The Adventure of Moving Abroad
Moving abroad is a Herculean task in terms of family management and organization. No matter how many times you have moved, every new move and every new country presents you with new challenges. What do you need to consider? On this page I collect all tips and tricks from the expat community. Would you like to contribute? Feel free to contact me (email@example.com)
Moving overseas is a stressful time, especially when the two Cs (Children & Container) are involved. With our own move shortly ahead, I want to summarize all the tips and tricks I received from other experienced expats and that helped me the last time we have moved countries. This list of tips is tailored to families moving with a container. Often there are professional moving companies involved and while that is a huge help in can also lead to many misunderstandings and hiccups along the way.
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Do you sometimes feel out of place? Do you think others would be better suited for the task? Do you often question your own abilities? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to show you the concept of Impostor Syndrome. In this blog post, I’ll explain what Imposter Syndrome is, why it plays a significant role, especially in the expat community, and how you can leave it behind and rush into work or re-enter the job market with joy and confidence.
I am thrilled to finally share with you my latest research on the Female Expat. After months of work (and a steep learning curve on conducting academic research), I am proud to present the result in the form of a free epaper to download. In this blog post, I will share key insights and why this study is relevant to you when accompanying your partner on an assignment abroad.
Prioritizing yourself and your own projects is anything but a no-brainer. In this blog post, I share my 5 tips to make it happen, talk about Intensive Mothering and invite you to an intensive coaching session.
The percentage of female expats is raising but it is still far away from gender parity. I was interested to learn more about the reasons behind it and came across the concept of the global glass ceiling which I will explain in more detail in this post.
This is a small glimpse into my upcoming study of the “Thriving Female Expat! which will be published in October 2021 and which you can access here soon.
This blog post offers a well-structured overview of the most common challenges when moving abroad as a family for the accompanying partner and her own career plans. Knowing about the most common challenges will help you to prepare, to better understand the situation and the investment you are making and gives you a better position for negotiations with your partner and your partner’s company.
In the literature, a distinction is often made between the typical male and straight career path (alpha career) and the typical female, more volatile career path (beta career). Indeed, to this day, women face additional constraints and challenges in career planning. This article briefly describes the Protean Career – where women define their own definition of a successful career.
I am happy to present to you another Role Model Story today. This time a story without countless obstacles, several career changes, or identity crises. This story is less about the side of tears and more about how it can be and what you can do to get more ease in your life.
Our Role Model Flor has a lot to offer: she grew up in Venezuela and is currently living in Germany with her American husband. She raised 3 children far away from home, couldn’t continue her profession as a lawyer abroad, was searching for herself without the professional label for a long time, and finally found her dream job shortly before her family will move from Germany to the USA in the middle of a pandemic. Flor has so much to share with us. She tells us what it was like for her to be at home with three small children and the knowledge that her own career fulfillment was so far away. She also shares about the long application process that finally provided her with her dream job and reveals her secret ingredient
Not every posting ends happily. Many secondments fail, affecting not only corporate projects but also, especially in the long term, family and personal satisfaction. In this blog post, I would like to share a few insights that I was able to find in the course of my research on this topic. I like to refer to academic studies and large-scale studies and I am glad that there have been more studies on this topic especially in the last 20 years. If you want to look more into the topic feel free to check out this info box. In this box, I put the names of some papers and studies that I consider relevant.
Together with her two kids (now 6 & 8 years old) Marloes and her husband moved from the Netherlands to Taiwan. Back in the Netherlands Marloes worked as a consultant and it was their first international move. In this role model portrait, Marloes is reflecting on her path from a corporate working mum in the Netherlands to distributing fun & supportive workbooks for children moving abroad as an entrepreneur.
The New Post Pandemic Workplace – implications for the expat partner and international career couple
In this blog post, I share with you possible changes due to COVID-19 and how you can respond and benefit as the expat partners. Make yourself ready for a new work culture
Meet Luise, a German social entrepreneur with lots of experience in living abroad and creating your own pursuit of happiness!
