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Hello, 2022. We’re Having a Baby Girl.

A name materialized out of thin air as I sat up in bed. Immediately, I knew you were going to be a girl. To me, the name was perfect and so was its meaning.

It was my first real connection with you.

I knew then I was in for a wild ride.


Week 18 – And just like that, you are starting to take place in my belly. From a tiny seed to a burgeoning baby. The truth is, I can’t quite explain the unexpected peacefulness I’ve found in pregnancy so far. I feel excited, introspective, relaxed, and pretty impatient to meet you.

Week 20 – It’s amazing what can change from one week to the next. My belly is now out in full force! I’m thankful that I’ve felt physically comfortable and full of energy as of late. The first trimester, as they say, is less comfortable and looking back that was definitely true in my experience. I was constantly nauseous and any trip on a bus or tram would send me reeling. Also, eating while pregnant wasn’t as fun as I imagined – it was hard to find foods that didn’t repulse me.

Taking it Week by Week

With each sonogram, I’ve felt more and more in-tuned with the change going on inside of me. Although she was only a few millimeters big, I held her very first picture in my hands. From a poppy seed to the size of a papaya, each gyno visit has been pretty mind-blowing.

Week 8 / Week 20

Thank youuu, hormones! Pregnancy so far has been more relaxed than I expected. I’ve laughed harder than ever before and at this point, I feel generally light and carefree. It’s this dizzying feeling gratitude and excitement…wonderment and worry all at once.

Week 24 – As I sit here in one of my favorite cafes, I feel my belly jolt.

My little girl is active and has been for six weeks now. What first felt like tiny hiccups grew into unmistakable flutters and then kicks. The feeling sends giddy energy throughout my body. I’ve never felt a joy like this.

The truth is, of all of my friends, I was always probably the least likely to have a baby. I never dreamt of it, never imagined our nomadic life fitting a toddler into it. Yet, one day, the desire bubbled up inside of us. I know that moving to Switzerland allowed our lives to slow down and open up. This safe and beautiful country served as an ideal backdrop to life – even in pandemic times. With that free time and headspace that lockdown allowed, me and Laurens started to dream of a family in a way we never did before.

What would it be like? Were we ready for the monumental change?

Week 28 – The third trimester has officially kicked in and I feel the (mild) discomforts I had been warned about. Sleep is increasingly harder to come by, pregnancy brain is real (!) and I feel the upwards pressure on my lungs and stomach all day. Energy is slightly lower, but with my bigger belly, I feel prouder by the day as she protrudes outwards.

I rub my belly to comfort her and maybe even myself. It’s a special feeling that I’ve found hard to wrap up into words.

Week 30 – I got an iron infusion two weeks ago to address low iron levels and unreal fatigue. I hope this will help get me across the finish line as I’ll need I’ll the energy I can get in the coming months…Now I’m adjusting to my newfound weight and my changing body.

A New Adventure – We’re Moving Out of Zurich

In our experience abroad, a new career opportunity presents itself every 2-3 years. In January, the prospect of a new job popped up for Laurens, and after weeks of back and forth and interviews, he finally took a new job with an entirely new chocolate company. We knew the job was perfect for him, but that meant finding a new apartment and imagining a new life outside of Zurich.

As luck would have it, we quickly found a place we loved and we signed the same week. We’ll be 25 minutes away from Zurich by train which isn’t so bad. I’m excited for the peaceful proximity the countryside and mountains, and we’ll be close to the lake as well. The city girl inside me is enjoying the last few weeks living so close to the buzzing city center, enjoying the ease of walking wherever I want to go, whenever.

Creating a family away from home

If I’m honest, having a baby away from close family and friends isn’t exactly what I envisioned for my motherhood journey. I’m prepared that it will prove challenging, and maybe even lonely at first. I know in the coming months it will be important to surround myself with a community of women, and young moms in a similar situation. Luckily, the moms I’ve befriended so far have been so inspiring and helpful, especially because I don’t have many close friends nearby with kids.

As of April 1st, we’ll be in a new town, a new apartment, awaiting the biggest adjustment of our lives. It’s a bittersweet feeling to expect so much change, but it’s also thrilling and a feeling we’ve become familiar with. I know by now that it’s so crucial to slow down and be purposeful about the coming days and weeks, to take in what life is like now, instead of obsessing over what it will become. Meditation has helped me be more present, especially during pregnancy.

If there’s one thing that brings me comfort, it’s the fact that maybe we’ve been preparing for this moment our entire relationship. Walking into the unknown with open arms has kind of been our ‘thing.’ I’m already in love with how impending fatherhood has changed Laurens, how it’s strengthened our bond in a really beautiful way. Becoming expat parents is probably the biggest adventure and challenge we’ll ever take on. All I know is that I’m so excited for it and as ready as I’ll ever be.

Proud papa with a brand new stroller in tow.

More to come soon as the weeks fly by…

Are you first time mom living overseas? I’m curious! Share your experience below in the comments.

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Life in Switzerland and The Year That Was 2020

2020 is the year that so many people are thrilled to see go. I would say I’m also one of those people, but 2020 did bring something to our lives that no other year had before. Looking back on my last 2019 reflection, I’m stunned at the difference one year can make. Here’s a quick recap of what 2020 looked like for me, and why I must admit, despite its craziness, I have a soft spot for it.

A World of Change in 2020

It’s almost been an entire year since we drove down from Belgium with our car packed with all our belongings. At this point, Switzerland was just a notion and how we’d enjoy life here was unknown. After the wild year of MBA life at INSEAD and a year of travel to 14 countries, I was ready to settle in a sensible and beautiful country like Switzerland. For the first time, the thought of ‘settling’ sounded really, really appealing. I felt deep in my bones we could do that here.

What I didn’t realize was that this year would be an actual pause button on most aspects of our lives.

My blind optimism has served me well in each of our six international moves and Zurich was no different. Laurens started his job within days of our moving here, and just like that we were plunked down into life here. Zurich is a small city, a predictable, gorgeous place flanked by incredible beauty all around like mountains, forests, and lake. I felt comfortable here almost immediately.

In the beginning, I did like I usually do: I hit the ground running, venturing out into the city during the day, sitting in cafes, people watching, and exploring like it was my job. Within a week we found a lovely apartment and just like that things seemed too good to be true; I could start to visualize our lives here more clearly.

