Balancing Cultures

Meghan Kitchen

Independent Podcast using personal stories from around the world to explore the balancing of cultures in our lives and in ourselves. Show Notes & More at

Balancing Cultures Podcast Trailer
Trailer 1 min 22 sec

All Episodes

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 65: Her Finland – Helping Non-Finns Make Their Finnish Dreams Come True ….. Do you dream about Finland? Varpu of Her Finland is here to talk about making Finnish dreams come true, especially for non-Finns… or in our case, Finns outside of Finland. We talk about Finnish culture, about my Finnish dream, about her current adventure and personal Finnish dream, and I finally get some answers about a particular Finnish tradition around Easter. --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2

33 min 25 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 64: What’s in a Name? The Culture a Name Carries & Our Balancing with Belonging ….. Jorge with a J is here to tell us more about the power of a name to give us a sense of belonging, to make us stand out, to connect us to heritage, to pass on legacy and to help us build bridges.  A name can say so much. Here is one man’s story from immigrant parents, to Canadian upbringing to living abroad and his name along the way. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 25

38 min 5 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 63: Can We Talk About Balance? Moving, Changing, Becoming, Balancing ….. Balance and the In-Between: Most of us have moved at some point in our lives, to a new city or country, and had to strike a balance between here and there, then and now. So today, Nicole from the Expat Cast is here and we are chatting about Balance. We’re asking ourselves: Who were we, Where are we, & What do we want? We don’t have the answers but here’s a podcast full of questions to ponder. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 18

49 min 40 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 62: Future Proofing with GrowGetters – Empowering Women through Skill Building & Community ….. Are you a GrowGetter? In this episode I speak with the founders of GrowGetters, because it’s now or never for so many women around the world. Let’s get future proof! They want to inspire women to stop, to reflect, to ask: am I happy? Does this place serve me? What I’m doing right now, does it serve me? GrowGetters are empowering women to be future ready though skill building and community. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 11

46 min 52 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 61: The New Face of Grief – For when life is not what we thought it would be ….. Let’s talk about Grief. Katie Rössler is back on Balancing Cultures to share her story of living through it, writing it down, and now sharing with the world… The New Face of Grief. Katie’s debut book is self-help meets memoir meets grief 101. Helping us feel informed and empowered when life is not what we thought it should or would be. (Check out Katie’s other interview in episode 16) --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 4

40 min 45 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 60: Why We Moved– Considerations, Emotions & Reflections Around Moving ….. Why did we move? Why do we move? In over 60 episodes, I have talked to many guests about why they move and in this episode it’s the main event. My mom is back for a reflection on the considerations and emotions around moving. We will talk through four different phases of her life (which overlap with mine in a few cases) and how the reasons for moving changed: From a young couple, to a family, to a widow with grown children, to retirement. My mom looks back at the great, the grief and the growth. --- Send in a voice message:

Oct 7

51 min 40 sec

ANCHOR FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 59: Choosing to Stay Abroad – Life with a Blend of Cultures, outsider Benefits & Creative Pursuits ….. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked: Why did you leave California? California is great. I will always be Californian. When people ask where I’m from, I still say California. But I did not leave my heart in San Francisco. I packed it up, brought it to Europe and now it belongs to Munich. And I’m not the only one. Eleanor Mayrhofer is here to chat about her Californian upbringing with a blend of cultures that showed her the benefits of being an outsider and opened her up to international life. Despite the headaches of expat life: From visas and taxes to quitting corporate life and starting a business. Eleanor is still choosing to stay abroad. --- Send in a voice message:

Sep 30

46 min 1 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 58: Interview Extras – Umlauts, Inspiration, Education & An Airlift ….. Welcome to interview extras and behind the scenes of Balancing Cultures. I like to have fun with my guests, which means we warm up with chit chat, sometimes take a quick break in the middle, go off on fun conversational detours and check in after the questions. I’ve saved clips from 4 recent interviews to share with you from: Episode 50 Clarity with Keltie, Episode 51 Laxmi’s Mooch with Shelly, Episode 56 An American in Finland with Jade, and Episode 57 Parenting Non-Binary with Callie. But as I said, these are the extras, so the topics are: Changing our names, Book title inspiration, Finnish education, The Afghan Airlift, and Living in Germany. Check the show notes for more about the guests and their other episodes. --- Send in a voice message:

