Leading an expat life can seem so glamorous and exciting, and often it is! But what if you struggle with the language, your professional credentials aren't recognized, or you find it difficult to build new relationships? Crafting a meaningful, satisfying life takes work no matter where you are, but for expat partners, the challenges can be even greater. If you're looking to create meaningful change in your life, to have a lifestyle, relationships, and career that truly suit and fulfill you, but you're not sure how to start, don't worry. You don't have to figure it out on your own. Certified Life Coach Caroline Giffon helps global nomads get clear on what they want and equips them with the tools to get there. Join her every week for Loving Your Expat Life, her podcast full of ideas to help expats bridge the gap between the life they're leading...and the life they'll love. Available wherever you listen to podcasts. Find more from Caroline at https://girafecoaching.com.
Episode 119: Navigating Transitions and Understanding Anxiety Part II
13:19Transitions often leave us feeling like our world has been turned upside down, intensifying our anxiety. In the last episode of Love Your Expat Life, we explored what anxiety is and debunked some common misconceptions about it (make sure to tune into part one first). Today, I want to share a powerful tool that has helped me manage anxiety and regain control during transitions. When you embrace the fact that certain aspects of life are beyond your control, you open the door to reducing anxiety. Anxiety doesn't stem from the transitions themselves; it arises from our thoughts and interpretations about these transitions. Recognizing this concept allows anxiety to lose its grip, providing the key to achieving calm in the face of uncertainty. Here are 3 takeaways from this episode: 1. The transition isn’t the source of your anxiety, but you’ll learn what is 2. How to expand your sphere of control to find tranquility 3. Powerful questions that’ll help you shift toward acceptance during your transition Remember, by recognizing that we're not meant to have all the answers and letting go of the need for certainty, you can reduce anxiety and choose empowering thoughts. If you'd like to explore this further, feel free to reach out for help with your transition anxiety (I am not a licensed mental health professional, but I am someone who has gone through this in hopes of helping you navigate it with a little less stress). Resources: Couples Expat Summit (free resources): gain access here! Episode 118: Navigating Transitions and Understanding Anxiety Part I
Episode 118: Navigating Transitions and Understanding Anxiety Part I
14:10For global nomads, change is the only constant. And, with the recent world events and constant flow of bad news this can make our anxiety levels rise. Today, we're going to explore the intricate dance between navigating transitions and understanding anxiety, and how these two seemingly opposing forces can coexist harmoniously. Transitions come in various shapes and sizes, sometimes overlapping, making life more complex. And as global nomads, we add another layer to these transitions – adjusting to new cultures, climates, and leaving behind the familiar. These changes impact every facet of our lives, from our daily routines to our social circles, making transitions a significant part of our journey. Recognizing these changes and their impact is crucial because they often come hand in hand with stress and anxiety. The challenge is to navigate this anxiety without letting it hinder the benefits of our mobile lifestyle. Anxiety is a natural human emotion that has evolved to keep us alert to potential dangers. Still, in today's world, we often experience anxiety when no immediate threat exists. It's vital to understand this and develop healthy coping strategies for our well-being. Here are 3 takeaways from this episode: 1. Learn to distinguish between anxiety and actual danger 2. Discover how our typical responses to anxiety can actually magnify our anxiety and what to do instead 3. Learn tools for navigating transitions with grace In our next conversation, we'll delve deeper into how you can control your responses to these circumstances. Take some time this week to explore your own experiences with transition and anxiety. Listen to what your anxiety is trying to tell you and how it's impacting your journey. Most importantly, remember that anxiety is just an emotion – it may be uncomfortable, but it's harmless. Resources: Couples Expat Summit (free resources): gain access here! Episode 3: The Rollercoaster of Emotions Episode 32: Children and Emotions- part I Episode 33: Children and Emotions- part II
Episode 117: Thriving Through Life Quakes as an Expat with Adapt & Succeed Creator, Sundae Schneider Bean
