As many of you know I am in the midst of preparing for the adventure of a lifetime! (A move overseas to the ONLY place in the world my husband and I said we never wanted to live.) A few months have passed since we were asked to do this, and we are actually getting excited about our adventure!
As we’ve been preparing for this transition, I’ve reached out to several people that have experience living outside of their home country. Those conversations have been inspiring, thought provoking and filled with insights that apply to life, not just international moves.
As you read through their quotes, think about your life right now. What stands out? You are invited to share your stories and your learnings at the bottom of this post!
Janet George – Lived in 5 countries outside of the United States.
When we spoke, Janet emphasized that she never imagined a life like this and that with every move she was consistently filled with apprehension before the move and always sad each time they left.
Pearls from Janet:
- “Take it for what it is.”
- “Jump in with both feet!”
- “Make more friends, be more social!”
- “Travel as much as possible.”
- “Don’t be afraid to share if something is getting you down.”
After we hung up the phone she sent me this message, “Remember that you are an ambassador for your country, so try to remember that in your travels.”
William Powell - Is in the midst of his 3rd expat adventure.
William emphasized that living in various cultures has taught him to be more self-aware.
What he loves the most:
- “Brilliant stories.”
- “Being reminded, how small I am and how great humanity is.”
The hardest part of every move has been:
- “Putting up with people that don’t think like I do. “
His biggest learning:
- I am selfish, narcissistic, and want things my way.
- Live in the moment. If you are always wishing for a better moment, you will wish away today.
My favorite quote from William, “Every culture/nation has something beautiful and something vile.”
Alli Polin – Is several months into her 1st expat experience.
Alli emphasized that when she chose to be positive instead of focusing on what could be, she got over the fear.
Her biggest challenges:
- “Making this my home.”
- “Having a career in the U.S. …I still have a career but I am recalibrating. I am working with clients differently, doing more virtuallly and working different hours because of the time difference.”
- “Bring the things that are special to you.”
- “Commit to building your own community.”
- “Stop worrying about the chats or what’s on Google or in the news reports. Go out and form your own opinions.”
- “Worry about the right stuff – what does and does not matter.”
When Alli shared her two biggest challenges, she asked me, to consider, “What if this move was not temporary?” I had such a gut-kick that I think I gasped out loud. Then her question resonated loudly and I wondered if it is possible to bring my whole-heart to this experience if I am counting the days until I can go back to the familiar…
And on the note of familiar: Both women emphasized how tempting it is to cling to what you know, even with food! (Imagine vacation suitcases filled with Velveeta cheese or learning to make your first pumpkin pie from scratch because you can’t buy canned pumpkin and it is Thanksgiving!!! …And yes, I am already guilty of making sure I can get Dove dark chocolate in our new home!)
As you look through their collective wisdom, what stands out to you? Why?
One thing rises to the top for me. Can you guess what that is?
Photo Credits: iStockPhoto