Cover art for podcast Migratory Patterns

Migratory Patterns

65 EpisodesProduced by Migratory PatternsWebsite

Conversations about the reasons humans migrate & how it effects our identity.

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#059: Trapped In Wuhan During COVID-19 | Jen Knight

April 6th, 2020


Jen Knight says that she "won the in-laws lottery" when it comes to her Chinese husband's parents. But luck wasn't on her side this past January, when a day after she arrived in her husband's hometown just outside of …

#058: Studying Anxiety In Expats In the Time of COVID-19 | Chris Barnhart

March 30th, 2020


This week we're kicking off Season 4 with part 1 of a special 2-part series focusing on a pair of international migrants who have written a study on how the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in China effected foreign …

#057: Emergency Pod with Coronavirus Expats

February 6th, 2020


We're interrupting our inter-season interregnum to bring you a discussion with a group of expats who live in China but who have found themselves "stuck" in Bali after the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan shut down …

#056: The Expats Are Alright | Dr. Sonia Jaeger

January 6th, 2020


It's part 2 of the two-part Season 3 finale, wherein Mike & Alisa take a look at the issues and problems that have come up for the in their move from Beijing to Bali with a professional. Dr. Sonia Jaeger is a …

#055: Big Trouble On the Little Island of the Gods | Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati IV

December 30th, 2019


Season 3 is coming to a close, and in part 1 of the two-part season finale I'm joined by my wife, Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati, to talk about our move from Beijing to Bali, which is our first transition between locations …

#054: Mental Health In A 'Global Nomad's World' | Daniela Tomer

December 23rd, 2019


Daniela Tomer, founder of Global Nomad's World, knows something about migration. Not only is she a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping …

#053: "The Immigrant Story's Not Dead." | Dr. Victoria T.

December 16th, 2019


As Victoria sees it, "To become an American, you have to put in a lot of work." After all, that's been her story. Victoria's path to the U.S. started with a stroke of luck: Her mother won the visa lottery, granting her …

#052: A Passion for Naked Nut Butters | Meredith Sides

December 9th, 2019


Nut butters were never supposed to be a part of Meredith Sides' life; but, then again, neither was living abroad. Not wanting to choose the path that …

#051: Building Community with Qmmunity | Gabby Gabriel

December 2nd, 2019


We all need community. And nobody needs community more than people who move overseas; we leave family and friends behind when we move, and building new networks and support systems is vital for us. This can be an …

#050: Thriving In the Expat Music Scene | Steven McKinney

November 25th, 2019


Wherever people gather, you'll find music. This certainly holds true for migrant communities. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the music being …

#049: The Challenge of Caring for Elder Family While Abroad | Shannon Martin

November 18th, 2019


Shannon Martin thinks a lot about life stages- of podcasts and of people. Currently the Director of Communications at Podbean, the hosting platform for all of Migration Media's shows, she has a bird's eye view of the …

BONUS 04: The Bittersweet Life #270, "STATES"

November 14th, 2019


This week I've got some more bonus content to share with you: a recent episode of The Bittersweet Life podcast. On my last episode I spoke with co-host Katy Sewall about her journey from a safe career with NPR to expat, …

#048: Documenting Her 'Bittersweet Life' | Katy Sewall

November 11th, 2019


Katy Sewall used to be, as she says, one of those "get-a-great-job-and-hang-onto-it" kind of people. That is, until she got an opportunity to move to Rome where her best friend from childhood, Tiffany Parks, had been …

#047: Her Grades Made Her Do It & Plant-based Consulting | Chaniece Brackeen

November 4th, 2019


Chaniece started her journey towards life overseas when she was deciding which foreign language to take in college. As it turned out, the professor …

BONUS 03: Ricci Scholars Special

October 31st, 2019


This week I've got a bonus mini-pod for you! Both before and after my interviews with Olivia Muszynski & Alaina Miller - the Ricci Scholars …

#046: Ricci Scholars 2 - Examining Migrant Housing | Alaina Miller

October 28th, 2019


While the small town in Michigan where she grew up is the place that she goes back to whenever she "needs a safe haven," Alaina Miller doesn't think …

#045: Ricci Scholars 1 - Contrasting Cultures Thru Real Estate | Olivia Muszynski

October 21st, 2019


This week I'm sharing the first of my conversations with two recipients of the 2018-2019 Ricci Scholarship. This Loyola University program offers …

#044: Uncovering the Untold Story of 'The Six' | Steven Schwankert

October 14th, 2019


Steve Schwankert is one of the proudest and most committed expats that I've ever met. Originally from "the part of New Jersey that loves Spingsteen, and not the part that loves Bon Jovi," Steven had his eyes set on …

BONUS 02: The Stoop #07 - Coming to America

October 10th, 2019


This week we're sharing a little something extra with you: The episode of The Stoop that got me hooked on the show! As I discussed with her during our interview earlier this week, co-host Hana Baba has explored and …

#043: From Sudan to America to 'The Stoop' | Hana Baba

October 7th, 2019


Hana Baba, the award-winning host of Crosscurrents on KALW & co-host of the groundbreaking podcast, The Stoop, grew up in much the same way as her baby sister, Ethar (see previous episode)- by splitting her time …

#042: The Sudan-America Two-step | Ethar Baba

September 30th, 2019


This week I'm bringing you the first of my conversations with two sisters who've shared a similar globe-spanning bi-cultural upbringing. Ethar Baba …

#041: Pop Abroad | Michelle Ibarra

September 23rd, 2019


We kick off Season 3 of the show by welcoming our newest team member to Migration Media, Michelle Ibarra! Her show, Pop Abroad, explores the keys to finding success and living your best life overseas. The show's first …

Season 3 Is Coming!

September 20th, 2019


Welcome to Season 3 of Migratory Patterns! After dozens of conversations across 2 seasons I'm more passionate than ever about exploring the lives of international migrants. What drives us to move away from home? What …

BONUS 01: Podcast Brunch Club Beijing - June 2019

July 2nd, 2019


Season 2 has wrapped, but I'm dropping this special bonus episode as a "Going On Hiatus" present. This past spring, I organized a Beijing chapter of Podcast Brunch Club, a global community of podcast enthusiasts who …

#040: Leaving Beijing Behind - Season 2 Finale | Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati III

June 25th, 2019


This is it dear listeners. We've come to the end of yet another season- and what a ride it's been! When I began this experiment last summer I was searching for community. I was thinking a lot about the changes that I …

#039: Feeling Out Of Place At Home? Try Stardom Abroad! | Brian O'shea

June 18th, 2019


While growing up in his native Argentina, Brian O'shea never quite felt like he belonged, so it's no surprise that his idea of where "Home" is boils down the sum of an equation with ever-shifting values that works out …

#038: From Tourist to Line Cook to Restaurateur to TV Star: A Migrant's Journey | Jun Trinh

June 11th, 2019


Jun Trinh never thought he'd be in China. As a half-Chinese kid growing up in Toronto he refused offers to take trips there with his family. He never went to Mandarin class. But now, 11 years after a detour during an …

#037: Always Moving Forward... Because There's Nowhere To 'Go Back' To | Alex Sherr

June 4th, 2019


Alex Sherr didn't choose the #ExpatLife. His parents brought him from his native New York to Hong Kong while he was in high school, but he's taken to …

#036: Privilege In the Face Of Challenge | Gabriel Clermont, Part 2

May 28th, 2019


What it's like to want it all, to be able to live in 2 worlds at once? Like several other people who I've spoken with,, Gabe Clermont often feels like he's rooted in two worlds: His hometown of New York, and the place …

#035: Challenges In the Face Of Privilege | Gabriel Clermont, Part 1

May 21st, 2019


Gabriel Clermont has a deep affinity for his hometown of New York, yet feels that it was kind of inevitable that he made the leap to living overseas, trading one global media hub for another. Each of his parents has an …

#034: Migrating Before they Migrate: Serving Cross-Culture Students Overseas | Barbara Chen

May 14th, 2019


Barbara Chen got her first taste of China in 1989 (what timing!), fell in love, got married, and after a stint back in the US, has called Beijing …

#033: Coming of Age As A TCK... And Then What? | Mio Rudnicki

May 7th, 2019


Born in America, Mio Rudnicki grew up as a TCK, bouncing around the world as part of a multicultural family. In essence, she's been a migrant all of …

#032: What Migration Hath Wrought: Moroccan-Rum-Sports Bars In Hutongs | Badr Benjelloun

April 30th, 2019


I've often described Badr Benjelloun as the quintessential example of a "Renaissance Expat," and this was never more obvious than when he opened Cu Ju, Beijing's first (and only) Moroccan/Rum/Sports Bar in one of the …

#031: When Does Migration Trump National Identity? | Margarita Lukavenko

April 22nd, 2019


Born and raised on Russia's "Fish Tail" island of Sakhalin, Margarita Lukavenko got her first taste of foreign culture when she went to Malaysia as …

#030: A Grown-up TCK Raising TCKs & Searching for Community | Dr. Kate Bailey Gardner

April 15th, 2019


When I met Dr. Kate Bailey Gardner in Boston in the mid-1990s she felt, as she says, "Like a bit of a social outcast." The term "TCK" was still new and she was coming to terms with her identity as a kid raised overseas …

#029: Building Community with Moishe House and Global Shapers & Becoming Yourself | Abe Sorock

April 8th, 2019


We humans have a deep need for community- none more so than we humans who are living outside of our places of origin. The power of community …

#028: When Being Your Best Self Requires Being On the Road | Adriana T.

April 2nd, 2019


My good friend Adriana, who I have known since she first moved to China from her native Romania back in 2011, is a person I've always admired. From an early age she stood out from her cohort- people who came of age just …

#027: "Trailblazers Die." | PT Black

March 25th, 2019


It'd be tough to find someone who has had a more successful #MigrationStory than PT Black, but it's also one that you would not expect. He grew up in …

#026: An A.B.C.'s Sixteen Candles On Uncle Buck's Day Off | Daphne Cheng

March 18th, 2019


As a child growing up in the predominantly white, John Hughes-ian suburbs outside Chicago (think Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club and Uncle Buck), Daphne Cheng rebelled against the expectations of her …

#025: From Raising A TCK to Empty-Nesting Overseas | Amelie Mongrain

March 11th, 2019


From the very start, Amelie Mongrain has been in places where she had to fit herself into her surroundings, which might be why she says that home is "wherever my two feet are." She's gone from a child of Quebecois …

#024: The Challenges for Strong Women Overseas | Kira Sirois

March 4th, 2019


Kira Sirois can kick my ass. At least that's the feeling that I had when we sat down for our chat. It's not that she's mean or puts off an "I'm ready …

#023: Doing Anything- Except Not Being Yourself | Richard Robinson

February 25th, 2019


Richard Robinson isn't a guest on this week's show because of his status as a legend in Chinese entrepreneurial circles. Nor is it because we went to …

#022: Beating Typhoid & Overcoming the American Dream | Josh Gardner

February 18th, 2019


Migratory Patterns' 2-part Season 2 kick-off continues as I chat with another one of my BFFs from college, Josh Gardner. Josh first traveled to China …

#021: Questions from Those Left Behind | Virginia Johnson

February 11th, 2019


Season 2 of Migratory Patterns kicks off with a twist: On a trip back to my hometown of Boston in December for my BFF's wedding, she took the reins of the show when we sat down to talk about what life overseas is like …

#020: "What's That Smell?" | Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati II

January 3rd, 2019


To wrap us Season 1 of Migratory Patterns we end where we began: by welcoming my amazing wife & partner, Alisa (Margaret!) Rutherford-Fortunati, onto the show. A lot has changed since we recorded what was supposed …

#019: Studying TCKs As A TCA | Tanya Crossman

December 24th, 2018


When you consider that, according to the U.N., there are over 250 million people living outside of their country of legal residence, it's pretty shocking that there hasn't been very much social research conducted on …

#018: Reconciling "Expat" vs. "Migrant" After Taking the Leap | Katie Capstick

December 17th, 2018


Like many people who choose to live overseas, Katie Capstick never imagined that she'd leave her home in the northwest corner of England... until a chance conversation with a Chinese student at university led to an …

#017: "This Wasn't A Choice She Made": Raising A Daughter Overseas | Sarah Peel

December 10th, 2018


Sarah Peel is one of my Beijing friends from way back, and one of the friends who I admire the most. Originally from a small town in Ontario, she's lived near Hiroshima, Japan, Beijing, and has been in Shanghai for 6 …

#016: Falling In Love While Finding Your Way | Cara Gleeson & Liam Cunningham

December 3rd, 2018


As if choosing the #ExpatLife wasn't a big enough change in one's life- imagine falling n love almost as soon as you get to your first new country. In one sense, taking a big life-changing leap may seem easier if you're …

#015: 99 Years of Trailblazing By Beijing's Oldest Expat | Eleanor Liu

November 26th, 2018


This week's guest has seen it all. 99 year-old Eleanor Liu might very well be the oldest foreigner in China, who's been living the #ExpatLife since …

#011: Dancing with Dragons & Explaining China | Malgo Blonska

November 21st, 2018


Those of us who live overseas naturally become observers of the cultures that we move into. Among the luckiest of all expats are those who get paid …

#014: Growing Up As A TCK & Developing 'Bordered Dinners' | Ragini Kashyap

November 19th, 2018


Ragini Kashyap's migration story has taken her all around the world- several times over. It's that upbringing, which has exposed her to cultures in …

#013: New Motherhood Overseas | Angela Kalberg

November 13th, 2018

Angela Kalberg was looking for adventure when she came to China. It was the second time that she'd migrated in her life; the first was when she moved …

#012: Documenting Her 'Chrysalis' | Chrislyn Choo

October 23rd, 2018


This week I'm chatting with the newest member of Migration Media, Chrislyn Choo! Her new vlog/docuseries, "The Chrysalis Chronicles," launches today …

#010: Living with Loss Overseas | Joana Savedra

September 25th, 2018


What do we lose when we migrate? Those of us who have the privilege of choosing to move overseas often talk about the great things that making such a big change brings to us, like new experiences, new friends, and new …

#009: From Small-town Siberia to Activism In Beijing | Mariya Kuznetsova

September 11th, 2018


Sometimes the #ExpatLife can sneak up on you. This week's guest, Mariya Kuznetsova, had planned to do a couple of years at university in Beijing studying Chinese and international relations before she headed back to …

#008: Starting A Business In Your Parents' Homeland | Christiana Zhu

August 28th, 2018


My guest this week, Christiana Zhu, is a "returning foreigner." These are people who are first-generation nationals in one country who have migrated to the country that their parents originally left. Christiana's …

#007: From Working In Water to Life In the Desert | Jared Dillet

August 21st, 2018


Bahamian Jared Dillet traded a life on the water for a life in the sand when he relocated from his native Nassau to Beijing, on the edge of China's Gobi Desert, 4 years ago. You can't really ask for a more radical …

#006: Forging Your Own Identity & Socially Responsible Pizza | Kerry Lin

August 14th, 2018


Kerry Lin is a case study in how migration screws with traditional notions of "home" and identity. Born in France to an ethnic Chinese Cambodian and an Englishwoman, she doesn't claim to have "French blood," has almost …

#005: Building A Career & 'Marketing for Creatives' | Marina Barayeva

July 31st, 2018


Russians are some of the most interesting expats around. With a reputation for being ultra nationalistic, it's amazing that 9-10 million Russians, …

#004: Being An Expat at Home and Abroad | Nancy Zhou

July 24th, 2018


This week's interview was a complete surprise. When Nancy Zhou came over to my place for lunch, the plan was to hang out and catch up, but as we started to tell our respective Beijing arrival stories, I simply had to …

#003: Grounded In the USA | Beatrice Zhang

July 17th, 2018


This week I'm sharing a conversation that I recorded back in April with Beatrice Zhang, one of my "First Year Friends." What's a "First Year Friend?" Listen in and I'll explain. Then, Beatrice and I talk about her …

#002: A Migratory Life & 'Big Fish In the Middle Kingdom' | Brendan Davis

July 10th, 2018


With the launch of Migration Media last week it only made sense for my chief collaborator in this crazy scheme, Brendan Davis, to sit down so that we …

#001.5: A Special Announcement!

July 5th, 2018


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Migratory Patterns is now a part of Migration Media!





#001: The Journey Begins At 'Home' | Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

July 3rd, 2018


We kick off the Migratory Patterns podcast with the most important expat in my life: my amazing wife, Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati! Far from an act of nepotism, I used this interview to have a long-overdue deep dive into …

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