“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

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