Islands) with my 7-year-old daughter, I have compiled a list of the many reasons this has ruined my daughter’s life forever.

I have ruined my daughter’s life because…

1. She gets confused as to which language to speak.

She thinks and operates in another language now, and has had to overcome the hurdle of not only knowing but learning the language, and figuring out how to rise above language barriers and find a humanitarian commonality from which to make friends.

This will for sure work to her disadvantage, as a child, when continuing to make diverse friends internationally, as a teenager when remembering that all humans are equal, and also later in life in graduate school or her professional job, which will most likely require bilingualism by then, if not trilingualism as a unique ability and necessary standard in the global workplace. She might even get paid more (eek!).

2. She doesn’t have a TV.

Instead of watching TV, she is snorkeling the open ocean, exploring turquoise cenotes, hiking ancient ruins, and trekking pacific islands. God, the nerve.

To be outside adventuring, exercising, discovering nature coming to life right before your very eyes, touching it, smelling it, hearing it. I mean, TV is so much better. I wish we had one.

3. None of her friends are American.

All of her friends are Mexican. Argentine. Italian. Spanish. Marshallese. What a bummer.

She has had to understand and accept what other cultures are like at such a young age. She has had to learn about global diversity and understanding and respect early or she wouldn’t have any friends. In our globalized world today, this will definitely work against her when she becomes the spokesperson for global compassion and equality because her roots of this conceptual understanding run so deep. Read Article


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