Create a career vision that inspires you
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. Whether this is because you are not able to continue your former career abroad or because moving overseas finally empowered you to take the risk. In this blog post, I will introduce you to some career-shaping techniques that I learned from fellow career coaches along my journey. So great that you are interested in this topic and want to know more. If you don’t want to work on your career vision alone, our weekly mastermind groups will be the perfect fit for you (more info). Share with us in the comments where you are struggling right now and what decision you are going to make.
Also, check out the free download at the bottom of this article to work on your very own vision for your career change.
Brainstorming about your career vision using Journaling
The first step of each change process is always getting aware of where you are right now and defining the scenarios that are wandering around in your head. Journaling can be a great process to get all the thoughts in your head in order. There are no rules for journaling. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pen and some time. I personally prefer to have a small notebook just dedicated to the topic of career planning. In the beginning, the blank page might be intimidating. Remind yourself that it is not a handwriting contest nor does it has to look like a fancy bullet journal in the end. The first pages are just to get rid of thoughts, and if you are fancy for some more structure, you can use the following pages to establish some order or use my free template (link in the bottom).
Helpful questions to trigger your process of creating a career vision
In the world of coaching, we always talk about powerful questions that will start a particular thought process. While, questions are most powerful when used strategically in a conversation with a coach, you can still ask yourself some questions in a kind of self-coaching setting. Here are some examples for potential questions. Choose the one that speak to you:
- What do you like about your current job/ your former job?
- What do you entirely dislike about your current job / former job?
- Take an average day of the week (not a Monday or a Friday but maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday). Now imagine you are on your way to work. What would this day ahead look like? What tasks would there be to do, what kind of phone calls, what would be the team structure? Imagine a Tuesday you would feel comfortable with, and that would make you look forward to work. List all the small things that come to your mind.
- What skills do you currently have and love?
- What skills would you like to add? What was a skill you not only always admired but that you also would love to incorporate in your daily work?
Write down all the thoughts you have and before moving on, take your time and reflect on what that means for your ideal work.
on social media!
Get ideas for job titles and do a reality check on your career vision
Many Career Coaches recommend making a reality check. In my opinion, there is one step missing before deciding on what career path would be realistic to pursue, and that is the brainstorming phase of the potential career paths itself.
A simple yet effective approach is to scroll through LinkedIn and browse through the profile of friends and friends of friends to get an idea of different professions. Look at their education to understand how much time and effort is needed for certain careers. The LinkedIn search bar gets more functional every day, and it works excellent with different keywords about potential careers. With all this knowledge write down your different career ideas and test it against requirements, skills, and your perfect Tuesday you worked out before.
Who would be your perfect colleagues?
This is a great way to make your thought process less abstract. The type of people you want to surround yourself tells a lot about the career path you are searching for. Do you like to work with fast-paced, entrepreneurial people? Or do you prefer to have the first-hand contact with people from very diverse cultural backgrounds? Are you more looking for traditionalists or thought-provoking people? Be honest to yourself and don’t just state “fast-paces” because it sounds good – maybe fast-paces is exactly what you don’t want.
Also, think about in what setting you would like to work? Are you ok with working alone or do you prefer larger teams? Would you prefer working from home, from the office or maybe even a mix of everything? What kind of environment fosters your creativity or efficiency? Think about your personal preferences and write down what comes to your mind.
Writing down your career vision
So now, put together all the writing you have done so far.
As an example, I would like to share my career vision with you. With everything that I am putting out on SharetheLove, I try to be as authentic and genuine, I can be. Therefore, I not only put together all the useful information I have found on the internet and from talks with recruiters and other career coaches, but I always test the exercises myself. In that way, I can work along one of my core values of being genuine and enabling to others. I hope reading my vision might help you with yours and you will be inspired by.
Join our next Mastermind Group
The mastermind group is a space where academic research, coaching exercises, manifestations, and recurring check-ins come together to work on your personal and professional development.
The mastermind group is a weekly appointment in your calendar that holds you accountable for your actions steps. I as a coach will check in with you in between sessions and the intimate group gives you the platform to present your progress.
The next group is starting soon so hurry up to save your spot if you want to join.
In case you don’t like a blank paper I designed a couple of pages for you to write down your thoughts. It contains all the steps we discussed in this article and you can download it for free by clicking on this button. I wish you all the best for your career planning and hope you found this exercise useful. Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a direct message with feedback or questions. Love to hear from you!
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.
What does going on vacation mean to you? If you are coming from a different part of the world than me we most likely have different opinions on that topic. In this blog post, I will drill a bit deeper into the different value of vacation in different parts of the world.
In this article, I would like to share with you a short overview of the 4th chapter in my career workbook for Entry Partners that cover different entry options to find work in the hope it will broaden your mind as well when you start your job hunt.
