009 | Janet Matta | What do we owe to the places we're from?

Isabelle Roughol
Isabelle Roughol

Welcome to a new series of intimate conversations with global citizens, who talk about their identity, their choices and what home even means. This week, Janet Matta, an American working mom from Seattle, talks about leaving the United States and continuing a long American tradition – leaving your country to make a better life for the next generation. "Living here is a choice other people made for me," she says. "I can make another choice."

Music by Dyalla.


Transcripts are published for your convenience, but they are automated and not always cleaned up. Please excuses typos and occasional nonsense, and always check the audio before quoting.

Isabelle Roughol: [00:00:00] Hey, this is Isabelle. Before we get started, this is your weekly plea to please consider supporting Borderline and becoming a member on Patreon. You can join borderlinepod.com or look for Borderline on Patreon.

[00:00:12]Becoming a member gives you extra content and extra access, and allows me to keep doing this and cover all the costs. A special shout out to new members, Ana Milicevic and Jacqueline Walton. Thank you so much. That's it, that's all the advertising you get this week. Now on with the episode.

[00:00:30] Janet Matta: [00:00:30] living here is a choice that people before me made, because it makes sense and I can make a different choice. Isabelle Roughol: [00:00:48] Hi, I'm Isabelle Roughol. And this is Borderline.

[00:00:52] We have a different kind of episode today. I'm going to be talking to a global citizen like all of us about her experiences. Now I can nerd out forever about policy. I love interviewing authors and reporting out big stories, but I also love to simply chat with people about their lives. And I'm a big believer in representation. I want to show as many faces of global citizenship as I can.

[00:01:14] So in between the big stories, I'll alternate a series of life stories. I'm calling it borderlives because why waste a good pun? And I'm starting with friends who are generous guinea pigs. But if you want to share your story of global citizenship, please get in touch. You'll find me at borderlinepod.com.

[00:01:31]Now meet Janet Matta. She's an American friend living in Seattle. We moved to Australia around the same time in 2014. And that's when we met. A couple of weeks ago, she texted me that she and her family had decided to leave the United States. They just can no longer take what the country has become. So started a conversation about what we owe to the places that we're from and what home even means. Her story echoes interestingly, with last week's conversation with Wade Davis, so I recommend you listen to that first if you haven't. Now let's hear from Janet.


[00:02:02] hello friend

[00:02:07] Janet Matta: [00:02:07] hello? How are you

[00:02:10] Isabelle Roughol: [00:02:10] you know, like  2020. Acceptable, I guess. I am better than the start of the year. So there has been progress. So that's how I measure it, is there are deeper depths than the ones that I'm in right now.

[00:02:28] Janet Matta: [00:02:28] I think that's a really good way to put it. . Yeah.

[00:02:31] Isabelle Roughol: [00:02:31] How are you doing?

[00:02:33] Janet Matta: [00:02:33] Yeah. I, you know,  I think I broke last week. I think I just snapped. I sort of hit a new level. I discovered the basement last week. I thought I was on the ground floor. I'm like, no, there was a level below that.  Um, we just, we had all of this smoke and it was really horrible. I was just , you know, feeling like you can't go anywhere indoors cause of covid and can't go anywhere outdoors because the air is not safe. And, and on top of that, I got this, um, it sounds really minor. Yeah. But, and it's really quite stupid. I got this healthcare bill is $171, but it was, it was. It was for an emergency room visit and I'd already paid the copay. And I was just this, this like needle in the balloon of everything about our life here is not working.

[00:03:23]You know, it was, it's just feeling like, okay, the COVID is being mismanaged. There's no end in sight. Um, I can't go outside and granted that's not necessarily the government's fault. Right. It's just global warming. Um, I've got this stupid bill that is being charged interest on, is going to collections this week from the health care. You know, it's just too much. I just, and I felt, I feel like I've really...  I feel now, like I did right before I moved to Australia, I have this sense of like enough I'm done. Like I'm just, this is the time to, this is the time to go. That's sort of the last little thing. Um, I didn't mean to really jump into our

[00:04:06] Isabelle Roughol: [00:04:06] No, it's great. I mean, it's recording and you're already like, you're giving me gold already, so, you know, we're just gonna, we're just gonna keep going with it. Um, that's interesting because it sounds like what's motivated you it's not what you're going to, it's what you're leaving from, you know, which is one kind of motivation for, for, you know, global citizens to, to go somewhere else. Tell me more about that.

[00:04:31] Janet Matta: [00:04:31] Yeah. I mean, we can talk about like push factors and pull factors. Right?  you know, in most cases there's a little bit of both and one is sort of the larger, the larger influence. And I think when I originally moved to Australia, it was, there was a pull factor. Um, I'd had this connection to the country for a really long time. I'd always wanted to live there, I'd visit many times. Um, and then I sort of had this golden opportunity. I found myself really free and unencumbered and, um, you know, it was ready to leave my job. And that was the moment to jump and go to Australia.

[00:05:03] This time feels very different. This is, um, I'll go anywhere is much, much more like, um, this isn't, this isn't home.

[00:05:12] I feel like a stranger in my own country in a way that I've felt I've never felt this profoundly before. Um, and it's time. It's just time to leave.

[00:05:25] Isabelle Roughol: [00:05:25] Wow. That's, that's super powerful. I was wondering about that. Cause as you know, my last episode was, you know, kind of about what's going on with America and I'm feeling it in, in one particular way, you know, as someone who loves America, but it's not my home, you know, it's one of my homes, cause I've got a few, but it's not the home.

[00:05:46] And so I wonder what it feels like to be American right now.

[00:05:51] Janet Matta: [00:05:51] Okay. Yeah, I think, um, it's an interesting question for me because I've always had a multi identity as an American. I, um, lived in Germany as a child for three years. I, my family is very international. My mom has three passports. My grandparents immigrated to the U S from Australia and the UK. And, um, And we've always, I think I was raised with this sense of global participation and like we chose my family chose this country, um, because it made sense for them at the time.

[00:06:27] I don't have a sense of, um, a particularly strong sense of loyalty as well in American, but at the same time, um, you know, I think much like many people who have a national identity or a strong national identity of any kinds. Anytime I go away, I'm very acutely aware of the fact that I don't belong in my new country either.

[00:06:47] So that's it university in Canada. Um, and I remember feeling really surprised by the fact that many of my peers who are Canadian, um, you know, we're sort of taking these little jabs at me for being American. I hadn't, I've never been used to that before. I'd never really experienced that. Um, And then moving to Australia and living in Australia, I was at least prepared for that a little bit more, but you know, you're an outsider living overseas as an American.

[00:07:13]so I think there's this kind of combined sense as for me feeling,  a lot of sadness and, uh, grief really over what's happened here. And the way I feel about living here, um, what my home has become and the fact that I don't know, I feel like I can raise children here and yeah, this is my past, but it's not my future.

[00:07:38]Um, there's grief around that, but there's also quite a natural sense for me of, um, recognizing that I, I have the whole world and that this is living here is a choice that people before me made, because it makes sense and I can make a different choice.

[00:07:58] Isabelle Roughol: [00:07:58] That's really powerful. I am struck that you were telling me that like "oh, I don't know if I really qualify as a global citizen for your, for your thing. You know, I've only been in Australia for two years," um, which I guess we should say to listeners is where we met. Um you actually have an incredible global background, which I'd forgotten about just like all the roots of your family.

[00:08:18] And that's interesting that that idea that, um, being American in a way is a choice that somebody else made for you. And you get to make a different choice. Now, not that the thing is when you, when you move, when you live somewhere else, you're always going to be American. And in a way, you know, even if you give up that passport, which some people choose to do, it's still your, your culture, right?

[00:08:45] Janet Matta: [00:08:45] Yeah, I think that that's really, um, it's an interesting thing as a, as an ex Pat, or as a person who has lived in multiple countries and you'll certainly, I'm sure feel this too. It's um, you sort of carry this rooted identity with you wherever you go, or this base identity with you. Um, But the fact that it doesn't fully fit, fit you when you live there, it also doesn't fully translate to where you go next, I think is both a blessing and a curse.