Like it always happens in a new country, the honeymoon phase wore off and a longing for deeper connections, career, and purpose sprung up within me.

I was thrilled to have two best friends visit me early on to infuse good energy and excitement into the new year in such an uncertain situation. It was a great time where I felt ready to take on the year, ready to take on Switzerland. Just a few days after the girls left, the reality of COVID struck and lockdown began.

The Great Pause

Sensational news stories materialized and Covid was officially in Europe. The rest of the year would transform in ways no one could predict.

Lockdown was an excuse to nestle into our new place. The truth is, time flew and I never really felt restless. I felt rested for the first time in a long time. We had gotten used to the rhythm of moving cities or countries ever two to there years, and each time, the pressure to ‘plug in’ swiftly to the new city gnawed at me. It’s been an exhausting and exhilarating ride, but 2020 showed me how unsustainable that pace actually was.

It was glorious to have an excuse to not land a job immediately, to just be in a new place and catch our breath and reflect on our journey for once. It was the first time in the nine years since we met that we could take this pause together. Deep down, I loved it. Deep down, I really needed it.

A City Girl Embracing Home Life

Baking, reading, binge watching Netflix, starting the WanderWomen series on this blog, taking online classes, FaceTiming for hours with friends and family – I did it all during lockdown. As a self-professed city girl I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being home and leaning into old hobbies and new with no pressure to do anything else. Sure, I missed living in coffee shops and trying out new restaurants, but the FOMO didn’t last long. The fact that nothing was even open extinguished my need to leave the house.

As things slowly reopened in Zurich, we had intimate dinner parties with one couple or two. We were social in a selective way, and by July and August we took more chances, saw more people, had visitors from Belgium come stay with us. Life felt pretty normal again and Zurich in summer was an amazing sight to see, although locals have assured us it was much less happening than normal. It goes without saying that Switzerland’s relaxed measures for most of the year made things much more bearable, and I know we were really lucky in that respect.

2020: What It Was and What It Was Not

*This was year of cultivating select connections and maintaining great ones long-distance. I talked to my family over the phone more than I can ever remember and it was so meaningful. This wasn’t the year for random socializing and making loads of new acquaintances.

*This was the year of career. After a year and half of taking a break from work, I found a great job with an amazing cosmetics company called Swissline. From application to the final interview, it all felt a bit serendipitous. Since mid August, I’ve found an exciting and exhilarating challenge in this company and a newly discovered love for skincare, too.

*This was the year of falling in love with our new country. This is really the best country we could’ve moved to and I still can’t believe our luck. It was also the year with the worst homesickness I’ve ever felt. Being separated from family under these circumstances was and is extremely frustrating.

*This was the year to appreciate natural beauty, especially in our own ‘backyard’. Long walks in the forest behind our apartment, swimming in the lake, floating the Limmat, hikes at Pilatus, skiing in Laax. No suprirse here, but nature is a soothing antidote for anxiety and stress. I never embraced it as much as I did this year.

*This was the year of patience. Waiting for Covid to go away, waiting seven months for a new job, the nail-biting of the US elections, waiting to see family in person again. Patience is something I have a lot of, and wow did I need it this year.

*Above all, this was the year of love. Laurens and I thrived in isolation and got closer than ever. I appreciate that he is someone I enjoy being with, literally, all of the time. The down time we had together was and is blissful.

My Hopes for 2021…

My hopes for 2021 are simple: I want the ease of travel to return so we can see the people we love most. As an extrovert, I also want the ease of social connection (without masks) back, too.

The pause of 2020 was one that may never come again, but it was the breath of fresh air our go-go-go lives were gasping for. It was the year to take stock of the most important relationships in our lives and at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important anyway?

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog for some time or to anyone who has reached out through email this year. It’s been great to hear your stories from around the world about expat life and to know there’s a community out there who is listening.

Wishing everyone the best from Switzerland…Happy New Year!

Functional Medicine Journey Part II

I’ve come to really enjoy my working with Edna on this functional medicine journey. We have met several times since my last post to discuss the most intimate details of my physical and emotional health. It means peeling back the layers of my life and reexamining things.

Edna herself is simultaneously jolly and stern; she is a deep listener and remembers finite details. Every session we have is fulfilling and enlightening in the best way possible but mostly because she’s helped me make connections in my life I never made before. Her medical knowledge runs deep and she has great intuition and human understanding.

I always felt disconnected from my physical issues and frustrated by my inability to ‘control’ them, but Edna has taught me that it’s all interrelated – the patterns and connections have always been there.

Here’s what second part of my process with Edna has entailed:

Life story and the retelling

Imagine your life laid bare in a chronological timeline.

That’s exactly how Edna asked me to recount my entire life story. Important events, transformative moments, traumas, etc. Everything.  We started by discussing my parents and grandparents on both sides. 

Epigenetics (a topic I’m very interested in now) has an influence throughout generations and can impact people psychologically as well as physically. This part of treatment was eye-opening. Facts laid bare. What factors lead my ancestors to live the way they did? What stress was passed down through genetic pathways? I realized the blind spots were glaring. What did I actually know about my grandparents and great-great-grandparents? I knew then that my family’s health and general history deserved a closer look. It’s been an interesting journey in itself to uncover those details.

According to the CDC, “Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.”

Eventually Edna read my entire life story – and that of my parents – back out loud to me. It was a surreal experience because there was something so clarifying about hearing an objective person reading my life story out loud like that. I could appreciate all the external factors that affected me year by year in a new way. Contemplating their physical, mental, and spiritual toll on me. The dots were connected in a major way after that session.

Medical Questioning

As much time as we spent looking back at my life story as well as my family’s, we also spent a good two sessions covering my physical health. I filled out five long questionnaires and answered her questions in real-time (no body function left out 😅). The larger picture of mental and physical health was coming together slowly. With the busy schedules not always aligning well, we’ve had some sessions via Zoom. The physical exam portion of the treatment covered everything from skin, nails, to hair.

Nutritional Coaching

I was so looking forward to this part of our sessions. Since my acid reflux was the reason I came to Edna for treatment in the first place, it was interesting to learn more about what foods could be triggering my reactions. Although I was eating healthy (practically a 100% vegetarian diet), I was running into trouble.

“Food is connection, medicine, energy”

She has now put me on a general elimination diet but tailored with specific recommendations to fit my needs. The goal of the elimination diet is to reduce inflammation, embrace whole foods, and restore the gut’s microbiome.

