Migratory Patterns
#052: A Passion for Naked Nut Butters | Meredith Sides

#052: A Passion for Naked Nut Butters | Meredith Sides

December 9, 2019

Nut butters were never supposed to be a part of Meredith Sides' life; but, then again, neither was living abroad. Not wanting to choose the path that most other people in her small town followed - moving from high school into the trades, farming or beauty school - she moved to Philadelphia for college, did a semester abroad in Europe, and then, on a whim, decided to spend a gap year before going to medical school teaching English in China. 5 years later she still doesn't even know her own blood type, but she knows what her passion is, and it's nut butters. She's the Co-founder of Naked Nut Butters, a purveyor of all-natural nut butters in China. And far from having any desire to go back "home," she's discovered that she enjoys the uncertainty of the #ExpatLife. She doesn't want to feel "nailed down" by the expectations of her home culture. And with her new business taking off, she's fully invested in life overseas... and nut butters.

Read more about Naked Nut Butters' recent presentation at China's Paradise Foundation annual board meeting + their meeting with Alibaba founder Jack Ma here. You can also check them out on social media:
 
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net). Please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
#051: Building Community with Qmmunity | Gabby Gabriel

#051: Building Community with Qmmunity | Gabby Gabriel

December 2, 2019
We all need community. And nobody needs community more than people who move overseas; we leave family and friends behind when we move, and building new networks and support systems is vital for us. This can be an especially fraught process for members of the LGBTQ community. This week, we're collaborating with our sister podcast Pop Abroad to take a closer look at how one person is turning what is normally a hardship for queer expats and migrants into a business opportunity. My guest, Gabby Gabriel, has found a way to leverage the privilege that she has as a foreigner in China to organize events and connect people and businesses in a way that supports LGBTQ people in a society where human sexuality is a taboo subject, at best, and a marker for outright discrimination at worst. Her venture, Qmmunity, is a platform that helps queer people find others like them, and helps businesses become more queer-friendly.
 
Learn about Qmmunity, the great work that it does, and download the app here: http://www.theqmmunity.com
 
Follow Qmmunity's work on all of the platforms:
 
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net). Please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe! 
#050: Thriving In the Expat Music Scene | Steven McKinney

#050: Thriving In the Expat Music Scene | Steven McKinney

November 25, 2019

Wherever people gather, you'll find music. This certainly holds true for migrant communities. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the music being made in the places finds its way into popular culture. In a world of streaming and niche audiences, you can find an an amazing variety of musical styles and cross-cultural mashups to tickle your ears with. One genre that is still unheralded, however, is "Expat Music." Case in point: Stevie Mac and The Mac Daddies is probably the most popular & successful party band in Beijing. Founded & led by Steven McKinney, it's an 11-piece ensemble made up entirely of expats that was born out of a need that is common everywhere- people with the talent & skill need a way to express their passion for music. You'll find groups like them in every migrant hub; but beyond local clubs and bars there aren't any platforms for them to grow beyond their local audiences. But that doesn't keep Steve down. As successful as he's been as a band leader, for him music is, like it is for most expats, a side hustle. After going to China on a lark, he co-founded and now runs a very successful kindergarten. His twin passions of music and being an entrepreneur have helped him fully embrace his unexpected #ExpatLife, and folks in Beijing can expect to see him leading his band mates for years to come.

Meet the entire lineup of Stevie Mac and The Mac Daddies and hear some of their music by visiting their Facebook page, and check out some of their original music on their Bandcamp page here.
 
Learn more about the Beijing music scene by checking out Ep. #032 for my interview with Badr Benjelloun (link).
 
If you've never heard of SantaCon, check out this link!
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net). Please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe! 
#049: The Challenge of Caring for Elder Family While Abroad | Shannon Martin

#049: The Challenge of Caring for Elder Family While Abroad | Shannon Martin

November 18, 2019

Shannon Martin thinks a lot about life stages- of podcasts and of people. Currently the Director of Communications at Podbean, the hosting platform for all of Migration Media's shows, she has a bird's eye view of the rapidly-changing world of on-demand audio and often helps shows just starting out to grow and endure. She also works with Aging Wisely, a company that works with families to help plan for the later stages of life. Given that experience + her many years living overseas, She knows better than anyone that while the #ExpatLife is full of fun and adventure, it's never too early to start thinking about how they'll spend their later years. Her work has been mostly focused on families in the US, but many of them face situations - like children who live far away from their parents - that are analogous to expats. What is it like to help plan for the care of an older parent when you live thousands of miles away? And what kind of obstacles do expats face when thinking about where they'll settle down in their later years?

Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
BONUS 04: The Bittersweet Life #270, “STATES”

BONUS 04: The Bittersweet Life #270, “STATES”

November 14, 2019
This week I've got some more bonus content to share with you: a recent episode of The Bittersweet Life podcast. On my last episode I spoke with co-host Katy Sewall about her journey from a safe career with NPR to expat, to podcasting entrepreneur, and we touched on some of the themes that come up often in her show. In essence, I tried to do in about 40 minutes what she and her co-host, Tiffany Parks, have done over 275 episodes (so far). So I thought that it might be a good idea to share an example of the kinds of conversations that they have each week. On the episode that you're about to hear, Tiffany has just returned from a visit to the U.S. and reflects on the things about American life and culture that never fail to surprise her every time she goes back. She also reveals the surprising reaction she had upon flying back to Rome, as well as a thought she hasn’t had in all her 15 years of the #ExpatLife.
 
