Two weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to offer my view and share my experiences, as expat woman, at the International School of London.
Well, here I am. A reusable fashion coffee cup and two pictures of myself: as I was when I had to choose whether moving abroad and as I am now. Here I am offering my perspective, my up and down, my “honey moon” period and my brain full of questions.
Going abroad is a bold move. I desired and chose it. Still, at some point the reality kicks in. When it comes everyone wants to have its word.
I did as I desired to join my husband and I did for a cross-cross-cultural education for my kids. I really wanted it and was happy for the move. At some point however the reality kicks in and all the weird, funny, interesting things become the biggest pain. Because they are just not how you’ve known them before. Everyone seems to know what is best for you, give you advice, tell you what you should be feeling and why.
Well, It can’t go on
All I need was to sit down and reflect on what was valuable for me as a person not as someone’s wife not as someone’s mother. My new identity in my personal transition, as Alessia. Not an expat's spouse.
I need to define who I am now that I have moved abroad, according to my values and which of them may or may not be in conflict with the cultural values in “my new” home and host Country.
I said stop, took my time, chose my pace. I realised I had the opportunity to choose my pace. First to understand where I was, who I was. I have been offering myself the space to explore, fail, learn.
Setting my objectives and shaping the direction to follow have been the most powerful part of my London journey so far.