My Blog

Blog entries by Expatika – stories of relocation, Third Culture Kids, family fun, and our adjustment to life as a family of roamers.

Flags heart
What does your flag symbolize? Mine has two blue stripes, representing a prayer for piece, and a star of David, which symbolizes a connection to our past. My kids’ homeland flag has the stars and the stripes, symbolizing each in its turn the 50 states and the 13 first colonies that declared independence from the motherland. But what symbols do we as a family share? Being a family on the move with so many cultural influences – passport countries, host countries, homeland countries – what kind of a flag would represent the colors of my family? In this activity I invite […]

What’s on your flag?

תהליך ההסתגלות מתואר בספרות כרצף של ארבעה שלבים המתחיל בתקופת ‘ירח דבש’, ממשיך דרך תקופה של משבר או ‘הלם תרבות’, אחריו תקופה של התארגנות עד השתלבות ו’אדפטציה’ לתרבות המקומית. התהליך הקלאסי מתואר בצורת U, אך גם כJ (במקרים בהם תקופת ירח הדבש קצרה יותר וההסתגלות מהירה יותר), כקו ישר (התחלה נמוכה ועלייה הדרגתית), או כרצף מחזורי של עליות וירידות. ההיכרות עם דיאגרמת ההסתגלות זרקה אותי אל ראשית הרילוקיישן הראשון שלנו מישראל אל עמק הסיליקון שבקליפורניה. לסן חוזה הגענו ב1997. זוג צעיר, מייד אחרי החתונה, ובלי ספק – תפסנו אמריקה. חמש דקות מסן פרנסיסקו ואנחנו בירח דבש אמיתי. הכל נראה כמו חלום. […]

על עקומות והסתגלות

Relocation adjustment is commonly described using the famous four phased U-curve. While reviewing the curve I reflected back to the beginning of our first relocation from Israel to the Silicon Valley, California. We arrived in San Jose in 1997 – young newlywed couple, and no doubt – we had it going! Living just around the corner from San Francisco it sure was a real honeymoon period. Everything seemed like a dream. Rollerblading on the dock in front of the Golden Gate, munching on wonderful food, engaging ourselves in the local ‘shop till you drop’ –  living the American dream, at […]

Of Curves and Adjustments

A frequent question that often rises when discussing relocation is How many expats are there in the world? This question is not easy to answer. Today,  worldwide, there are about 244 million people living outside of their home countries. Some of them are considered migrants, yet others – temporary residents. The lack of a precise definition to the terms “Relocation” and “Expats” makes it difficult to count the actual number of Expats in the world, and yet the surveys predict an increase in these numbers in the coming years.

Relocation in numbers

What would best explain the complex concept of TCK? In a workshop today I chose to introduce the concept through the personal story of my son. I used two colored playdough for illustration (a lovely idea I got from a lecture by Jamie Simpson). While describing the early life of my son I took a small lump of blue clay. As I was kneading the clay I talked of his infancy and added blue chunks for his Israeli birth certificate and Israeli passport – The ‘Paper Culture’ of an Israeli new born baby. To the blue chunks I then started […]

Third Culture Kids?

I first heard the term TCK while riding in a Singaporean taxi. It was shortly after we landed in this new country and the term flew by my ears like a breeze. Interesting… Could it be related to my kids? Not sure. One day I should look into it… Back in those days we were at the midst of our move from Israel to Asia. We already had quite an experience in moving between countries. A decade earlier we started our journey in the US, had our two American citizen kids, moved to a two-year relocation in Australia, and then went back to […]

What is TCK after all?

An introduction to commonly used and less familiar models of adjustment The process of adjustment, and in particular the relocation adjustment is commonly described using four key phases: The Honeymoon / Euphoria phase: This phase includes the period immediately before and after the transition. At this time, the experience is new and exciting. Energy and enthusiasm are at their peak and the transition feels like a long and exciting trip. The Crisis / Cultural Shock phase: At this stage feelings of dissatisfaction and hardship are starting to emerge as the initial excitement is replaced by a feeling of discomfort. This stage […]

Relocation Adjustment – descriptive models