Tag Archives: Global From Home

A New Year of “Globalness”

2013 was a momentous year in our family. We moved into a new home, our little girl, Eleanor Grace was born in August, and I started a new part-time position as a study abroad advisor at a small university in Oklahoma City. With all that was going on, I decided to take a year away from blogging. But now that I’m finally getting my little one on a schedule, I want to bring “globalness” back into our household. I’m sure my posts will be a little less regular than before, but I really want my daughter to be exposed to the world beyond our little city and for this blog to be a record of all we do together.

Eleanor got a B. Global Glowball for Christmas from her Auntie Karen. Now she's really got the whole world in her hands.

Eleanor got a B. Global Glowball for Christmas from her Auntie Karen. Now she’s really got the whole world in her hands.

I’m excited to get Global from Home back up and running and can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead for Hubby, Eleanor, and me.

What “global from home” adventures did you have in 2013?

 

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My Thirty-One List

Hubby is a very goal-oriented person. I admire him so much for all he gets accomplished and for achieving goals that most people would consider unobtainable. While I am not yet so skilled at goal setting and achieving, his example has definitely rubbed off on me. As today is my 31st birthday, I decided it is time to set some new goals for the second year of my thirties. I put them here for accountability sake and because many of them contribute to the goal of this blog – being Global from Home.

My Thirty-One List (in no particular order)

  1. Be thankful daily for all the dear family and friends who bless my life.
  2. Read 31 internationally themed books.
  3. Attempt to make scones from scratch rather than buy them from Whole Foods.
  4. Print and frame our travel photos for our new house.
  5. Plan our next trip. Mexico went so well, I think we need a repeat.
  6. Post a minimum of 4 times a week on Global from Home.
  7. Reconnect with friends that I’ve met along my travels.
  8. Begin renovating our 1934 house one room at a time.
  9. Read the Bible from front to back.
  10. Create my own visitors guide for Oklahoma City for all our upcoming house guests.
  11. Drink more water and less coffee.
  12. Host an international meal to raise funds for Spero Project.
  13. Call my big brother more regularly.
  14. Craft with the women from the local refugee community.
  15. Watch one foreign film a month.
  16. Start writing a book. It may never be finished but I want to start it.
  17. Apply and hopefully get into a PhD program with a focus on international education.
  18. Practice my Italian more often.
  19. Try 31 new international recipes.
  20. Learn to use Photoshop.
  21. Be a kinder and more considerate spouse to my wonderful Hubby.
  22. Join the YMCA and start Zumba.
  23. Dine at 31 new restaurants (as many international ones as possible).
  24. Run a 5K (maybe 10) for a cause that means something to me.
  25. Help start a study abroad returnee conference in Oklahoma.
  26. Learn more about my German heritage and traditions.
  27. Attend as many cultural festivals I can find in OKC.
  28. Invite the international students from my university over for dinner.
  29. Attempt to eat broccoli and like it.
  30. Find 50+ new blogs for my Abroad Blog of the Week series.
  31. Honor God with my time, talents, and treasure.

Whew! That’s a lot of goals. Fortunately I can start working on number 19 tonight. Hubby is taking me to Japanese steakhouse to celebrate.

 

Abroad Blog of the Week: About the Author

Due to technical difficulties in Turkey, I’m having to go a bit off script for this Abroad Blog of the Week. I thought about highlighting a few blogs that I’m following but I would rather just make them an ABOW in the future. So when a friend suggested that I interview myself, I decided to take her advice. If you’re new to Global from Home, I am study abroad advisor who has decided to seek as much international culture as possible within 30 miles of my front door. If you’ve been reading for a while (thank you!), here a few facts I haven’t shared before.

What is the best part of being a study abroad advisor?

I love hanging out with students, hearing their adventures, and listening to them as they figure out their path and plans. There is something about the age bracket of 18 to 22 that I find energizing. Their lives are so dynamic and they have so many options and decisions to make. Plus the students I’ve worked with are incredibly creative and motivated. They amaze me daily and inspire me in so many ways. They are what make me want to go to work every day. Now that I’m currently not working in an office, they are what I miss the most.

If you could do it all over again, would you still have studied abroad in Italy?

