For Expats It’s Summertime but The Leaving Is Not That Easy!

♫.Summertime and the living is easy…

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:

  1. Exciting, feeling good, curious, friendly, fun, enthusiast, high energy
  2. Painful, stressful, frustrating, annoying, boring, worried, low energy
  3. Neutral, comfortable, balance, joy, peace
  4. 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.

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
This entry was posted in Belgium, change, Executive Coaching, expatriates, Life coaching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to For Expats It’s Summertime but The Leaving Is Not That Easy!

  1. amblerangel says:

    I’d hate to leave after only two years….we’ve had many two year assignments and I feel like that’s about the time Im just about settled- plus Belgium seems like such a great place. On the other hand, at three, I get the itch to go…You are a pro at this though!

  2. amblerangel says:

    Good luck with your move! I personally would be ringing my hands and gnashing my teeth at the thought of going back to the East coast…

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