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Many people need hip or knee replacements as they get older because their joints have carried their bodies around for over half a century. They’ve played hopscotch in schoolyards, danced at weddings, ran to catch trains, piggy-backed children, and walked countless steps throughout the world. The wear-and-tear didn’t happen overnight, and most peopl…
 
As a parent and an expat, you inevitably worry about how your decision to live a globally mobile life will impact your children. Adolescence is already hard enough without extra complications like distance from extended family, adapting to different cultures, switching schools, and making new friends. But how does it all really affect your kids, an…
 
Many of us didn’t know how it felt before. We’d select a destination, jump on a plane, and bellyache (albeit, deservedly) about the challenges of relocation. This is how it went, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything, because global mobility is woven into the fabric of who we are as expats. Now, with our wings clipped by COVID, our passports are li…
 
It’s no big secret that some look down on new money. In French, they call it “nouveau-riche.” A term reserved for social climbers who’ve recently acquired wealth rather than aristocratically being brought up in it. Some in this crowd support the theory that you don’t naturally belong with the affluent crowd and are just a poser. Where I grew up in …
 
This is my 200th episode, and I’m so glad you’re here. Whatever way we found each other, whichever podcast it was over the past four years that moved you enough to come back, thank you. I never take for granted that you share your most precious resource with me: your time. I didn’t know a thing about podcasting back in episode one. And if you liste…
 
No matter the business type, regardless if it’s old or new, booming or struggling, there’s a universal, non-negotiable truth: your clients ARE your success. Yet for such a vital function of any business, how to obtain customers is still shrouded in mystery; there’s almost a film of shame to the topic. Primarily based on the misconception that if yo…
 
2020 flung our already intolerant world into a minefield of polarizing topics. Divisive issues came one after another, like those Russian dolls, but in reverse size and minus the charm. The climate crisis, the lockdown measures, the ongoing fight against systemic racism, the U.S. presidential election, J.K. Rowling, China — you probably feel strong…
 
You had to do it because you had to work. Yeah, you did. Maybe not for financial reasons, but what were you supposed to do? Just trail along from country to country as an accompanying spouse, letting your skills and employability rust? No, thank-you. Now, your resume looks like Swiss cheese. A collection of unfulfilling, short-term jobs, gaps from …
 
1st quarter, 2020 – Working virtually is avant-garde. It’s something reserved for techies and artists. 4th quarter, 2020 – Working virtually is mainstream. And for many professions, the office is dead. Welcome to a world of unrestricted potential. Even though it’s existed for years, for many lovepats, this grants official permission to leap and fin…
 
Of course, you didn’t mean to abandon your goal. (Again.) And, of course, you thought this time would be different than all the other times because this time, yes, this time, you were on fire to make it happen. So what changed between when you set the intention and called it quits? Imagine there’s a tightrope between excited, ambitious you on one s…
 
“Oh no, I’m not a local. I’m from (insert country you haven’t lived in for years or even decades).” How many times have you said that or thought it? You convince yourself and others that you’re just a temporary expat on a detour. Like in Monopoly, when you pull a card or roll the dice and advance to the jail square, but you’re “just visiting.” You’…
 
This year feels like trying to push a broken-down car uphill — a complete slog. Have you ever tried to move a dead car? You push and push and push, and it still doesn’t budge. Then, you try a few things, experiment by necessity, and maybe a kind passerby joins in to help you. Before you know it, that thing’s flying, and you wonder how you’ll make i…
 
Title translation: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. After months of finding creative solutions in Switzerland, sleeping on an air mattress, and living out of a suitcase, I’m finally back in South Africa. And as many of us return to our homes or move to our next assignments, we quickly realize that what was already hard as heck, is now a double …
 
You can read every “how-to” manual. You can listen to incessant advice from friends, family, and online know-it-alls. Everywhere you turn, they’ll tell you how parenthood changes you. But only once it happens, do you realize how you’re not just “changed” – you’re transformed. You’re irreversibly different, and you’ll never see the world in the same…
 
How many times has someone complimented a picture of you that you felt was unflattering? You see the photo and think: “I hate my thighs – look at that cellulite. Ugh, is that bump on my nose getting bigger? And what’s with the squinty, pirate eye? Delete.” Okay, so there’s a list of everything you dislike about yourself, in what was likely a magica…
 
For expats, a big part of our identity is living globally mobile lives. Adventure is our oxygen and abroad is our home. So, one thing I keep hearing as we surpass 6 months of what we expected would be a few weeks, is how many of you aren’t feeling like yourself. What was supposed to be a “temporary you” won’t go away. Like a stunt-double who was on…
 
Why do you think baking bread from scratch was the top pandemic trend? Very few (if any) places had a shortage of it. Much of the world even developed a scarcity of yeast and flour because baking your own bread was suddenly all the rage. We adapted reluctantly and embraced the experience because human beings aren’t meant to live life without intent…
 
