Travel as a Political Act

Author: Rick Steves

Language: English

Summary: With the world facing divisive and often frightening events, from Trump, Brexit, and Erdogan, to climate change, nativism, and populism, there’s never been a more important time to travel.

Rick believes the risks of travel are widely exaggerated, and that fear is for people who don’t get out much. After years of living out of a suitcase, he still marvels at how different cultures find different truths to be self-evident. By sharing his experiences from Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East, Rick shows how we can learn more about own country by viewing it from afar.

With gripping stories from Rick’s decades of exploration, this fully revised edition of Travel as a Political Act is an antidote to the current climate of xenophobia. When we travel thoughtfully, we bring back the most beautiful souvenir of all: a broader perspective on the world that we all call home.

All royalties from the sale of Travel as a Political Act are donated to support the work of Bread for the World, a non-partisan organization working to end hunger at home and abroad. Source: amazon.com

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suzan abu-jaber

Life without a recipe

Author: Suzan Abu-Jaber

Language: English

Summary: On one side, there is Grace: prize-winning author Diana Abu-Jaber’s tough, independent sugar-fiend of a German grandmother, wielding a suitcase full of holiday cookies. On the other, Bud: a flamboyant, spice-obsessed Arab father, full of passionate argument. The two could not agree on anything: not about food, work, or especially about what Diana should do with her life. Grace warned her away from children. Bud wanted her married above all―even if he had to provide the ring. Caught between cultures and lavished with contradictory “advice” from both sides of her family, Diana spent years learning how to ignore others’ well-intentioned prescriptions. Hilarious, gorgeously written, poignant, and wise, Life Without a Recipe is Diana’s celebration of journeying without a map, of learning to ignore the script and improvise, of escaping family and making family on one’s own terms. As Diana discovers, however, building confidence in one’s own path sometimes takes a mistaken marriage or two―or in her case, three: to a longhaired boy-poet, to a dashing deconstructionist literary scholar, and finally to her steadfast, outdoors-loving Scott. It also takes a good deal of angst (was it possible to have a serious writing career and be a mother?) and, even when she knew what she wanted (the craziest thing, in one’s late forties: a baby!), the nerve to pursue it. Finally, fearlessly independent like the Grace she’s named after, Diana and Scott’s daughter Gracie will heal all the old battles with Bud and, like her writer-mom, learn to cook up a life without a recipe. – Source: Amazon.com

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Cultural chemistry: Simple strategies for bridging cultural gaps

Author: Patti McCarthy

Language: English

Summary: Are you fascinated but frustrated by cultural differences? Have you stood on the edge of cultural gaps and wondered how on earth to bridge them? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Working across cultures can be very challenging, both professionally and personally, but these cultural gaps can be bridged. Cultural Chemistry combines strategy with knowledge, introducing you firstly to the Four R’s – an easy, four-step process for simplifying and improving your cross-cultural partnerships – and then exploring cultural differences, by meeting people and hearing stories from all over the world. Whether you are a business traveller, an expatriate, have global clients, work in a multi-cultural team or are simply a holiday maker who wants to dig deeper, Cultural Chemistry will teach you; Why reflecting on our own culture is so important How to make a great first impression Why our assumptions about people are often completely wrong Why what we say isn’t always what is heard How to be an effective manager and motivator, whatever the culture Cultural differences don’t have to be difficult. By learning more about cultural variances and being prepared to turn off our cultural cruise-control, we really can make our international encounters both more rewarding and more enjoyable.

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The xenophobe’s guide to the Dutch

Author: Rodney Bold

Language: English

Summary: “It’s all in your mind”: The spirit of tolerance does constant battle with the ghost of Calvin for control of the Dutch psyche. Few Dutch people go to church anymore, but they don’t need to. Inside every Hollander’s head is a little pulpit containing a preacher with a wagging finger.”Going Dutch”: This is the nation that once sold scrapers for getting the last remnants of the film of buttermilk from the inside of the bottle. The Dutch “think with their pockets.” Parsimony is not an embarrassment, but a virtue. “Culture vultures”: The Dutch are cultural magpies. They keep a beady eye on other people’s cultural trends, and are swift to snap up sparkling new fashions. This means that rather than producing an indigenous culture, they have become voracious consumers of everybody else’strue Europeans, whose cultural fads and fancies know no borders. The Netherlands acts as a giant cultural sponge. “Double Dutch”: For the Dutch, the other side of the question is as important as the question itself. Dialogue is the lubricant of tolerance, and the essential ingredient of dialogue is “Yes, but . . .”

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A toolbox for culture shock

Helen grew up abroad and experienced Culture Shock directly. A writer and blogger, she has put together an exciting “toolbox” for Culture Shock. We are proud to introduce you to this amazing lady, and invite you to browse through her incredibly interesting websites. Thank you, Helen. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I’m a TCK and I write two blogs: CultureShockToolbox.com and Herybol.com. I’ve lived abroad … Continue reading A toolbox for culture shock

The emotionally resilient expat – Engage, adapt and thrive across cultures

Author: Linda Janssen

Language: English

Summary: Living abroad offers enriching experiences of growth, broadened perspective, enhanced cultural understanding. Yet its transition-rich, change-driven, cross-cultural nature can place considerable demands, leaving us stressed, disconnected, our identity in flux. Building on existing literature and benefitting from recent developments in psychology and brain-body connections, The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures shows the key to successful transitions and beyond lies in emotional resilience to adapt, adjust or simply accept. Linda A. Janssen combines candid personal stories from experienced expats and cross-culturals, with a wealth of practical tools, techniques and best practices from emotional, social and cultural intelligence, positive psychology, mindfulness, stress management, self-care and related areas. FACTORS™ offers a way to live a healthier, more positive, emotionally engaged, culturally connected global life. “Using personal story and solid theory in her groundbreaking book on emotional resilience, Linda A. Janssen guides those facing the challenges of cross-cultural living to dig under the initial rocky surfaces of overseas life to discover – and use – the rich gold of their own experience.

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