A Reunion of Strangers

. . . is how Robin Pascoe has described the annual conference of Families in Global Transition.  I think that sounds wonderful and can’t wait to attend for the first time.  It’s happening in Houston, March 4-6.

I’ve already written about how I came to volunteer for this group and although I haven’t met any of them face-to-face (except for Jo Parfitt, who I met in Dubai) I feel I already know many of them through “meeting” them on Skype, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and email.  And I think I already know what Robin means by calling it a reunion of strangers, in that I already sense the common bond we share.

In case you’re thinking this will be a kumbaya event – just a bunch of expats reminiscing, or worse, moaning about how hard expat life is and how misunderstood we are – let me tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.  FIGT is focused on providing solid information and sharing research on what works and what doesn’t with not just expats, but also the myriads of people involved with those who relocate across cultures.  The participants include HR professionals, relocation companies, educators, expat coaches, corporations, missionary groups, members of foreign services, NGOs and of course the military, many themselves expats or former expats.

The group came together after the publication of “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Between Worlds”, written by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken (who will be attending this year’s conference).  They recognized that there was a need to continue the discussion on how moving around the world affected families and what happened to a child or an adult who lived, not in just one culture, but who was raised in several.  From that the idea for a unique annual conference was born.

Registration is now open.  I do hope I’ll see you there. 

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