Are you a diplomat?
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 or the official opinion of U.S. government organizations or entities 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 nearly 10 years, and prior to that, 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 mom to one diplo-tot and one diplo-baby. They are my favorite job to date, but also my toughest clients.
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, of course 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 Copenhagen, Denmark until mid-2016 – still up in the air what will come next!
How come you talk about Austria so much?
Because that was officially our first post together, and we loved it. We have been to Washington, DC and Copenhagen, Denmark following that, but you kind of never get over your first. 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 both our children there, which will always make it a special, sentimental place for us.
Do you go to Sound of Music sing-a-longs?
(You’d be surprised how often I get this question). 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” whenever we feel out of place.
Do diplomats have to pay their parking tickets?
(Again, you’d be surprised at how often I get this one). Yes, we do have to pay all our parking tickets and fines. I should know because I get a lot of them. However, you can read more about this and other similar questions of this nature in the Myths about Foreign Service life post.
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 EOS 50D and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, though I recently upgraded to a Canon 6d and added a Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens to the mix. I also take a lot of photos on my iPhone, and edit through VSCO Cam. If photos 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?
If you’d like to use photos from a post for personal, non-commercial reasons, 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?
I try to foster as much dialogue as possible here on the blog, 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.