In 2018, I had the great privilege attending and participating in a National University of Singapore, Asian Research Institute workshop on Multinational Migrations hosted by brilliant Anju Paul and Brenda Yeoh. Both of whom are scholars who I have read, cited and looked up to for a long time.
At the workshop, I presented a paper looking back at the research I collected when I lived in New York City. In NYC, I observed that so many domestic workers in my study traversed the globe before setting foot in the United States. Their trajectories followed the footsteps of their sisters, cousins, mothers, and friends from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, Canada, Rome, Dominican Republic, way before New York. In this presentation, I thought through who transnational families aren’t just a source of financial support for future migrations, but actually, a repository of information and strategy.
During the workshop, I was able to learn and listen to so many amazing scholars from all over the world who were thinking and writing on emergent multinational migration patterns. It was an amazing experience professionally and now the paper I presented is an article in a special section of Geographical Research! (Email me for a copy if you hit a paywall!)
The trip to ARI and Singapore was transformative in so many other ways. I was able to wean almost 2-year old Cy. It was one of the first trips I took on my own after having 2 children. I rekindled my love of traveling and getting lost in a new place. And I got to reunite with my cousin, Jamie, and her family who has lived in SG for years. I was able to have dinner with Meg and Ivan, two amazing stars of my book The Labor of Care, who have made a home in SG in the past few years.
It is a trip to remember and this article is a reminder of how my ideas really take me to places I never thought I’d go.