Exactly one year ago today, I was reeling from the shock of the terrorist attacks in our home city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. For our family it was a game changer.
I promise you straight-talk on expat life and today I am giving you a peek behind the curtain of expat life when my family was separated by unexpected circumstances. I share this with you because it is so important that you get serious about mastering the core strategies to adapt, succeed and be satisfied abroad now, so you are ready for any transition expat life throws your way.
Our family was looking down the barrel of a year or more of separation. This meant my husband would stay back in Burkina Faso and I would give the kids a semester of “calm” in Switzerland. The truth is making the right decision for your family, doesn’t mean it is an easy one nor convenient.
Here is glimpse at what was taken away from my family when expat life threw us a curveball:
- Family snuggles in bed on a Saturday morning
- Date nights
- Both mama and papa at the many school events
- Alternating who puts the kids to bed
- A sparring partner at three in the morning to decide of our child was too sick to go to school and whether my business trip had to be cancelled
- Someone else to clean the toilets if your kids are vomiting
- Someone else to brush teeth
- Our best soccer player of the family
- A buddy to flop on the sofa with and have a glass of wine at the end of a long day
On the flip side, this is what I gained:
- Deeper understanding of what it really means when you decide as a family to be separated.
- Massive respect for solo-parenting
- Clarity on the unexpected challenges that come with “Fly in, Fly out”
- An even deeper conviction that my marriage of 16+ years is rock solid
- Clarity on what kind of challenges are really worth losing sleep over
- Renewed sense of how critical it is to be mindful of your resilience
- Clear conviction that if you use the right strategies, you can make the most of what expat life throws you
It may sound odd, but in many ways I am eternally grateful for this curveball.
My family strong. I grew immensely. And I proved to myself what could feel like the impossible: Maintaining a thriving business across three countries in difficult circumstances.
I give thanks to the 15+ years I have spent living and adapting abroad, my journey to develop the right strategies to make things work, and clarity on what it takes to be satisfied – no matter where you are.
This fuels my mission to help you adapt, be successful and truly satisfied in your life abroad.
To truly do that, we both know that you need the right strategies. A strong foundation. Drawing on these years of experience and thousands of hours with clients, this is it:
The 4-pillars to maximize your adaptation, satisfaction and success abroad:
- Adapt as quickly (and painlessly) as possible.
- Expedite your success.
- Create meaningful connections (at home and abroad).
- Cherish the experience.
This is the core of what I enable my clients to do so they life a life abroad they love. I will show you how in the coming months.
Master these four pillars, and you will be ready for anything expat life throws your way. (Tweet that!)
Together we can build these strategies into your own life like a rock-hard biceps, strong and ready for anything.
Here is to catching the curveball.
p.s. What has been your biggest expat life struggle so far? And how did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.