How To Use An Identity Crisis To Your Advantage

What comes after cultural disenfranchisement?

What comes after Expat Harem, the book?

What comes after expat+HAREM, the community site?

This slideshow charts the evolution of (or, how to use an identity crisis to your advantage). Below is the script of my accompanying talk The Evolution of A GlobalNiche, delivered at Turkish Women's International Network, Microsoft Headquarters, Istanbul


DREAM of belonging how PLAYING with cultural identity has helped me ACHIEVE new sense of myself, personally and pro

CONCEPT & COMMUNITY we can all can use to be successful.


FB contacts. Where in the world do I belong?

Dream of belonging. Not just fitting in. But being in the right place with the right people. Place to lead your ideal lifestyle, chosen livelihood? Work you love to do so much it’s play?

For ppl who dream of life/community beyond what surrounds u now.

Story begins. Southeast Asia. Disenfranchised experience. lost my voice. Writer but I could not make myself understood. I didn’t understand what was going on around me.

What saved me: play. Pasttimes that put me into context. Taught me about the place. Historical travelogue. Acting in a period film. Drawn to crossroads, places where time meshes, opposites collide and cultures fuse.


Turkey 2003. Asian complaint travelogue. Snake infested island! Pirate-filled waters! No metaphors, really happened.

Turkey kidnapped me instead - metaphor. Theoretical home with the Expat Harem anthology. Inspired by the foreign women in sultan harem, liminal state of TR.

Showed how we can be embedded in a place, yet forever alien. Survive, but thrive in limbo. Also my character, like working alone at home, in collab with others. Found historical counterparts, also cultural peers. 100 women in 14 nations answered call for subs. 100s more on book tours. No longer alone in my limbo, even if American publishers suspected I was. worried book’s nonexistent audience, 15 New York publishing houses passed before sold. proved wrong. Thanks to Turks Turkophiles, expats, travelers, women writers, Near Eastern studies types -- people like you.


EH called together virtual community but nowhere to meet. 2yrs ago: group blog to address readers and see what was beyond the book.

Expand circle. not just woman expat writer in Turkey. Expats everywhere. Global nomads, multicultural types. Immigrants, intentional travelers. Men, even! Anyone in cultural limbo.

New social order, most meaningful bonds not family, culture, nation. School. Work. social web connect us on interest, experience and world view. we can find each other, learn.


EH community started teaching me. Podcast roundtable discussion, realized all using creativity to manage hybrid, multifaceted lives. Flex skills/perspectives cd bring to all endeavors. Our life trajectory not a liability! Cd be asset.


While launching EH online, also working on 2nd book, about my friendship with a multiple personality. Problem. After success/acceptance of EH book -- 5 yrs -- committing career suicide? lose my audience, or transition them to new topic? to prepare my author platform for 2nd book, began explaining why cultural writer shifting to psychological topic. Emphasizing identity, how formed thru culture -- getting away from travel focus. Also apparent expat and hybrid life writing more concerned with personality and psyche issues than travel often is.


there WAS a link between past work, new book. have multiple CULTURAL personalities -- like a multiple personality, honor/care for each key to health/happiness. Career 'problem' both addressed personal issue and paved new pro growth! We have fusion!


called expat+HAREM site global niche, meant niche for globalists, home in world. 6 mos definition emerged. Looking at lifestyle design, location independent movements pioneering gate-jumping new paradigms, digital nomadic practices we require when geographically or culturally disadvantaged.

Detected my community's distinctly different need. Our question not Generation-Y: "how can i live on a beach in Thailand by running a blog."


Instead, PLU looking for in a GN is answer to: "how can I live the life I want wherever it is I happen to be?" To live/ work to our abilities independent of location and whatever its limitations.

Maybe still in hometown, or everyone speaks language we're not good at -- whether language of tongue, some other kind. best customers 10 time zones away?.

This addresses more universal issue. How to be okay with where we are, plenty reasons why we are where we are. Don't always live in optimal setting for our dreams. Doesn't mean we have to defer. We can get started, right now.


Past yr: cofounded creative entrepreneurship workgroup, mastermind how building life/livelihoods around strengths and interests. What we UNIQUELY bring. Belonging into own hands, playing with possibilities to find ourselves, audience, peers. Focus on web platforms reflect our place in the world, connect to relevant ppl, communities, integrate into offline activities.

Love fusion. NOW combining workgroup with expat+HAREM mission to make our psychic limbo a productive state. A global niche workgroup.

Developing private edu community -- -- to equip psychically location independent PLU -- transglobal, multicultural, dreamer in a situation mismatch -- with skills/ tools need to achieve dreams.

Please visit so we can keep u posted about upcoming launch. Thank you TurkishWIN, good night.