When you move abroad it is often the smaller things in daily life that remind you that you are living outside your known culture. One occasion this week has been ordering ice-cream. The bewildered faces of both, the ice-cream seller and me, would have been ready for stage 🙂 So why is ordering icecream so tricky in the US?
The longer you live in a country the more you realize the smaller differences in culture. I picked 3 random smaller things from daily life that amused me over the last weeks. Let me know what you think and if you experienced similar moments!
Since living in America I experience many differences in marketing to what I was used to from Europe. Technology is changing the way we communicate a lot and I want to share some recent, bewildering experiences I had here in the US.
Becoming the Expat Partner is not only about dependency and change in a stressful way but also offers great and unique value. Learn more about how Expat life will change your life in a positive and sustainable way.
Underlying beliefs can stop Expat Partners from finding their professional identity abroad and move forward. Learn more on how to detect underlying beliefs and act on it during your time abroad.
When you are moving abroad it’s funny how many small things in daily life start to become a big event. For me visiting the gynecologist was one of these moments. In this article, I describe a little bit of my routine visit last week to give you some insights on how different our cultures are in these daily life situations. For my male readership: I know that’s TMI, but if you are curious keep on reading 🙂
Hawaii is way more diverse than I thought it would be. Read more about the 7 most surprising facts I learned about the beautiful Big Island/Hawaii.
One of my best backpacking experiences ever: Hiking in the north of Thailand. 3 days without running water and electricity in the middle of the jungle.
‘Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or see the opposite.” My opinion on comparing cultures and what I learnt as a German in America.
During the past weeks and months, I had so many nice discussions within the Expat / Living abroad – community and I started to reflect on: Why does each of these conversations be so easy to me? Why do I have so much in common with people I never met before and I am only able to talk to via phone or video chat?
Last week I was in the lucky position to attend the International Women’s Day Lightning Talks in Chicago. I was impressed by the panel consisting of strong entrepreneurial women. Those female leaders with a background in tech, culture, social media, and politics have been real role models for the audience. It was great to see that it was an honest and well-reflected approach to strengthen women’s’ mindset. No overuse of buzzwords, female paroles or how unfair everything is but straightforward insights into their daily business life and their advice for the mostly female audience.
Staying in touch can be hard when living abroad. I reveal my top communication tips to feel closer to friends and family back home. Would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Since I am back from Christmas in Germany it was a rollercoaster journey with my health. I went to countless doctor’s appointments…each time assured that everything will be fine and each time I had to go back to just being told that it went worse. You start to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario: Getting surgery in a foreign country with a foreign health system.
In this blog post, I will give insights into how it feels to be that vulnerable abroad and I give some advice from my experience.
I recently started interviewing successful expats around the globe. I want to start this new series with James, a Brit living in Germany. Next to working as an Expat in the corporate world he also started his own business. For those of you, who are thinking about starting something abroad this chat can be an inspiring interview.
Easy to reach with the blue line, the Logan Square neighborhood is home to a diverse population including Latinos, Poles, and African-Americans. While housing prices in nearby Wicker Park are rising more and more artists moved to Logan Square shaping it to an increasingly hip area.
Learn how to pimp your LinkedIn profile when living abroad and seeking new business contacts and/or work. Part 1 introduces you to the pitfalls of the header area and offers advice on how to stand out. Download the free checklist.
I am a huge fan of diving into a new culture and exploring new tastes, customs and ways how to do things. However, from time to time I enjoy feeling at home at a foreign place to feel energized again. In this blog post I will show you my Chicago gems for European spirit.
Over the last week, I read a couple of academic papers about expatriation. Many papers are dealing with the effect of expatriation on the relationship and the influence of the Expat Partner on the success of the assignment.
One paper, in particular, caught my attention: “The expat-preneur: conceptualizing a growing international career phenomenon” by M. Vance, Y. McNulty, Y. Paik and J. D’Mello.
If you are new to backpacking all the potential gear to buy can be a bit overwhelming. I did my own research before starting my first solo travel. Most items have been really helpful, some are not to miss and others are an unnecessary luxury. In this blog post, I will give you an overview of the key essential items for a convenient experience when traveling alone or with friends and family. I would definitely take all these items with me on my next adventure!
After setting foot in the US to live here for the next few years I took the time to write down my first impressions of the city itself and also some American customs that attracted my attention. As a result, I am now showing you my top 10 of remarkable things about the US and Chicago.
Living in the US as a German gives me the opportunity to observe many small differences throughout my day. In the following, I have written down 5 big communication-related habits that are very distinct in each country.
In this blog post I will explain the emotional journey of an Expat Wife and the deep, mind-changing learning I drew out of that experience. My motivation behind this post and the blog itself is more than ever: Empower women who were bold enough to quit their job and joined their husband on their joint adventure abroad.