The 7 habits of highly effective expat women

From Blog “Expat Women in Brussels, published Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There is no recipe to make an expatriation a great moment in your life but here are some of the tactics I have been using for 20 years to get the most of my life abroad:

Habit 1-Do not reinvent the wheel: browse the internet to find expat and international web sites and chat with people who are in the same situation as you are or have been there and ask them how to get what you want.Here some informative web sites, general and focused on Belgium:

Habit 2: Attend information sessions for new comers at your kids’ school or women groups in your area and do activities you like while making new friends.
Here some information about international women groups in Belgium: des Francaises a Bruxelles: Journée Portes-Ouvertes : Jeudi 17 septembre 2009 de 9h30 à 16h

Habit 3: Take some time to define your personal goals for the next 2-5 years you will be living in your new home. Learning a new language, starting a business or volunteering for example.

Habit 4: Have fun! Whatever your plans are, try to stay around positive people and stop the negative self-talk. Start reading “the power of positive thinking” and other books by Norman Vincent Peale.

Habit 5: Be adventurous; if you live in cities like Brussels walk and get lost, it is the best way to find new shops, cafés or restaurants. By car try using different routes, you can beat your navigator by finding roads without traffic jam and save time with round abouts instead of traffic lights. If you are not good with orientation, just read a paper map.

Habit 6: Be fit: find a fitness center for you and family. For mothers with young children, look if they have childcare so you can enjoy your salsa class while junior is playing. Do what you want and enjoy 2 or 3 hours of physical activities per week.

Habit 7: Reward yourself for the hard work. Living abroad is taking a lot of your energy so take time for yourself: Go for a massage, a hair cut or whatever is making you feel good.

If you have other tips to share thanks to add them in the comments.

Be well and have a great day.

About Anne Egros

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
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