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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!

So that we can stay connected between episodes, please:

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Read my blog, Swiss Lark: www.swisslark.com

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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Don't forget to share with your friends, and do subscribe, rate AND review wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you for listening!

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.

And if you're enjoying Expat Repat, please remember to subscribe, rate AND review! And consider joining our Patreon campaign. To learn more, just click HERE!

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.

If you're enjoying Expat Repat and the show is worth a cup of coffee or a nice cocktail to you (and I think it probably is!) then please join our Patreon campaign. Just click here to enroll. Thank you in advance!

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!

Season 2, Episode 1: Luke Mitchell, From Surviving in Singapore to Thriving Back Home

Welcome to Season 2! My first guest this season is Luke Mitchell, an urban designer and fine art painter living in Boston Massachusetts with his wife and two young children. Luke has had experiences abroad in Japan, Spain and Singapore. We spoke about the contrast between his first and last repatriation experiences and how homesickness and the desire to be close to friends and start a family of his own intensified during his last expat assignment. I know you'll enjoy listening to Luke's open, honest and keenly observant interview. Please let me know what you think in the comments after you listen.

I'm really looking forward to another season of Expat Repat stories and I'm so grateful that you're here! Please remember to subscribe, rate and review the show over on iTunes and please consider becoming a member of our Patreon campaign. Thank you so much for listening!

Click here to join the Expat Repat Facebook Group!

Episode Ten: Brynn Leavitt: Somewhat Reluctant Repat Stay-at-Home-Mom

Brynn Leavitt is a college sorority sister of mine who coincidentally wound up living abroad as well. We hadn't spoken since college, but I was so thrilled that this show actually connected us again when Brynn found the show after her return to The States following six wonderful years in Reading, England.

Brynn is a secondary teacher of Italian and French taking a sabbatical year to settle into their new life in the US and spend more time with their toddler son. As you can imagine, Brynn encountered many grand life changes all at once: moving back to the US from the UK; becoming a stay-at-home-mom; going from a denser urban space to a more suburban American neighborhood.

Brynn and I talked about the importance of remembering why you left your expat life when you decided to move home; about the tendency to keep things temporary - in big ways and in small - in case of another move; and we talked about the fact that almost all repats say they're going to move abroad again, but if we're really being honest with ourselves when we say that?

Click here to join the Expat Repat Facebook Group!

And a few blog posts relevant to this post:

Would visits be enough?

Unfollow

An Appraisal of Values and More on Walking

The Power of Three

Thank you so much for listening to the Expat Repat Podcast. Be sure to join the Expat Repat Facebook Group, and please consider becoming a member of our Patreon campaign.
 

Episode Nine: Tina Busch, From Lost Repat to Found Purpose

Today's guest on The Expat Repat Podcast is Tina Busch, blogger, translator, and English Coach based in Burghausen, Bavaria in Germany. Nestled right on the Austrian border about an hour east of Munich, it's a much different life than she and her family lived during their expat years in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I had the best time talking to Tina because she is so insightful, realistic and positive about life. As so many repats do, Tina found herself feeling a profound loss of her sense of self following their move. Once all of the commotion was over and the dust had settled, she didn't quite know what to do with herself. That was when Tina embarked on a journey in which she regained her sense of self and found her life's true purpose.

I just know you're going to love listening to Tina. If you enjoy this episode, please share with your friends and spread the word about Expat Repat.

Relevant links from the episode:

Learn more about Tina and her coaching business.

Tina's Instagram.

Babies Lie Flat.

Please leave a voicemail with any feedback via the link to the right. I am so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for listening! xo

Episode Eight: Jennifer, Two-time Californian Repat

Jennifer worked overseas during college as a Camp Adventure counselor and caught the bug for the European way of life. This led her to pursue a job as a Speech Therapist on a German military base where she met her husband. Despite two repatriations driven mainly by life's twists and turns and aging parents, Jenny and her husband still wonder "what's next?" as all expats and repats do.

