About

I am a traveler. I am a runner.  I am a single mom.  I am a Foreign Service Officer.

That’s the gist, but not the whole, of it.  I studied in China, taught English in South Korea, volunteered and studied in the Philippines, taught English three years in western Japan, and managed to receive two MA degrees, one from the US and one from Singapore.  I was a recovering solo backpacking traveler with over sixty countries visited when I starting working for the federal government in 2006.

In May 2011 I accepted a spot to join the Foreign Service, and a month later I learned I was pregnant. My first tour with the Foreign Service was in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  My second was Shanghai, China. My current, third, is Malawi.  I am still very much smitten with the travel bug and this will be the repository of my musings on life abroad and as a foreign service officer, traveling with my daughter, past journeys, running (or my attempts at trying to keep up with running), and life in general.

Over 100 countries and counting.

No journey to, during, or after the Foreign Service is the same.  This is my journey.  Therefore, these are my musings alone and do not represent those of the Department of State or the U.S. government.

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5 thoughts on “About

  1. I was recently offered a FSO position and I am supposed to start in January 2016. I am 1 month pregnant and my partner will not be able to join me for a few years – he is in medical school – so, I will basically be a single mother. I was wondering how this worked out for you – specifically, giving birth during the training and finding childcare in DC?

    • Hi. First congrats on your being offered an FSO position. In my situation, I was 11 weeks when I started A-100. We received our bid lists the second week and I had a few weeks to research those places I thought would be best for myself and my new addition. Spanish and French speaking posts seemed the best options as they are large language departments at FSI and could more easily accommodate me leaving in the middle of training and then returning some months later. Finding childcare was harder. I put my daughter on the wait list at the FSI childcare center when I was only 17 weeks pregnant. She never got off the wait list. I lucked out that my mom was considering retiring and I offered her a job as my nanny if she did. There are several groups (FSO Moms, Single Parents in the Foreign Service, and Trailing Houses) that can help with advice and locating resources for things like childcare in DC.

      • Thank you so much for your reply! This information is very helpful.  I emailed FSI today to find out if I could get my child on the wait list before he/she is born and I was encouraged that they said yes.  But, it’s nice to know that this does not mean much since you did the same thing and your daughter was on the list for over a year! I will check out these resources on being a single mother in the FS.  This is my first child and so I have no idea what to expect.  It’s reassuring to know that I am not alone, and other women have also done this on their own! Thanks again for your input!

      • You are absolutely not alone. There are those who will help you along the way – not just the other single parents in the FS. My daughter too was my first (and only) child. To clarify I put her on the FSI wait list as a 17 week old fetus and she was born at 37 weeks. Though I checked when I was 32 weeks and was cheered to know we had moved up to 4th on the waitlist until they told me space was not expected to open for 6 months. But it all depends on timing and yours might be just right to get a spot.

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