No, I’m only the wife of a diplomat. That means that I move around a lot, entertain a lot, and wonder about the general state of the world a lot, but I don’t represent the United States in a diplomatic capacity.
Do you represent the State Department?
No, I do not represent the State Department – all views expressed on this blog are entirely my own and are not meant to represent U.S. foreign policy in any way.
So what do you do then?
Well, in addition to my diplomatic wifely duties, I’m also a working mother. I have been a human resources consultant for the past six years, and prior to that was a management consultant specializing in foreign direct investment and luxury events, I have continued to work with my current company while we move around. I’m also mom to one diplo-tot, which has been my favorite job to date, if not my toughest client.
But didn’t you say you went to school to become a diplomat?
I do say that and I did go to school for that. I got a Master’s Degree in International Relations and International Economics here. A bit ironically, I went there specifically to become a diplomat. Incidentally, for anyone thinking of that particular program, I couldn't recommend it more highly. And yes, you should go to Bologna.
So what happened?
Life kind of happened. I graduated the year following 9/11 and it was generally an uncertain time. Applications and security screenings were taking a very long time, and then the anthrax scare happened – and this was still when all of our applications were on paper! So long story short, everything just took a really long time and when graduation rolled around, I had to start thinking of alternatives so I started building a career in the private sector and I’m still here.
Where do you live?
We’re currently posted in Washington, DC until summer 2013 and we ship about again. Copenhagen, here we come!
How come you talk about Austria so much?
Because that was our post prior to Washington, DC and we adored living in Vienna, even the hard parts. We loved the city and the music and the grandness and the schnitzel, and despite our complaints, we love their aversion to any form of payment other than cash and their resistance to air-conditioning for fear of a draft. Austria is a beautiful country where we made beautiful friends, and was our home for almost three years. We also had our daughter there, which will always make it special for us.
Do you go to Sound of Music sing-a-longs?
Yes, and I know all the words. Living in Austria just made me appreciate that whole movie all that much more, and time in the mountains and Salzburg were frequent weekend trips for us. I love Captain Von Trapp, especially when he comes out to dance the Lindler, and unlike most people, I think the Baroness von Schreader gets a bit of a bum deal in the end. Even though we don’t live in Vienna anymore, we still use her line, “I need to pack my little bags and go BACK to Vienna where I belong”.
Where is your next post?
Copenhagen, Denmark - we couldn't be more thrilled and are looking forward to Nordic living all the way.
What are Notes from the Field?
I have a guest column series where other diplomats and spouses, from the US and other countries, do a small interview about life at their own post. If you’re thinking about the diplomatic life, or an expat life or just curious to see how others react to living in a particular post both to see the fun stuff and the hard stuff, you can check out the column series here. If you’re a diplomat or spouse in a post and would like to participate in an interview, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I would love to hear from you!
Do you take your own photos?
Yes, I try to take as many of my own photos as much as possible. Most are taken with my Canon 50D and a 50mm 1.4 lens, although I also take a lot of photos through Instagram, and edited through VSCO Cam. If they aren’t taken by me, then I credit otherwise at the bottom of the post or by writing about the photographer. If I've unintentionally left out a photo credit, or otherwise made a mistake, please drop me a line and let me know and we'll get it taken care of!
Can I use your photos that I see on the blog?
Sure! I am all about the diplomatic spirit of sharing but I would ask a few kind requests of you. If you'd like to use photos from a post, please pick one or two favorites and credit back with a link to the original post. Tweet me, I'd love to see where they end up. I would also ask that you not use images of myself or family without prior written permission.
Do companies give you lots and lots of stuff for your blog?Not really. If I’ve ever received anything from a company, you’ll see that it’s credited “c/o” at the end of the post so that there is no confusion, but I only write about things that I would truly use and enjoy and only after giving them a go myself. I do work with an affiliate program on a select amount of advertising and links on the blog, which means that it might possibly result in a commission, but this in no way influences the products which I talk about, and words are always my own.
Hey, where did my comment go?
Again, I am all about the diplomatic spirit of sharing. I try to foster as much dialogue as possible, so while comments aren't moderated in the moment, I do review each one and will remove any comments if there are ever any that are deemed to be offensive or needlessly mean-spirited. That being said, your feedback, thoughts and constructive criticism are always appreciated, and I encourage everyone to weigh in with their comments.