“Heidi Sand-Hart’s “Home Keeps Moving” authenticates the TCK experience. Her personal stories demonstrate the tangible reality of the TCK theories we have been reading and hearing about for years.” – Tina L Quick, author of The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Featured on the Norwegian embassy site in the UK!

"‘Home Keeps Moving’ by Heidi Sand-Hart tackles, according to its author; “the struggles and challenges faced by cross-cultural individuals trying to grasp an understanding of who they are and how they fit into their current society.” Sand-Hart, whose parents..."

keep reading

Friday, 3 December 2010


Most 'Third Culture Kids' struggle to find a sense of belonging and ownership in their country of residence - they feel like a foreigner, not a local. I have experienced this in every country I have lived in since leaving home twelve years ago - Norway, America, Canada, Thailand, Finland and New Zealand...everywhere but England...well, to rephrase London. Within the UK, I have lived in Derby, Nottingham and Harpenden over the past six years and only truly feel at home in London. When I think of England, I think of the feeling that London gives me.
London has been my gateway to the world since I was a child...it was from Heathrow airport that I boarded my first flight to India back in 1986 and I think the association of travel - new and exciting adventures waiting around the corner - that helps this vast city feel like a home. I never feel trapped or isolated here...it almost encourages travel with its incredible transport network within and beyond the city and the affordable, low cost airlines that take you to every corner of the globe. Anything is possible...no place too remote to reach.

But it isn't merely the ease of travel that makes London the perfect "springboard" for me - a global nomad. The cultural diversity is what makes this place a true gem in my eyes. I see people of numerous nationalities everyday - as I walk to the shops or post office - I hear the tongues of many nations. It is within this kaleidoscope of diversity that I find my sense of belonging. London allows anyone to claim it as their home...I have yet to encounter the hostility or snobbery that I have found in other places.
Londoners get a bad reputation for being unfriendly and maybe it was the one grumpy cabby someone encountered while here for a weekend trip but I continue to find people accommodating and helpful. It is true that we may not know our neighbours by name but I love the fact that privacy is respected here - the anonymity it provides. It is so easy to strike up a conversation at the bus stop or at the pub...yes, it may be something as trivial as "talking about the weather" but it is two human beings reaching out for each other - making the effort.

The fact that so many nationalities and personalities live side by side in this city of 7 and a half million in relative peace is to be celebrated. This large city is formed of hundreds of little communities and pockets that take a lifetime to discover - and those gems are what keep me content here...the possibility of a new discovery waiting to be made around every corner.

Here, people allow me to be exactly as I am.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thai Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Something to keep you warm in the winter...
Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe


700g of pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic
1 red chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped
1 400g can coconut milk
4 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon (or more) red Thai curry paste
500ml chicken or veg stock (optional) or water


Preheat the oven to 190’C and place the oven racks in the middle.
Carefully cut the pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over low heat. Cook shallots, chillies, lemongrass and garlic until soft.
Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer, adding scooped pumpkin. Add 500ml stock/water and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender until smooth. Serve with fresh coriander.
Serves four.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Denizen interview

I did this (1,556 word) interview for Denizen online Third Culture Kid magazine and was disappointed to see that it wasn't used for their "review". So here it is in its entirety:

- What was the process of getting inspired to write the book? In the book, you mention encouragement from others to share your TCK experience.

I first started processing my TCK experience shortly after leaving home. I had moved to L.A to join a missions organization (YWAM) and realised how different I was from my fellow students and gravitated towards the older students and fellow MKs. Over the three years I lived In North America (USA/Canada), I guess my differences were highlighted to me and particularly the wealth of knowledge and experience I had gained through my well-travelled upbringing. I got my hands on “Third Culture Kids – The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds” (Pollock/Van Reken) when I was 21 and it really hit home to me in a lot of ways and I particularly related to the personal anecdotes laced throughout the book…but they weren’t long enough for my liking! I searched for more personal literature out there for TCKs and realised there wasn’t much at all. That is when the idea was birthed within me to write my own book. The task was far too overwhelming for me at the time – the more I looked within myself, the more isolated I felt from my fellow peers. So, I put the book on the back burner (already having the book title but lacking a little in direction and structure) and continued on with my vagabond life. As I grew older and experienced more of the world, I realised just how unqiue my own upbringing was and how I struggle to settle down, find my “home”…how I’m “ruined for the ordinary” …and the desire returned to share that with others.

- Bring us through the journey of writing it - when and how did you draft it, approach publishers and the like? Were you always writing it, through journals as you grew up, or did you sit down one day and embark upon it in one push?

My husband Paul (a non-TCK from New Zealand who understands me better than most!) and I returned to the UK in 2008, after living in Thailand for 6 months. I struggled to find my feet or a job and felt strongly that I wanted to finish this book that has been hanging over me for so long. I had all of my original work (from 2001) and started editing, expanding and added a lot of new stuff. Some of my original perspectives were quite “young” and a little “preachy” so I evolved them to fit with how I have changed in the past 9 years. The structure fell into place quite naturally. I didn’t have the luxury of having old diaries (journals) on hand since they are all in storage with my parents in Finland so I had to rely on memory. I was close to completion after 4-5 months and started contacted publishers in the spring of 2010. I received a few rejections but got linked in with the perfect publisher, McDougal, who even let me keep my British grammar!