This blog post is all about making acquaintances abroad. I share the great TED Talk from a 75 year old Harvard study on the value of relationships on our happiness and health, share tips from the SharetheLove community and introduce you to the great Kio who shows you how to approach strangers. Life is too short for loneliness. Get proactive and inspired by all these great resources!
Family and friends are the most important pillars in our lives. While we can take some of our family with us on our expat adventure, our friendships stay behind. So I was very happy when Dzhangar from Matchfamilies contacted me. His app that connects expat families was exactly the solution for the phase when you realize that you miss friends but don’t know what to do about it.
LinkedIn is THE essential social media platform when you want to change career paths. I know Instagram is more fun but LinkedIn is a way better time investment. In this blog post, I share the 4 Do’s and Don’ts I when it comes to your activity on LinkedIn. Let’s get right into it.
My phone remembered me that we left our apartment in Chicago exactly one year ago. After a typical Covid Weekend (meaning you are only able to recharge your batteries to 60%) I want to take the time to reflect on this past year and how my expatriate experience helped me navigate through this year.
I recently had the pleasure of talking to Jannie Aasted Skov-Hansen and Paul Vanderbroeck about their new book “The International Career Couple Handbook”. Reading the title alone, you will get a good sense of what the book is all about and it is a great additional resource when planning your adventures abroad. So as it is just a perfect fit for the SharetheLove audience and I really enjoyed reading it I want to tell you more about it in this blog post. I will introduce you to the definition of International Career Couples and explain to you why this book is very helpful even when you are currently NOT in a Dual-Career relationship right now.
Another episode of the expat partner role model series about the identity crisis after losing your career and creating a new path forward. Farsana was born in Afghanistan and emigrated to Germany as a child. moved to Azerbaijan, then to Lebanon and shifted her career as a lawyer online.
One year ago, I interviewed families who were going through their very first weeks of the global pandemic. How are they doing 1 year later? Are they finally reunited? Have they returned home early? Also lots of additional resources for support in this new blog post.
What might the future of work look like and what would that mean for me and my career plans? I give insight into an interesting PWC study and explain what you can do for yourself today. There is also a fun quiz that will show you what corporate culture you are longing for!
For this post I invited an expert in the field of Third-Culture-Kids (TCK). Ann Wöste sharges her knowledge about how to care for our beloved children abroad.
Today I would like to introduce you to Lea from the USA, who now lives with her husband in Zimbabwe. Like so many others, she moved abroad for love and had to reinvent herself to find her happiness. In the spirit of SharetheLove, she shares her story today and gives insight into the often challenging way to build a professional career abroad. Thanks a lot, Lea for your open words and your various tips. I am sure that many of you will find yourself in her story and take new courage from reading it!
In my coaching, I have spoken to so many expats who are struggling with including their time abroad in a way that portraits it as an accomplishment. Therefore, I want to dedicate this blog post to all those who want to improve their CV right now and need a bit of motivation to finally do it right.
Also, besides COVID-19, the global war for talent is ongoing. Companies are still operating on a global scale and need qualified and experienced employees to master the task. In a very interesting piece, Yvonne McNulty, one of the best-known researchers in the field of expatriate management, is shedding light on what is changing in expat recruitment. In this blog post, I am sharing some insights from this study and explain the effects on the accompanying family and especially the expat partner.
SharetheLove shares stories from successful expat partner around the world. This time, the amazing photographer Leonie shares her story of how her hobby became her profession
We are living in times of great uncertainty. COVID-19 has basically impacted all aspects of life including the way we work and travel. In this blog post, I shed light on the global mobility trends 2020/2021 and how the pandemic will hit the Global Mobility sector regarding expat management. As a coach of expat partners, I always follow the global mobility industry closely. So here are my observations!
The struggle of getting childcare in Gemany and the constant justification of a mother of a 9-months old. An opinion piece with the invitation to support each other.
Many women are looking for the second act in their life after caring for the children for decades. Other women are already struggling with returning to work after only a couple of years of the career paths. No matter the lengths away from the workplace, many women have two things in common: they are highly educated but lacking the network and the confidence to get back on track after a career hiatus.
