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, to discover other cultures, explore the new and different and often intend spending a few years abroad or go abroad forever. The rainge of expectations and visions is huge and so are the experiences. We can find those who enjoy every single stage and those who feel miserable all the time. Although I personally tend to focus more on the positive aspects of living abroad, I am very much aware of all the pitfalls of this kind of life.
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 and coaching I focus on all these aspects and to work on the expectations we all have, because the main reason for international life failure is when expectations are not met.