- I was intrigued by certain decisions in your story - e.g. your decision to go into home schooling at 16, and your parents' decision to put Samuel into government care. Was there a reason why you didn't elaborate on these topics more thoroughly in the book? There was an explanation of events, but I would have loved further introspection, just to know what was going through your head in more detail, at the time.

It’s a curious thing, writing a book, because you never know where or when inspiration will hit and which parts of the book you want to elaborate on and which you prefer to keep to yourself. I didn’t make a conscious decision to not divulge on my feelings at that time but I suppose on the second count, Samuel (my mentally handicapped older brother) went into government when I was 5 years old and I couldn’t tell you what my feelings were at the time. Initially he came home on the weekends and that seemed like a normal solution to me as a child because I didn’t know life any other way. My parents were exhausted raising three children as well as doing full-time missions work and for them to maintain their energy and sanity, it was a necessary decision. Particularly because they knew Samuel could not adapt to life in India (he needs his routine) and that was our next stop. I didn’t want to invent things that weren’t there and for those fragmented moments of my childhood where my memory failed to conjure up emotions (of which there are many), I felt it best to stay factual. So no, it wasn’t intentional…it just happened that way.

- Your parents paid for you and your brother to go to counselling in Switzerland for a week, upon your discovery of being a TCK - and you mention the sessions weren't as helpful as meeting another TCK there. Why was this - what was particularly unhelpful about the sessions, and how do you think this can be improved for others in a similar position?

Like I say in the book, I found it extremely helpful to talk things out – free license to talk openly about my childhood without being paranoid that it would tarnish my parents reputations. However, the counsellors that my brother and I had didn’t have any experience of working with TCKs and it felt like we were on the receiving end of their “pet answers” because they didn’t know what to do. For example, my brother was sharing his difficulty in figuring out what to do with his life - his desire to explore the earth and live in different countries – and the counsellor told him to “get a job and settle down”! They didn’t really have the understanding or resources to tackle our chaotic upbringings since we didn’t fit in the usual boxes. I think there are far more “member care” and TCK places out there these days who are equipped to help and counsel TCKs so look out for those!

- What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?

It was really difficult to decide which stories to include and to make sure it came across well to the reader. I didn’t want to cause offense with my book (to non-TCKs) but I also wanted to speak freely and hope I have found that balance. It was also very difficult to know that I will be judged by Home Keeps Moving…that in being open and vulnerable at times, I have put myself out there and people may have critical or negative opinions of it. So far, the feedback has been extremely positive.

- You mention that "In a society consumed with education and diplomas, I do feel inferior at times, even though I believe the best form of education is gained through experience. But I still fear that my educational “mess up”will come back to haunt me one day." Where does this inferiority come from - can you elaborate on this, for other TCKs who might also not have chosen a university education?

It comes from most Western Societies I have lived in. People are judged by what they do. The only question that is as hard for me to answer as “Where are you from?” is “What do you do?”! It’s the way success is predominantly measured in the West – with diplomas, PHDs and salaries. I myself have noticed people treating me very different after the release of Home Keeps Moving. Just because I have a book out, now all of a sudden people are interested in talking to me – the very same people that a year ago turned their noses up me because I was simply a “voluntary worker”. There isn’t much room for those seeking an alternative life-style.

- How did you source the contributions in your book (e.g. from Debbie Ross)? Are they friends of yours, or did you find them through the Internet, etc?

The contributions are mostly from my friends – some of whom I’ve never actually met (Lorena Smith)! I got to know Debbie Ross through my husband - whilst living in New Zealand for 5 months. I did try to get some non-MK perspectives but none of the diplomat, business or military kids I asked came back to me with anything. Hopefully one day - in a revised edition - I will include a greater varierty of TCK contributions!

- If there's one thing TCKs can take away from your book, what would you like it to be?

That I hope we all celebrate our colourful and unique upbringings and don’t run from them. Yes, we have faced difficulties that many 60 year olds haven’t yet faced but we have the potential turn those difficulties into strengths. Don’t hide your TCKness:
Don't hide your light under a bushel…

-Is there anything that you might have left out from your book, that you would've liked to add?

I’m hoping to expand certain parts and include more stories if I ever get the chance to do a revised edition – I’ve already added more background to “The Early Years” on my blog: http://homekeepsmoving.blogspot.com/ For now, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Christmas discount

Get a 10% discount on PayPal orders of 'Home Keeps Moving' for the rest of November...order now - homekeepsmoving@gmail.com!!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

'Parenting While Abroad' interview

Interview: TCK Author Heidi Sand-Hart

Posted by admin on 11/16/10 Taken from: While Abroad

Heidi Sand-Hart was a missionary kid who spent the majority of her childhood moving from one exotic location to another. Like all TCKs she struggled to find a sense of belonging and a place to call home. The most tangible results of her struggles is the book Home Keeps Moving, which serves as an homage to the global nomadic lifestyle and all the good and bad that goes with it. It is an honest, moving book that encourages all TCKs to do the hard work necessary to find their sense of belonging in the world.

Heidi was interviewed by Susan Adkins, a freelance writer for Parenting While Abroad.

You write very honestly about your experiences as a TCK. What made you decide that this was a book you had to write?