Yes! As an Italian Studies major, Italy was really the only thing that made sense. Because I was so focused on the language and I went three times, I felt that I became acquainted with an Italy different from many study abroad students. It wasn’t so much about seeing the Coliseum or visiting the Vatican, but rather living like an Italian that was so important to me. The one thing I would change is that I would have gone for longer. I really wish I had lived in Rome for a full year.

How did you come up with the idea of Global from Home?

This past May I found myself a bit frustrated. I hadn’t been abroad in over three years and in all honesty, I was mad about it. Hubby’s job was really intense so he had little vacation time and because we had moved so much in the past three years, going abroad really wasn’t an option. I finally realized that I needed to stop complaining and look at what was around me. Living in San Diego at the time, international culture abounded. I thought that if I started a blog it would keep me accountable to seeking out culture. The blog has made me more intentional about going to festivals, cooking ethnic food, and building relationships with people from around the globe who just happen to live in my hometown.

Now that you’re in Oklahoma, what are your plans?

That is a bit up in the air but I have some thoughts. I do plan to keep up with Global from Home and continue to explore international cultures from OKC. I’m also applying for the PhD program at the University of Oklahoma in Higher Education with hopes to research the study abroad returnee experience. Currently I’m meeting with study abroad offices in the area to talk about starting a study abroad returnee conference. And finally, I’d like to start a Meet Up for people who enjoy exploring other cultures like I do. But in the end, I’m open to anything that comes my way that will allow me to help students have their own international experience.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be global from home?

Food is probably the easiest way to start being global from home. Google authentic recipes from a country you are interested in and try to make them. Research ethnic restaurants in your area and order the most traditional dish on the menu. Other easy ways to explore culture are to look for cultural festivals. The Greek Festival and Oktoberfest are pretty common ones to start with. If you are a reader, internationalize your reading list and add authors who are from a country you’ve visited. The same applies with movies. The most important thing is to just start and be intentional about adding culture into your weekly routine.

Me (in the yellow shirt) with three of my fabulous students

100 Ideas to be Global from Home

Now that I’m 100 posts in, I’ve discovered being Global from Home isn’t as difficult as I thought. If you are looking for ways to explore the world from your front door, here are 100 ways to get started!

  1. Volunteer with the local refugee community
  2. Read a book that takes place in your favorite global destination
  3. Try a new ethnic restaurant and ask the waiter for the most authentic dish
  4. Send postcards from home
  5. Donate to a scholarship fund to help students study abroad
  6. Get a pen pal
  7. Make a plan to practice your foreign language and keep it up!
  8. Go see a foreign film with a good friend
  9. Become a local guide for your city
  10. Find a language partner
  11. Host an international potluck
  12. Make a reading list that transverses the globe
  13. Live vicariously through other bloggers who are abroad
  14. Shop at an Asian market
  15. Take a walk down memory lane looking at old travel photos
  16. Pin past and future travel spots on Pinterest
  17. Buy internationally-themed holiday gifts
  18. Talk to strangers
  19. Try different coffees from around the world
  20. Go to the opera
  21. Join Postcrossing
  22. See a Shakespeare play
  23. Take a sushi class
  24. Buy a molcajete and make some real Mexican dishes
  25. Include your global experiences on your resume
  26. Practice how you could answer interview questions with what you learned abroad
  27. Consider a career in international education
  28. Find a place of worship with an international focus
  29. Eat with your hands at an Ethiopian restaurant
  30. Have a cup of coffee with international visitors in your city
  31. Visit cultural districts in your town like Little Italy, China Town, or the Asian District
  32. Live out of a suitcase for a week…from home
  33. Explore your own city like it was a foreign destination
  34. Make origami
  35. Check out Meet Up for internationally themed events
  36. Watch international sporting events
  37. Buy country-specific children’s books for your kids or for gifts
  38. Decorate your home with pictures and art from your travels
  39. Make a recipe each week from a different country
  40. Learn a card game played abroad
  41. Do a little international house hunting for fun
  42. Make your own hometown cards
  43. Turn your pictures into jewelry
  44. Take a siesta
  45. Celebrate your birthday with traditions from around the world
  46. Research and make your travel bucket list
  47. Nominate an Abroad Blog of the Week
  48. Borrow an ethnic cookbook from the local library
  49. Join internationally-themed groups on Facebook
  50. Do a little pottering
  51. Share your favorite spots and itineraries with friends planning travel
  52. Get a subscription to National Geographic
  53. Start an international book club
  54. Go to cultural festivals
  55. Shop at online fair trade stores
  56. Start planning your next trip whether it will happen or not
  57. Collect international stamps or coins
  58. Host a 20×20 party
  59. Search You Tube for videos to help your language skills
  60. Watch a documentary about a culture you know nothing about
  61. Go to a flea market
  62. Swap travel books with a friend
  63. Do a presentation on your travels for a local elementary school
  64. Listen to a lecture on TED from scholars around the globe
  65. Reread old travel journals
  66. Learn to make Belgian crepes
  67. Donate to an international organization that is doing a project you really believe in
  68. Make a list of what you learned abroad
  69. Get certified to teach English as a second language
  70. Celebrate a new holiday popular in your favorite abroad location
  71. Invite international friends over to your house for the holidays
  72. Fundraise for a good cause by hosting country-specific dinners
  73. Keep a vocabulary journal
  74. Read fairy tales from different cultures
  75. Be global on vacation, no matter where you are
  76. Make a love lock
  77. Sponsor a child abroad
  78. Host a foreign film night
  79. Take afternoon tea
  80. Retell a funny story from abroad
  81. Learn the names of all 194 countries
  82. Follow the elections of your previous host country
  83. Laugh at your travel blunders
  84. Share your own culture
  85. Take a course with a global focus at your local community college
  86. Rate hotels, restaurants, and attractions from your travels on Trip Advisor
  87. Download popular songs from your previous host country and sing along
  88. Laugh at all the things you said your first time abroad
  89. Play bocce ball
  90. Host an exchange student
  91. Download music sang in a language you don’t know
  92. Follow international fashion trends
  93. Empower kids to see the world
  94. Visit your local zoo and find out where all the animals are from
  95. Hang a map with all your past and future travels
  96. Use an online language tool
  97. Skype with friends who are still abroad
  98. Find your favorite adinkra symbol
  99. Read online newspapers from your previous host country
  100. Follow Global from Home