This has definitely been the hardest part of the journey so far. Figuring out what foods trigger the acid, the discomfort. So far, dairy and gluten are big no-no’s and this has meant having to cook more simply, reducing sauces and noting missteps as I go. This elimination diet is really all about trial and error and isolating the culprits. I’ve been committed to it but on certain days (like on the weekends) where I slip, I’m reminded of the importance of sticking with it. As part of the coaching, I submitted a microbiome analysis and will learn more about the results next week.

Major Takeaways So Far

From a young age, there was a lot going on in my life. Divorces, new starts, constantly moving, constantly changing. I never felt my gripes were special, but the fact is they’ve had a huge impact on how my body digests and deals with external stressors, how I view myself. My expat lifestyle, although something I’m really proud of, has been a factor in my struggle to find balance and wellness within. I’m dedicated, more than ever, to getting in synch with myself, with my health.

Moving forward, we will work on how I can better anchor myself, create boundaries, and of course, find a diet that supports my gut and minimizes acid reflux. To be continued…

Functional Medicine Resources for Beginners

Edna Schur’s Practice

Useful Function Medicine Podcast by Dr. Mark Hayman

Institute of Functional Medicine Resources

My Functional Medicine Journey in Switzerland

Hi readers,

Normally I write about travel and food, but I want to do something different and share a recent personal journey with you as part of the #wellness part of this blog.

At the beginning of 2021, I experienced a physical dip that caught me completely off guard. With unnerving symptoms continuing on for weeks like migraines and an angry stomach and digestive system, I wasn’t sure what what happening but eventually, I was determined to help my gut and my general health back on track.

This is the beginning of the story of my holistic journey in that direction; what started off as a personal mission to ween off my acid reflux medication evolved into finally becoming my own health advocate.

Ten Years in the Making

Since the age of 18, I’ve been dealing with severe heartburn and acid reflux. After two endoscopies, I was told to take daily proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) and never look back. I trusted that this medication was harmless and found myself reliant on it for a whopping ten years. Fast forward to December 2020, my gut health went haywire. The medicine wasn’t working anymore, but I ‘pushed through’ until I felt so depleted that the wake-up call was hard to ignore anymore. My body was in full-swing reactive mode; anything I ate triggered discomfort and nausea and I had no appetite for food, my absolute favorite thing in life.

That’s when I knew I needed to check things out.

After two blood tests and consistently elevated pancreas enzyme levels, I was frustrated. The doctor here in Zurich seemed as clueless as me. At that point I had relentless tension migraines and a lack of energy even after a full 8 hours sleep. Anyone with stomach issues can relate to the fact that your mood is drastically impacted whether you like it or not.

Simply put, I wasn’t in a good place.

My Wake Up Call

After the dead end with the GP in Zurich, I had a long call with a nutritionist friend of mine in California who alerted me to the fact that taking PPI’s long term is a really, really bad idea. Recent studies have shown its links to increased risk in vitamin deficiency, dementia, kidney disease and more.

I was horrified that no doctor had ever hinted at these risks despite my asking over and over again. In a way, I was mad at myself for not doing my own research after these appointments. I was annoyed at how easily specialists and doctors of my past had thrown medicine at the problem without spending as much as one hour to get to understand the actual cause.

Our conversation was enlightening and it flipped a major switch for me.

I couldn’t ignore that a decade of PPI use was doing more harm than good to my gut. She asked me to find a functional medicine doctor in Zurich who could help me ween off these medicines and restore my gut once and for all. It was a new concept to me, but after doing the research, I found Edna Schur via the Functional Medicine Instititute’s international directory. I was in luck: she was open to working with me and passionate about getting me off my PPI’s.

A Holistic and Versatile Way to Approach Health

You might not have heard of functional medicine before; I hadn’t until recently. According to the Institute for Functional Medicine’s website, “Functional medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. IFM is more determined than ever to help clinicians and patients alike develop the nutritional, environmental, social, and lifestyle.

Trying Functional Medicine for Myself

After reaching out to Edna Schur and having such a thorough consultation call with her, I was eager to start working with her and get to the bottom of things. She assured me she could find a way for me to heal my gut and get off these medicines for good.

As part of my sessions with her, I want to share my journey and honest experience with you in case you’re also considering using functional medicine as a way to heal yourself from whatever ailment you have.

Edna Schur, Functional Medicine Practioner in Zurich

With expertise in Chinese, Functional, Western Medicine and Nutrition, Edna has developed a 5-Step Guide to help people embrace health in a holistic way. So far, I’m very happy with the quality of the sessions we’ve had; she’s a deeply connected and intuitive practitioner who takes the time to connect the dots of the body’s interrelated systems, family history, and mental wellbeing. I’m excited to see what our work together will bring; it’s a relief to feel that I’m in capable and caring hands with someone who is as curious as I am to feel healthier and happier. It’s the human approach to healthcare that’s been missing in my experience.

Who Is Functional Medicine Good For?

According to Edna, it’s for everyone who wants to do preventative work to be healthy and content; it’s for people who more chronic issues and have seen everyone and have been everywhere but still haven’t improved. She typically works with peoples ages 35-55.

Functional medicine looks at the physical, emotional, spiritual, and aspects of discomfort. It is an overview understanding of all the systems, including psychological and spiritual aspects, to bring someone to a new state of mind and a healthy pathway.

My Personal Goal in The Coming Weeks

In the next coming weeks of working with Edna and working through her 5-step program, I want to shed light on what works for me to restore my gut and general health. I want to explore root cause medicine as opposed to the specialist medicine that has taken a parochial view on my digestive issues, ignoring the multitude of factors that influence it. If you’re also considering working with FMP or even Edna herself, I hope this can serve as a guide! Stay tuned. 😊

Functional Medicine Resources for Beginners

Useful Function Medicine Podcast by Dr. Mark Hayman

Institute of Functional Medicine Resources

Edna Schur’s Practice

100 Foreigners Share Their Belgian Love Experience

A few years ago, I wrote an article, 7 Things I’ve Learned About Loving a Belgian. The article picked up traction in a way that really surprised me. People’s messages and emails came pouring in; strangers took time to share their experiences with me with impressive candor and humor. Shortly after, I invited expat strangers from an Expat in Brussels Facebook group to give their honest input on loving a dating a Belgian. Over the course of a few days, 100 people from over 40 countries from around the world shared their stories with me, anonymously.

