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One Thing That Stands In The Way Of A Successful Move

expat life expat mums expat parenting expat parenting abroad May 03, 2021

“We’re moving”

These simple words can conjure up so much emotion. For some there is sheer excitement, for others it is complete overwhelm, and for some it is a combination of both. How can such simple words foster such a dramatic range of responses?

Because these simple words are actually not so simple at all. There is one thing that stands in the way. 


By definition, ambiguity is “the quality of being open to more than one interpretation”.

Hence the range of emotions that can be experienced when hearing or saying those simple words “we’re moving”. Because we all interpret and feel moving differently.

So how can you manage the ambiguity of a move? How can you ensure your move is ‘successful’ or at least reduce the amount of stress and overwhelm that you feel?

Firstly, you have to be able to make decisions based on the information that is available to you at that time. Even if that isn’t the whole picture.

Information about the logistics of your move. Information about the availability of housing. Information about which schools are options for your kids. Often you have to move without having all of these puzzle pieces in your hand. You have to just keep focused on what you do know, and what you can do, and let the rest fall into place.

This has certainly been the case for our family with almost every move. We have always done our research prior to accepting a position, for example we turned one move down because of security and when hubby’s boss learned we had two small girls he agreed it wasn’t the right move for us. But if you want to support your spouses career, you can’t be turning down opportunities very often. You sometimes have to do the bit of research you can, and then take that leap of faith.

So in most instances, we land in our new location and then my work begins sorting the housing (this has taken months in some locations) and schooling (some international schools make it very easy, and I will always be grateful for those who were supportive!)

As a family, you have to be able to make decisions based on the sometime very limited information you have available to you. But this doesn’t stop your family from thriving. You can manage the ambiguity and lack of information by staying strong as a family unit. It’s the old saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”, and it’s true. Stay focused on what you do know, what you can action. The rest will happen.

Secondly, you need to be able to cope with uncertainty and a little bit of risk. 

Sometimes there is a little bit of risk involved in moving. You can’t always know exactly what your new home will be like, and it might not tick 100% all of your boxes. 

A little bit of uncertainty and risk can create an exciting adventure for you and your family. It really is up to you how you frame it in your mind. I’m not saying you need to be over the top positive and enthusiastic about everything. There will be some things that really don’t meet your expectations. But if you can compromise, if you can find the positives in each opportunity and not focus on what isn’t there, your family will still thrive. 

Thirdly, you need to be able to adapt to change.

Change is just a fact when you move abroad. There are always moving pieces. There will always be life changes. There will always be new things.

This is one of the opportunities that is unique to life abroad. Change, if you can ride the waves, brings new experiences, new adventures and new learning. 

One thing is for certain, life abroad is one massive learning experience. So get out of your comfort zone, push yourself to find the silver linings and make the most of what change has to offer.

Lastly, you need good problem solving skills.

Anyone who has moved abroad has good problem solving skills. It’s a given. Otherwise you would never have been able to get on that flight in the first place. 

Know your strength, recognise how good you are at solving problems, celebrate this skill and use it with confidence!

You can manage ambiguity. You can rise above all the uncertainty, risks and changes. You have the skills you need within you.

If you would like to learn more about overcoming stress and overwhelm when moving abroad, join me for my FREE masterclass “Managing Your Mindset When Moving Abroad

In This Masterclass You Will Learn:

1 How To Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

Most things that happen in life, fall into one of two areas the Circle of Concern  or the Circle of Influence. Learn how you can become more proactive by focusing on your Circle Of Influence.

2 How To Focus Your Energy

Where your attention goes, energy flows, and you attract more of that into your life… whether you want it or not! To achieve things you truly desire, a positive frame of mind must be present.

3 How To Take Care Of Yourself

We have so many responsibilities we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is not a luxury, it is essential if you’re going to be able to support your family. 

Save your seat for this free masterclass now! 

Does having more seem like something you simply couldn’t achieve in your already crazy life?

If you’re craving more fulfilment from your life and you are tired of waiting for the ‘right time’, download this resource now!

Download BOOST Your Life!

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