Jennifer and I discussed the level of intimacy and need expats have for one another when developing family-like friendships. She told me about the timeline she has come to expect when adjusting after a move. And she shared an invaluable tip for expats about to move home to hold onto the memories of their expat life.

If you enjoy the show, please share with your friends, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and give us a rating and leave a review! Thank you so much for being here.


Episode 7: Caroline Allen, International Book Coach

If you haven't already listened to Caroline Allen's incredible, moving, insight-packed episode, I encourage you to do so before reading any further. Caroline is a writer, speaker and book coach at Art of Storytelling and when it comes to repatriation, she really knows her stuff. If you are a repat, and had a hard time adjusting to life back home, I would go so far as to say that Caroline's episode might very well change your life. She is on a mission, along with Families in Global Transition, to make sure that repats don't struggle alone as she did. Caroline is wise and strong, pragmatic and humorous, observant and soulful. I just know you're going to love listening to her!

Relevant links from this episode:

Art of Storytelling

Caroline's Novels

Families in Global Transition (and their annual conference!)

"Repatriating? Don't talk about that" from Swiss Lark blog

I hope you'll enjoy this episode and don't forget to subscribe, leave us a review and check out our Patreon campaign.

Episode Six: Adrielle Stapleton, Recovering Trailing Spouse

My guest for this episode is Adrielle Stapleton, a Relocation Consultant making her way in Lexington, Kentucky after three years in Germany. Adrielle is discovering that the life strategies that worked in Boston, her home before Germany, don't necessarily translate to Lexington despite both cities being in the US.

Adrielle and I talked about the confusing process of gaining cultural fluency wherever you may find yourself, building a professional and social network from scratch, and her “good enough” philosophy that applies to expats and repats alike. Please remember to subscribe and leave us a review!

If you would like to learn more about Adrielle, you can visit her website, Stapleton Relocation Consulting, or check out her Twitter.

Episode Five: Brooke Fox, American Repat with her Very British Husband

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Brooke Fox, a student of Environmental Science; mother navigating the Indiana school system with a high ability, gifted child; and recovering expat still amazed at the shock and adjustment of repatriation three years later. Brooke repatriated with her very British husband from London to Indianapolis, Indiana in 2015 and their adjustment was, as she says, "a rocky road" in some ways.

Brooke was so lovely to talk with because she wasn't afraid to get into the grey areas that accompany life as an expat or repat. She is fully aware of and grateful for the wonderful parts about her life in Indianapolis; yet she is aware of what's lacking and what was better in the UK. Still, she manages to be positive and embrace the present. I think you'll really love hearing her story.

Please listen on iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts, or on the listener below. And if you like what you hear, don't forget to share with your friends, subscribe, and leave us a review! Thank you.
 

Episode Four: Mari & Glenn, From Repats to Re-Expats

This week I managed to salvage the audio I thought was going to be unusable from my long and interesting and entertaining conversation with Glenn and Mari. Glenn and Mari are a Californian couple who hit a glass ceiling in each of their expat careers and decided to repatriate temporarily in order to get further qualifications and advancement and then return to expat life. With many twists and turns and surprises, they pulled it off and achieved their goal when they moved back to Europe in late 2017.

Glenn and Mari told me about their re-entry to the US and how it felt to take the plunge and return to expat life after four years back home. Please have a listen and if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Thanks.


Episode Three: Alison Trainer, From Grumpy Expat to Happy Repat

I'm back! And I'm so excited about today's episode with Alison Trainer. Alison is an opera singer, university professor and she's also the founder of the inimitable Grumpy Expat Facebook Group. Alison decided to leave her expat life behind and return to the US in 2017. She shared all about her re-entry, her career struggles as an expat woman and mother, and we talked about what makes a happy expat. 

I hope you'll enjoy it! And if you do, don't forget to leave a review. :) Thanks for listening!