Since COVID19, women have reached out to me asking whether they should still apply for jobs. They hesitated to send out resumes and continue investing time and energy into looking for opportunities. In this blog post, I am talking about was has and was has NOT changed since COVID19 and how to prepare for the competitive journey of getting your dream job.
You know this nagging feeling when you are spending time apart from your baby? The feeling of guilt that might come over you when you invest in a babysitter just to do something for yourself? The often painful decision to leave your child to daycare to go back to work. In this article, I want to introduce you to the concept behind called mum guilt. You will learn that it is universal and you will learn how changing your approach on HOW you spend time with your kid can make all the difference.
Most mothers struggle with juggling the different roles in their life. How to enjoy work while also caring for children? How to deal with public opinions about being a good mother? How to encounter colleagues at work who diminish your level of commitment? Many academic papers are researching the manifold challenges of motherhood. Today, I want to introduce you to the concept of intensive mothering and its effect on the working mothers’ experiences focusing on the paper by Lamar and Forbes (published April 2020) called “A phenomenological investigation into the role of intensive mothering in working mothers’ career experiences.”
Becoming a mother most likely creates a shift in your perspectives and your priorities in life. Like with any other major life change it offers the possibility to reflect on the path behind and provokes the question of What next? While mother AND father are facing a new era, it is especially challenging for the one who pauses a career and becomes the major caregiver. In this blog post, I reflect on the different family models and how to decide what’s best for you.
5 weeks in our very own repatriation journey I want to take the chance and reflect. How does it feel to move back to your home country? How does someone adjust to a culture that is familiar but distant at the same time? Oh, and yes, let’s not forget that we are all trying to create a new normal in times of Covid19.
Covid19 is affecting all layers of our daily lives obviously not sparring out employment. As this website focuses on the professional journey of expat partners, I want to address the questions you might have right now:
Does it still make sense to apply for jobs?
Are there even job listings?
What can I do to increase my chances of becoming employed?
2020 had a rough start in terms of global news. The outbreak of the coronavirus was one of them. The sheer amount of media coverage (on all levels of quality) and the uncertainty that the virus outbreak brought to many lives also affected expat families around the globe but specifically those closer to the area of origin. I was wondering, how expat families are coping with the challenge, how they made their decision on whether to stay or to go “home”, and what they have learned from the current situation.
Repatriation is one of the most underrated and intense phases of the whole process of temporarily living abroad. In this blog post, I want to show why that is, what you can do to prepare, and what you can expect. As always, I have used a mixture of academic papers, articles, and personal stories from within the expat community to create a valuable and comprehensive resource for you.
The perception of our lives abroad often differs tremendously from reality. While life abroad definitely brings along a lot of joy, happiness, opportunities and exciting experiences, it also comes with a price tag. Like everything in life, there are two sides to a coin.
The idea of us sitting along the pool sipping a margarita might feel far away for you. For your friends and family back home, this might be the picture that they have in their heads.
Thanksgiving is around the corner reminding us to get together and reflect on what we are thankful for. As a German and vegetarian, the traditional version of Thanksgiving is not really my turf. However, it’s a great time for reflection and creating awareness of how lucky we are despite the daily stress we might have.
Recently, InterNations Business Solutions published its new survey about expats around the world. This time they dedicated a whole section to the relocation spouse and presented her demographics, personal situation, needs, and wishes for their time abroad.
With over 1,300 relocation spouses interviewed, it is one of the most comprehensive surveys out there. That’s why I find it highly relevant to talk about the results – so let’s have look inside.
Recently I stumbled upon one of the best, recent academic papers about Dual-Career Planning in expatriation. The paper “Expatriated dual-career partners: hope and disillusionment” by Agnieszka Kierner perfectly illustrates how hope vanishes when career goals are not met during an international assignment.
I want to stress an important topic that most of expat partners are confronted with at some time or the other: Is expatriation a great time to become pregnant? How does motherhood change your expat experience? What if you can’ get pregnant? What if you just opened the chapter of the infertility chapter? This blog provides different perspectives on this topic, aiming to give you comfort and support.