Sep 23

22 min 54 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 57: Parenting Non-Binary – Balancing Religious Upbringing, Feminist Values, Military Family & Being an LGBT Ally ….. Parenting is hard work. It’s not just the endless to do lists; It’s the exhausting confrontation of who we are, how we grew up, and what controls our decision making. It’s also the concerns we have about the world and how we prepare our kids to be a part of it. Callie knows these challenges very well. She is the mom of a non-binary child but her story does not start there. In this episode, we talk about the evangelical culture she grew up in, how she confronted her upbringing by embracing feminism, how feminism fits into her life as a military spouse and how she channels her mix of midwestern values and feminism into parenting a non-binary child (yeah – it’s a good story). --- Send in a voice message:

Sep 16

48 min 3 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 56: An American in Finland – From the Pursuit of Happiness to the Happiest Country in the World ….. It’s the classic story of an American girl meets a Finnish guy. Well, at least there are two of us. They met in the USA but basketball took them abroad and back to his home country. Jade is here to talk about her side of the love story as an American in Finland: From learning the language, to finding a job, adjusting to the communication style and the weather. Jade tells us all about her Nordic adjustment and answers the ultimate question: Is Finland really the happiest country in the world? --- Send in a voice message:

Sep 9

46 min 1 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 55: How We Talk About Eating Disorders – How Conversations Have Changed & Should Change ….. Conversations matter. In the last 50 years, the conversations around eating disorders have drastically changed From the conversations in medical education, to the inclusion of conversations as a part of diagnostics and treatment, and our awareness around the conversations we have about our own bodies. In this episode, I invited my godmother Eileen, who is a dietician working in the field of eating disorders for 40ish years, to talk about the truths and assumptions around eating disorders and more. --- Send in a voice message:

Sep 2

46 min

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 54: Balancing in the Playroom – Empowering Identity & Nurturing Empathy Through Play ….. How do we share our culture? Whether it’s between generations or with friends along the way, how do we have conversations about what makes us different with confidence in who we are and with openness to other cultures? It starts in the playroom! Representation of culture in books and toys helps children develop and take pride in their identity. Talking through our similarities and difference in a fun way helps nurture empathy. The founders of Indigrow Kids are here to talk about their hopes for early childhood cultural exploration which is inspired by their own experiences. --- Send in a voice message:

Aug 26

38 min 37 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 53: All About Periods – A Conversation with My Mom about the Conversations We Never Had ….. We need to talk about periods. As a follow up to Ep. 43, We need to Talk about the Uterus, and Ep. 46, I’m Ready to Talk About My Uterus, here is a conversation with my mom about periods. All the things that were never said to us, the things my mom wished she would have said to me, and how we want the conversation to change for my daughter. --- Send in a voice message:

Aug 19

30 min 30 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 52: Relocation & Personal Development - Balancing Expat Expectations around Work & Life in Germany ….. Location, Location, Relocation! In this episode, I speak with Madalina who is a relocation consultant and cross boarder recruiter. For me, the best part of the interview was learning about her personal experience as an expat that has given her an empathy superpower when supporting clients. When jobs were scarce in her home country of Romania, she looked abroad and found work in Munich, Germany. Through the process of moving between countries and supporting others in her HR role, she found a passion for helping non-German speakers and non-EU citizens jump through hoops of finding home. We recorded our interview in June, but needed to jump back on the mics in August for an update because some amazing things happened. We had a great chat about personal development, being the outlier in a group (by gender, age, nationality, etc.) and how we can learn from each other’s differences. --- Send in a voice message:

Aug 13

49 min 12 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 51: Author Interview Laxmi’s Mooch – A Conversation about Books, Balancing and Body Hair ….. Author Shelly Anand is here to discuss her debut children’s book that reflects her own upbringing as an Indian-American. This became an episode about a kid’s book that is about so much more than kid’s books; A conversation for everyone, not just those with kids in their lives. Laxmi’s Mooch is the story of a young Indian girl in a diverse classroom who becomes self-conscious about her differences – specifically her mustache – and how her questions help everyone around her understand more about themselves.  The more we balance and interact with other cultures, the more we see our differences. Shelly says, “with diversity comes curiosity.” It’s only natural to compare and contrast our behaviors, bodies and beliefs with others. But how can we move forward with understanding and acceptance rather than judgement? In this episode, we hear about: Shelly’s Story as the child of Indian immigrants growing up in the southern United States. A Behind the scenes look at the writing of Laxmi’s Mooch. And a deep dive into why these conversations are so important for every member of the family. *Shelly also gives us some fresh announcements about upcoming books! --- Send in a voice message:

Aug 5

44 min 31 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 50: Cultivate Life with Clarity – Celebrating 50 Episodes with Stories of Getting Unstuck and In Motion ….. Keltie Maguire is here to talk about Clarity. What it is, why she sought it for herself, how she helped me, and where we go from here. Because clarity is not just knowing what we want, need and value… it’s taking action! Getting Unstuck and In Motion! --- Send in a voice message:

Jul 29

40 min 36 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 49: Interview Extras – Baby Names, Bike Shops, Social Media & The Patriarchy ….. Welcome to Balancing Cultures Interview Extras! The stuff that is too good ⁠not to share but ⁠didn't fit in the episodes⁠. Including tangents from ⁠Jane (ep. 40)⁠, Meredith (ep. 45)⁠, Ashlee (ep. 41) ⁠& Ella (ep. 47)⁠. --- Send in a voice message:

Jul 8

29 min 46 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 48: Uncovering My Confidence – Third Culture Kid Adaptability in Workplace Culture ….. Third Culture Kids are often adaptable. But adaptability can be both a help and a hindrance. Elizabeth Skinner says, moving every 2-4 years gave her the instinct of assimilation. In school, this helped her adapt to each new environment. But once she was old enough to choose life for herself, she was still following other people’s lead. In the workplace, she felt off balance and took years to uncover her core values and what she wanted from life. In this episode, we hear about international life, and how Elizabeth took her TCK adapting skills from anxiety inducing to confidence boosting. --- Send in a voice message:

Jul 1

32 min 59 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 47: Contemporary Composing – In Search of Inspiration, Connection & Equity ….. When I say composer, who do you think of? Do you think of powdered wigs and tailed coats? Maybe you think of modern composers and the sound tracks to blockbuster movies. Either way, who is the person you think of? A man? A white man? Ella Jarman-Pinto is neither of those things and she is here to make more room for marginalized people in the world of composing. She grew up surrounded by music, both parents in the jazz scene encouraging her to test and try and create music without risk of wrong. Being told Everything you create is valid. Along the way, Ella lost her passion to create but a little boy named Marvellous John helped bring her back. Now she has a drive to change the face of composing and boost equity along the way. Content warning: there is mention of pregnancy loss in this episode around the 20 minute mark. --- Send in a voice message:

Jun 24

41 min 52 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 46: I’m Ready to Talk About My Uterus – A Story of Periods, Pregnancies, & a Hysterectomy ….. I am ready to talk about my uterus. What I didn’t realize along the way was how much the culture around me influenced how I spoke or didn’t speak about things, how those influences made me feel about my own body, and how all of it impacted my actions. From lack of conversations around periods To my limited education about my own biology To concern for my career if I spoke about family planning To silence around pregnancy loss To accepting medical gaslighting To questioning my own intentions while seeking medical support To a final sense of relief when doctors confirmed my pain was real My story includes a lot of topics that are taboo and triggering. I know some listeners have faced or are still facing these challenges. I appreciate all of you who have messaged me to share your stories after the last uterus episode. I hope the continuation of my story is helpful for someone out there. --- Send in a voice message:

Jun 17

39 min 3 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 45: Intuitive Health & Holistic Lifestyle – Coaching, Education & Small Changes to Find Balance ….. Health is about all the small choices we make through the day, the habits we hold and the values that drive them. In this episode, Meredith Keith-Chirch of M for Health is here to talk about intuitive health and holistic lifestyle choices. After getting to know Meredith, and a great tangent about living car free, we discuss how important is it to look at our health outside of cultural expectations and social norms to find our individual balance. We touch on friend, family and work pressures, the benefits and flexibilities of routine, and how it all starts with one small change. --- Send in a voice message:

Jun 10

49 min 15 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 44: The Power of Introverts - Quiet Leadership & Thriving in an Extrovert’s World ….. I’ve always been told I’m an extrovert. I’m a podcast host. I’m the one who stood up at the end of birth class and said “I need mom friends”. I’m the teacher who volunteers to teach sex ed and yells vagina to break the ice. Even back in high school I loved being on stage for plays and at university, I was the editor of the student humor magazine. But, over the last year and a half, with pandemic inflicted solitude, I have found more and more opportunities to embrace my introvert side. It was always there, none of us are 100% Extrovert, but I had been convinced that my extrovert side was more valuable.  However, despite the world showing favor to the loud and social, we need people from both sides of the spectrum. In this episode, you’ll hear from Faris Khalifeh who encourages us to see the benefits in the balance and the power of quiet leadership. Show notes are on and while you’re there: sign up for the newsletter and find links to support with buymeacoffee and patreon. --- Send in a voice message:

Jun 3

35 min 22 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 43: We Need to Talk About the Uterus – Advocating for Women’s Health: Periods, Fibroids, Hormones & More ….. Those born with a uterus, and the systems around it, are balancing cultures.⁠ We balance the culture of awkwardness around our own bodily functions to the point that we accept the lack of conversation, knowledge and care.⁠ ⁠ In this episode, I chat with Karen Mannion about our personal experiences with fibroids and explore the larger topic: A need for more conversations for the sake of our health and future generations. ⁠ ⁠ Listeners who follow Balancing Cultures on social media know, since this interview was recorded, I ended up having surgery and removing my uterus. I will make an episode in a few weeks to follow up. ⁠ ⁠ For now, here is a chat between two uterus owners trying to challenging cultural norms.⁠ --- Send in a voice message:

May 28

50 min 48 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 42: Learning to Read – How Culture Shapes our Introduction to Literacy ….. Ann Heiliger is back to take us from board books to emerging readers. BUT this is not just about learning to read. Ann is our deep dive guide, through the frustrating to the motivating, with book recommendations and a few laughs thrown in the balance it out. In the first half of this extra-long episode, we look critically at the US with comparisons to Finland. We discuss the gap between academic standards and the cultural pressure to be exceptional, causing a race for success. In the second half, we look at Ann’s personal story as a mom of twins who learned to read this year in two very different ways. Did her teaching skills come in handy? Listen to find out. --- Send in a voice message:

May 20

1 hr 33 min

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 41: Balancing Social Media – Discernment, Boundaries, Authenticity, & Protecting our Mental Bandwidth ….. There are so many things in life that are good to a point: Ice cream, sunshine, socializing and the topic of today… Social Media There is no denying that social media helps entrepreneurs and writers gain exposure and make connections but we still need to balance between useful and too much. For this conversation, I invited Ashlee Gadd to join me. She went viral with her collective motherhood blog Coffee and Crumbs but she has also felt low lows of social media overload. Today, we start with the social media love story that pushed her into the spotlight. Then we explore how, over the years, she’s used discernment, boundaries, and authenticity as a part of her balancing to protect her mental bandwidth. --- Send in a voice message:

May 13

57 min 18 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 40: Celebrating One Year of Podcasting – Behind the Scenes of Balancing Cultures ….. We It has been one year since my first episode "aired" in May 2020. In what I thought was the middle of the pandemic, I pushed through with my pre-pandemic plans of starting a podcast. In this episode, I hand the interviewing reins over to my mom so I can reflect on: Why podcasting? What inspired the name? How I developed the logo? How do I know the guests? How do I balance? What have I learned? My advice for others. What's next? The Newsletter! Sign up on --- Send in a voice message:

May 6

39 min 28 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 39: Nordic Mum Down Under – Holding onto Scandinavian Culture in Australia ….. What do you think of when I say Nordic? What about Scandinavian? Susanna Heiskanen was born and raised in Finland before moving abroad. She’s always been Finnish as she’s lived around the world. But it was not until she became a parent that she really reflected on her Nordic culture, what it means to her and how she wants to embrace in her everyday life. Even once she chose to embrace her roots, she says, it’s difficult to hold onto the language and culture while living in a different country. But She’s doing her best and podcasting along the way as The Nordic Mum. --- Send in a voice message:

Apr 29

42 min 8 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 38: Inclusion in Media Matters – From Family Structures to Disabilities, The Power in Representation ….. Beth Cox works with people across the board in the publishing industry but our conversation is about more than books. We expand on the topics of disabilities, family structure and diversity into discussions about representation in all media, including a very unfortunate example of what not to do. This episode is for everyone, not just parents, not just people with kids in their lives. It is for everyone who consumes media (which I assume is everyone) because we all have the power to make choices that guide publishers and content creators. This conversation is not about shaming. It’s about moving forward, educating ourselves, and knowing the importance of seeking out new perspectives. --- Send in a voice message:

Apr 22

47 min 50 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 37: Is This Balancing – Is Every Choice Influenced by Culture? ….. Announcements - Sign up for the newsletter and check out website updates! For the last year, as I reached out to guests or considered topics of conversation, One question that comes up is - Is This Balancing? Is this balancing CULTURES? I believe, how we approach everything, even the little things like, do you make your toothbrush wet before the toothpaste or do you sleep with socks on, is all linked to some type of influence. The question is – is it from culture? --- Send in a voice message:

Apr 15

12 min 39 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 36 part 3: I Dream of Packing Suitcases – Things We Miss After a Year Without Travel: The Places We Chose for Ourselves ….. They are not the countries we were born in, they are place we chose for ourselves. In this episode we welcome back 2 Balancing Cultures Alumni: Lisa Davis (Ep. 26) and Ann Heiliger (Ep. 4), to reflect on the places they’ve called home. Both American born, and both chose to live abroad. First we hear from Lisa, currently living in Germany but missing The UK, Ireland and The USA. Then, to close this 3 part series, we hear from Ann who is living back in the place she grew up in Portland, OR, USA, but misses many things about life in Germany. Part 3 Includes Perspectives From: USA, Germany, UK, Ireland --- Send in a voice message:

Apr 1

36 min 57 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 36 part 2: I Dream of Packing Suitcases – Things We Miss After a Year Without Travel: The Comfort of the Familiar ….. The place matters. Sometimes we miss the food products and shopping from the places we’ve called home. But sometimes we just need the place itself. The feeling we get being there that cannot be packed into a suitcase: The weather, the sounds, the proximity to people we love.  Part 2 Includes Perspectives From: Malaysia, Penang, India, New Delhi, USA, Germany. --- Send in a voice message:

Mar 25

33 min 18 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 36 part 1: I Dream of Packing Suitcases – Things We Miss After a Year Without Travel: Sounds, Snacks, Shopping & Siblings ….. It has been 1 year since I was on an airplane. We flew from Australia to our home in Germany on March 18th, 2020 and went into lockdown on March 21st, 2020.  Since then it has been a lot of what-ifs and definitely-nots around travel. For our family and many people I know, It meant no international travel since that day. Although I’ve grown up away from family my whole life, the last year felt different. I miss things. For Episode 36 parts 1 and 2, six of us will share the things we miss, especially in the last year, from the places we’ve called home. People, places, food and more. Part 1 Includes Perspectives From: USA, Germany, England, Poland, Philippines. --- Send in a voice message:

Mar 18

39 min 36 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 35: Resilience in Translation - From Idioms & Italics to Connect for Culture: The Woes & Wonders of Translating ….. Resilience in Translating… I didn’t truly understand the reliance needed for translating until this interview. I knew translation was not a word for word process, but the challenges are much more complex than untranslatable idioms. Translation contains culture and context and layers that do not easily shift between languages. But my guest says, the exchange of texts between cultures is worth any headaches and potential ‘lost in translation’ moments. In this interview, you will meet Lawrence Schimel: Author, Translator, and Duende Seeker. A New Yorker living in Spain and working with people from around the world. --- Send in a voice message:

Mar 11

40 min 54 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 34: Silver Haired Curve Model – Body Confidence Activist & Out of the Bubble after 40 ….. Not just a New Career After 40...⁠ a New Perspective. This silver haired curve model spent years saying no to opportunities and letting self-consciousness guide her decision making. At 39 years old, Rachel Peru took inventory of her life and stepped out of her bubble because it is never too late to say yes, take risks, and believe in yourself. But What sparked this awakening and what steps were on her way to genuine confidence… Listen to Episode 34 to hear her story. --- Send in a voice message:

Mar 4

31 min 57 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 33: Growing Up Diplomatic – Indian Roots, International Upbringing, American Life, & Bookstagram for Balancing ….. Heritage, Roots, Culture… What’s the word I’m looking for? My guest was born to Indian parents, but not in India. She grew up around the world as a diplomat’s daughter. Although her parents have since retired back in India, she has found home in Chicago, USA. Saranya is Indian. But as you will hear as she shares her story, it has been a lifetime of discovery, finding which parts of Indian culture feel most authentic to who she is. Especially now that she is a parent and deciding what values and traditions they will embrace as a family. Even if she needs to google all the recipes. Once we get to know Saranya, we will dig into her public life as a content creator, promoting social awareness with a side of kid’s books @Toddlers.Who.Read Because to understand what she does now, it’s best to know where she has been. --- Send in a voice message:

Feb 25

56 min 35 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 32 Part 2: The Expat Who Stayed - A Brit Balancing in Belgium for Over 50 Years ….. Sue Baudoux was born in 1945 in London.Part one explored her post war childhood with rations, rubble, a love of languages and failure in math to find she's not so average after all. In this episode, we follow her as she moves across the Channel for love and life. She has been “abroad” for over 50 years. Two thirds of her life in a country she was not born in. Sue is not an expat, not an immigrant, not a local. She is a lifer. What is that like? To be married and have kids and manage friendships and work in a place you call home but not a part of your upbringing. From table manners to politics, Let's go ahead and start the conversation. --- Send in a voice message:

Feb 18

38 min 43 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 32 Part 1: Not Your Average Post-War Baby - From London Rations to French Wineries ….. A Post War Baby - Sue was born in 1945. With the same rations and rubble as the families around her, she saw her London upbringing as average. Her father wore a bowler hat to work and her mother stayed home to keep house. But even the smallest differences in attitudes and approach can change a child’s path. Encouraged to follow her love of languages, and gifted with multiple math failures, Sue discovered new worlds. Until this interview, she had never stopped to reflect on the impact of it all. She knew she was different but what made her go one way when most of her classmates went the other way. --- Send in a voice message:

Feb 11

32 min 48 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 31: The Habits We Have – From Childhood, Into Relationships, With In-Laws, & The Impact of Current Events. ….. The Habits We Have…⁠ Imbedded in childhood,⁠ taken in to relationships,⁠ balanced with in-laws,⁠ and impacted by current events.⁠ My Mom is back for an impromptu, unscripted conversation. ⁠Listen to us talk through the impact of current events on our habits and how we pass those habits on from generation to generation.⁠ --- Send in a voice message:

Feb 4

41 min 32 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 30: One Woman One Garden – Empowerment Through Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa ….. Community Service. It’s the rare student who takes a project beyond the requirements - One who is passionate about making a difference. My guest today is an ex-student who went from fundraising to volunteering to initiative developer. Anna grew up in a family that took action together and as a teenager, she went in person to Burkina Faso, West Africa where her project went from statistics on a screen to personal stories and personal engagement. She is here to share her story, from international student to empowering women. --- Send in a voice message:

Jan 28

37 min 45 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Ep. 29: Learning with Parents – Narrowing the Gap of Educational Disadvantage ….. Each culture wants it’s children to achieve, to be successful. Yet in most if not all cultures, there is an achievement gap. In the UK, Tom Harbour was challenged by the achievement gap between rich and poor. After jumping into the research about educational disadvantage, Tom went fromteacher to initiative leader – starting Maths with Parents, now Learning with Parents. With an online program, Tom hopes to help families engage with education to give ALL children the opportunity to achieve. Today we hear about the man behind the maths, and the vision to narrow the gap. --- Send in a voice message:

Jan 21

48 min 54 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Ep. 28: Balancing Into a New Year – Let’s Not Rush Into Anything ….. Ready for a New Year but Let’s not rush into anything. I’m here to end 2020 with: some thoughts on the culture of resolutions, an alternative to goal setting, reflections on what success was in the year many referred to as a dumpster fire, and where can we look for inspiration on what to do next. Today, the conversation is between me and you.  --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2020

18 min 44 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. #27: Balancing Christmas – Trees, Presents, Food, & Negotiating Traditions ….. My Brother is here! American siblings talk about childhood, marrying Europeans, balancing traditions, and celebrating as parents. *Tangents Include: Real versus Fake Trees, Hallmark Ornaments, When should we open presents, Food, food and more food, Where does Santa live, and How much pressure should parents put on themselves? (Spoiler: A lot less pressure) ***Real Spoiler Alert*** Do not listen to this episode with children. We do not want to be responsible for the crushing of their dreams. --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2020