Basically it came about as a result of my search for more personal literature on the topic of Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and the discovery that there were hardly any books out there. I started processing my own TCK journey more than 10 years ago and begun writing Home Keeps Moving then. The task was too overwhelming at the time but as I’ve gotten older, I have realised how exciting, colourful and unique my own childhood was and the desire to share that with others has progressively grown.

What is the main message that you hope readers get from your book?

It is my hope that people with traditional upbringings will understand TCKs a little better and that I play a little part in giving validation to my fellow TCKs (in many ways, a forgotten tribe). I hope TCKs will realise that it’s okay to have an unusual upbringing and not know where we come from or belong! There are many positives to be gained from a cross-cultural upbringing but I‘ve had to convince people of that fact over the years (and still do). Many people expect TCKs to have roots planted the same way as them (in one house, city or country) and view our restlessness as a sign of weakness. I disagree completely. The same logic applied would be to tell someone who has lived in one place their whole life to “move to the opposite side of the planet and relocate every year or two forever”…I can’t see too many reacting positively to that suggestion so why should it work the other way around?

How has your family reacted to this book?

Very positively – my family is incredibly proud of my achievement and my parents are currently distributing Home Keeps Moving in Finland for me. They encouraged me while I was writing it and have been fantastically supportive. My brother Ben provided me with a brilliant contribution for the book and is a very proud older brother.

How has faith played a role in your work and in your writing?

A lot of thought went into how my opinions would come across to the reader and I suppose that was predominantly because I didn’t want to offend people. I made a great effort to take ownership for my views and tried to convey them clearly. My faith helped drive me on in difficult times and gave me the self-belief I needed.

If you could recommend one thing adults can do to ease a child’s transition during a move abroad, what would it be?

Include them in the decision-making process…let them know that their feelings are important and allow them to speak freely. Encourage them to talk openly and focus on the many positives of living abroad whether they be beach holidays, eating out more or camel rides in the desert.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

I learnt how hard it is to write a book!! That finishing your manuscript is just the beginning – the process is long, difficult and requires a lot of mental energy and patience.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

I touched on it earlier…trying to weed out the potential of people misunderstanding me. Being ultra careful to clearly communicate my point and hopefully not offend people in the process! I didn’t want to come across as “preachy” but simply share how life has been from my perspective. It is a very hard balance to obtain. It was also difficult being open and vulnerable, knowing that I was granting the world access to my soul. I worried about how it would be received and still cringe every now and then but I think if you’re going to write your story, it has to come from your heart.

Your husband grew up in a New Zealand suburb. How have his experiences and childhood memories changed your perspective of your own life as a TCK?

It hasn’t changed my perspectives of my own TCK upbringing as much as acutely highlight the differences. It’s nice to see the security and enjoyment that my husband gets from having a very stable upbringing – his mum still lives in the same house – and he is constantly in touch with his childhood friends. I suppose some TCKs could be saddened by the losses or feel jealous by such stability but Paul & I have shared many conversations about the differences and what that means for us as a couple. I am just as secure in my “uprooted” upbringing as he is in his traditional one...

Continue reading: here

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

'Parenting While Abroad' book review

Book Review: Home Keeps Moving

"The author’s life as a child of missionary parents may seem like the fulfillment of a traveler’s dream. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that although Heidi Sand-Hart found her frequent overseas moves to be enriching and sometimes exhilarating, she was also left with a pervasive sense of loneliness and a confused cultural identity.

Home Keeps Moving is an exploration of Heidi’s past. It evaluates the effects that her nomadic upbringing has had on her adult life. Her reflections range from a light-hearted checklist on how to tell if one is a third culture kid (a good indicator is having a passport but not a driver’s license) to a heartbreaking recollection of a thoughtless individual on another continent throwing away her birth certificate, teddy bear and baby clothes.

The author seems to come to a certain peace with her history by the end of the book. She and her husband continue her parents’ work of helping the world’s less fortunate, a lifestyle that involves frequent relocations..."

Read full review here.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Enter Singapore Book Review

Book Review by Jennifer Reischel, taken from: Enter Singapore

Home Keeps Moving
By Heidi Sand-Hart
McDougal Publishing 2010

"You own two or more passports. You boarded airplanes before you could walk. And you feel strange surrounded solely by ethnic majorities. If any of these statements ring a bell, you may well be a part of the third culture kids (TCK) phenomenon. Home keeps moving is the penned memoir of a childhood spanning continents, languages, school systems and multi-cultural friendships.

Heidi Sand-Hart’s journey is a touchingly personal account, and yet she stands as a universal voice for all of us who as youngsters knew more about training maids in the Far East than the latest MTV video clips. Combining diary format style writing with chapter headings on specific issues connected to the TCK syndrome generally works well, and is useful when wishing to refer back to certain observations at a later point in time..."

Continue reading: Enter Singapore

Friday, 22 October 2010

Examiner Interview

Third culture kids and home keeps moving
  • October 20th, 2010 3:48 am ET

Looking for a book about third culture kids based on personal experience? In Home Keeps Moving, Heidi Sand-Hart shares her experience as a third culture kid. She wrote about how her life as a third culture kid and discusses issues many third culture kids face such as finding a sense of belonging and her search for a home. I asked her some questions:

Examiner: Trick question: Where are you from?