Below are the unedited highlights. Respondents from the UK, USA, and Spain were the most represented, and over half of respondents are or were based in Ghent, Belgium which is were we lived for almost three years. Despite the cultural challenges and learnings, over three quarters of respondents rated their personal experience a 7 or higher out of 10.

Top 5 Traits People Say They Appreciated Most About Their Belgian Partner

  • Loyalty
  • Intelligence
  • Kindness
  • Humor
  • Honesty

What Traits Do You Like Least? What Traits Would You Like To Change?

  • Rigid / unspontaenous
  • Binge Drinking
  • Too Direct
  • Stubborn
  • Sticking close to home

What have you learned from your Belgian partner about love that was new for you?

“To discuss every problem while it’s still small.”

“Showing love less through words and more through actions.”

“Related with his thought about equality between man and woman. He teach me too… that we have equal position in love. As a woman, I don’t need to be submissive. I can say “no” wherever I want.”

“That they take [love] very seriously very early on.”

“What being loved feels like. Also, the idea of introducing your partner to the family early in the relationship, I felt an integral part of the family right away and I saw it was the same for his brother’s girlfriend.It is a bit too much at times. I feel people here do not mess around too much but tend to engage in a long term relationship after only a little time.”

“He is great at having a fight and then truly forgiving and forgetting, which is not something I was accustomed too.”

“How we are less complicated about certain topics like meeting each other’s parents, or how it is not common for us to get married and buy a house by when we’re 25.”

Has your Belgian partner learned anything from you and your approach to romance and love?

“Yes he’s learned to be more open, I find most Belgians are a little reserved.”

“Yes my food and language. He used to send me romantic texts in Somali using Google Translate.”

“Independence, adventure, spontaneity”

“Spontaneity, altruism”

“Yes, Spanish, to party like a Mexican and how to drink tequila.”

“I’m not sure if this is the thing from Thailand/Asia only but probably the way we talk/interact to each other. Don’t think there’s an exact word in English to explain this but we would change our tone of voice to something a little cuter and also our facial expressions. Let’s say it’s similar to how an adult talk to a cute baby.”

Are there stereotypes about Belgians that ring true to you? Any you find undeserved?

“I don’t think there are stereotypes that are undeserved. It is true that they move in serious relationships super fast and have kids quite young. They also tend to stick with the same long term partner even though they don’t necessarily think is the one. They are too clingy with their families and visit at least once a week.”

“That all Flemish people are racist/small minded..my husband and many other Flemish I know are not like that at all. The stereotype that Flemish people pretty much all speak great English is 99% true 😄 also, as a whole, I’d say they are more reserved until you get to know them”

“It seems to be often true that it is hard to find Belgian friends.”

“Not all Belgians have bricks in their bellies. (undeserved). That love goes through the stomach. (true)”

“…Like their obsession with the weather or being a little bit more closed minded, specially older people from Flanders.”

“Usually Belgians don’t move for work/family, they stay living in the place they were born and they die there; I didn’t know many other stereotypes about Belgians coming to the country.”

Was there a moment where you really felt the cultural difference in the relationship?

“When discussing money – who pays for what. Our ideas about who should pay for what were very different.”

“Yes…meals…we have only warm meals in our country…we like to cook and eat…and we do not eat sandwiches and soup everyday. 😊”

“Not taking the surname of the spouse and children getting the surname of the father.”

“Every time he speaks west Flemish and gives me animal names as pet names. I feel offended while he means to be caring. In French, we say something like « sweetly, my love, my darling » only. Not « my horse ».”

“We had those moments many times, but I’m not sure it’s related to the fact that he’s Belgian. One thing is sure: he knows that if we buy a house I want to install a bidet. (Ha ha talking about stereotypes)”

“Yes, parties with friends of theirs, never belonging to the group even after years of knowing each other.”

What advice would you give someone who’s just starting to date a Belgian for the 1st time?

“Just do as you feel 🙂 And it’s better to like beer :)))”

“You have to accept that sandwiches is a common lunch or dinner food.”

“Try to learn his/her language. It will be fun!”

“Understand how you/they feel about club/festival/drug culture…it’s not always obvious and there might be some red lines there.”

“I would suggest that they keep an open mind and don’t take things personally. I think Belgians in general can be very direct and it can come across more harsh than they intend it to.”

“Meet his family… If you don’t feel comfortable run away…At the end you marry them also. You will see them all your life so, has to be a nice relationship also.”

Anything else you feel like sharing about your experience?

“Yes, culturally I think it’s very important to make a difference between a Belgian who’s from the Dutch-speaking area, and a Belgian who’s from the French-speaking area of Belgium. Both cultures are really, really very different (personality, humor, and so many other things).”

“I was in love with a girl from Gent for 5 years, but was not brave enough to move to Belgium to build a life together. It’s over 5 years since we parted and I still miss her and deeply regret my decision.”

“I dated internationally for a while and I think my companion is really unique (and he’s not fitting in any stereotype box. All the friends of my partner are quite sensible people (quite the opposite of the macho/sometimes undercovered-gay culture in Italy). I find this amazing especially compared to the maschilism in Italy. Vive la Belgique!”

“For me it’s not about nationality, it’s about personality. So I wouldn’t make any conclusions based on my relationship with specific person about all the foreign-Belgians relationships.”

“This felt therapeutic.”

What has your experience of loving/dating a Belgian been like? I’m curious. Let me know in the comments below.

The Honest Truth About Homesickness as an Expat

It’s happened many times: I’m having a drink at a party and small-talking with new people when they ask about where I’m from and where I’ve been. Inevitably due is a question laced with a hint of concern. They pry politely and it’s cute how they almost whisper the question like it’s a secret.

Don’t…don’t you miss home?”

I think about a conversation I once had with my European ex. He told me we couldn’t have a future together because he knew one day that I’d return home without warning, as if a siren call would sound that I couldn’t resist. It was a bold prediction, one that made me laugh then, and one I think about to this day. Will that uncontrollable need to return hit me out of the blue? Almost a decade later, it hasn’t.

When I consider my expat journey, I’m surprised at how far I’ve come considering I used to be the kid who had bad separation anxiety. I hated being far from my parents, so much so that I even turned down the chance to go to summer camp because I couldn’t bare the thought of being away from home for ‘so’ long. Eventually, I grew out of that anxiety and ended up going to college three hours away from home which was a preview for the distance that would separate us.

