About Us


Meet your Round Trip Stories podcast hosts Tracy Vilanova and Melissa Ens! They are both on their way to thriving after coming back to their home countries from time abroad. Combined, they have lived in the U.S., Spain, Peru, China, Mexico and Canada. They speak English, Spanish, and some Greek and Mandarin Chinese. Through their sojourns, they have each been honored to be called teachers, students, wives, mothers of three, church leaders, and women who love learning about the world and the people in it.

Melissa and Tracy first met when they were on staff at the same California school in 2017, a couple months after Tracy and her family returned from eight years of living in China. Melissa had returned in 2014 from two and half years in Peru with her family. As soon as Melissa heard Tracy had lived abroad, she wanted to hear her story and provide encouragement because she knew that transitioning back to our home countries is not easy.

Click to listen to our podcast trailer!

Some of the best encouragement
we can receive is from someone who has been where we have been. When Tracy and her family hit the ground running with new jobs, new schools for the kids, and trying to make a home in a new place, they also struggled with reverse culture shock and grief from leaving life in China. Tracy and Melissa would exchange stories- often with matching themes- and Melissa encouraged Tracy with words of understanding and with a resource or two. Melissa made Tracy feel understood. That is what we want to give you: a gift of being understood and a resource or two.

Our hope in sharing The Round Trip Stories Podcast is to offer the gift of understanding to others who might have recently returned from a long term sojourn abroad. We also offer an invitation to reflect for those who have been “back” for years, but know that their lives and hearts are forever marked by their time abroad. Lastly, our podcast is an opportunity to learn for those who have never left their home country but are curious or care about the experience of those who have. Whether you have a passport or not, everyone is welcome here!

What about the name? Our podcast goal is to gather stories that will help make our global perspectives just a little bit bigger. We use the metaphor of a round trip because many of us have made that trip there and back, and we want to share stories that help landing, finding our "belongings," and understanding others a little easier. We hope you enjoy your travels with us!

To hear Tracy's round trip stories about moving to China and back, listen to Episode 1 & Episode 2

To hear Melissa's round trip stories about moving to Peru and back, listen to Episode 3 & Episode 4

Sign up for our email list and you'll always know when a new episode is available PLUS you'll be the first to hear about upcoming "customs" episodes where we talk about a topic related to customs and cultures and ask you to share YOUR global stories with us!

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No packing, passport, or goodbyes required!

Global friends, come fly with us! Find your place in this world as you listen to the stories of your fellow global travelers who have moved abroad and back again.

(Maybe you've never lived abroad but you're curious about what it's like to move to another country and back again. You're welcome here, too!)

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