[00:09:15] Maybe, you know, you sort of carry, carry this identity with you, wherever you go. It's like wearing your, you know, being a hermit crab, right. You wear yourself on your back, but, um, you're never quite going to feel. The same sense of at home anywhere else? I think there's both like being at home everywhere and yet being at home nowhere.

[00:09:35]Um, some of the paradox, I think of being a global citizen or being a person who moves between countries and, um, feels like they need to leave their home or want to leave their home for some reason.

[00:09:47] Isabelle Roughol: [00:09:47] And for you. So you lived in Germany. How old were you?

[00:09:51]Janet Matta: [00:09:51] We moved over there when I was five years old and we moved back when I was eight. Um, so we spent three years. My dad, um, was a civilian working for the us Navy on a military base in Munich. And so we lived there for, for three years. My parents just took the opportunity to, um, spend some time abroad and then we moved back to the U S and, um, I lived there until I went away to university. And, um, when I went is making choices about university, I knew I wanted to leave Washington state where I'm from. Um, And my grandmother's brother had been a professor at Queens university in Ontario and suggested to me, not necessarily Queens where I actually ended up going, but said, look at the schools in Canada because they're bit of a hidden gem.

[00:10:41]Um, You know, much less expensive to attend, even for international students. Um, really high quality education, relatively close to home. And so I toured several and applied to several and ultimately she has to go to Queens and spent four years in Canada.

[00:10:56] Isabelle Roughol: [00:10:56] So I'm interested in, um, you know, those early years in Germany, because in a way, you know, you talked about how, you know, you, you don't really fully fit in the US anymore, but you also will never fit wherever you go. And I think that's the curse of, uh, And the blessing, but sometimes really the curse of the, of the global citizen, right.

[00:11:11] Is there's just no single identity that really can carry you anymore. Um, and I think the first time you go abroad, you know, and you decide to live abroad. Like for me, I was 17. You don't really, you don't realize until it's too late, you know, quote unquote, what it is that you're breaking. Um, but in a way, when you leave as a child, that decision is made for you anyway.

[00:11:37] Right. I um, and I, and I wonder how you think about that now that you're thinking about moving and you have two beautiful boys who are, I think they're like two under two, uh, which is a handful hats off. Um, so yeah, about making that choice for them now.

[00:11:55] Janet Matta: [00:11:55] Yeah, that's occurred to me. You know, I I've often thought this is part of my sadness. I think about knowing that we will leave is, um, where will my children's identity rest? Where will they feel that they're from? Um, and I don't know the answer to that question. It's very possible that they, they will feel that they're from Seattle, from Washington state, that they are inherently American.

[00:12:18] That there's something about them that is American. Um, but it's also possible that they will carry that passport and know nothing about what it is to be American. Um, because we'll be moving when they're two and two or three years old, the older one and the younger one will be under two years old and they won't remember living here. Um, in some ways it's, you know, I can, I can release myself from guilt or, uh, stress or anxiety about what they will feel, because I truly don't know. What that will be. And my intention is to be able to give them a home that is safe and holds their future and exposes them to amazing new opportunities.

[00:13:06] We've talked a lot about choosing a location where they can feel part of the world and not just part of one country where they have opportunities to, you know, attend university overseas and other places or work internationally. Um, And being able to, to give them that, um, we certainly couldn't do that here.

[00:13:25] I don't think we could adequately provide them with those opportunities in a way that we could, if we moved elsewhere and that's, um, that maybe ended up may end up being part of their identity core. We'll see.

[00:13:39] Isabelle Roughol: [00:13:39] Yeah, I guess that's the journey they'll have to make themselves.

[00:13:44] Janet Matta: [00:13:44] Yeah. I think I look back on my parents' decision to move us overseas, even for a short period of time, as a huge gift. Um, because it just showed us, showed me what was possible that it showed me. And I've been kind of forever raised with this sense of you can live anywhere. Um, that's, uh, a privilege that I have for sure, based on, you know, the means that we have, but, but also it's a, it's a psychological mindset, I think.

[00:14:16]Um, and that was a result of having lived abroad as a child.

