Book Review: Arrivals Departures and the Adventures In-Between

**This is an honest review of a book I purchased with my own money cause I’m a book hoarder.**

Knocked Up Abroad uses affiliate links that deliver great content at no extra cost to you.


I first met Chris O’Shaughnessy as the opening keynote speaker at the Families in Global Transition conference in 2016. He made a lasting impression because he made me laugh so hard that I cried.

After hearing him speak in person, I had high hopes that his book would also be full of the self-deprecating humor that I love so much and I wasn’t disappointed. He recounts how he didn’t know the US Pledge of Allegiance and instead recited God Save the Queen hoping that patriotism, in whatever form, would be an acceptable substitute.

It wasn’t.

[Tweet “…instead of the Pledge of Allegiance, he recited God Save the Queen”]

Chris grew up on military bases around the world and experienced what life is like when being different from the local kids isn’t always such a positive thing. His English accent drew unwanted attention on the playground, and he tells his story of a kid who just wants to fit in but can’t because of who he is.

Later on in the book, he describes how his humor is often lost across cultural barriers and languages while constructing a playground in Slovakia. His not-at-all-serious request to acquire explosives to make the opening day really special was taken seriously, and his co-worker sourced local fireworks much to Chris’ dismay. There was also a stallion involved because his request to ride on an elephant was too hard to fulfill…honestly, just read the book.

And while Third Culture Kids believe in earnest that they are excellent communicators and understand diverse cultural perspectives, Chris’ stories serve as a reminder that we often forget just how much gets lost in translation.

In between the anecdotes and funny stories, Chris includes helpful lists, QR codes, and citations for more resources sprinkled throughout the book.

This book reads more like a really interesting conversation you’d have with your friend who also gives you a resource guide with awesome links.

Throughout the book, Chris brings up perspectives and insights that challenge our assumptions. As someone who has moved around a lot, I could relate to his statement, “If you’re comfortable in transition, don’t assume everyone is. You might be as scared of stability as they are of transience.”


Our Future is Global

The final chapter of the book might be the most prophetic as Chris believes that TCK/cross-cultural lifestyles will become the wave of the future. Lois Bushong, the author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere, says,

“Ultimately, a cross-cultural childhood is becoming the ‘new normal’ across the globe for virtually everyone rather than something that only affects globally-mobile children.”


Overall, I felt more comfortable with our decision to raise our family outside of our passport country. Usually, whenever I speak with a Third Culture Kid, I feel like I’m on the path of irreversibly messing up our children—mostly that they will struggle with identity—a common TCK struggle.

I’ve heard horror stories about the effects that experiencing constant loss (e.g., friendships, things, homes, schools, etc) can inflict on a child’s upbringing but there are positive aspects too. TCKs have emotional stability because of what they have experienced. They are more empathetic and accepting of diversity.

With that, take a look at Arrivals Departures and the Adventures In-Between if you’re looking to lighten your anxiety a bit and have a good laugh. I give it a solid 4/5 stars. Happy reading!

Click below to learn more about other books I recommend reading:

FREE on Kindle Unlimited




[Tweet “An honest review of Arrivals Departures and the Adventures In-Between”]


**This is an honest review of a book I purchased with my own money cause I’m a book hoarder.**

Knocked Up Abroad uses affiliate links that deliver great content at no extra cost to you.

Share the love: