Ute Limacher-Riebold has a profile that makes one’s eyes pop, glaze over, wink twice, then close with reflection and a bit of – oh, I don’t know – Global Mom reverence. I’ve quietly followed her blog for a while, then recently dared to drum up an offline connection. Ever since, I have been greatly enriched by our cross-cultural interaction. One of those times where I am indeed grateful for the power of social media.
Let me introduce Ute before you click over to her blog, where she has (voluntarily, without my request or prompting!) written a thoughtful and thorough review of my recently published book.
Born in Switzerland, she spent her childhood in northern Italy, attended university in Switzerland (completing a PhD in French medieval literature), worked there in the Department of Romance Studies, scooted down to Florence for professional reasons (and had a baby son there), scooted back up to the Netherlands (where her twin daughters were born), and now maintains a rich treasure of a blog, Expatsincebirth.
Yes, as you guessed, Ute is a polyglot. She masters German, Italian, English and French, and in turn considers herself a comfortable coalescence of all of these cultures. No doubt her Dutch is nearly as impeccable by now, and she, her husband and her children (all multilingual, as well) are flavored by the Dutch language and culture, too. Her life experiences offer a strong model for the kind of nomadic, borderless living that is becoming more and more common.
I’ll be returning in future posts to Ute and similar writers and mothers. Their global outlook and multicultural life experiences will surely inspire a holistic view of how to navigate this fascinatingly diverse and ever-shrinking world.
Do you know families like this, who move between countries, cultures and languages?
Are you one? Tell us about it.
What do you imagine the costs are for such fluidity?
If you happen to live a more localized life, what things would be hardest to sacrifice to have such global experiences?
And what about localized living would you not mind giving up?