Welcome to A Global Nomad’s Home, a blog dedicated to investigating what it means to be a global citizen. You will find stories about parenting Third Culture Kids, managing a multicultural home, and how sampling new foods, learning a new language and traveling to foreign lands are basic human aspirations.
I was named Wakanyi at birth, after my maternal grandmother, but everyone calls me Waks, which I find endearing. You can call me Waks too because even the lady I last spoke to at the checkout counter at our local grocery store this morning? We just became Facebook friends and she now calls me Waks too.
About 17 years ago, I met my husband and shortly after the birth of our first child, we began living as modern nomads. It is not unlike my maternal grandfather, who was a Maasai nomad, known to have traveled on foot throughout his life. If he was still around, I’d trade my travel stories, of hauling excess baggage, pregnant belly and toddlers at many airports in and out of seven countries, on three continents. He would find it amusing that I am now settled in a small village north of the Netherlands, not much bigger than the village that he grew up in on the foothills of mount Kenya.
I am the mother to four children who were all born in different countries and together with my husband, we are on a mission to teach them to embrace the whole world as their home. It has been exciting and terrifying to watch how quickly the years have passed since the first baby I birthed more than a decade ago. This year our two girls and two boys will celebrate their 14th, 12th, 9th and 6th birthdays.
I enjoy baking and crafting with my family as it is in these shared special moments that I truly witness the power of storytelling. Over the years, my experience raising four children has led me to a strong belief that there is a correlation between oral storytelling and emotional resilience. Growing up in Kenya, any gathering was an opportunity to tell stories. And in our moveable home, storytelling is our way of checking in on each other.
We share stories all the time, about quirky new finds and experiences from the places we find ourselves as temporary residents. It is in these mini storytelling sessions that the children reveal their worst fears, laugh out loud, discover their hidden talents or ask philosophical questions about new cultural experiences.
As a little girl growing up in Kenya, I was always fascinated with the stories that were told to us by our grandmothers. As the keepers of our traditions and indigenous knowledge, they took pride in passing down our heritage, which I wrote about here.
As an older mother now, I find myself often creating characters for my children’s bedtime stories that would reflect the values that I would like them to inherit. They are usually fictitious characters, some so otherworldly that my children giggle and laugh at their incredulous personalities. But secretly, those characters represent real lessons from my grandmothers.
I would like to connect with you on this personal blog because having eperienced motherhood between diverse cultures, I think I am onto something about parenting a future generation of resilient and culture-wise global citizens. There’s a good chance that the only reason some of our children meander off unpleasant directions is because they lack a fanbase for their oratorical storytelling sessions.
This blog will be filled with stories that touch on life lessons about parenting our future world citizens, while also sharing tips on how to break down cultural borders to feel at home and thrive anywhere in the world.
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With lots of love,