I am what cross-cultural theory calls a ‘global nomad’ – a person who has lived in so many places that their identity and worldview become international. We global nomads can adapt easily and deeply to almost any culture – but we also struggle because we don’t belong fully to any of them. When we re-enter our home culture, we experience it as an outsider looking in. I returned home five years ago to Seattle, USA, and I’m still a fish out of water.
Nobody would have seen this coming. I grew up a ‘white kid’ in a mostly mono-cultural small town an hour’s drive from Seattle. I was vaguely conscious of a few Vietnamese and African-American classmates, and that was the extent of my cross-cultural experience. All of that began to change when I visited México at age 17. A glimpse of the world through different eyes, combined with a growing awareness of the God who created us all, kick-started a transformation that …
… is still unfolding twenty-five years and countless air miles later. My other homes have been México, Kosovo, the Philippines and Singapore. My peacebuilding and humanitarian career has deep roots in Asia, but the second language of my heart is español. My work takes me regularly to every region of the world except Antarctica. (Yes, I would really like to get to Antarctica).
My lifelong passion is for healthy relationships between people groups – especially ethnic, religious and cultural groups – so I look for this everywhere I go. When I returned to Seattle, I was keen to re-engage all aspects of American diversity, as well as the effects of US foreign policy. Within a few months I found myself particularly compelled to face up to the epic wrongs done to our continent’s First Nations, the American Indians, because I was shocked by how routinely this injustice is ignored in mainstream American culture.
Writing is a way to reflect on American society and my own role within in. Even though I blog slowly, it helps to keep me grounded. The other things that keep me sane while living in Seattle include hanging around with my amazing husband Brent, developing multi-cultural community through Quest Church, swimming in the cold waters of the Puget Sound, and of course lots of international travel.
In other words, this blog is a form of therapy! I have plenty of professional resources available, too, starting with the publications on this web site. My bio and CV are available upon request. But the ‘Whose Feet’ blog is admittedly personal. It’s all about making sense of my love-hate relationship with a strange place called ‘home.’