Everywhere and nowhere! My father is Norwegian, my mother Finnish, I was born in England and grew up in India, England and Norway. My parents met in London while working with the Asian community so my brothers and I were always surrounded by multiple nationalities and languages. Since leaving home, I have lived in USA, Canada, UK, Thailand and New Zealand (thus far!) and I’m now married to a New Zealander.

Examiner: How has being a TCK impacted your life? (positively and negatively)

Being a TCK has molded most aspects of my life. It was only when I became an ATCK that I realised the full extent of how I had been "ruined for the ordinary". By having such an exciting and varied upbringing, I struggle to find my place in this world and settle anywhere for more than a year or two. I feel like I am always passing through and don't perhaps commit as much as I could at times, to my current surroundings. Yet I love the knowledge gained and the ability to feel "at home" in the most bizarre corners of the globe; the ability to adapt quickly and relate to different cultures in an appropriate way. I have a strong desire to see more of this beautiful world and help as much as I can. There are so many positives to take from a TCK upbringing and if given the chance, I wouldn't change it for anything...

Read the full interview at: Examiner

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Expat Arrivals review

By Expat Arrivals

Book Review: "Home Keeps Moving - A Glimpse into the Extraordinary Life or a Third Culture Kid"

Growing up is never easy – and there’s no shortage of literature aimed at analysing the finer points of teenage angst or determining what makes children tick and tock during those pivotal years of early development. But about when these challenges are compounded by the pressures of moving and living abroad?

third culture children, TCK

The phenomenon of so-called Third Culture Kids (TCKs) is increasingly common in our globalised world, yet little writing hones in on the specific concerns of the nomadic tribes of children that have been uprooted and moved abroad, often multiple times and to multiple destinations, by their parents during their formative years of development.

Heidi Sand-Hart looks to give these Third Culture Kids a tool that they can use to relate and empathize with in her book “Home Keeps Moving”. Sand-Hart is a TCK herself, and and her autobiographical account invites others to validate their experiences and understand their own muddled emotions.

As the child of missionaries, a Norwegian father and a Finnish mother, she uses her many moves from England to India - with a touch of Norway in between - as an elongated illustration of the unique characteristics TCKs often develop and the frustrations they struggle to keep at bay.

In simple language she maps out her own journey across the big bad world, allowing her audience to stop at signposts and take note of the direction that she believes TCKs are often unknowingly wandering in: this way for difficulty in dealing with the abstraction of “home”, that way toward the complexities of calculating “loss”, and straight on ‘til morning toward the slow, creeping sense of grief that many battle to overcome.

Interlaced throughout the work are excerpts contributed by other Third Culture Kids who, using their hard-won hindsight, shed some light on the many skirmishes they fought with having such a mobile lifestyle during childhood, and what happened when it was time to make their own decisions about the future.

Sand-Hart doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, and she certainly isn’t an author that force-feeds her audience opinions they’d be hard-pressed to swallow. Rather, she’s incredibly open and honest about her own emotions, and in being so, from time to time the book takes on a self-reflective and confessional quality. This is particularly evident in the reactions she had to a life that was specific to missionary children, an element that seems to have inspired a great moral dilemma and a delayed period of “rebellion”.

Some Third Culture Children may not be able to identify with these particular issues, but otherwise, she paints her own picture in the soft but helpful light of subjectivity, and helps others to take up a brush of their own....

Read the full review at: http://www.expatarrivals.com/

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Educare Magazine Review

New Books
Home Keeps Moving by Heidi Sand-Hart
Heidi’s experiences and insights struck a chord with me as they will for many readers. Born to Finnish and Norwegian parents who worked for Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in the UK and independently in India, she experienced so much that other TCKs can relate to. The book recounts her family’s many moves through the eyes of a TCK. She recounts how she was catapulted from continent to continent constantly, leaving friends and starting all over again, leaving her with an unquenchable search for a “home” and a sense of belonging somewhere. In her own words introducing the book
“Nothing about my upbringing was “normal”. I do not come from one country, but four. I have been to nine different schools, more than 42 countries (and counting) and my belongings are scattered across three different continents. My definition of “normal” strays about as far from the conventional mould as it possibly could…”
She currently lives in London with her Kiwi husband, Paul, and views herself as a citizen of the world.

We warmly recommend Heidi’s book to TCKs, their parents & other family members and anyone working with TCKs in international schools and agencies.

It can be bought either at http://www.amazon.co.uk/shops/heidisand-hart from the UK or at www.amazon.com for N America. Those outside of Amazon territory can order from homekeepsmoving@gmail.com via paypal. She also has a blog site at http://homekeepsmoving.blogspot.com/ with more information about her experiences and the background to the book.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Introducing Agape Home

As well as to promote and inform people on the progress of Home Keeps Moving, I would also like to highlight friends and good causes around the world.

Kicking it off with Agape Home Orphanage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where my husband and I volunteered for 5 1/2 months in 2008-2009.