[00:14:21] Isabelle Roughol: [00:14:21] How does your husband think about this? Has he lived abroad or is this brand new to him?

[00:14:27] Janet Matta: [00:14:27] this is brand new to him. He loves to travel. He and I went to Europe together before we were married and New Zealand together. Um, and he's been many places, but, um, This is a much scarier proposition for him. I think it comes really easily for me to, um, to say, well, this is no longer working where I'm happy to just go find another place to live.

[00:14:50]Um, for him, I think he worries a lot about losing, um, losing his roots. You know, family is here, friends are here. Um, And I think he feels a bit more apprehensive about the, the, the changes that will come into life living overseas. Mmm. That said well, and also, I think he's a bit more risk averse than I am.

[00:15:09] I think I'm, I'm a bit more willing to jump into something with both feet. Okay. But I think he, he also, especially since we've had children, he feels very strongly motivated by the idea of giving them a better life and being able to give them options and give them choices. And we know that we can do that and he knows that we can do that if we move

[00:15:37] Isabelle Roughol: [00:15:37] Yeah, which has been the motivation of immigrants for generations, right? I think we just never really pictured it as coming from, you know, comfortable white Americans.

[00:15:52] Janet Matta: [00:15:52] That's a great irony in many ways, right? I mean, I am, I am quite literally the product of, of immigrants. You know, my it's my mom's side of the family that's most international that have come here most recently, but my dad's side of the family is, um, Slovak and they, um, so my great grandparents immigrated, um, from Slovak yet, absolutely.

[00:16:13] To find a better life, to get jobs in the coal mines and be part of the industrialization of America. And, um, it's so ironic that you know, just a couple of generations later. Um, first of all, the coal jobs are all completely gone. Um, the area of Pennsylvania that they migrated to is tremendously economically depressed.

[00:16:34] And here we are saying that America no longer serves us and looking back to many of the countries in Europe, where they came from, um, as potentially a place where we could offer our children a better life. Um, It's really quite interesting in some ways it's sad, but in some ways it's also sort of just a natural cycle.

[00:16:55] This intent, I think we move for opportunities for ourselves and for opportunities for our children. But if the place that you've moved to is no longer serving you and what you need in order to have a good life, then it makes sense to look elsewhere. I think.

[00:17:17] Isabelle Roughol: [00:17:17] Was there any point in time where you thought, you know, okay to us, isn't working right now and I want to, you know, stay and help change it from the inside. And, and, and if so, at what point, you know, does that break and you're like, I can't do that anymore. You know, I need to move on.

[00:17:35] Janet Matta: [00:17:35] I think, um, I have thought a number of times about what I could do. And I think at this stage, um, what I struggle with in terms of the impact that I could have is, um, knowing that I have children and knowing that my personality and how I like to be involved in, in my community or in politics, um, the, the biggest way that I can  realistically be involved as by voting, um, and potentially by being active in my community, I think at this point, um, What I've realized is that the challenges that we're facing in the U S and as people living in the U S are so much deeper than who's in power politically. Um, we're experiencing a really deep threat to democracy in this country that we haven't really seen prior to the last four years.

[00:18:36]Um, and there there's much more there that needs to be changed, that I don't have a lot of power over changing. Um, and I have a lot of just deep respect for my peers and colleagues who are able to give it their all and dedicate their careers or their lives to making change for this country. Um, but I personally don't feel like there's enough that I could do to make it worthwhile, to dedicate that amount of time or energy to change. Um,

[00:19:07]my husband had offered joked a couple of years ago about how we should move what we should move to North Carolina, because our votes would count more there as liberal voters. And, um, we'd have more of an opportunity to influence our neighbors, um, rather than living in liberal Seattle where, you know, I mean our votes matter of course, but not to the degree that they would, if we were a minority. Uh, in a very conservative state. Um,

[00:19:32]Isabelle Roughol: [00:19:32] That's a big commitment to make, to literally define your entire life by the power of your vote or the power of your activism.

[00:19:42] Janet Matta: [00:19:42] I think that's, that's the catch, right? Is, um, how much can you, or do you want, and this is a very individual decision. How much do you want to live for the possibility of something better? And potentially make great personal sacrifices in the interim while you're trying to affect that change. Um, and I think people really all over the world have, have, you know, in countries that need change and need improvement have made those choices.

