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  • Writer's pictureRebekka Darge

Living as an Expat for Almost a Decade: Finding a home within yourself

girl looking toughtful to the righ

Being an expat can be a roller coaster ride of emotions, adventures, and challenges. Having spent close to a decade living in different countries, I have come to realize that home is not just defined by a physical location, but rather by the people you hold dear and the sense of belonging you create wherever you go.

One of the biggest pros of being an expat is the opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures and broaden your horizons. The exposure to new languages, traditions, and lifestyles is invaluable. It allows you to shed any preconceived notions you may have had and develop a more inclusive and open-minded perspective. Embracing diversity becomes a natural part of your existence, which enriches both your personal and professional life.

However, with the perks come the cons. The most prominent challenge faced by expats is undoubtedly loneliness. Leaving behind familiar faces, routines, and support systems can leave you feeling isolated, especially in the initial stages of settling into a new country. The absence of your closest friends and family makes you yearn for a sense of belonging and a place to call home more intensely.

Furthermore, running a business in a foreign country where your language skills are limited can be daunting. Communication barriers can hinder your progress and create a sense of frustration. Tasks that would usually be effortless can suddenly become insurmountable. However, with determination and perseverance, it is possible to overcome these obstacles.

One of the most effective ways to adapt as an expat is by seeking coaching and support. Working with a professional coach can provide invaluable guidance and insight, helping you navigate through cultural challenges and language barriers. Coaches can assist you in establishing strategies to overcome obstacles, build relationships, and successfully run your business. They provide emotional support, allowing you to acknowledge and address any feelings of isolation or frustration.

While adapting to a new country can be challenging, particularly as a non-native speaker running a business, it is essential to remember that the heart of home is where you find solace. Surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals, whether they are fellow expats or locals, can create a sense of community that transcends language barriers. Genuine connections and strong relationships become the foundation upon which you build your new home, where you feel genuinely seen and understood.

As an expat, the journey is not without its ups and downs. Loneliness may seep in, language barriers may pose difficulties, and adapting to new cultures can be a steep learning curve. However, with the right mindset, resilience, and support system, you can find solace and establish a sense of home wherever you go.

Ultimately, being an expat for almost a decade has taught me that home is not just a physical place, but rather a state of mind. It is about embracing the new, respecting differences, and finding a sense of belonging wherever your heart and people are. Through coaching and support, you can navigate the challenges, adapt to your surroundings, and fully immerse yourself in the enriching experience of expat life.


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