I grew up in a small town and lived in the same house until I went to college. Later on, I did an above-average amount of traveling and partook of many new experiences, and I came to realize that a very stable childhood has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are the security and sense of belonging, while the minuses are the lack of exposure to other ways of thinking and novel experiences.
For various mostly career-related reasons, my kids have moved around a bit and probably will continue to do so. My 6-year-old is in his third city and it looks likely that we’ll be on to number four before long. I don’t feel altogether positive about moving them around so much.
But, a lot of really bright and successful people have had totally unconventional childhoods. By unconventional, I mean frequent moves, possibly to foreign locales, and educational experiences that are outside the American public school norm. I’m always slightly surprised when I hear some normal everyday person talking about how he lived in Saudi Arabia when he was 10 years old and went to school with a tutor or in a private compound or some wacky thing like that.
So…tell me about your unconventional childhood and how it affected you. Do you think you came out better or worse than you would have if you’d followed the conventional track?