Who are we?
The simplest answer to that question is we are a group of expat women who want to reach out to other expat women around the globe and encourage them to take root, right where they’ve been planted.
…And It all started with two friends.
(Get comfy, because here comes the long answer.)
Once upon a time, Denise and Alicia lived in the same city in Indonesia. They had a great friendship and took for granted how convenient their friendship was – living right down the road from one another for a whole two years. In February 2014, Denise moved to another city. She was still on the same island, but much further away than “right down the road.”
When Denise moved, she went from a city with a growing expat population to a smaller city known for “eating expats alive and spitting them out.” Suffice it to say, the move did not come without its hardships. The greatest of those hardships was loneliness.
Being the extrovert (and an enneagram 8), Denise strongly desired to create that community she so desperately longed for. The only problem: no one was exactly knocking down doors to live where she was living – especially not with the reputation it carried. She typed a text message to Alicia.
“We should start a blog.” Denise clicked send.
“Yeah, with all that free time we have,” Alicia responded.
“It can be a blog for all types of expat women, no matter what line of work brought them overseas,” Denise persisted.
Thus began a series of text conversations back and forth about what it should be called before the dotted line was signed to purchase the domain name. Taking Route (pronounced “ROOT” – you know, for the play on words) was launched into the world in early May 2014.
The blog lived a quiet life with very humble beginnings. It wasn’t on many people’s radar – that is, until September. It will be a day that goes down in Taking Route history – “A September to Remember,” one might call it. Alicia was weeks away from giving birth to her second child and decided to type up one more post before the foggy, postpartum days descended upon her. Thanks to pregnancy insomnia, she got the whole post typed up in one sitting. She sent the draft to Denise to read.
“I like the quote at the end,” Denise replied back. (The fact that the one thing she liked most was the one thing Alicia didn’t even write herself is a memory they still joke about to this day.)
The next morning, Alicia would wake up to a text message from Denise informing her the post had gone viral (and has since been translated into other languages). It was the post that put Taking Route on the map overnight. It was a response they weren’t expecting, nor were they prepared for -- but it happened, nevertheless. And a viral post has yet to happen since that day. However, God used that one post to get the ball rolling and spread the word about a new online community. The future was bright for Taking Route.
Today, Taking Route is a wonderful online community filled with hundreds of articles written for expats, by expats. Our writing team has grown from two to THIRTEEN– with writers spread across the globe. One of our favorite places to interact with our community is on Instagram. We like to keep things real, honest, and encouraging. We also create the occasional, funny expat meme – for good measure.
In the past two years alone, we’ve launched a podcast, started a supportive community group, and created a separate Instagram account specifically for TCK parents.
We have some exciting things in store for the end of 2019 and we’re looking forward to how the Lord will continue to use Taking Route to encourage and equip expat women living around the world. One of the greatest (and most frequent) comments we receive is, “Thank you for helping me feel like I’m not alone.” After all these years, our original purpose for starting this blog is still being fulfilled.
We at Taking Route want to be a supportive community for expats around the globe, and we accomplish this goal through our personal stories and our shared experiences. At its core, we want this space to help others feel seen, understood, encouraged, and loved. Most importantly, we want you to believe, in the deepest part of your soul, that you are not alone.
Wherever you are in the world, we’re so glad you’re here!
Alicia and Denise
Co-founders of Taking Route
P.S. If you would like to learn more about us personally or if you would like to meet the Taking Route Team, follow us over to The Team page.