57 min 2 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 26 Part 2: Publishing Culture – The Balance Between Commercialism & Social Responsibility ….. Publishing. An industry about sharing stories and sharing culture, but how well are they balancing those cultures. For two episodes I talk with Lisa Davis, a children's publishing professional, about the culture of and the cultures represented by the publishing industry. In Part 2: Pet peeves of publishing with children’s books, How do they balance freedom of speech and social responsibility, Books about current events, “Books in Translation”, and a moment of joy about foil and sparkles too. --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2020

51 min 20 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 26 Part 1: Publishing Culture – Diversity in Books Starts From Within ….. Publishing. An industry about sharing stories, sharing culture, but how well are they balancing cultures. For two episodes I talk with Lisa Davis, a children's publishing professional, about the culture of and the cultures represented by the publishing industry. In Part 1: What is publishing culture? How does the publishing process work? Where can we consider diversifying? How can we approach the breaking down of gender norms? And More. --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2020

39 min 50 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 25: Canadian in Cambodia & Cross-Cultural Marriage ….. Is it Serendipity? How does a Canadian end up in Cambodia when the plan was a Gap Year in Germany? Kristin Schuster never expected to live around the world, let alone, settle down in a country so different from her homeland. Today we hear her story, from granddaughter of German immigrants in Canada, to tour guide in Cambodia, to the adventure of a cross-cultural marriage. Kristin is here to reflect on her balancing from dirndls to karaoke bars. --- Send in a voice message:

Dec 2020

48 min 13 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 24: Cultural Confrontation – Gaining Perspective in an African Mud Hut ….. Confrontation is Good. Confrontation is Necessary. Confrontation is Growth. Before I could even say, Welcome to Balancing Cultures, we dove into how cultural balancing is a thread that runs through all of Amie Mignatti’s stories. And away we went, digging deep into the elements that contribute to our growth when confronted by cultures outside of our bubble. In Amie’s case, it took her from Austin, Texas to a mud hut in South Africa and around the world. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 2020

46 min 29 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 23: Finding Home in Myself – Balancing Chinese, Bolivian, Canadian, & More ….. Where is home? Not just the physical place, a country, a city, a house. What culture feels like home? Where do we belong? Laura Keung was born in Argentina to her Hong Kong born dad and Bolivian born mom. But that was just the beginning of a long tally of cultures she balanced along the way. From the start, she felt a clash of cultures and lack of belonging. 30+ years and several cultures later, Laura is finding home where it had been all along… in herself. Listen to hear how the rest of these cultures fit into her story: USA, Canadian, Italian, Austrian, German --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 2020

39 min 5 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 22 Part 2: Mum Behind the Beach Cleaners – Parenting an Activist ….. Activism is a growing culture with future focused values. Teens are helping us question our daily actions and public policy. Challenging us to change our perspectives for the future. How can we help encourage them? How do we promote activism in our homes? How do we enable them to follow passions and make a difference? My guest today is the mom behind Flossie and the Beach Cleaners - Harriet Donnelly. She shares how it all started with an inspired 9-year-old and has grown into an international charity. Then we chat mom to mum about little things we can do, even with little kids. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 2020

33 min 43 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 22 Part 1: Teenage Climate Activist - Making Waves in Ireland and Beyond ….. Regardless of who you vote for, regardless of who wins… Not just in the 2020 US elections but in any election around the world, for years to come, something we can be thankful for is the upcoming generation. Youth Activism is a growing culture with future focused values. Teens are helping us question our daily actions and public policy. Challenging us to change our perspectives for the future. My guest today is one these inspiring teens. Flossie of Flossie and the Beach cleaners is here to share what inspired her and where it has taken her. Her mom Harriet joins us and you will hear more from her in next week’s episode about parenting an activist. --- Send in a voice message:

Nov 2020

31 min 52 sec

FULL SHOW NOTES with links on ….. Episode 21: Gender & More – How to Talk to Kids About Gender ….. As the last episode of the mini-series on Gender & More, Seth Day of Rad Child Podcast talks us through How to Talk to Kids About Gender… and More. Talking to kids can feel… overwhelming. But with the tips from today’s episode and continued support from Rad Child Podcast on topics from body image to religion, I feel more prepared. And I feel empowered to say, I don’t know, let’s find out together. I will take that stance of learning into not just motherhood but life. Because, as we said at the beginning of this 4-part series on Gender & More… we all have to start somewhere. --- Send in a voice message:

Oct 2020

35 min 21 sec