[00:20:09]Um, you know, do you send your children to the poor public school because you want to support the public school system and potentially sacrifice the quality of their education in doing that? Do you live in the, um, you know, economically depressed city and work hard to make it better and start a business there and, and kind of battle up Hill, um, hoping and working for longterm change, but making huge personal sacrifices in the process?

[00:20:38]Um, I don't think that we are at a place where we're comfortable with the degree of sacrifice required to continue to work for change. I think, um, there are things that we can continue to do, like vote from overseas and know that we're protecting our family and just having a greater base level of happiness and community and joy and satisfaction for us as well.

[00:21:08]Isabelle Roughol: [00:21:08] I'm really struck by how much it echoes. You know what I might hear from friends in the Lebanese, diaspora, the Iranian diaspora... the, you know, all these big, as far as overseas, he, you know, love, love home. Um, but you know, either didn't have opportunities there or just got so tired of fighting, um, that day, you know, decided to, to go. And obviously it's, it's the, it's the better off who tend to go first because they have more opportunities to, to do so.

[00:21:40] Janet Matta: [00:21:40] Yeah, I recognize, I remember back when Trump was first elected, you know, there was, there were a flurry of Americans, right? Who, who at least talked about. Moving overseas sort of saying, I can no longer live in this country. And I remember a friend of mine posting something on Facebook about how he wished he would just keep that to yourself if you were a person who wanted to move overseas or felt like you had to do that, because it's an incredibly privileged thing to be able to move out of a country that you don't feel you want to be part of. And he's right. You know, where I'm very aware of the fact that, um, You know, my upbringing means that and the financial position that we're in means that we have the option to go elsewhere and lots of people don't.

[00:22:28]Um, but I also feel like there's a degree of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on others that I think we're experiencing. Um, We've watched, you know, our mental health deteriorate. We've watched our physical health deteriorate. Um, I feel a level of anxiety and stress about the, um, the possibilities and the success and the health and the wellbeing of our children.

[00:22:53]Um, and I would like to heal those things before I do anything else. Um, And I think for us, the likelihood is that we will experience that degree of healing. We will feel healthier. We will feel more at ease, um, we'll experience different stressors, but if we can separate and go away and we may come back, um, or we may become active in trying to make this place better, or we may invest fully in a different community overseas and try to make that place better.

[00:23:24]Um, but, um, I think there is a weird feeling, this necessity of taking care of ourselves first.

[00:23:32] Isabelle Roughol: [00:23:32] Yeah, that that makes total sense. I kind of decided over the past. I don't know when it was exactly, but sometime, maybe over the past year, before  covid actually already that, um,  I couldn't live in the States again. Um, and so, so I understand where he's coming from and it's, it's much bigger than, you know, the current president.  You know, there's, you know, the racism and the violence and the healthcare and the, and the individualism  kind of piling up to a, to a level that makes me feel very European, which is interesting because I was extremely Americanized in my twenties and that just kind of dissipated?

[00:24:17] Janet Matta: [00:24:17] Yeah, I think you said something in, in the podcast with David Wade that really resonate did for me around, um, we did a, sorry.

[00:24:28] Isabelle Roughol: [00:24:28] No, just for the listeners.

[00:24:30] Janet Matta: [00:24:30] thank you, Wade Davis, um, that was around, um, The individualism in America is this wonderful thing that attracts people to American culture. And is this thing that helps actually America succeed and Americans succeed this, this individual drive in the sense that anything is possible, I think is what you said.

[00:24:49]Um, and I resonate with that completely. That's absolutely true. It's one thing I love about this country and the culture here. But it's also the same thing that provides this incredibly toxic environment of not taking care of the people around you. Um, not feeling like you have support, um, and really individualism to a, a fault, really feeling like everyone has to fight for their own, and that's not a community I want to be a part of. And I'd be happy to sacrifice a little bit of that sense of possibility and individual freedom in order to, to know that my community was being taken care of. And I feel ready to make that trade off.

