I am Australian born and a proud “Aussie”, but I also belong to a global tribe of people who have lived in many countries, amongst many cultures. People who are forever changed by the both fabulous and challenging experience of being an expatriate or migrant.
My personal journey began when I was four years old and my family moved to Japan to enable my father to take on a new role with his company. My mother packed up two children and moved to a foreign land in an era without internet – brave I think! My TCK (Third Culture Kid) life continued with country moves every two years, allowing me the gift of experiencing life in Japan, the USA, England and Australia before the age of 15. This journey moulded the adult I would become.
When we finally settled in Australia, I followed my passions for study, helping people and animals into the veterinary profession. I worked as a small animal veterinarian for 10 years, only pausing in my career to have my two children after marrying in 1998.
In 2005, our lives would change forever when my husband was offered a role in Hong Kong – a tremendous opportunity for him. My childhood experience led me to embrace this new challenge when he asked if I would move overseas – I didn’t hesitate to say yes and off we went. I thought I had a huge advantage because I knew what Expat life was all about – little did I know that my experience as an adult would be vastly different.
Giving up my career was harder than I anticipated. Losing the support of family and friends was tougher than I expected, the pressures on my marriage were challenging, and my sense of identity was questioned.
Thankfully, I realized after about a year that I was struggling – lonely and lacking a purpose. I decided to attend a free seminar for Expat Spouses. The Coach leading that talk really struck a chord with me and I became her client. Working with her, I learnt a lot about myself, and what I needed to be happy and fulfilled in life. She encouraged me to take real steps toward positive change and my whole Expat experience improved. I rediscovered my career; I made new friends and found my “tribe”; I made my health a priority; and probably most importantly, I realized that my happiness lay in my hands. Her life-changing work with me planted a seed that I would like to help others find their own path.
It took two more Expat postings in Brazil and the USA for my dream to come to fruition. I am so happy and proud to now be able to partner Expat Spouses in their own journeys of discovery. Supporting someone as they learn about themselves and work toward a brighter future is truly my passion. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with these intelligent, caring and gifted people every day.