Reconnecting with Home

Looking back over the blog posts I've written in the past twelve months, more than a few things surprise me: First, and maybe most surprising, is that I actually kept my commitment to write and post something on this blog once a week. Some posts ... Read More

The Art of Coming Home – Part Two – “Choose Learning”

Most people expect it to be difficult to adjust to living in a foreign country, so they prepare themselves and expect to experience some degree of culture shock. But most of us expect returning home to our own culture to be relatively easy. After ... Read More

“Closed Sundays” and the culture of convenience

The first time we ran out of milk on a Sunday while living in The Netherlands, our reaction was less than positive. All the stores were closed, as usual, and we were frustrated by the inconvenience. With a 3-year old at home, we didn't want to wait ... Read More

Culture Shock and The Yoga Effect

A few years ago I asked the graduate business students in my Intercultural Competence and Communication class to bring a copy or description of one of their favorite resources to share with their classmates: a book, article, film or website that had ... Read More

The Best Medicine

One of the nicest things our landlords gave us when we leased their home in Holland for a few years was a two page list of their favorite local places to eat and shop, along with the names and phone numbers of various English-speaking service/repair ... Read More

The Seasons of Culture Shock

Today we woke up to the first really dark, wet, gray, cool morning in Portland in a while. Days like this don't stop me and my friends from exercising outside. We're native Oregonians and we know how to layer our fleece and waterproof shells to stay ... Read More

“Welcome to the U.S. Here’s your desk…” Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about the way that many new employees are greeted in U.S. workplaces, with a friendly "welcome," a brief tour of their new workspace, and a request from their boss or colleague to "let me know if you need anything else." I ... Read More

The first day…

...of school, or work, or life in a new home, a new city, a new country. Excitement, anticipation, confidence, anxiety, happiness or dread. A jumble of emotions and a head full of questions. "Will my teachers (or boss or new colleagues or ... Read More

“Welcome to the U.S. Here’s your desk…”

"...and your phone, and computer, and a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for people you'll be working with. Let me know if you need anything else." If, like many of my clients and former colleagues, you transferred to a U.S. office of ... Read More

A place where everybody knows your name

I used to love watching the television show, Cheers. The writing was brilliant, the characters distinctive, and they always made me laugh out loud. My favorite part was whenever Norm walked into the bar and everyone looked up and shouted, "Norm!" ... Read More