Every once in awhile, we get triggered to step out our own comfort zone. For me personally, this often involves public speaking or sales pitches. Those are things that are just not meeting my core strengths. While others love to present themselves, I prefer to put the content in the spotlight instead of me as a person. However, when you are seeking to grow personally and professionally, stepping outside the comfort zone is a vital method and can’t be neglected!
If you were looking forward to working and living abroad, homesickness as an expat can come as a surprise, but it is not uncommon. If you have only recently moved abroad to work, it can make settling in to a new country much more difficult. For many expats, homesickness is even thought to be a contributory factor in their decision to repatriate. Thankfully, Allianz Care has developed several steps you can take to help deal with any feelings of homesickness you may be experiencing without making the drastic decision to return home:
Summer in Chicago is a short but very intense time. Locals truly know how to make the most out of it and the city presents itself from its best side. There are countless events to chose from, and because we all know that summer won’t last for long people are rushing outside to take in every glimpse of the sun. If you are new to Chicago or you are visiting the town during summer, check out my 10 Top things to do!
If we are honest to ourselves, saying YES is far more comfortable than saying NO to someone. In this blog post, I want to introduce you to the concept of saying NO, why we need to train this as a muscle, why it is especially essential for expats, and how saying NO can improve your personal quest for happiness.
Many expat partners ask themselves what to do with their life after moving abroad – especially when the “society-approved”, traditional corporate job or raising children is not a scenario. We often forget that there is a different path we can go: Not working, investing all the time and energy into ourselves, and be happy as hell. I am thrilled that Simone, who is actually also one of my coaching clients, is open to sharing her story and her personal approach in a blog post with us. Simone is a huge inspiration for me, and I bet you will be inspired after reading her reasoning behind her choice as well. Enjoy getting to know Simone and her creative, bold, confident, and clever approach to spending her time abroad.
What are you striving for in your career? What was your original motivation when applying for your first job, and what has changed along the way? Naturally, we are more fulfilled and successful when we are striving for something professionally that is also aligned with who we are as a person. If you are thinking about a career change or you are unsure where to head next to now is the time to check your motivation. In this blog post, I want to introduce you to the concept of career anchors and how that simple test can be a helpful guide to you for your personal career planning.
A couple of days ago, I stumbled across yet another media coverage about expat spouses and the fact that those well-educated women are throwing away their career ambitions to follow their husband abroad. Interestingly enough, the comments below the post have been even more prejudiced than the article itself. I wonder why it is so hard to change the image of the expat spouse and what we can do to become recognized as what we are: amazing, brave, solution-oriented globe trotters with a lot of understanding for global issues?
Reflecting on my experience at the Families in Global Transition Conference in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago, there is one sentence that is imprinted in my head: “We are equipped – more than others – to make a change.”
I keep wondering: Is that true? Are we in a privileged situation that should trigger us to act?
Moving abroad can have an impact on your confidence. Especially if you have trouble in getting back into a routine or in some work right from the beginning. In this article, I want to introduce you to Khethiwe, a confidence coach located in South Africa. I interviewed her about her approach to start a couple of portable businesses, her advice for expat partners, and how to regain confidence after moving abroad. She shared her experience with being a public speaker and a coach. If you are interested in getting started in that field, stay tuned for her tips!
The phenomenon that some expat partners take the plunge and start their own business abroad has interested me since we moved countries a couple of years ago. I have already talked about the phenomenon of Expat-Preneurship here. Today, I want you to introduce you to an inspiring entrepreneur who actually started a business that might be of benefit to a lot of us before moving places.
In this post, I want to share with you the results of my very own survey I did with about 200 expat partners around the world. I have asked them about their job situation, work permit situation and how they are evaluating their career after moving abroad. In the following, I will share my top 5 learnings as well as an infographic with more details.
Ever heard of FBA? I interviewed Dan, a German expat partner living in the US, about his blogging experience and he introduced me to this great portable career option. Learn more about it.
Being a side-hustler is a huge thing in the US! You just have to go to a Starbucks on the weekend, and you will hardly find a place as everyone is sitting in front of their laptop, starring at the screen with high concentration and sipping on their one coffee for hours.