Expat reality: A life divided

The funny thing about the nature of my homesickness is that I was able to compartmentalize it early on. I knew that by overthinking things and dwelling on the distance I would work myself into a frenzy. So, I divided up the two most important sections of my life. Of course, this happened more unconsciously than anything but it really worked; I rarely ever wake up with pangs of longing to go home, but my love and affection for everything Texas remains. This mental division is a survival mechanism of sorts that has allowed me to be present and thrive in the places I’m currently in. It started off as Texas and Paris. Then Texas and Indonesia. Then Texas and Malaysia. No matter how much I’ve traveled, Texas has always been at the core of me, central to the comparisons I make as I understand new countries. I think that tether will always be there.

Global barriers bringing homesickness to the forefront

Covid-19 lockdown was the first time I really ruminated on my homesickness. It was the first time it hit me hard and out of the blue. There were several nights were I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling of dread. Once that feeling settled, I got to reflecting on the topic of missing home and I hope it can help other expats who are in the same boat or offer perspective to someone who wants to leave home.

The recent events that have rocked the world brought a hard truth to light for me: being far from home in the worst of circumstances can feel frustrating and helpless. In normal times, the choice to jump on a plane and brave the long flight seemed obvious and easy. This year revoked that convenience and the idea of ‘I’m just a flight away’ didn’t hold true anymore. The worst fear of not being able to comfort or console my family in case things go wrong is terrifying and it makes me re-evaluate the distance I’ve become so used to. Luckily, my family and friends are in good health and we’re more in touch now than we’ve ever been.

Wandering and wondering

Obviously, the complex conundrum of being away from home existed before the Covid travel ban. In choosing a place to live and settle down in, I’ve always compared the quality of life to what I know in Texas. I’m absolutely in love with our new lives in Switzerland, but it’s joining the five other countries we’ve called home in a silent competition with the US. The more I travel and see how amazing different continents and countries are, the harder it is to imagine returning home at all. It’s hard enough to pick one country to ‘settle’ in, so why would I start at square one? The answer is simple: family and friends. Those two things are central to my happiness and they always have been. The only thing that has changed is that my family and friends have expanded to include amazing people wonderfully scattered all over the globe.

Balancing on a tight rope

In the almost 10 years since I’ve been gone, I’ve missed countless milestones of my lifelong best friends, my original champions — the people who loved me most but knew I was bound to leave. They cheered me on even still. They were the ones sending me off at the airport, the ones welcoming me home with New York style pizza from my beloved hometown pizza joint. They were the ones who were part of my formative experience in a formative place like Texas. Leaving the place and people behind that made me is the ultimate uprooting. I wrote about that detaching and bittersweet goodbye when I left US for the first time. It felt like I was leaving a vital part of myself behind and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. At my farthest, I’ve been 9,445 miles away and 13 hours ahead.

Looking back, I’m still confident I made the right choice.

The reason I live this lifestyle is driven by the love of exploring the globe, the perspective each new place gives me, and the adrenaline of starting over. Of course, my husband is from Belgium and that in itself means either one of us or both of us will deal with homesickness. We both love this lifestyle just as much as we love our home bases and that’s what makes it a difficult topic to dig into. The best way I can describe it is walking a tight rope; to keep your balance and not fall off, you have to stay focused on a point ahead of you.

Parallel to the life I lead now is the home life I left behind. I love both lives equally. It’s hard to be confronted with the fact that I can never be in more place than one, but I know the enjoyment of my time abroad depends on accepting that fact and staying as present as possible.

For everything I’ve missed out on, I’ve gained innumerable happiness. That’s what it comes down to. The happiness and strength of my spirit right now outweighs the longing to go back, but it doesn’t mean the longing isn’t there.

Expat life was the right move for me. Is it for you?

For me, deciding to move away was an imperative feeling with a momentum that I couldn’t stop; it was as if I had no other choice. That strong sense of intuition to seek out other places reminds me that this, for me, was the right choice all along.

For the people wanting to move away but worried about missing home, I want to say this: the hardest part about being an expat is that missing your family and friends never goes away completely. You just learn to get on with it and deal with it better. You find ways to go back more than once a year if you can and you stay in touch like your relationships depend on it. Your parallel lives will carry on and you’re left to accept that the life you lead, as fulfilling as it may be, it won’t be on the same plane as the people you’re closest to. Most of the friendships you cherish will stay intact but it takes putting in the work to stay close when you’re so far.

The good news?

You’ll make lasting and profound new friendships. You will create a new sense of home for yourself. You just have to give it some time and patience.

My journey abroad is as unpredictable and wonderful as ever. I’ve learned loads about expat life and myself and I wouldn’t trade it in for now. I’m prepared that a lightbulb moment could happen, but I’m also open to the idea that I may never go back. That idea is best left untouched for now. What I know for sure: I see the concept of home differently now. There are the homes you’re born into and ones you create. I didn’t choose Texas but I love it even more now that I see it from a distance. I also love the home I’ve created in various corners of the world, places I never would have imagined calling home. What I do know is that the more I travel, the smaller the world becomes, so maybe in that way the distance home gets shorter every time.

What has your experience with homesickness been? How do you manage it? Let me know below!

Introducing The Hamlet of Winterschwil, Over 450 years in the Making

This post is Part I of the Storytelling with Light & Darkness series in collaboration with 1.618 AG.

Glancing up at the main house of Alte Mühle Winterschwil

35 minutes driving from Zurich on a winding street in a quaint agricultural village, you’ll find a 450-year-old hamlet situated at the base of a hill. It’s as idyllic and bucolic as any Swiss village you might imagine: rolling green hills, grazing farm animals, the Alps standing proudly off in the distance. As a new resident to Switzerland, I was excited to set foot in and explore such an impressive piece of history, such an old and historic house. The buildings and their walls have seen half a millennia of change and these photos capture a quiet and lonely period in this estate’s history before its transformation. Soon the mill will be completely revived to serve as a productive and lively hub for Montessori learning in the community — the first of its kind in Switzerland.

The Winterschwil estate is made up of five buildings surrounded by lush forest, sprawling meadows, and a fish pond. The property slopes up to a hill where a picturesque pond sits at the base of a trickling stream that once powered the sawmill below.

