A British journalist living and raising her children in Barcelona embraces the unknowns of motherhood by founding MumAbroad, one of Europe’s leading online resources for international families.
We’re all unique as mothers. (Carrie, 7:05)
Carrie Frais is a British-born journalist who has lived in Barcelona for the last 20 years. She currently co-runs three companies, including MumAbroad, one of Europe’s leading online resources for international families. Carrie was one of the founders of Bremain in Spain, which campaigned against Brexit and now supports the rights of British citizens within the EU.
During the pandemic, Carrie edited and contributed a chapter to her first book, an anthology called #LivingTheDream: Expat Life Stripped Bare, which challenges some of the stereotypes about life away from ‘home’.
A lifetime of letter-writing inspires a retired French professor to compile her unsent correspondence to her favorite authors in the book Letters to Men of Letters.
Letter writing requires a lot of patience. (Diane, 24:18)
Diane Joy Charney is an expat whose blog, “In Love With France, At Home In Italy,” features her misadventures in the Italian countryside where the food and fresh air are way better than the roads. Diane taught French and writing at Yale for 33 years. Her new book, Letters to Men of Letters, considers how what you read can help you understand who you are. An enthusiastic musician, she enjoys playing in Yale student orchestras where she tries to hide behind the better players and NEVER play any unintended solos. Among her other passions are yoga, growing her own food, and tap dance.
After falling in love with the internationalism and common humanity of Greenpeace, a young woman returns to her native Greece to advise the government on environmental issues, and then founds an online magazine and podcast.
Nature became my personal church. (Athena, 20:47)
Athena Lambrinidou is a life-long environmental activist. When her international work with Greenpeace caught the attention of the government in her home country of Greece, she was tapped to design and run projects linking the environmental crisis with participatory democracy. After helping to organize the “Religion, Science and the Environment” symposium in the Amazon, she returned to Greece. There, she worked as a sustainability consultant and developed a weekly TV show, which would later become “The Aunties: Taking the Planet Back”, an international online magazine and podcast seeking to ignite meaningful conversation, collaboration and, ultimately, progress on the climate and resource crises. Athena is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand.
As a university student, a young trumpet major is told that if he wants to be a great band director, first he’ll have to become a great musician.
If you want to be a great band director, you have to be a great musician first. (Brian, 3:14)
Brian White is a twenty-four-year veteran in the music classroom, with the bulk of that experience coming from band directing positions in Saudi Arabia and Singapore. He recently moved to Milan, Italy and is enjoying his new role as the Director of Bands at the American School of Milan. His wife is also a teacher and it was her semester studying abroad in college that inspired the two to look abroad for teaching opportunities. Their son is a true 3rd culture kid having been born in Singapore and raised on three continents.
Growing up in a home bursting with creativity – music, literature, theatre and more – a young boy begins to draw and discovers that it is the source of his own joy.
I want you to imagine the stories in your head. (Lance, 10:21)
Lance Tooks has been drawing all his life. A former assistant editor at Marvel Comics, his artwork has since appeared in more than 100 television commercials, films and music videos. In addition to illustrating Black Panthers for Beginners, written by Herb Boyd, he contributed to a Hurricane Katrina benefit comic, as well as to the Graphic Classics line of books, adapting the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson and Ambrose Bierce. He recently completed “Narcissa”, his first graphic novel for Random House/Doubleday, which was recently translated for publication in Spain. And the list of his credits goes on. Lance Tooks lives in New York and Madrid. He merely exists everywhere else.
A mother based in Spain is offered a monthly book subscription from her children’s grandmother in the US. Offput by the shipping charges and red tape, she decides to start a company that offers the same benefits for kids in Europe. Amazingly, she launches the business while on lockdown in the early days of the pandemic.
It’s just so exciting to have a package delivered to your house. (Abbie, 12:58)
Abbie Hibler is the founder of Little Readers, a start-up book subscription company for children in Spain. Originally from Ohio, she has been involved in education and publishing for decades. She completed her Master’s degree at the Complutense university specializing in Bilingual Education, and formed part of the original evaluation team to improve Madrid’s first bilingual Public Schools. She has published a top-selling bilingual children’s book entitled Barcelona for Tiny Travelers and is currently working on the sequel.
A young woman volunteers for the Peace Corps straight out of college. The skills she develops there – speaking French, becoming resilient, learning the local customs – will pave the way for her career as an expert in African democracy and development.