41:41In this episode of Love Your Expat Life, I’m joined by the incredible Sundae Schneider Bean, a true Renaissance woman in the world of intercultural strategy, transformation facilitation, and solution-oriented coaching. Join us as we delve into her journey of helping individuals and organizations not only survive but thrive through life quakes and significant shifts, no matter where they are in the world. With a decade of experience running a location-independent business and working with clients from over 60 countries across six continents, Sundae's insights are sure to inspire and empower you to embrace change and find success in the face of challenges. Don't miss out on the wisdom of this world-renowned host of the top-rated weekly podcast, IN TRANSIT, as we explore her secrets to embracing change and living life to the fullest. Here are some key topics we discuss: (2”) Starting ‘The Happy Hour’ podcast and how it contributed to Sundae’s evolution How did you change to get to the next level? Personal journey transformation: letting go of limiting beliefs The most common form of resistance that expats experience & a tool to deal with that resistance Sundae’s personal evolution is a testament that no matter how uncomfortable– we all have the ability and resilience within us to push through a little more, dig a little deeper, and tune into ourselves more to allow our own transformative journey to unfold. Resources: Connect with Sundae on her website here IN TRANSIT podcast with Sundae Schneider Bean
Episode 116: New Ideas to Encourage Smooth Transitions for Parents & Educators with SPAN executive director, Valérie Besanceney
41:42Transition is a vital skill for success in the 21st century, whether or not we live abroad. So, how can schools, educators, & parents better help our children grow up to be more resilient during times of transition? I know I’m not alone as a parent when I say– we move abroad with the best intentions, but we often focus on the logistical aspects of transitions and neglect the emotional rollercoaster our children have to navigate. In this episode I have the privilege of speaking with Valérie Besanceney; a TCK, executive director of Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN), and an author of two childrens books– "B at Home: Emma Moves Again" and "My Moving Booklet”. Through Valérie's experience at SPAN; an organization at the forefront of groundbreaking work in positive transitions-care, and through being a TCK herself– she opens up about gaps she sees in schools and families when it comes to transitioning. She proposes practical solutions for schools and families to prep and support children during these times. We'll dive into the fantastic work she does with her organization and explore the skills needed to manage transitions well. Other key topics discussed: How have your personal experiences shaped your work in helping families and schools manage transitions? How does unmanaged mobility impact the learning and overall well-being of children? (13”) The roller coaster of emotions that’s associated with the different stages of the transition cycle (17”) Effecrive tools to help children through transitions (19’44) What are some of the gaps and necessary skills you have identified in schools and parenting when it comes to equipping children for transitions? (25”) A well managed transition (29”) New social research around growing up as globally mobile and how transitions can make such a difference in an AI era. Could you tell us more about the transition-care program you've developed at SPAN and the results you have seen through its implementation? Other key topics discussed: 6:57– Helping families transition easier by use of personal experiences 11:14– The impact of transtions on a childs wellbeing 17:31– The rollercoaster of emotions associated with different transition cycles 21:01– Effective tools to help children through transitions 25:35– Gaps where teachers and parents can better equip children 29:49– A well managed transition 34:33– Astounding new social research about transitions and globally mobile children 38:26– Transition care program purpose & results Remember, transitions are not simply events to be endured but processes to be embraced. By equipping ourselves and our children with the necessary skills, understanding and embracing rather than resisting the emotional journey, and fostering a supportive environment, we can navigate transitions with resilience and thrive in an ever-changing world. And, this goes without saying, one of the key ways you can help your children is to first help yourself. I encourage you to stop waiting for your perfect life to align, but to carefully craft the life you love– no matter the location or transition. If you need help, head to my website to see how we can work together! Resources mentioned: Connect with Valérie Besanceney on LinkedIn Learn more about SPAN here Episode 108: Unresolved Grief and How to Overcome It: Part 1 with TCK Expert, Dr. Ruth Van Reken Episode 109: Unresolved Grief and How to Overcome It: Part 2 with TCK Expert, Dr. Ruth Van Reken Visible Learning book by John Hattie
Episode 115: Thinking Outside the Box so International Children Can Thrive with Expat Valley, Former Co-founder, Matthijs de Rave
