Moving abroad with a family in tow places high demands on us. Dealing with the culture shock, finding new friends and adjusting to the new environment can be stressful and frustrating. I'm here to help you navigating the process.
Life is full of opportunities, and it is my job to help you figure out which opportunities to take. Finding new meanings and a purpose while living abroad takes some time and courage. Together we develop a plan in times of transition.
Raising children abroad can be challenging and maintaining your family bond can be difficult at times. Team up with me to develop strategies to support your children at home as they combine different cultures.
15 years ago my husband and I decided to pursue our dream to live for 2 to 3 years in the New York together with our two children, then 5 and 8 years old.
Little did we know what to expect, the company didn’t provide any sort of onboarding or training - so we just dived into our adventure learning by doing.
I never expected living in America would be so different from Europe and that my school English wouldn’t be sufficient for daily needs. “Say it again, I didn’t understand you, what was that?” undermined a lot of my self-confidence.
At the same time I really felt free for the first time in years as we didn’t have any obligations and the best thing nobody knew me and couldn’t judge whatever I was doing.
Our children were very excited at the beginning but after a while really missed their home, their grandparents and of course German food. At that time I often questioned if the move was right as my husband also had a hard time figuring out the new company.
As the years passed we adapted as a family and it even brought us closer together. We made new friends, explored the different states on vacations, New York always offered so many possibilities for all of us and English wasn’t a problem anymore.
We decided to stay for good after six years. We had already lost some friends either because they moved back to their home country or former friends just disappeared, as we were not moving back.
As a mum I was busy with the children’s schedule of school, sports and a lot of driving to play dates. I got involved in the PTA at school, signed up for volunteering at the local Newcomers club and taking culture classes to learn about the culture in my new home. Our social life was thriving as we were still enjoying the Expat Community.
But life is a roller coaster – one year my mother in law died suddenly of a heart attack, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away two years later, my husband was assigned to a new job position 3000 miles away and all of a sudden I found myself with two teenage children in the role of “ being alone in parenting” and supporting emotionally my mum and my father in law back in Germany.
On the weekends my husband flew in and on Mondays out – we barely had time for us as a couple. I was approaching my big 0 and wasn't really feeling ok.
Serendipity was my savior as an article about coaching caught my interest. Soon I was sitting in a classroom, learning how to coach, how mindfulness and positivity supports us in every situation. I started taking yoga lessons, learned how breathing techniques can calm my inner nervous system and I am still learning every day how coaching and mindfulness can help and support transitions.
Looking back I made a huge personal transformation and I am certainly not the woman who went on an adventure 15 years ago. I treasure all my experiences good and bad and on most days I feel comfortable in my skin with wrinkles from laughter and life itself.
Knowing that I mastered a couple of difficult life situations always reassures me that whatever comes along I will be able to handle.