It was the Peace Corps that moved me in the direction of French-speaking Africa. (Jennifer, 33:15)
Jennifer Seely is an Associate Professor of Politics at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and mom of two. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and joined the Peace Corps after college, spending two years in Côte d’Ivoire, followed by additional experience in the West Africa region including a Fulbright research grant in Benin and Togo. She earned her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis with expertise in African democracy and development, and has authored two books, The Legacies of Transition Governments and the fourth edition of the Historical Dictionary of Togo, which is due out this month.
A college senior suffers a stroke just weeks before her graduation. After four years of rehabilitation, she feels called to take a “victory lap,” visiting every continent on earth, including Africa.
To actually get on a camel and ride beside the Great Pyramids! (Karissa, 05:46)
A daring explorer, inspiring author, and engaging speaker, Karissa Denae Johnson strives to be a leading advocate for bravery. After being gripped by a devastating stroke at the age of 21, she eventually regained her ability to speak, write, and walk. Her courageous efforts later led her to explore seven continents before the age of 30.
Five weeks after his 1991 wedding, Willie White and his new bride were working in Saudi Arabia. Over the next 30 years, they would travel, live and work in more than 50 countries, she as an engineer, he as an English teacher.
“What am I doing? This is kinda crazy, and it’s a little scary. But it’s exciting!” (Willie, 19:00)
Willie White has visited and lived in more than 50 countries, although these days he and his wife Meg are hunkered down in their house by the Chesapeake Bay with our two dogs. In addition to travel, Willie loves all aspects of boating, from sailing to canoeing, as well as hiking, camping, and seeking adventure. Currently, he teaches online for an English school in Thailand, and is a Historical Interpreter for The National Park Service at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine.
A young Punjabi bride raises her daughters in Maryland under a cloud of fear. As the girls grow up, they embrace their independence while continuing to respect their parents’ traditions, including the prospect of arranged marriage.
Sisters Bhavneet and Taranjit Athwal are the co-hosts of the Drive With Us Podcast. (Check out Kate’s interview on S2 E9) They both work in the cancer therapeutics field and each has a 3-hour round trip daily commute! Born and raised in Maryland to immigrant parents from Punjab, India, they had to learn early on how to properly balance the two cultures. Although it can be difficult at times trying to help their friends understand why they do certain things the way they do, the sisters have not been deterred from owning who they are and taking pride in being Sikh Americans. That same determination has helped them to push cultural boundaries and step out of their comfort zone to pursue their passion of creating a podcast. They also hope to one day have a travel channel on YouTube.
“I had to figure it all out on my own.” (Taranjit, 13:15)
Check out their podcast, which is called Drive With Us
(and be sure to listen to Kate’s interview on S2E9!)
Bhavneet & Taranjit recommend:
When Purdue Pharma began to coach physicians to include pain as the fifth vital sign, it led to over-prescription and ultimately, the worst drug crisis in American history.
A retired physician, Dr. Jetmore currently serves as the Health Officer in Wayne County, Indiana. In his interview, he talks us through how the opioid crisis began in the US, providing valuable context about Purdue Pharma and its questionable prescribing practices. A collaborator with Groups Recover Together, he supports the organization’s dedication to medication-assisted treatment and a supportive approach.
“It’s your nephew. Or God forbid, your son.” (Dr. Jetmore, 29:41)
Dr. Jetmore recommends:
Groups Recover Together: joingroups.com
Wayne County (Indiana) Groups: 765-286-5773
Wayne County (Indiana) Health Dept: 765-973-9245
A retired ENT/otolaryngologist, Dr. Jetmore practiced medicine in Richmond, Indiana and the surrounding area for nearly 40 years. He currently serves as the Wayne County Health Officer.
A single mom self-soothes by going through the drive-thru and eating alone in her car, but the pounds pile on. After many failed attempts at losing weight, she reaches out for help, vowing to break the cycle.
Jen Pendleton has lost and gained more pounds than she cares to count. In 2014, she reached an all-time high body weight of 265 pounds, and for most of her adult life she has battled binge eating disorder. Today, she has lost 115 pounds, which took almost four years to lose, and she has maintained that loss for the past two years. She documents her journey via her JenX Journey blog and Instagram account.
“Listen to your own gut.” (Jen, 55:01)
Jen launched 51 Bridges Nutrition in May of 2020, a business which provides one-on-one virtual nutrition coaching. She is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach in Sports & Exercise Nutrition and has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in Communications, with a minor in Counseling Psychology. She is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and USA Weightlifting Coach and coaches at Elavus CrossFit in Crawfordsville, Indiana.