This video is a great introduction to the founder (Avis Rideout) and the work they do at Agape Home. Check their website for more info: http://www.nikkisplace.org/

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Oscar Book Review

Oscar Book review: 'Home Keeps Moving' by Heidi Sand-Hart

Reviewed by Carol Kingston-Smith

Home Keeps MovingHome keeps moving. A glimpse into the extraordinary life of a “Third Culture Kid” by Heidi Sand-Hart is an engaging narrative of a 1980’s child-hood spent negotiating several different countries and the attendant array of cultures, homes, schools and relationships. Heidi, a “missionary kid” (MK), with parents from different European countries, weaves perceptions and reflections of her own experience in a kaleidoscope world of changing realities in and out of contributions from other “Third Culture Kids” (TCK’s). As Ruth E.van Reken, co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing up among Worlds, helpfully points out in her forward to Heidi’s book; the TCK experience is one which has resonance and meaning in a rapidly globalising world, where mobility and cultural interchange has increasingly replaced static, monocultural lifestyles. Essentially, this is a book which presents the joys and challenges, frustrations and successes of lives and identities negotiated and re-negotiated in transit lounges, passport queues and baggage reclaim -those places which are neither here nor there but somewhere between worlds. I call this the territory of the expanding identity.

As a TCK myself - albeit one with a far less complex history - I can readily identify with the issues Heidi raises: the mixed loyalties, the acceptance of difference (and the attendant anger and dismay at those who don’t), the restless search for identity, feelings of rootlessness and yes, there is also the undercurrent of tidal grief which ebbs and flows through memories and experiences and friendships come and gone. Heidi and others share their struggles of faith and are real about the questions and the rebellions as well as the potential strengths afforded by their “untraditional” childhoods. One catches a glimpse of both the potentials and the pains of identities forged in the fissures between times and places (and for some TCKs these are multiple). How these identities flourish, it seems to me, depends to what degree one can integrate an expanding identity and let go of ones idealised identities…however many they may be! To embrace the reality of our complex fusion of worlds and peoples, cultures and values and perceive ourselves, not as “broken reflections” but rather as part of an expanding representation of what it means to be human is perhaps the deepest gift a TCK has to receive and make sense of. It is, as such, a gift to be shared; a gift of grace in a globalised world where increasingly integrity and wisdom are needed to negotiate the kaleidoscope of hybrid identities. Heidi points us towards that path of grace and suggests that yes, it is possible to live fruitfully in the expanded middle, beyond the boundaries yet within them. If you listen deeply you may hear the subconscious plea which many TCK’s carry, in the words of a well known TCK, Salman Rushdie, “For God’s sake, open the universe a little more!”....

Read full review at: Oscar

BUY YOUR COPY OF HOME KEEPS MOVING NOW: http://www.amazon.co.uk/shops/heidisand-hart

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Foreword by Ruth E. Van Reken

Foreword of 'Home Keeps Moving' by Ruth E. Van Reken

"In today’s globalizing world, life is becoming more culturally complex for countless individuals who, for many different reasons, are now growing, or have grown up, among many cultural environments. Rather than living in the world most children in past generations knew–a world where most folks interacted or operated with the same shared basic set of cultural rules, traditions, and lenses, through which they saw the world–many young people in today’s world grow up daily interacting in significant ways with people of widely divergent cultural norms, traditions, and world views. The truth is, as a global community, we are living out a great social experiment on a level never done before. If we learn our personal and cultural identities by having it mirrored back from our surrounding culture, how will this cultural juggling affect the lives of children who grow up among the many worlds rather than just one? No one knows for sure.
But there is one experience from the past that can give us clues for the present and future. In 1984, Dr. Ted Ward, a sociologist at Michigan State University, declared that third culture kids (TCKs)–those children who were growing up in a culture outside their parents’ passport culture for a significant period of their developmental years–were the prototype citizen of the future. He meant that because of changes due to transportation, communication, and trade, children of many backgrounds all over the world, would soon be growing up interacting with many cultural environments and high mobility. When Dr. Ruth Useem named them in the 1950’s, TCKs were primarily children of those who had gone overseas for their careers–military, embassy, colonial powers, corporate, and missions. The major influx of children into these ranks occurred after WWII, when many more people began to settle temporarily overseas because of the increase in multinational companies and trade, coupled with new ease of transportation. If we take a look at the impact of a globally mobile childhood on a child who grows up in that internationally mobile environment, we can examine the longer term impact of trying to learn personal and cultural identity when the mirror around is always changing its message to tell children who they are. Sometimes the local cultural mirror reflects that children are clear foreigners, neither physically resembling the dominant culture nor sharing the traditions or beliefs and values held in the deeper part of that surrounding culture. Other times, however, they may be “hidden immigrants” — physically resembling those around them, but not sharing knowledge of how life in this local culture works. And so it goes.
By looking at TCKs—this community of those who have already lived among many cultural worlds in their formative years—we can also begin to have clues for the possible responses other children may have when they move between cultures for reasons other than their parents’ careers. In applying lessons learned from the TCK experience, we can begin to recognize gifts in these other experiences as well. They may be children of minorities who successfully navigate between different cultural environments daily as they go to school in the dominant culture and “repatriate” to their home’s culture each evening. Others may be children of immigrants who annually travel back and forth between the parents’ former homeland and the new country in which they live to visit grandma. Some are children of bicultural marriages who begin life already negotiating cultural worlds within the walls of their home.
In Home Keeps Moving, Heidi Sand-Hart is giving us the opportunity to understand the traditional TCK experience that she and others have known. It is important for us to understand the basic story of those who, like her, grew up internationally mobile for their sake and also for the sake of those who love and work with them. But Heidi’s story and those she includes from other TCKs also take us into the expanding cultural complexity so many face in our world. Heidi is not only a traditional TCK, but she has an added layer of cultural nuances because her parents come from two different countries and cultures. In addition, she did not simply live between one home and one host country but moved multiple times among many. Her story reflects an increasingly common one, where the layering of cultural mixing almost defies comprehension, when compared with a traditional childhood of the past. As you read, you will enter into a better understanding of what many TCKs and other cross-cultural kids (CCKs) experience as they grow up in this “new normal” of increasing cultural complexity. However, hopefully as you read, you will be able to have deeper insight into your own life story and/ or others you know. Why? Because essentially the TCK story is not about people who are different, but about an experience which may be different from the common ways children grew up in the past. In the end, it is a story of human beings who, like all people throughout the ages, experience joy when they increase their knowledge and awareness of the world, but also experience grief when they lose something they love—be it friend, place, or a stage in life. Like children of all backgrounds, TCKs are shaped by the events and patterns of their formative years. You will learn what some of those common events and responses often are. But, in the end, you will also see that TCKs share the human feelings of joy, pain, celebration, despair, loneliness, belonging, loss, and great gain with others whose stories are quite unlike their own. The context of the stories you will read here is specific. The application of lessons learned from these TCK stories is universal. May you enjoy what you read and grow in the life you live because of what you encounter in the following pages!"
Ruth E. Van Reken
Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds
Co-founder, Families in Global Transition conference.
BUY YOUR COPY OF HOME KEEPS MOVING NOW: http://www.amazon.co.uk/shops/heidisand-hart