42:23There are 40 million global families who move to a new place, leave their neighbors, jobs, schools, and communities behind. They have to start all over again. This is where international organizations need to step up and recreate that sense of a ‘village’ again so that those international children can thrive. I’m joined by Former Co-founder at Expat Valley and Ombudsman for International Children co-founder, Matthijs de Rave. Together, we will delve into his inspiring vision for international children and what it means to make a real impact for these children. Matthijs has been a pioneer in ‘thinking outside the box’ and successfully approaching corporate organizations in the mobility sphere. His abundant mindset has been instrumental during his startup journey, so we explore how it shapes his approach and leads to his remarkable achievements. In this conversation, we cover key topics like: 6:00– The commonalities between international children 7:47– Support system changes for internationally mobile children & where Expat Valley fits in 17:40– How an abundance mindset can help you overcome challenges & how to cultivate one 25:52– Tools and resources for TCK parents 39:58– The future of Expat Valley This conversation is packed with real life insights and solutions on how we can understand and think creatively about how to better serve internationally mobile children. And, this goes without saying, one of the key ways you can help your children is to become an example of what is possible. I encourage you to stop waiting for your perfect life to align, but to carefully craft the life you love– no matter the location. If you need help, head to my website to see how I can support you and your family! Resources mentioned: Learn more about Expat Valley on their website Episode 79: How to Help TCK Kids Build Resilience & Navigate their Emotions with Lauren Wells Episodes 107: Transitions and Changes of a TCK with author, Michael V. Pollock Episode 108: Unresolved Grief and How to Overcome It: Part 1 with TCK Expert, Dr. Ruth Van Reken Episode 109: Unresolved Grief and How to Overcome It: Part 2 with TCK Expert, Dr. Ruth Van Reken
Episode 114: [Rebroadcast Series] Transformation and Growth Through a Career Change with Elizabeth Mina
35:54Often, people undergo changes when they feel dissatisfied with their current circumstances. In such cases, there's a tendency to hastily seek something different in order to find relief. However, change is often best when we pursue alignment rather than relief. When we already appreciate the life we have and still nurture a desire for growth, for new experiences beyond our current horizons and are aligned with our reasons, this is when magic happens. Elizabeth Mina, who has made a dramatic career shift after 17 years in a senior position at a government agency, expands on why she decided to shake her beautiful island life in Hawaii all while being a new wife. Spoiler alert: she wanted alignment. To me, alignment means that we are in agreement with oneself. There is no tension. What we think, feel, and do are harmonious. This is what I help clients do. Create alignment independently of location and circumstances so that they reap the full benefits of their life abroad. Mina’s story is inspiring, insightful, and full of valuable lessons that we can all apply in our own lives. Below are some key points we unpack together: The inspiration behind a drastic life change How Mina clarified her vision Navigating risks and uncertainty Career decision obstacles Letting go as a means to succeed Resources mentioned: Episode 64: Relaxing & Slowing Down 3 Steps to Clarify What You Truly Want- FREE Challenge At Girafe coaching I help global nomads make urgent decisions with ease. Be sure to schedule a Decision Accelerator Session here!
Episode 113: [Rebroadcast Series] How to Welcome Clarity to Embrace Peace
18:04Clarity is a source of peace. It helps us feel focused and energized. When there is clarity, there is no fog. When we are clear, we can move mountains. We can accomplish anything. We defy the odds, we don’t give up. When we do not have clarity the opposite happens– we feel stressed and we do not take action. Do you often wonder: how, where, is that right? Clarity is not something that falls from the sky, it’s something you create. For this reason, creating clarity is at the core of Unlock Your Full Potential coaching program. So, how are you approaching the months ahead? Are you moving through this new season with hope, excitement, confidence, and energy? Or is it rather with doubt, dread, indecision, and fatigue? No matter your location or your career path, clarity is the key to propel you forward. If you’ve found yourself with plenty of ideas, but no action– something is still holding you back. For instance you might wonder: Should I continue my pre-move career path or embark on a new professional journey? Should we embark on another adventure with the children or choose stability? How can we build fulfilling international careers while ensuring our family thrives? There was a time in my life when I played it safe, thinking that was the only option. However, this approach only brought frustration. I found myself unfulfilled, unsure of what I truly wanted to pursue. It was only when I gained absolute clarity on my goals and aspirations that I became unstoppable. This clarity fueled the birth of Girafe Coaching. In this episode you’ll learn: What clarity looks like in your life A key ingredient to creating clarity What happens after you find clarity If you find yourself seeking clarity on an urgent decision you’re trying to make– be sure to sign up for the Decision Accelerator Session here! Make big decisions with ease.
