Yes it is time for the majority of expats to move to a new destination either as a first experience abroad or for veterans like me managing move # 12 from Brussels, Belgium to New Jersey, USA.
I have decided to take it easy this time. While I am sorting stuff to keep, to give, to sell or to trash. I take my time looking at old pictures and videos. I realized how blessed I am for living such an extraordinary life. I would never had the chance to meet those great people with so different backgrounds and get exposed to very different life experiences by staying in the same city for 20 years.
Living abroad is often challenging especially when leaving a place you just started to really enjoy, in our case the Brussels experience was only 2 years and it was definitively too short! I might be nostalgic to leave good friends behind but I have no regrets ! Each move has been carefully discussed with my husband. I was probably lucky to start my international career 20 years ago when the job market was not as tough as it is today. We manage our careers as buddies. Each time my husband had an offer to work abroad, we negotiated that the company help me get a job too.
Today I have my own portable career as an independent professional coach since 2008. It allows me to take care of my 9-year-old son and satisfy my basic needs to meet new people, be creative and enjoy helping others.
For expats who have hard time to leave for an unknown place and overwhelmed by the moving task I invite you to take 5 minutes at the end of each day to write everything that pops up into your mind when you think about the words “unhappy” and “happy”. Try to organize your thoughts by grouping them under various positive and negative emotions and feeling such as:
- Exciting, feeling good, curious, friendly, fun, enthusiast, high energy
- Painful, stressful, frustrating, annoying, boring, worried, low energy
- Neutral, comfortable, balance, joy, peace
- Anger, resentment, overaggressive, negative energy
Describe what you feel and explain exactly what happened or why you feel that way. Then separate things you think you can change and things you are not in a position to change for now. Focus on what you can do to enjoy more your day, what you are grateful for and list some strategies to overcome blocks and barriers.
In any case be sure to be INCREDIBLY SELFISH. Take care of your well being first, if you need to choose between having a lunch with a friend or sorting more files, opt for the friend, you will always have time later to get read of stuff you don’t want.
- Expat Women Confessions (zestnzen.wordpress.com)