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


My brother (Ben) recently introduced me to a word
...a word that he thought best described Third Culture Kids and I must agree with him.

Sehnsucht (
a German word) is very difficult to translate into English but CS Lewis did his best by describing it as:

the "inconsolable longing" in the human heart for "we know not what."

I don't know about you but this Sehnsucht emotion is a frequent visitor of mine, whether it be triggered by something I see on television, walking the streets or it just settles over me with a longing that I find hard to put into words. Best to leave it to Lewis, who clearly didn't struggle to describe this sensation...

"That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World's End, the opening lines of "Kubla Khan), the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves."


"It is sometimes felt as a longing for a far off country, but not a particular earthly land which we can identify. Furthermore there is something in the experience which suggests this far off country is very familiar and indicative of what we might otherwise call "home". In this sense it is a type of nostalgia, in the original sense of that word. At other times it may seem as a longing for a someone or even a something. But the majority of people who experience it are not conscious of what or who the longed for object may be. Indeed, the longing is of such profundity and intensity that the subject may immediately be only aware of the emotion itself and not cognizant that there is a something longed for."

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

"Book Reviews" Page

New book review added to the "Book Reviews" page (see above)...

5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving--literally!, 14 Sep 2010
By Haru
Home Keeps Moving (Paperback)
Thank you, Heidi, on behalf of TCKs all over the world, for putting your extraordinary life experience to print. Calling all global readers: If you are at once unique and a citizen of the world, separate and yet united, or someone who has lived just one day outside your comfort zone, you will find Heidi, a person to whom you can relate...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Interview with Jo Parfitt

