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The Expat Repat Podcast

for expats, repats, and anyone who's ever considered living abroad

Season 2, Episode 9: Katia Vlachos, How to Prepare for A Great Move


I am so excited to bring you a real gem of an episode this week. Katia Vlachos has been an expat her entire adult life and has moved in every capacity and situation you can imagine: on her own, with a partner, with a family, in a sponsored move, self move, etc. Through decades of expat experience, Katia wound up writing the book, A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment, and the book goes deep into the emotional and philosophical pieces of moving that so often get overlooked in favor of the nuts and bolts action-oriented items in most books.

Katia's advice is essential for first time expats, seasoned expats and repeats alike. She walks you through the critical preliminary decision making stages using 5 core principles as guideposts. You will not want to miss today's episode. Katia and I talked about the best and worst ages to move with children, she shared with me her philosophy on the importance of the preliminary decision stage of a move - regardless of whether that is a move away from, or back to one's "home", and she shared with me her theory on what home means and why it's so important for each of us to really know what we're talking about when we talk about home.

You can learn more about Katia at her website, and you can purchase her book here.

If you have an idea for an episode, or would like to be a guest on the show, please email me on expatrepat@gmail.com or reach out on Twitter @expatrepat.

Consider becoming a Patreon member at www.patreon.com/expatrepat and don't forget to subscribe, rate AND review wherever you get your podcasts. Of course, share with your friends. Thank you for listening!

Season 2, Episode 8: Mini, Would visits be enough?

In this Mini, I read a blog post "Repat: Would Visits Be Enough?" that was published on my blog, Swiss Lark, on July 30, 2018. I chose this post for today because I'm actually feeling a great deal of trepidation regarding my upcoming visit to Zurich in January. I started a conversation about visits home as an expat, or visits back to our expat home as a repat, on Instagram. Given the responses and how this is such a clearly charged issue, this seemed like a good post to share in read-aloud story format. Enjoy!

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If you have an idea for an episode, or would like to be a guest on the show, please email me on expatrepat@gmail.com or reach out on Twitter @expatrepat.

Consider becoming a Patreon member at www.patreon.com/expatrepat and don't forget to subscribe, rate AND review wherever you get your podcasts. Of course, share with your friends. Thank you for listening!

Season 2, Episode 7: Jessica Drucker, Global Nomad Travel Blogger Turned Repat Author

Jessica Drucker went to study abroad in Costa Rica as a student at the University of Illinois and didn't return to live in the US for 15 years! During that time she lived in Guatemala, The UK, Germany and then spent 8 years traveling all over the world as a travel blogger.

When extenuating circumstances led to a hasty return to the US from Cusco, Peru, in 2014, Jessica found herself confronted with all sorts of American adulting that she had never known until that point. Getting an apartment, health insurance and even a phone were all new. However, within about six months, it hit her that she was back.

Through self-care, therapy and a lot of self-help, Jessica grew and attained the next level of herself and self awareness. She married, became a parent and wrote her first book, Why You Should Move Abroad and Why It's the Best Thing You'll Do, coming out in January 2020.

You'll love Jessica's earnest talk about what it means to come home, not only to your country, but to yourself.

Learn more about Jessica and her book at www.jessicadrucker.com

Resources from today's episode:
- Tara Brach www.instagram.com/tarabrach
- Psychology Today Therapist Finder www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

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Season 2, Episode 6: Mini, On Missing Zurich

This week, I'm sharing with you a post from my blog, Swiss Lark, which Rhiannon referred to in last week's episode. Rhiannon described finding my blog during her repatriation like "finding a pot of gold!" and it was this post (that I'm reading aloud for today's mini episode) that she first found through a random Google search.

If you'd like to see the photos that accompany the post as well as all of my other posts from our time as expats, and since becoming repats, just click through to Swiss Lark.

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Thank you so much for listening!

Season 2, Episode 5: Rhiannon, Temporary Repatriation Lasts Way Longer Than Expected

Between you and me, Rhiannon, an Australian-Swiss dual citizen who left the land down under to move to Switzerland directly after finishing school, has been one of my favorite blog readers for the last few years. In 2014, she repatriated to Australia after falling in love with Zurich and her Swiss partner because she felt immense pressure to obtain a degree as she had always planned to do.

With a countdown set on her phone, Rhiannon enrolled in a midwifery course, and then for one reason and another, her repatriation ended up lasting way longer than she had originally planned. Because she had not expected for repatting to be so difficult or painful, Rhiannon took to the internet and happened upon my blog around three years ago. Thankfully for both of us, a virtual connection centered on a shared struggle was formed.

On today's episode, Rhiannon and I talked about how we tend to get comfortable where we are and the reality of confronting what we must in turn give up when we make a move; she got into the nitty gritty of the comparison trap that is so impossible to avoid when first repatriating. And, finally, Rhiannon shared her best advice for expats preparing to repatriate back home, including what to do if you discover that moving back home wasn't the right move for you.

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And, if you're curious to see my blog after today's episode, just head on over to Swiss Lark to read up on my time in Switzerland, and to see all of my posts on repatriation. 


Thank you so much for listening, and don't forget to subscribe, rate AND review wherever you get your podcasts! 


Season 2, Episode 4: Mini, Memory Lane

Earlier this evening, I took a trip down memory lane, looking at old videos and photos from our time in Switzerland. In doing so, I realized that this is something I never do, and pondered why.
As expats and repats, we share many commonalities. One big one is that we learn to erase our expat lives after we return home. Does this sound familiar to you? Do you avoid photos and videos of your time abroad, too?

If you're enjoying The Expat Repat Podcast, please consider becoming a patron and making a monthly contribution to keep the show going. Learn more at www.patreon.com/expatrepat. Thank you so much for listening and don't forget to subscribe, rate and review. And share with your friends!

Season 2, Episode 3: Heather Van, From Successful in Sweden to Underemployed Repat

This week, I interviewed former American expat in Sweden, Heather Van. Heather seized the day and learned the Swedish language, attained further qualifications and landed a job in a Swedish public school. Heather was fully immersed in Swedish culture and would have been happy to stay forever, but divorce and other life circumstances brought her back to the US.

Heather's repat adjustment has been difficult. All of the professional success and accolades she worked so hard for in Sweden were overlooked by US employers. And daily life and the rhythm of the year were completely different to what she had grown accustomed to. Heather and I talked about how she harnessed the power of LinkedIn to get her career back on track, the major differences between Sweden and the US and how she prepared for repatriation and found closure ahead of her journey back home.

Referenced in the episode: Internations, click through to find your local chapter.

If you're enjoying Expat Repat, please be sure to share with your friends, subscribe rate and review wherever you get your podcasts, and consider becoming a part of our Patreon campaign.

Thank you so much for listening!