Rusted tools, machinery, and materials lie dormant in time inside the old structures. The main building at the heart of the estate is a traditional show of Swiss craftsmanship with rows of numerous dark wood shingles, a sloped roof, and distinct circular stained glass panes. Inside the 16 rooms: normal living areas, a ‘jury’ room, a bakery that was once engulfed by fire, and even a room filled with horse equipment. Centuries have passed and the hamlet has seen generations of change and new ownership, for example during the 1600’s when the hamlet was owned by a Benedictine monastery.

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Horse equipment hanging in the main house.

Artifacts of the past

Inside the main house, I was surprised to see how well-kept each of the rooms remained. What were once personal trinkets and keepsakes are now fit for placement in a museum. Religious artifacts in every room, framed family photos, normal household items propped up in the corner. Items from another time, items from other centuries sit patiently in time with a layer of dust. At one time, 28 people lived on the property; now, the house is empty with only the sounds of the creaking floor and rustling trees to inhabit the place.

What was once the main entrance of the house.
Alte Mühle Winterschwil

Soon: New life breathed into the Mill’s old walls

What is now a lonely but beautiful estate will soon be transformed into Switzerland’s first Montessori high school, backed by Montessori Erdkinder Schweiz. The 14,025 square meter property will be home to 60+ kids and teens (12-18 years old) as they can immerse themselves in learning, gardening, artistic activities, woodworking, and so much more. The idea is that upper age schoolchildren can continue to learn in line with the Montessori principles of experiential learning. 

What better place to serve these students than on this expansive piece of land, set in nature. The hamlet, once renovated, will serve as a boarding school for up to 26 of these 60+ students. It will offer a high-quality academic program with a social, artistic and practical focus to enable the holistic development of the students. Meals will be freshly prepared on site, and experienced teachers and learning assistants will be present to support the students around the clock.


More about 1.618 AG and their work

1.618 AG’s Instagram / Facebook / Website

#WanderWomen: Life in Abu Dhabi as a Black Expat

The recent protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd have brought an important and hard conversation to the forefront. The fight for justice and equality starts with conversations and there are countless women of color in the travel space who don’t get nearly as much shine as they deserve. So, I want to discover: Who are they? How do they navigate life abroad? In the spirit of celebrating Black content creators and expats around the world, the upcoming #WanderWomen features will be more representative of these women doing amazing work abroad.

The #WanderWomen series highlights diverse women around the globe every Wednesday who took a leap of faith to leave comfort and familiarity behind and embrace expat life. In some cases, it was to find themselves, love, work, or something else entirely. I hope these stories ignite the inner adventurer in you, to remember that no matter where you start over, there’s a new home waiting for you if you’re up for it!



Meet Helen Debrah-Ampofo, a Blogger Based in Abu Dhabi

Helen is a lifestyle and travel blogger living her best life in Abu Dhabi! She was born in London to Ghanaians and has been adventuring in the Middle East with her husband since 2016. Her writing style is open and honest as she tackles aspects of expat life honestly and with her signature flair. She talks to me about how Emirati life is treating her, ‘Traveling While Black’, misconceptions about the UAE and more. Read on!


In your blog posts I notice that you identify as Black-British, but not necessarily English. Can you elaborate on that?

I think it’s really interesting that you noticed to be honest, Monica. It’s mainly because in England, it doesn’t matter however long your family has settled there for, you never really feel like you belong. Somehow, you’re always made to feel like an outsider and that you’re not really welcome.

‘British’ is like the catch-all phrase for people who live in the UK but are originally from somewhere else (even if you were born and bred there).

I will never be English because I’m Black.

I can personally say living abroad long term is such a huge part of my identity as a woman. How has expat living impacted your 30-something identity for the better?

It’s probably cliché but living abroad has opened my eyes and my mind tremendously. Being exposed to a different way of living and to people from diverse backgrounds has made me evaluate the way I do things. Being in the desert has meant I’ve slowed down and have time to take things in rather than always being in the rush that characterises life in London. Lastly, relocating with my husband’s job rather than my own (and being a qualified teacher but jobless) has meant that I’ve had to build my own businesses from scratch. It’s been challenging but I’ve learned so much more than I would have had I gone straight into the classroom.

How has the social side of Abu Dhabi been? Is there a Black community there? How has it been tapping into social circles?

There are so many things to do in this city but I’ve been here four years now so I’ve kind of seen it and done it all now. I’m getting itchy feet. We are spoiled for choice in London, that’s the problem.

I’d say the number one thing to do here is Brunch – all you can eat food and drink at restaurants across the emirates. Every Friday and Saturday. New ones pop up all the time.

As for the Black community, we’re present! Be it Africans from The Continent or African descendants or those who are from the African/Caribbean diaspora, we’re from different countries but we are very much part of the UAE population.

It’s super easy to meet people out here. I liken it to moving away for university in your first year; everyone is in the same boat so people are more open to building friendships. There are loads of meetups and social events available and if you sign up for things on email or join Facebook groups, you’ll always be in the know.

I read your post, Traveling While Black and it was pretty eye-opening. What has been your favorite country to visit so far where you don’t have to worry about being judged and can truly enjoy the experience & culture?

Easy! Colombia. The only country I’ve been to, other than Ghana of course, where I’ve blended in. Even on the dance floor, it was even beneficial being a Black woman as the men assumed (wrongly) that I was a good dancer. Colombian culture is also similar to Ghanaian culture in that the people are incredibly friendly, music can be heard on every street corner and they are crazy about food. It was like a second home.

There have been other countries where I didn’t feel judged, like Thailand, but I wasn’t sure of this until I got there.

It’s a shame that this is often the case for Black people – we have to be conscious of where we travel because in some countries, it would be unsafe for us to visit there.

I really resonate with your career situation because I also followed my husband on a work visa and am having a hard time re-starting my career. How have you navigated this expat challenge that’s all too familiar for so many of us? 


As I mentioned previously, it was challenging to begin with and I really struggled too at first. I thought it was unfair, especially as I am as qualified as my husband but was made to feel as though I wasn’t good enough.

Then I got over myself, stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to look at my situation as an opportunity rather than a setback.

And since changing my own perspective, I have been able to start three businesses around my passions: private tutoring, expat blogging and managing an online community for women with afro hair in the UAE. I haven’t made as much money as I imagined coming out here but honestly, I love what I’m doing. I’ve grown in so many ways and wouldn’t change it for the world.

What piece of advice would you have given yourself before moving to the UAE?