From an aerodynamic perspective, the bee has no business flying. With wings too small for its pudgy body its design and capacity should doom it to a life as a land-dwelling insect. But the bee doesn’t care what you think. It gives zero hoots about the laws of aviation, flies anyway, and pollinates the world. Now imagine if the bee conceded defeat t…
 
As expats, we tend to run on a different annual cycle. Typically, summertime is our reset. We’re visiting our families back “home” or recuperating on vacation or preparing our move to the next assignment. But this summer, everything has diverged from normal, and our cues are thrown off. Although we each have our own thoughts, feelings, and damages …
 
Think of everything you do on-the-daily in the business of managing your life as an individual and as a couple. Imagine I gave you a wheelbarrow and asked you to add a boulder for each physical, mental, logistical, and emotional task you did for yourself or your family. How full would your wheelbarrow be? How would that volume compare to what’s in …
 
When a lovepat decides to leave their life behind and start somewhere new, it’s because they believe their sacrifice serves the greater good of their spouse and family. Of course, it’s also under the premise that their forfeited happiness will eventually replenish itself in other ways. No one expects to forgo self-fulfillment indefinitely. That’s n…
 
Toddlers have it all figured out. When their energy is low, they get cranky, cry, or launch temper tantrums to let you know they’ve had enough and need a rest. Parents quickly learn the benefits of scheduling naps for their little ones to prevent meltdowns and protect everyone’s sanity and patience. So why is it that when it comes to us adults, we …
 
Right now, international school systems are being scrutinized on how they advertise themselves as sites of racial diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. Then, the actual work that needs to get done to address the racism that exists on their campuses is left unchecked. At the same time, teachers and international school parents feel powerless in the …
 
When you host a dinner party, you do your absolute darndest to make sure your guests have a good time. You clean like crazy, flick on mood music, bust out the prettiest candles to encourage ambiance, make sure drinks are topped up, and food is ample and delicious. You stress over awkward silences and worry about potentially heated conversations fro…
 
Tragedy burnout. We’re all feeling it. And for our global community members, especially BIPOC, expat fatigue, pandemic fatigue, racial battle fatigue, and activism fatigue can add up. Compassion and self-care practices have never mattered more. Nor have we collectively seen such palatable urgency for expats to unite and find productive ways to supp…
 
For grandchildren, grandma and grandpa represent boundless, unrestricted, expectation-free love. Fun happens at their house. It’s where ice cream gets served for dinner, bedtimes are just a suggestion, and $20 bills mysteriously appear in pockets. For grandparents, grandkids offer a do-over to relive the best parts of parenthood without the pressur…
 
Go to school. Get a good job. Get married. Have a family. That’s what the climb up looks like to #livingthedream. Then, like a waterslide without the fun, midlife hits and suddenly, you’re spiraling down into a cold-water awakening. Biological and psychological changes combined with (yet) unmet goals funnel into a perceived dissatisfaction with you…
 
At perhaps the best time in history to be a woman — fearless, bold, limitless in our capabilities, and unapologetic in our empowered femininity — why are we still so embarrassed to age? Menopause happens. It’s natural, inevitable, and universal. It’s not as if you can blink and miss it. If you consider the peri-and-post symptomatic phases, the aver…
 
Parent: “How was your day?” Teenager: “Fine.” Parent: “What did you learn in school?” Teenager: “Nothing.” As parents, we shrug our shoulders, confused why our kids respond with the same vapid answers and refuse to “let us in.” But what if we’re just asking them the wrong questions? We want our teens to share the trivial and significant goings-on i…
 
Isolation is a familiar feeling for expats. A couple will move to a new country where they don’t know a soul, and rely on each other for connection and entertainment while their social circle is under construction. Then, too much time together leads to irritation, arguments become more frequent, and the bad seems to outshine the good. Nothing that …
 
The pandemic dropped romance into a pressure-cooker. Some couples are forced apart, while others are confined together. Both situations come with extraordinary challenges, so I’ve brought in reinforcements to help us stay sane and make it work. Long-distance relationships are tough, and rarely a permanent intention. Typically, the two people involv…
 
A crisis is a great teacher, and the pandemic has taught us many painful lessons. Now, we’re urgently fixing the neglected chinks in the armor — a much more daunting task to do while in mid-battle. Many of us were born to roam. Living, working, and exploring different cultures across our beautiful planet is hardwired into our spirit. We’re nomads t…
 
A “Party Foul” is an act committed at a party that’s considered impolite, inappropriate, or both and results in negative consequences. Don’t show up empty-handed. Don’t double-dip in the spinach bowl. Don’t drink too much and make an ass of yourself. These are examples of a universally well-known faux pas to avoid at social gatherings. By virtue of…
 