Find The Bittersweet Life wherever you get your podcasts, or check out their website to learn more: http://thebittersweetlife.net/about
 
Follow the show on social media:
 
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
#049: Documenting Her ‘Bittersweet Life’ | Katy Sewall

#049: Documenting Her ‘Bittersweet Life’ | Katy Sewall

November 11, 2019
Katy Sewall used to be, as she says, one of those "get-a-great-job-and-hang-onto-it" kind of people. That is, until she got an opportunity to move to Rome where her best friend from childhood, Tiffany Parks, had been living for several years. A senior producer at NPR's Seattle affiliate, Katy decided to jump at the chance for adventure and turn her experience into creating a podcast. Their show, The Bittersweet Life, has been "on the air" ever since and has become one of the most popular shows about the #ExpatLife as it's documented their respective journeys as migrants. Katy talks with me about what it was like to make the transition from a person with a career to life as a podcasting entrepreneur, the hesitancy of long-term expats to get to know short-term folks, her migration back to and within the US, and how her show has evolved - with her- to not so much ask, "What's it like to live overseas?" as it asks, "What's it like to live, and what kind of life do you want for yourself?"
 
Find The Bittersweet Life wherever you get your podcasts, or check out their website to learn more: http://thebittersweetlife.net/about
 
Follow the show on social media:
 
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
#047: Her Grades Made Her Do It & Plant-based Consulting | Chaniece Brackeen

#047: Her Grades Made Her Do It & Plant-based Consulting | Chaniece Brackeen

November 4, 2019

Chaniece started her journey towards life overseas when she was deciding which foreign language to take in college. As it turned out, the professor with the highest satisfaction ratings from students taught Chinese, so that's what she chose. After scoring consistently high grades in her classes, she decided to make it her major and her fate was sealed: You really can't succeed in a Chinese program without spending time in China. Far from the exoticism of the #ExpatLife that many imagine, Chaniece spent time in the trenches doing menial jobs before an opportunity arose to actualize one of her passions, veganism. Now she's the CEO of Plant-based Consulting, a company that works with local restaurants and the vegan community to expand plant-based options and to reduce the amount of animal products consumed in the city. Today, after 5 years overseas, and after having learned so much about herself and developing so many new skills, can she see herself ever returning back "home?"

To learn more about Plant-based Consulting and Vegans of Shanghai, you can follow them on WeChat by searching for their official account, "vegansofshanghai".
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
BONUS 03: Ricci Scholars Special

BONUS 03: Ricci Scholars Special

October 31, 2019

This week I've got a bonus mini-pod for you! Both before and after my interviews with Olivia Muszynski & Alaina Miller - the Ricci Scholars featured in my previous two episodes - we had fun, engaging conversations about a lot of topics that I couldn't fit into their podcasts, which is a pity because they're both brilliant, driven people who are endlessly fascinating. Luckily, I was able to get my microphone out for one of those chats and record it. Enjoy!

Learn more about the Ricci Scholars program at Loyola University here:  https://www.luc.edu/ricci/index.shtml
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
#046: Ricci Scholars 2 - Examining Migrant Housing | Alaina Miller

#046: Ricci Scholars 2 - Examining Migrant Housing | Alaina Miller

October 28, 2019

While the small town in Michigan where she grew up is the place that she goes back to whenever she "needs a safe haven," Alaina Miller doesn't think of it as "Home" anymore. Not since she set off for school in Chicago- and especially not since she spent the last year studying abroad as part of the Ricci Scholars program at Loyola College. What's driven her constant shifts to bigger, newer locales has been the vast diversity and different ways of thinking that she's encountered at every step of her journey. She went off to college knowing that she wanted to travel internationally and saw the Ricci Scholars' program's destinations of Rome and Beijing as a natural evolution, with each stop being a jumping off point to something ever-more foreign. Her project to study migrant housing has opened her eyes to a world of possibilities, and it's been incredibly fulfilling, but she realizes that she's starting to move outside of the experience of her traditional group of friends, and that she may find herself facing the same challenge that many who have spent time overseas face- discovering that they need to connect with different kinds of people than they did before they left.

Learn more about the Ricci Scholars program at Loyola University here: https://www.luc.edu/ricci/index.shtml
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!
#045: Ricci Scholars 1 - Contrasting Cultures Thru Real Estate | Olivia Muszynski

#045: Ricci Scholars 1 - Contrasting Cultures Thru Real Estate | Olivia Muszynski

October 21, 2019
This week I'm sharing the first of my conversations with two recipients of the 2018-2019 Ricci Scholarship. This Loyola University program offers scholarships to highly qualified students to spend their junior year studying abroad in 2 countries and conducting cross-cultural research.
 
Olivia Muszynski owns the fact that she's still figuring things out, and it's apparent from the start when her answer to "Where is home?" is "To be determined." Having just wrapped up a year abroad as part of the Ricci Scholars program, her idea of "Home" right now is all about relationships and experiences. She's a couple of years removed from life in the small Florida town where she was raised, which she says "feels like a memory, but not like home," and she's just started exploring the world, trying to understand her place in it. It just doesn't make sense yet to declare a single location as "Home." 
 
What began as an internal migration from the American South to blustery Chicago has quickly evolved into a desire to live overseas, and her experiences in Rome and Beijing have only served to whet her appetite for more. A self-professed nerd who "loves reading the tax code," she's been studying the differences between the real estate markets of the US, Italy and China as part of per study abroad program, and she's been discovering how financial systems fit the cultures that they're in, which opens up new avenues for understanding between us. It's a unique take on the learning experience that usually happens as people migrate!
 
Learn more about the Ricci Scholars program at Loyola University here:  https://www.luc.edu/ricci/index.shtml
 
Get in touch with comments, suggestions or interview recommendations:
 
 
Check out all of the shows in the Migration Media network on the web (www.migrationmedia.net) and please take a moment to "Like" us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts... and subscribe!