Finding friends abroad is a challenging but rewarding process. In the expat world, friendship is often intense, short, and always comes with a good-bye at a certain point. In this blog post, I talk about how to approach this emotional topic and stay in contact throughout the shared time abroad.
Do you want to explore California and all its beauty in 10 days? Don’t worry! With this itinerary you will make the most out of your time. In addition you will see more of California than most of the locals!
Almost one year ago we packed our stuff and moved to Chicago. It’s unbelievable how quickly time goes by when you have fun.
There are a lot of stereotypes about Chicago. Many of them are true and some of them are totally exaggerated. In the following, I tell you 5 things you should know when thinking about moving to Chicago.
People widely agree, that we are living a happier life when we know the motivation behind our actions and act according to it. However, not everyone is clear about their very own intent for life. What do you want to do with your life? What is the direction that feels right to you? Are you triggered by your inner belief or are you more influenced on what seems desirable according to media and society? In this article, I want to highlight what intent is, how you can reflect on your very own intent for life and start living accordingly.
Do you like Mondays? I have the feeling that claiming to hate Mondays is not only the new norm but also widely socially labeled as “cool.” Everyone is posting a sad face and a reference to Mondays on social media. I recently found out that there is also the term “blue Monday” referring to a Monday in January which weatherwise brings the most depressed vibe with it. However, if you are the expat partner, Mondays might have reached a new level of stress. In this article, I want to explain why and what will help if you are feeling moody.
Each country has its smell, taste and smaller habits that you can feel more than explain. When you are living abroad, and you are coming home for Christmas, this is a perfect opportunity to explore your own culture with new eyes. You will recognize differences you have not been aware before moving abroad. Here is my selection of 20 typical Germans things that caught my attention after living in the US.
I will be flying to Europe tomorrow and living abroad for two years now my feeling about this holiday and coming “home” has changed a bit. In this blog post, I want to share my view about this. If you are an expat yourself, you might resonate with this, if you are a friend of an Expat this might help you to understand your friend a bit better.
So, I covered in several posts the identity struggle than can come along when you are moving abroad for the partner’s job. It’s a new beginning on several levels and a change also in areas that you have been happy with such as the job situation. In this blog post, I want to present you an interview with a very experienced Expat who moved abroad for her husband’s job and managed to re-invent herself and be happy with the new lifestyle. She contacted me after reading one of my blog posts where I covered the topic of why the question “What do you do?” can be a tough one. She expressed her disbelief that modern women are still struggling with this and showed me her perspective. I loved it and wanted to present to you her point of view so I asked her for an interview. And here it is: A conversation about the modern challenges of being an Expat Partner and what to learn from more experienced Expat Partners – with the amazing Antje Döhring.
This interview is the perfect proof that when you reach out to the universe, it will reply. I was searching for Expat Partners who were willing to share their story of becoming a professional blogger, and I found Christine. She was an Expat in Germany when she started her blog and turned it into a real profession. In this interview, she is sharing her tips and tricks without whitewashing. She is pretty straightforward about the ups and downs of blogging making this interview a perfect resource for you! I promise it is worth your time! Thank you so much, Christine, for your contribution!
How reflective are you with your current choice of career? We tend to question our diet, our partner, friends… but how happy are we in our current job environment? If we are unhappy, is this just for the moment or does it reflect a long-term frustration?
If you are considering to blog about your Expat experience I am highly recommending you to follow Roxci’s story. I am so glad that she is sharing her journey with us in a few questions. As a military spouse and blogger she is connected to both worlds and her content is highly professional! I hope you find her as inspiring as me!
Blogging can be a very rewarding path for Expat Partners or Expats in general who want to share their story but are also looking for some ways to earn money or continue a career. In the following weeks, I will introduce you to great Expat Bloggers who managed to create amazing platforms with lots of inspiration and knowledge in that field! In the sense of Share-the-Love they will share their valuable experience with us! Let’s start with the first interview of this series. This week I had the opportunity to interview Aneesa of www.expatpanda.com about her blogging experience and recommendation for you.