[00:25:28] Isabelle Roughol: [00:25:28] So, where are you looking? They make that trade off?  What countries appeal?

[00:25:33] Janet Matta: [00:25:33] Yeah, well, my mom, uh, is just in two weeks moving to New Zealand to retire with her husband. So, um, they are packing up their things and getting on a plane to go to Christ church. Um, so because of that family connection, that's probably our first. Choice at this stage, we've done quite a bit of research on what that would involve.

[00:25:55] Um, So that's top of the list for sure. I have dual citizenship in the UK. So we've been looking at Scotland, um, as a possibility, um, and Ireland as well. Well, and then just for fun, I was doing a bit of. A bit of web searching yesterday.

[00:26:10] And, um, there turns out are many European countries that are quite friendly and warm places to live. Uh, so we may find ourselves adding Austria and Switzerland and, um, Estonia and Portugal to the list. Uh, but I think for, for right now, it's New Zealand followed by Scotland and Ireland.

[00:26:29]Isabelle Roughol: [00:26:29] Are you going with a mindset of like you're making a new forever life there or are you thinking. Yeah. A couple of years and we'll see.

[00:26:40]Janet Matta: [00:26:40] um, very much as a forever life. Uh, we, um, have a vision of having just a little bit of land and a very modest house and, um, chickens and a place for kids to run and, um, a real connection to a community, a small city. Um, and I think that vision and that lifestyle could carry us well into retirement. Um, We do own a little tiny piece of land here just outside of Seattle.

[00:27:10] And my husband is building a cabin on it from scratch. It's sort of a bucket list item for him to, to build a cabin just all by himself. Um, we'll continue to own that piece of property and hopefully be able to come back and visit frequently. So I think there'll be a part of us that always is still connected to Washington state and the U S um, regardless of where we go.

[00:27:33] But in terms of our day to day life, I think we're very, uh, very committed to the idea of going somewhere permanently for sure. And we never say never, but

[00:27:43] Isabelle Roughol: [00:27:43] You know, the image that immediately came up when you talked about, you know,  the life that you envision is, is, uh, the homesteaders of family in a wagon going West and finding a bit of land and a community and making it home. Um, it is, I find it very poetic that there was, you know, there's that connection.

[00:28:04] And again, to the American frontier and something that is very American in fact,

[00:28:12] Janet Matta: [00:28:12] That's a really interesting way of looking at it, right. This idea of going West. And in fact, if we go to New Zealand, we will be heading West in our are covered wagons slash aluminum, you know, airplane. Um, Yeah, I think, you know, what's so interesting is the big contrasts in American culture, right? Like we are, um, this culture of individualism and hard driving kind of pull yourself up by your bootstraps, every person for themselves, but we're also.

[00:28:47]Um, a land of immigrants, a of people who are opportunists, who have inherently come from somewhere else, um, who, um, have been flexible and risk taking and, um, have made a new life for themselves without loyalty to a previous country or home. Um, and what's evolved here is, uh, is those cultural elements, but in a really.

[00:29:12] Different way that you get the feeling living in the United States right now that the dominant culture is very loyal to, um, our president and very well to sort of this American ethic of freedom and, um, self righteousness. And that we've forgotten some of those, those early roots of immigration and, um, you know, freedom from oppression, for sure.

[00:29:36] But. But in a way it's sort of just those things taken to an extreme, um, like the, the roots of all that culture is still there. And so maybe it's interesting to think about being an American, leaving America as actually a very American thing to do to leave America. It's it's not only an American that would think to do that, but I think there is something about, um, the American culture that uh, teaches us or shows us that there's this possibility of doing something different.

[00:30:13] Isabelle Roughol: [00:30:13] I think that's a good note to end on. I. I, I, yeah, I think it is. I think it is. I think you just, you know, continuing a very different kind of what, what is it? They call it manifest destiny, uh,

[00:30:27]Janet Matta: [00:30:27] yeah.

[00:30:28] Isabelle Roughol: [00:30:28] the last the last racist and colonialist version of that, that exists. Um, so I wish, yeah, I wish you and your boys, the grown one and the two little ones. All, all the, all the best in this adventure. I think you're going to thrive.

