Archive for the ‘Repatriation’ Category

Friends Along the Way (repost from previous blog)

admin | Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 | No Comments »
Luc Jonker and Julia at his Family Farewell Party

Luc Jonker and Julia at his Family Farewell Party

Developing a supportive circle of friends is ESSENTIAL in the success of any relationship while living abroad.

I created a few groups in the Netherlands; Expats with Dutch partners and the International Mixer Utrecht were two of the most successful.

In addition, I joined groups for expats and trailing spouses, country specific groups and non profit groups all in an effort to increase my chances of connecting with kindred spirit friends.

And I did. I made some amazing friendships that continue today even though some of us are in different time zones, countries and even mental places. In other words, the situation and location that may have brought us together no longer exists but the work and time spent on developing these friendships created bonds that will last a lifetime.

One such friendship felt like a sistership to me. A younger American who also fell in love with a Dutchie came into my life and along the way we assisted each other with our weddings, supported each other with the crazy expectations of our new extended families (well they often felt crazy to us), attended “hen parties” and baby showers and eventually witnessed the relocation and repatriation of both our families.

The amazing thing is that back in the US we found ourselves living in two different states and while the distance was not realistic for convenient short visits, we still have managed to remain close. Heck we even worked on a Presidential campaign together and supported each other when our choice was not put in office.

This has required additional effort on our part. And for myself, I know I don’t see her or her family (which has continued to grow with additional precious little Jonkers) near as much as I would like to.

I just know however, that the bond is always there. I will always think of Clarity as a younger sister to me, I will want to see her and her Dutchie succeed in life and we will continue to support each other as needed.

You may find the love of your life in another country and gain the friends of a lifetime along the way!

Is there someone you would like to contact whom you haven’t spoken to in awhile? Don’t delay, email or ring them today. Then share with me here how it felt.

By the way, my little sister continues to do amazing work in the political arena and I am so PROUD of her. Today she assists campaigns with software support. Check out her company and pictures of her with Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and other political leaders. www.wanderingstar.com

Hugs and health,

Julia

A Love story begins (repost from previous blog)

admin | Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 | No Comments »

What an amazing journey to be had by falling in love with someone from another culture and country!

As if a new relationship isn’t challenging enough, when you factor in different languages, new customs, who moves where and many other unknowns – the additional strains can take their toll on any relationship.

In April, 1998, I relocated, immigrated actually to the Netherlands to take on such an adventure. 4 years later, I had coached 100′s of individuals on how to make such a relationship work and when to throw in the towel. (throw in the towel = give up).

I also had taught myself a new language, Dutch, developed a huge network of international friends and contacts, been published in multiple National newspapers and benelux magazines, been interviewed on the radio in England, and written for a variety of Expatriate websites and magazines.

Let’s just say my learning curve benefitted others and I was pleased to see my experience giving others hope and clarity.

In April 2002 I returned to the US with dual citizenship, my Dutch husband and a lot of health problems. The last few years I have been grateful on most days to have the US healthcare system available to me and also grateful that whilst living abroad I learned to fend for myself and become proactive in exploring alternative methods to healthcare.

Today I miss my friends and family spread out across the globe and absolutely love receiving continued updates from prior clients and their recent successes.

I hope this Survival Guide blog will provide an additional outlet for me to inspire, assist, encourage and educate individuals who want to explore their own journey of multicultural long distance love and/or love abroad.

It’s harder than you ever imagined
and easier then you ever dreamed.


Hugs and health,

Julia

Who are you? Are you recognizable back home?

admin | Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | No Comments »

Might seem like a silly question…

Fact is, many expats find themselves behaving in ways that don’t match up with their beliefs, values and goals in life.

Some of us just get lost in the whole “expat thing” and stop listening to our hearts and souls.

Who are you? Can you be that person in this country? If not, what is making you behave differently than you normally would? When you repatriate will you be recognizable back home?

Simple question for you today:

What are you doing in this country that doesn’t feel right for you?

Action step:

What 3 things do you need to do today to get yourself back on track and honouring your values and beliefs?

Are you Accepting Less Than You Hoped For?

admin | Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | No Comments »

Some people call it “settling for less”, others say “giving up, giving in”.

Either way it can cause long term stress that eats away at your self esteem and happiness.

Living abroad can put us in situations where our choices don’t feel like options we want to pick. The result is we are left feeling trapped and upset.

Sadly, we usually have other options we are not seeing because our own inner voice and cultural conditioning often put up walls blinding us to our big picture options and the truth.

The worst scenario is the one whereby we really do have only a few options and none of them are what we would pick for ourselves “back home”.

This is where it is so important to give yourself the chance to explore your values, determine your limitations and see what type of compromise you are willing to make.

If you can turn your situation around and view it as making a compromise, putting yourself back in the power seat, it can do a lot for relieving the mental stress you are feeling.

The key here is that I am not suggesting you just change the wording. I am suggesting that you actually pick the option that is best for you even though you don’t like it and find a way to actually turn it into a compromise.

Perhaps it means giving yourself permission to return home sooner than you planned because you are miserable and your health comes first. So, “I hate this location and I have 16 months to go in this contract”… becomes “If I work for another 6 months here, the money I make will be enough to purchase that house back home, I will choose to work here for that time and then make arrangements to move back early and find a job better suited to my goals and interests”.

Ok, is a gremlin yelling at you right now….quit the job…. is Julia nuts? Maybe. You tell me.

Which is nuttier, to stay in a situation that is causing you sadness, anger, frustration, eating away at your health at the cellular level causing long term damage, negatively affecting your relationships, possibly your partner or kids, OR seizing the opportunity, taking control of your destiny and reshaping how you choose to go forward.

Never forget. NEVER forget this is YOUR life.

Who are you putting in charge of it? Yourself using your values and beliefs to guide you OR Society, your boss, your spouse, a bad situation.

If you answer yes to the title question of this post, ask yourself the next question: How many more days are you going to tolerate choosing to remain in this situation?

How many more days will you throw away?

Ready to change?

First step. What are you tolerating?
Second step. What would the situation look like without the toleration?
Third step. What do you need to do right now to change this?

If the fourth step for you is getting help with this – I am here for you. Let’s get it done!