Explore the World at Home



UNBORED is indebted to scores of writers and experts whose work has greatly influenced Josh and me. One of them is Homa Sabet Tavangar, the author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World. A guide to help young people become global citizens, the book is packed with truly fun ideas for how you can expand your worldview.



Homa Sabet Tavangar (far right) and her family, including daughters Anisa, 16, Layla, 18, Sophia, 8, and exchange student Lucie, 18.



















I asked Homa for 5 ways she and her family connect with the wider world. While she said she could easily give me 50, she was also polite about obliging my request for brevity. Here’s what she said:

  • Spice up dinner.  If I had dinner from the same country, so to speak, every night, I might die of boredom.  It’s not something we think about too much, it’s just something we do.  A typical week might include food that’s Mexican, Persian, Italian, Vietnamese and of course, American!  They’re simple and available at our neighborhood grocers.
  • Hang a world map or keep a globe handy.  Somehow we always have reminders of the big world conveniently around our home. It never stops being fascinating.
  • Practice another language.  I speak a few languages, including Spanish and Farsi, and need to stay on my toes to remember to speak with my kids.  Take a Saturday language class or block out time to work on an on-line tutorial.  It’s a little like exercising – you need to keep at it to get strong and stay fit!
  • Host an exchange student.  We weren’t planning to host Lucie (pictured above, second from right) but the original hosts fell through and after a year with us, this smart, quirky, big-hearted girl from France truly became a member of our family.  Thanks to Facebook, even our big, extended family stays in touch with her and we are planning a visit next summer.
  • Read stories from around the world.  Sort of like spicing up dinner or movie selections or the music we listen to, we love to read fiction and non-fiction about the lives of wonderful, interesting people from far-flung places.  A recent favorite with my youngest daughter was Inside Out and Back Again, which is set in Vietnam and then the American South in the second half.

For more ideas influenced by Homa, check out pages 332-333 of UNBORED.