[00:30:48] Janet Matta: [00:30:48] Thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate hearing that. It's a okay. Yeah. It's I mean, it just feels, feels like the right thing to do. I remember people asking me, um, when I moved to Australia, you know, are you excited? And if you were to ask me today, are you excited for your move? I would say the same thing I said then, and that is excitement isn't really the right word. I feel sort of duty bound. This is something I have to do. Um,  it's something I am looking forward to in many ways, but I'm also sad that I have to do it. Um, but it's, I'm more driven by this sense of this is a necessity. It's not something I'm doing for fun. Um,

[00:31:30]Isabelle Roughol: [00:31:30] Is it a duty to yourself, to your kids, like who's the duty to?.

[00:31:36] Janet Matta: [00:31:36] I think to myself and my children, for sure. I believe really strongly and it's important to live authentically. And if you feel like you're not living in accordance with your values, you should change it. And I am not living a life. It's the life that we have here yeah. Is not in alignment with things that we value.

[00:31:59] We value community and equity and support and, um, You know, we can certainly demonstrate those things in our own life, but we're not surrounded by those things. We're fighting an uphill battle on that. Um, we value, you know, good education and health and, um, and so I think there's that side of the duty to myself.

[00:32:21] I have to change the thing that isn't right for me. Um, but also to my kids, I know that statistically speaking, they're more likely to be anxious, depressed, overweight, uh, here than they are anywhere else in, in the places that we're considering moving to. Um, and so it feels like setting them up for success if we choose a different option.

[00:32:42]Isabelle Roughol: [00:32:42] Thank you so much for  opening up

[00:32:45] Janet Matta: [00:32:45] Yeah.

[00:32:46] Isabelle Roughol: [00:32:46] things that are very personal. Um, I think I was just going to publish this on. I've got to cut a minute of it. I was just gonna  hit publish. It's going to be an easy episode.

[00:32:58] Janet Matta: [00:32:58] Well, yeah, it's I mean, I love, I love talking about you and I could talk about this stuff for hours and hours and hours, right.   Um,

[00:33:07]Isabelle Roughol: [00:33:07] and in fact we did, but I think you have enough.

[00:33:10] Janet is continuing along American tradition: starting right over somewhere new, not just for herself, but for the next generation. She also illustrates that the choices of previous generations don't have to bind us. Our own children or their children might continue the journey, go West again, until perhaps to find themselves in a very home that their ancestors left in their name.

[00:33:33] I want to thank Janet Matta for sharing a very personal perspective. If you do have stories of global citizenship to share, please get in touch at borderlinepod.com.

[00:33:42]  Oh, guess what? I've launched a second podcast. It's actually a French version of Borderline.

[00:33:49] About a quarter of you listening are from my first home from France. And so I wanted to have something for you and to get a chance to speak French a little bit. I'll be publishing translated and edited versions of the conversations that we have here on Borderline, but also content that is exclusive to the French version. I'm especially keen on kind of explaining what's going on in the English-speaking world,  in the Us, in the UK, in Australia sometimes and beyond, to a French audience, who's sometimes a little bit confused about what's going on over here.

[00:34:20]So that's Borderline: La V.F. And you can find it on all your usual podcasting platforms. I'll be sharing it out as well, as well as on borderlinepod.com. I hope you'll enjoy it. Please. Let me know what you think, whether you're a French listener or perhaps even someone trying to learn the language.

[00:34:38]Please remember to rate and review on Apple podcasts or your app of choice, and to support the making of borderline. Please consider becoming a member on Patreon.

[00:34:48] You'll get extra content and access and much gratitude. Again that's all at borderlinepod.com.

[00:34:55] I'm your host, Isabelle Roughol. Music is by Dyalla. Borderline is a One Lane Bridge production. Talk to you next week.


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Isabelle Roughol Twitter

Journalist, podcaster, media consultant. Telling stories & building better newsrooms. Writes The Lede. Ex- LinkedIn News, Le Figaro, The Cambodia Daily. 🎓 Mizzou '08, Birkbeck '25.