In our oversharing world where no topic feels off-limits, money remains one of the last and most perplexing taboos. We need it to survive. The exchange of money allows us to feed and shelter ourselves and our families. You won’t see it, but it’s invisibly in the background of everything we own, every vacation we’ve taken, every moment of work, stre…
 
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Time is money.” He’s also credited for the phrase, “Lost time is never found again.” We get stressed out when we don’t have enough of it. We sigh with boredom when we have too much of it. Regardless of where we find ourselves on the spectrum, one thing’s undeniable: We’re obsessed with the concept of time. Like me,…
 
It’s widely supported by science that new habits, good or bad, take 21 days to stick. As much of our world endures lockdowns and isolation to varying degrees, most of us are experiencing mental and physical deterioration at unprecedented speed. Constant streams of defeating news, blown-up routines, loneliness, hopelessness, boredom, uncertainty… He…
 
I won’t even try and pretend this week is business as usual. Nothing is “okay” right now. Just like everyone else on the planet, I’m putting one foot in front of the other, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Some days you’ll cry in the shower, and other days you’ll be the strength in the room. I want to stress how critical self-care remain…
 
Money tossed out the window stings twice. The first zing is that it’s gone; the second is the betrayal of it not bringing what it should have brought you. By default, entrepreneurs often lose money in their efforts to multiply it, but this isn’t what keeps most of us from reaching prosperity. Not even close. 4 common excuses prevent us from making …
 
The Siren’s Song of being your own boss is irresistibly enchanting. It’s so alluring that many professionals will leave behind perfectly stable, lucrative careers and go for gusto on their entrepreneurial dream. But it’s the road less traveled for a good reason: It’s long, hard, and poorly landscaped. Regular paychecks become a thing of the past, 4…
 
Diagnoses and labels can be given to your child from many different sources, but one thing remains the same: Your life as a parent is forever changed. Your child now has a label and that designation will influence every decision you make going forward. As any parent would, you feel guilty, defensive, and scared. All your own preconceived notions su…
 
It’s impossible to look back on your formative years without reflecting on one or two teachers that permanently influenced the trajectory of your life. They believed in you, pushed you to be your best, and helped carve the person you became in adulthood. At international schools, the impact educators have on students (and their parents) is exponent…
 
A plugged bathtub will overflow from a constant drip. Eventually, the tiny droplets accumulate and cause the equivalent damage to your floor as if you just filled it all at once with a firehose. When a big “T” trauma happens to you, it’s often easier to expect and explain the physical and emotional injuries from having survived it. However, just li…
 
You stock your First Aid Kit in advance so that everything’s ready and automatic if an emergency strikes. It’s the same reason we have fire drills, and evacuation procedures. Once your adrenaline’s pumping, it’s too late. You can’t properly evaluate a situation under distress because your brain isn’t functioning at capacity. But you CAN plan ahead.…
 
Romantic relationships are complicated. Once the giddy newness fades, your partner quickly earns the championship belt of being the person who can annoy you the fastest. A big fight can percolate between you for days, sapping your ability to concentrate on much else. Then, you work through it, make-up, and snuggle the bad vibes away. But what if yo…
 
When you watch a ship glide on the ocean, you see its mighty sails. You don’t give the wind a second thought, even though it’s largely responsible for pushing her with its might. I’m professionally drawn to coaching because I want to be the person who’s standing behind the star. So, when I recently found out exactly how popular Expat Happy Hour has…
 
We bend reality when we refuse to accept the way things are, like truths about the world, and being human. We convince ourselves how we’re the exception… those silly rules don’t apply to us… we’re going to do it faster/bigger/better than anyone else. Then, we feel surprised, disappointed, and disillusioned when things don’t work out as planned. Whe…
 
This time of year, everyone’s out for self-improvement. We’re making (and breaking) New Year’s resolutions, pumped up to change and determined to take over the world. Then, we surrender to defeat once we realize that getting what we want isn’t easy or very much fun. Hey, if it was, we would’ve done it already, right? New Year’s resolutions are usel…
 
Welcome to 2020! The holidays are behind us, and it’s back to business. If you’re like me, I can rest for only so long. Then, I get antsy to return to my work and regular routines. For many of us, the New Year symbolizes establishing fresh career goals and planning out professional changes we want to achieve in the coming months. For not enough of …
 
I’m ending the year with a throat-lump inducing conversation, so get out your Kleenex. I’m traveling back in time 365 days, to get advice from “2018 Sundae.” Knowing what she knows now, what warnings and wisdom would she have to prepare for 2019? As a coach serving expats, I preach connection; nurturing meaningful relationships will have a medicina…
 
Most people think of procrastination as perfectionism’s ugly cousin. We crown perfectionists with praise, while we beat procrastinators with the “shame” stick. Procrastination stings in your pocket, chokes your energy, and corrodes your self-esteem. It’s associated with weakness, indecisiveness, and laziness. So, in other words, nothing good. But w…
 
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