Episode 112: Smooth Transition: How to Ease Repatriation with Repats, Wiebke Homborg, and Christina Kapaun
45:06Episode 112: Smooth Transition: How to Ease Repatriation with Repats, Wiebke Homborg, and Christina Kapaun What, in your opinion, presents more challenges: moving abroad or repatriating to your home country? In this conversation, we explore the stressors and challenges associated with repatriation, as well as solutions to minimize the transition's impact. Wiebke Homborg, a Third Culture Kid (TCK), and founder of Chameleon Coaching is an Intercultural Trainer and Expat Coach. Having returned to Germany three times during her 22 years of expatriation, Wiebke understands that each repatriation experience can differ based on life phases and specific locations. Christina Kapaun, is also an Intercultural Trainer who has lived in Brazil, the US, and is currently in Stuttgart, Germany. Together, they support repats and their families throughout the various phases of expatriation. They believe in the power of collaboration during repatriation, which led to their group coaching collaboration called "Arriving," specifically designed for repatriates. Experiencing culture shock, when returning to one’s passport country happens more often than we tend to talk about. All seems well upon reentry– loads of warm welcomes, a favorite home-cooked meal, and the sense of ‘being home’. However, unexpected differences start popping up and all of a sudden we feel we do not fit in. For example, during a walk on the Potomac in Maryland with friends, my youngest son asked if there were crocodiles. In Zimbabwe, we were cautious about approaching water due to hippos and crocs. Naturally, he asked this question, but it was not something other children and parents were familiar with. These instances occur frequently, even when we do not repatriate, making it more challenging. In this conversation, we cover key topics like: What are the most painful aspects of repatriation that individuals face and how can those be navigated? What is culture shock and some ways to cope with it? Cultural dissonance and its significance during the repatriation process As parents, how can we support our children during the repatriation process? How can we view reentry as an opportunity to understand and know oneself deeper rather than a liability? Are you struggling with the decision to move back home? I've got good news for you. Confident decision-making is a skill. Book your Decision Accelerator session and unlock this decision in just 60 minutes. Schedule your session here! Resources mentioned: Learn more about Chameleon coaching Connect with Wiebke Homborg on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram Connect with Christina on Instagram, LinkedIn, or join the “Heimwärts“ Facebook group (for returnees in German)
Episode 111: Building a Supportive Expat Women Community: Insights from “Coffee with an Expat,” Navine Eldesouki
31:33Expatriate women often share a common feeling of loneliness. . But guest Navine Eldesouki decided to take this shared feeling and create a community out of it. Navine is the founder of Coffee With an Expat, a female-centered space for meaningful connection and storytelling over a cup of coffee. I asked Navine about how she grew her supportive global network for women. Here are her insights that you’ll learn in this episode: The story behind “Coffee With an Expat” The importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone as an expat Finding one’s purpose and achievement Lessons from creating a global community and living an expat lifestyle It all started when Navine met her husband in Egypt and she found herself isolated and lacking independence after growing up in Australia. After living a nomadic life for over two decades, establishing homes across five continents, seven countries, and fourteen houses, and volunteering extensively with the Syrian refugee crisis she realized something– she was born to build a community. It gave her purpose! Resources mentioned: Connect with Navine on Linkedin here Find community and become a member of Coffee with an Expat here Developing a clear vision and game plan to take advantage of an expat lifestyle is what Girafe Coaching Signature program is about. This support helps you identify what you truly want and the actionable steps to get there, regardless of location. To learn more about this program or about how I can help, be sure to book a free 15-minute call here!
Episode 110: The 4 Keys to Success as an International Career Couple
41:44It’s well-documented that international assignments for dual-career couples can be both exhilarating and complicated at the same time. Many organizations with international talents have not fully understood the complexities of dual international career couples in their workforce. This is what usually happens: One career takes precedence over the other Two partners equally sub-optimize their careers They individually pursue two careers at the expense of the family. Often, as dual international career couples, we tend to focus on the challenges and issues that arise in creating meaningful and fulfilling lives and careers. This episode offers valuable solutions and explores the keys to success for dual-career couples living abroad. Guests Jannie Aasted Skov-Hansen and Dr. Paul Vanderbroeck, are the co-authors of the groundbreaking book, "The International Career Couples Handbook”, which explores real-life challenges of dual career couples and provides a new way to approach international mobility. It provides a good structure for the deep reflections and discussions you need to have as an international Career couple. Based on their lived experiences and extensive research this book offers great insights for both ICCs and organizations. Both are partners in an ICC ( International career couple) and parents. Jannie is also the Founder of Here We Are Global, a startup consultancy dedicated to supporting ICCs in their global careers. Paul is an Executive Coach and accomplished researcher in gender balance and leadership development. As I've mentioned in the podcast previously, my husband and I hold the same degree, and I have over 15 years of experience working with international organizations This handbook and Jannie’s and Paul’s knowledge provide powerful tools to navigate dual international careers with more ease. I highly recommend reading this handbook and so some of the powerful exercises they share. Here are the top highlights you’ll learn in this episode: The difference between an international career couple and a dual-career couple Gaps that International Organizations overlook when it comes to international career couples (ICC’s) Four unique challenges that ICC’s face, How to overcome them, and create lasting success Juggling the packing, decisions, and career moves can make one feel uneasy. Give yourself the gift of clarity, connection, and ease this season by signing up for the Girafe Coaching Newsletter. Here you’ll find actionable tools to help you smooth the transition. Resources mentioned: Read Here We Are: The International Career Couple Handbook (not an affiliate link) Find additional support on their website Here We Are Global, on Instagram, or on Facebook Connect with Jannie on Linkedin here