This  Messy  Mobile Life:

How a MOLA can help globally mobile families create a life by design.

Do your family dinners happen in more than one language?

Do you celebrate Christmas and Eid?

Do you and your family feel at home in more than one country?

If so, then you may be a MOLA Family and yes, this multicultural, multilingual, mobile life can get a little ‘messy.’

In South America, a mola is a shirt made from intricately stitched layers of patterns and cloth. Worn with pride, it represents who you are – inside and out. I present a mola as the perfect metaphor for globally mobile families living between cultures, countries, languages, nationalities, identities and homes, who find their story hard to articulate. I have created the MOLA toolbox to help global families design and show their stories to the world. I call this creating ‘your life by design .’

Raw, honest, inspiring and uplifting, This Messy Mobile Life comprises personal reflection, expert advice and survey research to help you take your global family from mess to mola.

What others are saying about this book:

“This Messy Mobile Life is a wonderfully welcome addition to the mobile, cross-cultural and ethnically diverse community. Mariam honors one of the TCK ‘tribal elders’, Norma McCaig, deftly adapting the Mola layered artform into an image and a tool for adaptation and integration. Increasing family complexity meets powerful resource!”

– Michael V. Pollock
Director of Interaction International
Founder of Daraja TCK, International Educator
Co-Author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds 3rd Ed.

“This book will make thousands of expats more secure in their messy lives! Mariam beautifully weaves her personal experiences with the concept of a MOLA to provide a practical guide for global expatriates.”

– Christine Sperr
Managing Director, Middle East for Santa Fe Relocation

“Every now and then, a book comes along that leapfrogs ahead of others on similar topics. Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore’s accessible, engaging and thorough This Messy Mobile Life IS that book. No matter who or where you on your cross-cultural journey, you will be able to tease out strands (or chunks) of your own messy, mobile, multiple-multi, MOLA life in its pages. Simply stunning.”

– Linda A. Janssen
Author of The Emotionally Resilient Expat:
Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures

“This book is an incredibly extensive account of personal and theoretical content that helps families acknowledge and share the many strengths associated with their complex international lifestyle. I love that Mariam gives us this term ‘mola’ to talk about all that it entails, and this book really is for EVERYONE with the countless examples that will allow anyone to ‘see themselves’ in what’s written. The insights and the reflection activities will be welcomed for parents who are looking for ways they can support their kids in the midst of relocation. Mariam has positioned herself right there amongst some of the top experts in the field with this work.”

– Kate Berger MSc
Child Psychologist and Founder of The Expat Kids Club

“This Messy Mobile Life beautifully weaves together story and instruction, giving us a remarkable tool for the global journey. Mariam’s voice emerges as authentic, wise, and strong as she speaks into this complicated yet extraordinary expat/TCK life. This book will soon be on the shelves of expats and third culture kids around the world, as well it should be.”

– Marilyn R. Gardner
Author of Between Worlds
Essays on Culture & Belonging & Worlds Apart:
A Third Culture Kid’s Journey

“An outstanding book on how to raise a multicultural, multilingual, and multi-mobile family. Most informative and filled with practical suggestions. I loved the family stories, meaningful activities and the advice from the experts in the field peppered throughout the book. A fascinating read!”

– Lois Bushong
Author of Belonging Everywhere & Nowhere:
Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile



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