“Falling into Places” is a cross-cultural blog based in the United States with French and Russian roots. Its purpose is to help build cultural competence and empower culturally competent global citizens on a path to self-actualization*. Hopefully you’ll find useful information here.

*(the realization of a person’s full potential)

The objective here is to share knowledge on expatriation, or a move abroad long term, or permanently. The following topics will be covered:

  • Cultural differences between Europe and the U.S. based on my experience living in Russia, France, Germany, and the United States.
  • Third Culture Kids, also known as “TCK”, “third culture individual”, “invisible immigrant”… is a term that identifies people who grew up, or spent an important part of their formative years, in a country other than where their parents are originally from.
  • Authentic experiences of living abroad and adjusting to a new country through interviews of friends or acquaintances located worldwide sharing their journeys in hope of helping you understand the process of this change and make the best of your own experience. Knowledge is liberating, other people’s points of view can inspire new perspectives in ourselves.
  • International Education, as many of us, would like to pursue undergraduate or graduate education and earn a degree(s) in our new home countries.

Other Keywords: globalization, new cultural environments, cosmopolitanism, expatriates’ identity.

About me

Born in Russia, I moved to France when the Soviet Union collapsed. With the eyes of a child, I still remember seeing a world in “grey” back in the Motherland. To read more about my hometown region of Astrakhan visit this page. You heard of Moscow, St. Petersburg, but I bet you haven’t heard much about Astrakhan Oblast: one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Russia, with a steppic climate yet incredible biodiversity of fauna and flora, read why here.

One of my notable Quora Answers about this experience is available here.

Life in France has been rich, vibrant, and joyful. I am now settled in New York City. I share some of these experiences on Quora.

When you live in a vibrant, magnetic, and multicultural city you keep on meeting incredibly interesting people. I don’t think I met a dull person here. So many of us shared similar experiences. Loss of the known and the familiar, as we strive to start anew.

Otherwise, you might have stumbled upon my tea blog: “Humble Tea Leaf“. This space will be of a different nature. Thanks for reading.


In this spirit, embracing change will help us grow as individuals. Naturally our mindset and perspective change throughout life. We gain skills to be able to deal with challenges. It is also an opportunity to become stronger and wiser.

Heraclitus once said:

There is nothing permanent except change.

Diogenes of Sinope (404-423BC), the founder of the philosophy of cynicism, could be considered as a cosmopolitan. When asked what country he was from, the philosopher replied,

“I am a citizen of the world”

Laertius The Lives and Opinions of the Ancient Philosophers 3rd Century AD).

(Source: Thesis of Mian Duan)


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