Author to Author interview with Heidi Sand-Hart, author of Home Keeps Moving

I came across Heidi’s memoir only two weeks ago. Home Keeps Moving is about how her life as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and Missionary Kid (MK) has shaped her identity and affected her life in ways many find the words to describe. I was immediately impressed. Not many people in their twenties write books based on their lives. Many wait until their forties or beyond before they feel they have enough to say. But Heidi has plenty to say. This book is theory in action. It as, as the Families in Global Transition conference likes to say ‘where research comes to life’. Indeed, Heidi was inspired by the work of Ruth van Reken and Dave Pollock and their seminal book, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.
This TCK MK writes beautifully about her experiences as the child of Scandinavian parents, pingponging between England and India. By examining her own experiences on themes such as rootlessness, restlessness and unresolved grief she is frank about how life was for her.
I believe that any twenty or thirtysomething ATCK (that’s a TCK who became an adult) will find support and resonance here. Speaking as one who did not live abroad until I was an adult, I am in awe of her resilience and her objective accounts of a very unusual life. She is perceptive and her descriptions leap off the page.
Peppered by writings from her peers and the experts, this is a great companion to Ruth and Dave’s book. I admire Heidi, as someone whose education was ‘patchy’ as a result of her nomadic upbringing, to have been brave enough to put her words on paper and then fight to find a publisher. It is with pleasure that what follows is my recent interview with her:
My name is Heidi Sand-Hart and I am an Adult “Third Culture Kid” (TCK) who grew up in India, England and Norway. My father is Norwegian, my mother Finnish and they were missionaries in the UK and India, hence we moved a lot! I myself have done plenty of travelling and voluntary work, particularly in Asia. I currently live in London with my Kiwi husband.
Tell me about your book. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few
sentences? To show that a book has focus it is vital that it can be described
briefly and succinctly.
“Home Keeps Moving” tells the story of growing up in many worlds due to moving frequently throughout my childhood. It gives a lot of insight into the many struggles and challenges that “Third Culture Kids” face with constantly leaving friends, homes and their familiar surroundings – of those trying to grasp an understanding of who they are and how they fit into their current society.
Why did you write “Home Keeps Moving”?
I actually started writing this book ten years ago but realised the task was too overwhelming for me at the time. As I’ve gotten older, I have realised how exciting, colourful and unique my own childhood was and I wanted to share that with others. Last autumn we returned to London from living in Thailand and I struggled to find a job…I realised the time was right to give this book another go.
Why do you think your book needed to be written? What will your book do for other people?
In my search for more personal literature on the topic of cross-cultural upbringing and TCKs, I realised there were hardly any books out there. It is my hope that people with traditional upbringings will understand TCKs a little better through my book and I really wanted to give validation to my fellow TCKs. (in many ways, a forgotten tribe).
Who do you think will read your book? What made you think that there was a market for it? Now that it’s been out for a while, what proof do you have that you were right?
In this global and transient age, I thought it was more important to have literature out there for people to grasp and empathise with TCKs, since cross-cultural living is becoming more common day by day. This topic is receiving far more exposure and media attention these days so I felt the timing was right. I have already received feedback that Home Keeps Moving has triggered thought and self-realisation in people.
It does not matter how good a book is, or how good your writing is if no one knows about it. What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to promote your book? Are you a speaker or trainer? Do you have a blog? A website? A newsletter? Do you use Facebook, Twitter or other social media tools? What about press releases and sending out review copies and free articles? Have you had any other ideas? Which methods do you think work best and can you give me any examples?
I set up a blog at http://homekeepsmoving.blogspot.com/ and e-mail account ahead of the book’s release and joined all the social networking sites to create “hype”. I researched all the websites and magazines interested in TCKs specifically and targeted them, spreading the word. I have spent huge chunks of time doing viral marketing – sending out press releases and following up with phone calls. I have done a radio interview and have two more lined up. I’ve written articles for free which have been published by The Telegraph and other online magazines. I have approached major and local bookshops in the UK. I have asked Missions Agencies, Expats, Member care organisations and International Schools to help me promote the book by featuring it on their websites and in their publications. I have also sent out lots of complimentary review copies and am trying to get the book reviewed or mentioned in as many publications as possible.
How did you publish your book? What was your route to publication?
As I was approaching the final stages of Home Keeps Moving, I started to send out sample manuscripts to publishers who had previously released books with a similar content. I also happened to have an acquaintance whose book on hot and cold climates (Foreign To Familiar by Sarah Lanier) was along similar lines to mine and she got me in touch with her publisher. I received my fair share of rejection letters and found the process extremely hard especially since many publishers refuse to accept unsolicited manuscripts and I didn’t want to go down the agent route. Luckily for me, Sarah Lanier helped open a door that might otherwise have remained closed.
Self-belief can be a big problem for writers. How did you manage to stay confident in your ability and remember that you were good enough to write your book? How did you cope with the days when you thought you could not do it and that it was rubbish?
Those days continue to come and go, even now! I have to say that the support and encouragement received from close friends and family is what spurred me on. My husband patiently assisted me in editing and perfecting the book. For me, the main target was just to complete the book that had been hanging over my head for ten years and I tried not to rush ahead of myself too much and allow worries of not getting published to overshadow things. On the days that inspiration didn’t come, I didn’t push myself…I just tried to take it in my stride and monopolise the good days. As the release date approached, I became slightly anxious about how it would be received since I was “putting myself out there” – divulging personal stories and also opening up to possible criticism. I haven’t even read my book since it’s been published because I had to go over it so many times in the run up to printing!...
Read full interview at: Jo Parfitt's website

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ordering Home Keeps Moving...

Don't be put off by the "Temporarily out of stock" message on amazon.co.uk!!!

Buy your signed copy of "Home Keeps Moving" at:


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

'Home Keeps Moving' has gone electronic!!!

For all Kindle lovers, I am glad to announce that HKM can now be obtained at: www.amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

Enjoy...! :)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Telegraph Article

Home keeps moving

Serial expat Heidi Sand-Hart has been to more than 42 countries, and never stayed anywhere longer than four years. Here, she explains how her childhood instilled in her a love of travel and change.

Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of Heidi Sand-Hart's many homes, in 2009.
Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of Heidi Sand-Hart's many homes, in 2009.
Born in Britain to a Finnish mother and Norwegian father, I guess you could say I was already dealing with three very different cultures right off the bat. My parents met while working with the Asian community in London but we continued to move frequently. From Derby to Norway to Sussex to London to India, I was constantly ready for the next big adventure, never fully accepted nor never truly an outsider. The question of where I belonged didn’t even emerge until I was much older, since as a child, you learn to adapt to whatever is thrown at you. It becomes your concept of “normal”.
While living in the UK, my parents were trying to hold onto their Scandinavian culture and traditions and yet allow my brothers and I to immerse ourselves in our country of birth, Britain. The only real “British” experience we had was at the multiple schools we attended and with some of our friends. We didn’t have the British traditions that my school friends had. We opened our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, didn’t attend football games with our father, and probably had fish and chips monthly instead of weekly.
My parents’ work targeted the Indian community of Britain, so we grew up on curry and chapattis and were constantly surrounded by different languages and dialects. I suppose I felt a sense of connection with all the cultures I was surrounded by, but I was never 100 per cent “in” any of them.
I remember my school friends talking about going round to their nan's for tea and feeling a pang of jealousy, since my grandparents lived in Scandinavia and I couldn’t even communicate with them in their own language, let alone see them whenever I liked. And when the time came, I didn’t make any of their funerals since I was living on opposite sides of the world.
There is a term which I think expresses perfectly what I am - "Third Culture Kid” (TCK), someone who has spent much of their childhood years outside of the parents’ culture, who absorbs elements from lots of different countries and has a sense of belonging to those who have had similar experiences. (See Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds by David Pollock and Rquuth Van Reken.)
I lived in India for five of my formative years and it has left quite an impression on me. Seeing drastic poverty, beggars and inhumane living conditions at the tender age of six left its mark and made the sacrifices I’d made (western food and running hot water) seem quite insignificant. India proved to be one of the most colourful backdrops for any childhood, full of chaos, colour, noise, chillies, monkeys, vibrancy, monsoons, elephants and smiles. India is a land of immense beauty and it saddens me to see how often it is portrayed negatively, as if it is nothing more than the slums of Calcutta or Mumbai.
Travel well and truly forced its way into my bloodstream and I have continued to incorporate this transient lifestyle into my adulthood. Since leaving home, I have lived as an expat in America, Canada, Thailand, India and New Zealand, being anything from a secretary to an orphanage volunteer. I have been to more than 42 countries (and counting) and never stayed anywhere for more than four years.
I am constantly seeking out new excuses and opportunities to live overseas. Having experienced such a colourful and varied childhood, I struggle to accept that life must be lived simply vegetating in one corner of the globe. Travel opens, challenges, and broadens mindsets and in that respect, Third Culture Kids are rich individuals indeed. I have gained an appreciation for other countries: their cultures, people, customs... what makes them unique. There is so much to see and be learned from other cultures, and for me, experience is the best form of education.
For me the grass always seems greener on the other side. I tend to glorify the future, cling to the past and have trouble ever really settling into the present. I let my mind wander to the vibrant, bold and warm when all that surrounds me is grey, dull and dreary.
I often get asked when I’ll “settle down and get a real job” but for me, the road is my home. London is currently where I reside but “home” is where my family are… it is anywhere and everywhere. I have grown accustomed to the adrenalin that flows with packing up one country in exchange for another, traversing from West to East and leaving for the excitement of the unknown.
I think deep down inside, we all know it will be the things we failed to do that will haunt us on our deathbeds and I intend to go with a smile on my face, thinking of the sun rising over the Himalayas, drinking tea with the Bedouins of Jordan, snorkelling in the Perhentian Islands, riding camels in the Sahara desert, seeing lightning storms over Mount Bromo in Indonesia, the invigoration of leaping from a boiling sauna into a freezing cold lake, walking The Great Wall of China and riding off from my wedding on an elephant's back into the Kerala night.
Heidi Sand-Hart's memoir, Home Keeps Moving, is available on amazon.co.uk, or can be ordered directly at homekeepsmoving@gmail.com.

Friday, 13 August 2010

'Home Keeps Moving' in The Telegraph!

My article, titled Home Keeps Moving has been published in The Telegraph (UK).

Click on the below link to read:


Friday, 23 July 2010

The years behind "The Early Years"....

In chapter three of 'Home Keeps Moving' (“Nothing Is Weird, Just Different”), I start off by saying "Life was relatively normal during my early years" (heavy emphasis on relatively) and just want to clarify that in fact those years were also very transient.

9 Finsley Walk, UK
I was born in Derby (UK) and lived there for the first year of my life. Clearly, I don't have many memories from this time.

Fåberg, Norway
We moved to Norway a month after I had turned one. My dad got work helping a carpenter in Fåberg (near Lillehamer) which kept us going. My parents actually intended to live in Norway for quite some time (which I only discovered recently)...how different my life (and book) would've turned out!
After being in Norway for just eight months, we moved back to England...this time to a big manor house in West Sussex. My parents were involved in a school with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) so we lived in a flat on the base, with people from all over the world. We lived at Holmsted Manor for eight months but this included a two month trip to Madrid, in which I remember spilling my food tray on the aeroplane floor, aged two!! That was my first flight since we always travelled by ferry to Norway. It was during our spell at Holmsted Manor that Keith Green performed his final concert - to us YWAM children - before his tragic death. He also paid for the swimming pool that we enjoyed tremendously the following summer.

191 Portland Road, UK
After living in the glorious, tranquil English countryside we returned to Derby and moved into a house that I have absolutely no recollection of! My father helped me with the chronology of this entry and I wasn't even aware that I lived at 191 Portland Rd for a few months. My parents worked with YWAM in the Midlands.

5 Mill Hill Road, UK
We then found the house that to this day, remains my longest ever time spent in one house: four years! I have plenty of happy memories of this particular house and season of my life. My nursery and first day of school occurred a stone's throw from Mill Hill Rd.

We travelled lots over these years...attending conferences all over Europe, visiting with family in Scandinavia and enjoying holidays in the Austrian Alps and Cornwall. This is where Chapter Three in the book picks up so I need not say anymore...

My childhood memories are as fragmented as the missing pieces of a puzzle...