Every week on ExpatFocus I post several interviews with people living all around the world. While they’re all interesting in their own ways, a lot of them are very similar. People miss their family and friends, they like the cuisine except for this one disgusting thing, they’ve made friends with some expats and some locals, and they advise potential expats to do a bit of research but then just plunge in and go for it.
Infrequently, however, I come across a person whose story is both thought-provoking and fascinating. Bethany is one such individual.
Having moved abroad eight years ago to take up a teaching position in Turkmenistan, Bethany has since lived all over the world with her husband and their daughter. She’s lived in five countries so far and has visited over fifty.
Bethany’s interview reads like the best kind of book: the type that one minute will have you literally laughing out loud, and the next sobering up and being moved by a story that’s been told well but shouldn’t have to be told at all. As part of an interracial couple with a biracial daughter, Bethany has experienced first-hand the kind of prejudice so many of us wish just didn’t exist.
In the interview, Bethany discusses some of the experiences her family has had abroad, both the bad:
Too many times I have witnessed my husband treated poorly due to the color of his skin, then they fall all over themselves in shock and horror when they find out he is a United States Diplomat.
…and the downright hilarious:
In March, 2015 (my daughter had just turned 5) we were on holiday in Sydney, Australia. We get in the elevator in our hotel where a man in a hat and his wife are inside.
My daughter (H): (skipped inside) Hello!!
(The man turns around and my husband and I try not to freak out when we recognize it is Rod Stewart)
H: Watch, I can snap!
Rod Stewart: Wow, amazing! Can you whistle like this? (Demonstrates)
H: No, I can’t whistle, but I can sing! (Starts freestyling a song she knows and then with her hip jutted out with all the sass in the world.) Can you sing???
Rod Stewart: Not like you, that was fantastic!
H: I know, right!!
My husband and I immediately dropped our jaws that our little one had just asked an internationally famous singer if he could sing as well as she could.
TIL Rod Stewart is a perfect gentleman.
Bethany also runs Biracial Bookworms, which encourages people to read diverse literature when teaching reading skills. I’m hoping to interview her on here about that in more depth at some point, but for now take a look at the full interview on ExpatFocus for more stories about Bethany’s life around the world.