1.    Start filming and documenting your experience as soon as you get off the plane, sis! You could’ve been a superstar by now.

2.    Learn to relax. You’ll save yourself a headache and there are some things that are just out of your control.

In one of your posts, you say something really striking: “Whether you like it or not, whether you realise it or not, this world has not been created with Black people in mind.” You mentioned this in the context of hotels, but are there other parts of traveling where it’s the same case?

This is a part of life, not just travelling. I could only start wearing decent makeup in my 20s because brands didn’t create makeup for my skin shade. Skin coloured leotards for ballet dancers have only recently been created. Before Fashionova, even getting jeans that fit my proportions was a problem.

So there has always been injustice regarding our opportunities as Black people.

As for travel, my main struggle has been having to get rid of my hair products at customs and not being able to find anything that caters for me in the airport shops. And then there’s ‘randomly’ getting stopped and searched because apparently, I look like someone who smuggles drugs. Then there’s the constant perception of foreign men who think because I’m Black and in their country, I must be a prostitute. To be honest, the list is endless.

Some countries are missing things we love and have back home. What do you make sure to bring back in your suitcase when you travel from London to Abu Dhabi? 

This question is particularly painful because I’m officially not going home this summer due to COVID, the plan-ruiner.

I always stock up on things like electronic toothbrush heads, Brita filters and even Dove shower gel because they are ridiculously pricey here (the added shipping costs don’t help). And then there’s my Ghanaian supplies: Shea butter and food spices that my mum brings from the Motherland are essentials for our survival out here!

What are some misconceptions about the UAE you want to set straight?

  1. Dubai is not a country. It’s an Emirate in the country called the United Arab Emirates. There are 7 Emirates and Abu Dhabi is actually the capital city.
  2. This is the safest country I’ve ever been to. I can leave my laptop, purse and phone in a coffee shop for an hour, come back and it will still be there untouched. It’s the Middle East but there are no bombs dropping here.
  3. It gets super hot in the summer months (high 50 degrees celsius) but it’s not like that all year round. Between November and April, the weather is perfect.
  4. There are clothing standards but they are a lot more liberal than you might expect. No one expects you to cover from head to toe in most places but being respectful to the customs never hurt anyone either!

Do you see you and your husband staying in Abu Dhabi long-term?

We have loved our time here but if there’s one thing we know about Abu Dhabi, it’s that living here is not forever. We have our sight set further East next, hopefully Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore in the next few years. With the UAE, its either luxury galore or food court takeaways.

There’s not really a middle ground and we miss that middle.

Also, I think the Emirati culture is a difficult one to penetrate. I would love to live somewhere where the culture is loud and in your face, and where I‘m pretty much forced to learn the language. You can get away with being in a Western bubble here and we didn’t leave England for that. And then there’s the job sitch. I love what I’m doing but I’d also love to have more options.

Check out Helen’s travel content & channels below:


Facebook

Instagram

Website

Pinterest

YouTube

Do you have an expat story worth sharing or know someone who should be featured? Please reach out to me for more information.

FOR MORE #WANDERWOMEN STORIES, HEAD HERE.

Through the Lens: Seeking Light, Seeking Stories

Photography literally means writing with light

The dance between light and dark is one of the most fundamental – and most intriguing – elements of photography. It’s through the lens of this duality that I will be exploring some of Switzerland’s oldest and most intriguing buildings.

In partnership with 1.618 AG, a boutique project development agency in Zurich that renovates and preserves historically important buildings, we’ll explore how this equilibrium presents itself as art in everyday Swiss life and architecture.

Storytelling with Light & Darkness

As a storyteller, I’m naturally drawn to the literal and figurative contrast between light and dark. The two opposites coexist to create beautiful visions that sear themselves into our memories: mesmerizing shapes, sharp lines, surreal textures. We know that light is only as intriguing as it is thanks to shade, and under the umbrella of shadow, we can discover lesser-known history and stories about the people and the structures they inhabit that would otherwise be lost to time. 

Everyday, light floods into these places and its legacy comes alive. It’s in this spirit that the dance between light and dark serves as the muse of this Light & Shade series. 

What’s to Come: Unique Stories and Images

In the coming months, 1.618 AG and I will explore historic buildings in Switzerland through their unique stories and images. Whether farmhouses, hotels, churches, or cafés – the contrary forces of light and dark present a candid look at these sites and their worn and wonderful pasts: Gilded and rustic. Good and bad. Joyous and subdued.

We hope this series shines a light on multiple facets of Switzerland’s most historical subjects and their untold and forgotten stories. Join us, through the lens, as we illuminate historical Swiss structures and the land they inhabit.

Coming Soon: A Look Inside The Hamlet of Winterschwil, Over 450 Years Old


More about 1.618 AG and their work

1.618 AG’s Instagram / Facebook / Website

#WanderWomen: Slow Traveling The World With a Toddler

The recent protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd have brought an important and hard conversation to the forefront. I’m hopeful something good can come from the righteous anger that’s risen to the surface, but it’s clear real action is needed to further the fight for justice and equality. There are countless women of color in the travel space who don’t get nearly as much shine as they deserve. So, I want to discover: Who are they? Where are they? How do they navigate life abroad? In the spirit of celebrating Black content creators and expats around the world, the upcoming #WanderWomen features will be more representative of these women doing amazing work abroad.

The #WanderWomen series highlights diverse women around the globe every Wednesday who took a leap of faith to leave comfort and familiarity behind and embrace expat life. In some cases, it was to find themselves, love, work, or something else entirely. I hope these stories ignite the inner adventurer in you, to remember that no matter where you start over, there’s a new home waiting for you if you’re up for it!



Meet Jacquelyn, A Slow Traveling Single Mom & Digital Nomad

Jacquelyn Omotalade is the bubbly blogger, digital nomad, and boss woman behind The Jackie O. Life – a blog that helps and empower Black women with the skills they need to move abroad in pursuit of their dreams. A former tech executive, she’s now transitioned into a ‘slow travel’ lifestyle and remote working career in Guatemala. She talks about how slow travel has allowed her to be the best mother possible, being Black in America, and how and why she feels more free abroad.

You travel with your cute toddler, Ruth! In what ways does traveling with her enrich the experience?

I absolutely love traveling with my toddler.

