I spent the decade of my teen years living abroad so I'm naturally drawn to Nancy Pogue LaTurner's, "Voluntary Nomads" and her description of a life spent traveling the globe in the diplomatic service. The expat world is a unique experience especially for children who grow up in cultures outside of their own. In my opinion it's a broadening one and in the arc of this memoir we watch Nancy and Fred as they raise their two children, Dakota and Tina, from babies to young adults while criss-crossing the globe. "Home" takes many forms: New Mexico, Iran, Cameroon, New Zealand, Somalia, the Dominican Republic, Austria, Bolivia, and finally back to New Mexico. All along the way Nancy deals with the fears and joys of parenthood in addition to the cultural challenges of each exotic locale; sometimes those cultural differences can be amusing and perplexing, and at other times they can be frightening and life threatening. If you've ever thought about what life is like to the international traveler, this book will show you the good, bad and joy of it all.
As a side note, Nancy mentions living next door to Tehran American School when the LaTurner family was posted to Iran. She talks about how the high school kids would throw things out the second story window and clutter up her backyard. When I first heard this story I was quite amused as I was one of those High School students, and sometimes what we threw out of those windows was ourselves. To ditch school we'd jump out the window, fling over the wall and make our escape. It's quite possible that I trespassed in the LaTurner's backyard once or twice. It really is a small world.
For any young person or young couple interested in joining the Diplomatic Corp., this is an excellent book and will give you a first hand account of life abroad. Highly recommended to all world travelers and those interested in a cross-cultural lifestyle.
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)