Episode 7: Karen Ricks - "The Curiosity Is Not Animosity."

Almost every time you check in with Karen Rick, she and her family are in a different part of the world. At the time of this recording, she was in North Macedonia and preparing, as always, for their next move. The ironic part is that this  California native wasn’t even considering a life abroad but her husband’s interest in a professional opportunity led to their move to Japan. A stint that was supposed to last one year ended up stretching into a decade. But since then, the family have truly embraced the term nomad, crisscrossing the planet twice.

Karen explains how she founded a school abroad, made the decision to give it up and travel the world minimally full-time. She also breaks down the nuances of homeschooling, worldschooling and unschooling your child. And  shares how her multiracial family are received in their various communities they’ve lived in.

Below are some excerpts from Amanda’s conversation with Karen.  

You can listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen on the  The Black Expat YouTube Channel . 

For Karen’s TBE articles visit here

On Change

..And I know that having a lifetime filled with amazing opportunities, we grow and we change in so many different ways. But each time, each progression, there's some change that we have to make. There's some kind of pain or obstacle that we have to overcome. There's this pain sometimes of making these hard changes in our lives. There are a lot of changes that my husband and I had to overcome moving from the United States to Japan, and it was painful, but it was really empowering and enlightening and educational and inspiring, and it was a lot of really exciting growth.

The process of de-schooling

....so we did this thing that's known as de-schooling. And for anyone who is considering embarking on a different educational path, I highly, highly recommended. It's basically taking time to step away from everything that looks like work or study or education, and just kinda take a step back to take a breath to evaluate your thought processes around what learning what education looks like. What it can look like, and what you want it to look like for you and for your family. And our process of de-schooling really started when we landed in Italy, and everything that we were doing was suddenly so different from the way that we had lived for so long.

Being a multi-racial family abroad

.... I can honestly say that outside of London, maybe, or when we were in LA, being a multi-racial family is still not necessarily the norm or the expectation everywhere we travel, and my husband and I are quite used to the shock and surprise on people's faces when we identify ourselves as a couple, but I have to say it's really, really funny, when as a family of three of us will be walking down the street, usually with our son racing ahead of us, and with his big full head of spiral curls and his long eyelashes and high cheekbones, he always gets. This reception as people are cooling and him and owing and all and wanting to touch his hair, and it's hilarious for me to see that light bulb moment of understanding when people look at him, and then people look at my husband, look at me, and the genetic mathematical equation finally clicks in their brains.

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To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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