Note to my Non-American Readers: If any of these are from your local culture, replace it with some American Southern cooking, play a game of American football, or read one of my favorite American novels: Wench, The Secret Life of Bees, or Rules of Civility.

In the end, my advice is to just start. You’ll find you enjoy home so much more when you add global to it. {Photo courtesy Of the Fountain}

 

How to be Global from Home

With my 75th post yesterday, I went back and read through my blog. As I did, some things stuck out. I recognized some patterns and themes in how I’ve been global from home. These certainly aren’t all the ways to bring your experiences from abroad back with you, but for me, these have been a good way to start.

1. Reflect on my abroad experiences

When I started this blog, I realized that there were lots of experiences from abroad that I had not really thought about again. Through postcards to Grandma, reminiscing with friends, and drawing comparisons with my every day life, my reflections from my abroad experiences has been one of the best ways I’ve been global from home.

2. Interact with people who love culture/travel as much as I do

Since I can’t live abroad right now, I like to live vicariously through others. The Abroad Blog of the Week has been my best way of interacting with others who are abroad living out what I can only imagine right now.

3. Help others experience culture or adjust to mine

For me, this mostly plays out by being a study abroad advisor. I love helping others explore where they want to go and really prepare for their time abroad.  I’ve also realized that it’s important to help those who are new to my culture. Volunteering with the local refugee community or with organizations like Cup of Local Sugar are a few ways to pay it forward.

4. Eat and cook with culture in mind

My first Friday Lunch was a shameless ploy to get students to come visit me during the summer, but it turned out to be a great way for me to explore foods of other cultures (and try to make them without a kitchen). Hubby and I have also increased our ethnic dining and I promise to cook more internationally once we are settled in OKC.

5. Practice my language skills

My Italian is definitely an area of being global from home that I need to work on, but I have a plan!

6. Global reads and foreign films

With the start of my regional reading list and some great Netflix finds, I feel like I’m learning so much more about countries that I may never have a chance to explore myself.

7. Creatively incorporate travel and culture into my physical surroundings

Whether it be maps, pictures, traditions, or crafts, I’m trying to incorporate visual reminders of the cultures and experiences that I so love.

On May 16th when I posted for the first time, I had an itch I was trying to satisfy. Having not left the country in over 3 years, I felt frustrated that I was not doing something that I really enjoy. This blog has certainly soothed that itch; it has made me intentional about looking at the world 30 miles from my door and seeing all the culture available to me. I’m excited to see where it takes me next.