Is it easy? No and it definitely has changed how I travel. I definitely plan more. I have travel insurance.  I have a will. I have a legal guardian should something happen to me. These are documents that every person should have and most definitely every parent whether they live abroad or not, but I am most definitely hyper aware that there is another human being who is completely dependent on me and I take that responsibility seriously. 

Before my daughter, I used to not have a problem doing 10 or 12 hour car, bus or train rides to see something new or interesting. Now, I don’t travel like that. I’m also older now so comfort matters for both of us.  A toddler can’t sit for 10 hours nor should she have to, so I typically break up longer trips over the course of a few days.  I typically always purchase 2 seats even if it isn’t required because she is under two, but I find that having extra space on planes, trains and buses truly makes the experience more tolerable for both of us.  

How would you define, ‘slow travel’?

Slow travel is defined by spending quality time in a country to really immerse yourself in the country, the people, the food, the language.  etc. My daughter and I on average spend 6-12 months in one country.

It sounds nice not to have to rush through a country! Has traveling with a toddler hindered your travel in any way?


I’ve found that travel with a toddler has slowed me down, but I definitely don’t see that as a negative.  It means we always stop and have lunch and/or dinner at an amazing restaurant. It means I spend more time at parks and outdoors. I’ve also found that people are a lot more friendly to a mother and child than they are to a solo adult. I never have problems striking up conversations with strangers.

I also get to spend a lot more quality time with my daughter. 

One of the many reasons I left my executive job was that I wanted not only to watch my daughter grow up but to be an active participant in her growth and development. 

I didn’t just want to see her at breakfast and dinner time and to drive her to and from activities on the weekend. And I have been able to accomplish that. I have truly built a child-centric life for myself and because I’m well rested and content, I show up for my daughter as the best mother that I can be.

Tell me more about your site The Jackie O. Life, I’m interested in the expat coaching work you do with Black women.

I’m a travel and lifestyle consultant. I don’t just help people move abroad, I equip Black women (mainly from the US) with the skills, information and support they need to craft the life of their dreams abroad. 

For me that has been full-time travel. I’ve spent the past 25 years hopping all over this planet and I am so grateful to have a perspective that isn’t centered around the USA.  I find that many Black people are interested in moving abroad but simply don’t know where to start. I provide both one-on-one coaching as well as a 6 week course where I go over all the nuts and bolts of moving abroad in addition to addressing issues that are particular to black women like race and gender and its impact of experiences in various countries. I find that many Black Americans are simply over their treatment in the USA. I know I sure was.

And I was highly successful, but it is demoralizing to do everything right and still get treated like a second class citizen…

To still have your every word questioned, still been followed around a drug store like you are a thief when you have several degrees behind your name and a sizable paycheck. I also find that there is a reluctance to leave a country that their ancestors literally built for free, so I do a lot of work with my clients on what it means to leave America but still be vested in America.

What are some examples of how you educate your clients on staying vested in America?

Most of my clients don’t hate America. They range in age from 18 to 67 years old and  most are ready for adventure and over the micro-aggression, systematic racism, and overall stress of life in America. They are politically savvy women who are ready for a change. They have family and friends still in the US, so they always feel vested to the US.  Most, if not all my clients crave freedom and adventure and are just over systemic racism and micro-agressions in America.  Most aren’t under the illusion that living abroad is perfect, but they are ready for a change and the chance to thrive without their very existence being threatened.

On your blog you say your life changed for the better when you moved abroad. Can you expand on that?

First and foremost, I love a life of adventure and traveling full-time has provided me with that. No day is boring. That isn’t to say I’m hiking mountains or visiting museums every day – some days I’m just chilling – but it is to say that each I pushed to think differently.  

I also find that most people in the world are warm, friendly and curious and I enjoy healthy curiosity. 

I love how my daughter is growing into a bold and confident young girl who can easily make friends regardless of language or culture. I love that I don’t have to deal with the daily micro-aggressions and assaults on my humanity that I had to deal with in the US.


I also love the freedom and confidence that comes with the work from anywhere lifestyle. I wake up in the morning and can go out on a kayak or paddle board with my daughter, then have breakfast with her on the beach. I can afford a nanny who watches her for a few hours in the morning and while she naps while I do work on the computer and then we can have lunch together before heading off to Spanish classes or to explore. We come back in the evening to a house that has been meticulously cleaned by my housekeeper who has also prepared a delicious locally sourced meal. We eat by candle light on our balcony overlooking the beach. This is my idea of paradise.  

What country has most closely aligned with the life you want and desire most?

I don’t think there is just one. My daughter and I slow travel to experience them all. One day, we will probably decide to settle down in one of them for a more than a year or two or three, but until then, we are going to keep exploring, learning, and understanding.

What has life been like for you as a Black expat? What stereotypes have you faced?

I have found my life outside of the USA to be much freer. 

Does that mean that there is no racism, colorism, sexism or prejudice outside the US?  Hell, no. It is there, but as a Black person who was born and raised in the USA, there isn’t much that I can’t survive.  But I’ve found that outside the US, I am able to truly thrive. And it is simple things, for example – I was in the grocery store the other day and I had a whole bunch of items in my hands and a store employee said to me – why don’t you put those in your bag – as a Black American that is a HUGE NO NO! 

To be Black in America is to always be on guard; to always be assumed guilty of a crime and so for a store employee to not instinctively assume I was a thief almost brought me to tears. It is little freedoms like that – that make my life outside the US so much more enjoyable.  


But of course I’ve also been stereotyped in Europe.  I’ve been assumed to be a prostitute in both France and Spain. But in general, I don’t spend much time in European countries. I find that there are so many more interesting places in the world. I also find that as a Black American, there are just some things I won’t tolerate from white people no matter where in the world I am. I’ve publicly admonished and embarrassed many a white or Asian traveler in my lifetime. 

What piece of advice would you give women of color who want to go after the life you lead now?

My advice would be to just do it. The only thing holding you back is fear of the unknowns but on the other side of that fear is the adventure of a lifetime.If you don’t know where to start, ask for help. Reach out to people, even strangers who have done it and ask them how they did it. Be okay with uncertainty and sometimes failure. It is all part of the process. 

Something beautiful lies at the end. Stay positive and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Check out Jacquelyn’s content & channels below:


Facebook

Instagram

Website

YouTube

Do you have an expat story worth sharing or know someone who should be featured? Please reach out to me for more information.

FOR MORE #WANDERWOMEN STORIES, HEAD HERE.

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