With her 3 daughters in tow, Global Living Mom on the Street Sophia Sok lives overseas each year. She explores the lifestyle of each location, letting the experiences enlarge her daughter's perspective on the world, and its many beautiful people.
I live in Williamsburg, VA, and have 3 daughters ages 6, 4, and 2. They are all my heart. With Frank’s career in professional sports (LBA League, Italy) we travel every year. Yes, I travel internationally solo with 3! I’m basically raising 3 girls on my own because of his hectic schedule but we absolutely enjoy the experience. Learning different languages, tasting local foods, exploring various cultures, and getting local style inspiration is rewarding.
The best thing about being multicultural is the growth, opening your mind, and having your little ones on the journey to show them that everyone or everything is not the same. Even grocery shopping isn’t the same!
The girls and I always try to learn the basics of the language in each country but on a daily I teach them the Cambodian language, food, and traditions. My daughters are also half-Caribbean so it’s important to always remind them that they are half of me and half of their dad. We have to remind them our family is in Guyana, Virgin Islands, or Cambodia and their lives are unlike ours. We are truly blessed to be alive and well.
In the 1980s my parents were refugees seeking asylum from the Khmer Rouge (unfortunate time in Cambodia). My father wrote a letter to a Catholic Church in Gloucester, VA, and the church-sponsored my parents immigrating to the States.
As an adult, I now look back and realize I was bullied growing up and I was shy and disliked talking in front of people because of these factors. I never knew what brands were popular or what was in style. I grew up in a traditional Cambodian household and Cambodian was the first language spoken. We never really spoke about the normal things. What I went through growing up, is something I would hate to see my kids go through.
My parents' story is inspiring to me. I’ve been researching and working to put together a way to assist refugees or immigrants here who don’t have the means for all that they need. That was my struggle growing up. My parents worked with a local real estate agent and would get paid to clean up old houses that needed to be sold. We would then take the things left at the houses, such as clothes, toys, and furniture.
Which three words best describe your style? Trendy, casual, and me!
Who’s your favorite style icon? I really don’t have a style icon. Honestly, with all the traveling we do I like to incorporate some of the styles I see into mine. It’s absolutely wonderful to see how people in other countries dress because it’s unique.
What’s your best style advice? I never believed this saying until I got older, but when you feel confident you look confident. Another thing is wearing the most basic ensemble, for example, all black can be boring but throw on an eye-catching shoe... someone will be talking.
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without? My mother’s Cambodian jewelry.
Also, I love fanny packs or belt bags! Long story short: having 3 kids back to back and then traveling all the time I always used a backpack. But when shopping or going through the airport, I always had to take my backpack off... which had wipes, diapers, snacks, drinks, or change of clothes. A friend told me to just get a belt bag so when you pay or have to show ID, it’s right there! One of the best ideas ever!
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback? Well, this trend already came back but I love the oversized t-shirt look! Wear it as a dress with a belt. Dress it up, down through all seasons.
What’s your best style secret? Honestly, I love Spanx! Look good, feel good!
Stilettos or flats? I used to wear stilettos everywhere even while pregnant but now I do both!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? We love playing games or watching a movie or sports game together.
What’s been your best family vacation? Dubai, United Arab Emirates is amazing. We’ve lived in some awesome cities but spending New Year's in Dubai with great friends was one of the best experiences.
What’s your go-to family dinner? My go-to dinner is a Cambodian dish. It’s kind of like a rice flour crepe called Bahn Chao. I make the filling with ground chicken onions bean sprouts with this delicious sauce called Tuk Trey it has vinegar, fish sauce, etc.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? We’re obsessed with Nobu, but honestly, there’s at least one go-to restaurant that was our favorite in every country we have lived in. For instance in Milan, we loved Novecento, Estonia- Goodwin, or Rucola.
But here in Williamsburg Opus 9 ( yes I bring my kids there and they love it). In Hampton, VA, we love Thai Papaya. In Russia, the cities we lived in, the majority of the restaurants had a play area for children and I loved that. It was such a wonderful perk because kids don’t like to sit and wait 15-20 minutes for food - they get antsy.
Best parenting advice: My advice is teaching your littles it’s beautiful to be different and to accept those who are. It doesn’t matter about clothes, shoes, hair or skin... be kind! You never know what someone is going through.
I say this because I’ve experienced it as a child and so have my children. Growing up I didn’t understand but as an adult, being a mom, I completely get it.
I’ve had my daughter's preschool teacher read her a Sesame Street book reassuring her that it’s completely okay to have different hair. I’ve also had a friend buy the “Hair Love” book and these minor efforts make a child feel comfortable the way they are.
Parenting true confession: My mother passed away 3 years ago. With, being raised in a traditional Cambodian household, I keep open ears when listening to other parents about their style to see if I can incorporate some things to make my parenting better.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? I enjoy watching The Last kingdom or Hells Kitchen. Also, I love watching UFC lol!
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? I wouldn’t choose anyone well- known. Instead, I would search for a Cambodian up-and-coming actress who is trying to put their foot in the door.
What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching? I enjoy old R&B-702, Total, Aaliyah but ever since we left Spain my daughters have Reggaeton on all the time!
If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? Hmmm, this is tough! I love Eva Mendez and Sofia Carson’s style but Rihanna, no brainer.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Iceland!
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? Anything that involves peace and quiet :)
We love how Sophia embraces the challenges of global living because of the invaluable experiences her family gains. She shows her girls how wide and wonderful the world is - and that there are endless approaches to style, food, and customs. Sophia also lets her own background shape how she encounters those in her own local community. There are no outsiders, only those who can teach us what we may have not yet learned. You can connect with Sophia on Facebook @SophiaTauch.
And for more stylish and interesting moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp Mom on the Street!