Raising Global Nomads, Robin Pascoe, 2006, Expatriate Press Ltd.
Reviewed by Volker Poelzl
Raising children is a challenge no matter where you live, but bringing up children in a foreign country puts special demands on parents. As a former diplomatic spouse living in several Asian countries, Robin Pascoe’s book Raising Global Nomads is based on her own personal experience of raising two children overseas. What makes this book different from other publications about living abroad is the fact that the author pays special attention to the needs of children and the challenges they face while adapting to life in another country.
The book not only explores how to provide a safe and stable environment for children raised overseas, but also discusses in Pascoe’s own words “the ways in which adult issues associated with expatriate life (the moveable marriage, work-life balance challenges, culture shock) affect child rearing being done far from home”. Robin introduces readers to expatriate family life by sharing many humorous and insightful anecdotes from her own years of living abroad and stories of other expatriates she has met over the years. These real-life accounts bring her advice to life and make it more accessible to readers.
Pascoe explains why global nomads experience a different childhood than their parents, simply because they learn to adapt to new cultural realities early on in life and gain an expanded cultural awareness that will stay with them and impact their future. The author not only discusses important topics for expatriate families such as schooling and healthcare, but also touches on unforeseen events such as transfers to another country, pregnancy and family problems that may occur while living abroad, such as marriage issues and divorce. The book also covers the important issues of culture shock and adjusting to life and work in another country while keeping the family healthy and in good mental health. Finally, Pascoe discusses the inevitable return to one’s home country, which poses unexpected challenges for families that have lived overseas for an extended period of time.
Having lived through culture shock and adapting to life in foreign countries myself, I am pleasantly surprised by the depth of Robin Pascoe's discussion in terms of the logistical, physical, and psychological challenges of moving overseas. Raising Global Nomads is no doubt an important resource for families planning to relocate overseas and should be on top of the reading list for all expatriate families. The book is available at online book stores and at Robin Pascoe’s website www.expatexpert.com/bookstore.