Since I started my mission to help Expat Partners worldwide to continue their career abroad, I am fascinated by the statistics you can find in that field. In this blog post, I want to give you an overview of the different resources out there and what is so impressive about them.
Everyone is thinking about the great summer weather and the brutal winters in Chicago. However, there is a very short but sweat season in between! At the moment, we are lucky enough to experience this excellent autumn weather in Chicago which made me think of my favorite places this season. Are you planning a short trip to Chicago? Or do you live in Chicago and just need a kick in the *** to start exploring? Check out my autumn highlights in the city.
I love checklists in all kinds of forms and it is no wonder that coaching got me interested in Happiness Tracking. In this blog post, I tell you what Happiness Tracking is all about. I also offer a free download for everyone that wants to check their current mood and wellbeing. Just follow the link below.
Since I started my adventure of living abroad and even more after diving into the business behind expatriation, I am fascinated by the shift of gender roles after moving abroad. In this blog post, I want to elaborate a bit about my personal experience with the gender inequalities in expatriation and add some interesting resources I found.
Chicago is one of the most exciting towns in the United States – and that is not just my opinion 🙂 Often I get asked about my favorite things to do, my favorite restaurants, bars and places to visit. As I am a fan of free travel guides to downloads I put all my highlights on a one-pager which you can download here. If you are more a person who wants to be convinced with pictures keep on reading. Enjoy the beauty of Chicago and send me a message when you are visiting!
Visualization is a powerful tool that can take your goal setting to the next level. It is a common technique in coaching and I found it to be very useful with my Expat clients. In this article, I introduce you to the basic concept and I will show you my favorite exercise for new Expats who are on their journey figuring out what they want to achieve during their time abroad.
I recently joined a webinar about the Impostor Syndrom amongst the Expat community by Monika Evje. It was really interesting and offered a lot of helpful information, so I did some further research and decided to share my learnings in a blog post.
Thanks to my journey to become a certified coach I met Jimena, an amazingly inspiring Expat who has lived and worked in South Africa, Brazil, Canada, and now the US. Next to setting up her coaching business she also has a very entrepreneurial spirit and a big vision: Inspiring girls to dream big & do more. In the spirit of Share-the-Love I want to take the possibility to share this amazing project! Learn more on how you can help!
Many people dream of radical career changes, but only a few follow through. A move abroad often forces us to take the leap and jump. In this blog post, I will introduce you to some career shaping techniques that I learned from fellow career coaches along my journey.
Check out the free download at the bottom of this article to work on your very own vision for your career change.
Especially new Expats are struggling with the so-called Expat syndrome: We tend to see only the negative parts of the new culture we are living in and praise our own culture from back home. It is human and does not define your character. It’s more of a coping strategy of the human brain for an overload of uncertainty and new beginnings. However, this attitude won’t make you happy when living abroad.
In my research for my workbook for Expat Partners, I came across many useful facts and figures. I talked to industry leaders and HR experts, and I want to share some of the key trends at the moment that shape the global assignment movement.
Here are my personal Top 5 news podcasts I follow on an almost daily basis. Some of them are more for a long drive on the weekend while others are just taking a couple of minutes – informing me about the top news before I had my first coffee of the day.
Just recently we mastered a 7.000km (4.400 miles) road trip through the United States. Only the two of us and the endless plains of the American Highway. That means you are driving for hours without leaving the highway which route you can see for miles and miles. However: We are still happily married and even enjoyed that means of transportation. We got asked many times whether this distance in such a short time was not stressful. As we, on the other hand, have found it quite relaxing and enjoyable I decided to share my top proven tricks with you to make each longer road-trip to a fantastic journey.
In my mind, you have officially and to 100% moved abroad when you stopped going to the hairdresser and dentist on your yearly visits to your home country 🙂 In my case, it was heavy pain that forced me to say goodbye to the idea of going to my doctors during the next Christmas.
In this blog post, I want to share with you some of the things I realized are pretty different about this visit to the dentist. I would love to learn from your experience. Please comment below what happened to you and if you can resonate with the differences I realized.