International Life is life lived internationally.
It doesn't matter if you spend your life in one, two or more "other" countries than that you grew up in. And it doesn't matter if you intend to move back to a country you lived before or even your country of origin.
People who start their international journey when they are adults are usually driven by a sense of adventure, they want to discover other cultures, explore the new and different and often intend spending a few years abroad. Some will stay a few years, some will stay forever...
The range of expectations and visions is huge and so are the experiences. There are those who enjoy every single stage and those who feel miserable all the time.
During my whole life spent "abroad", i.e. out of my parents passport country, I focussed on what I liked in the different cultures and societies, I emphasized the positive aspects of living abroad. I am very much aware of all the pitfalls of this kind of life and I know that we sometimes need to talk about them too in order to find out where this all leads us. They are the other side of the medal and as important and useful as the positive side of it. In my Resilience workshops I help internationals work on their way to respond to difficult situations. We all can become internationally resilient with the right strategies and mindset!
Every life is full of changes and we all face challenges independently on where we live. But for many aspects an international life is way more intense:
- we have to be very good at change management,
- the center of our "world" is our core family (and if anything happens, our "world" (and the one of our children) falls apart...)
- we learn (many) other languages
- we get to dive into new cultures
- we are very flexible, non-judgmental etc.
An international life is often compared to a roller-coaster ride: like something that happens to us, we can't get out and we need to stay put until the end...
In my cultural consulting I focus on all these aspects and help people work on the expectations they have, because the main reason for international life failure are expectations that are not met.