“We started a plan to make me feel more integrated”
“I moved to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, last November.
This is my third expatriation and it has been a lonely experience as for several reasons and especially bad luck I haven’t been able to make any close friends yet.
After meeting several people that fitted the “friends criteria” (for example: same country or same children’s school or same neighborhood) I had some big disappointments as people didn’t seem to connect or care at all.
I decided to give up and stick to my old friends through Skype and email. I simply disconnected from everybody surrounding me.
One day, about 3 months ago, I saw a link on Facebook about an article from Expatriate Connection.
I read this challenge about feeling the expatriate blues – I definitely was feeling it so I signed up.
I wrote to Anne and told her: I don’t like it here and I wish to be living in my country.
Anne helped me to understand that my problem was (and still is) lack of friends and a sense of not belonging here. Together we started a plan to make me feel more integrated – with her help and wise advice, I was able to celebrate my small victories like inviting a family from my son’s school to a tea at our home or finally having the courage to attend the weekly coffee meeting at the school.
Now I feel more confident about myself, I am more patient about finding true friends and I celebrate my small victories.
More importantly, I totally stopped waking up feeling anguished, sometimes almost panicking.
Anne made me understand that “no man is an island” and that I can’t close myself to the world – I just have to take it step by step, one step at a time. Every small victory counts.
Anne made me realize that friends are important but even more important is knowing myself, what I like to do and what I want in my life.
I am now changing my lifestyle, trying to eat less and better and exercise more (I gained 9 kg in six months of Amsterdam). I will give up my private Dutch lessons and join group lessons to have social interaction and after the summer holidays I will join an international women’s club.
And I know one day I will find true friends here in Amsterdam. I won’t give up.
Thank you, Anne! Thank you, Expatriate Connection!”
Carla from Amsterdam
“Anne has an amazing personal experience and knowledge of the expat life”
“I met Anne in 2011, after we moved to Australia for work and living. Me and my family have had the opportunity to get the benefit of spending time with Anne for the last two years. We can confirm that Anne has an amazing personal experience and knowledge of the expat life, children education, culture shock, multilingualism, third culture kids, accompanying partner, etc.
For that, I recommend any expat or any person thinking to be an expat to get in touch with her and subscribe to her blog.”
“It is really nice to see that people considering going abroad have such a resource as you”
“I would like to say Anne, you are doing an excellent job as an expatriate resource. Although my wife and I do not travel much anymore, it is really nice to see that people considering going abroad have such a resource as you provide. Even if it is only to read others experiences and where the pitfalls lay.”
Seasoned expatriate who lived and worked in 9 different countries
Executive Director at Roofing Contractors Association of Washington