My Expat Journey
It wasn’t until I moved abroad that I felt defined by my marital status. When I left the UK and moved to South Africa, I was working as a global HR professional. I had hoped to continue my HR career, but that didn’t work out. Forget culture shock.
For me, the biggest shock was that I didn’t have a job anymore. What happened to my career!? Work was always a big presence in my life – it was part of who I was. And then suddenly, it wasn’t. It was like losing a huge part of my identity and, subsequently my self-confidence: “Who am I, if I’m not a career woman?”
With this loss of identity, came the resentment: am I just an Expat Wife now?
I started to resent my husband’s work and felt angry that the reality of his days hadn’t changed much. Whereas I was navigating a new place, with no friends, whilst coming to terms with the numbing realization that I was no longer sitting in company meetings making important decisions but instead was sitting on the sofa watching Netflix. I heard myself jumping at every opportunity to tell people that I used to have a successful, global career: that I used to be something other than an “Expat Wife”.
For a while I played the victim; feeling like all this change had been done to me and telling myself that I sacrificed my career and my life for my husband. I eventually realized that I had to stop telling myself that this dream had turned into a nightmare and reset my mind. This was an opportunity for me to finally listen to the voice that had been whispering for years, “start your own business”. It was a gift.
I succumbed to my entrepreneurial passion and built a thriving business. But life is the ultimate improvisation and before too long we were relocating for a second time – to Canada. And just like that, I found myself having to dig deep again…
I understand your journey because it was my journey.
I know what it’s like to succeed as an Expat Spouse, but boy is it hard!
All the things I read online didn’t teach me what I really needed to learn to transition overseas and build a successful and meaningful life for myself.
But I learned.
That’s why I created NLH
It’s a space for ambitious Expat Spouses and Partners to be guided through their integration journey. A place where you have access to coaching, tools and strategies to help you build self-esteem, courage and a positive mindset to define and move towards the life you want.
Nicola is an awesome coach. I worked with her at a time in my life where I was feeling overwhelmed, low in confidence and self-belief. I love Nicola. She works in a way that made me feel comfortable and able to share and explore. She is authentic, non-judgmental, humble and a beautiful soul. She pushed me enough not to feel uncomfortable and has helped me in achieving my goals. I am on such a wonderful journey.
It’s not every day that you come across a coach that has years and years of experience. Nicola is truly a master in her field. It has been so valuable to work with someone who has her knowledge and can provide fresh insights.
Feeling a little sceptical at first, I really had to work hard at opening up. Nicola made this journey so easy for me. She helped me identify the things that hold me back. She gives tasks and asks you to check back in with her and this really helped me move forward. Nicola doesn’t tell you what she thinks, rather, she helps guide you to enlightenment and shows you why you are feeling things in a certain way. I definitely feel like I have a better understanding of myself, which has led to bolder decisions and more confidence in who I am. Nicola has helped me see the value in myself again. I will be forever grateful to Nicola.
When I started my coaching with Nicola, I was looking for tools on how to improve. The coaching sessions explored my values and parts of my brain and heart that held onto narratives that weren’t aligned with who I am or what I wanted to achieve. Through acknowledging these negative narratives, it gave me power to actively change them. By the end of my coaching sessions, I realised that I need to recognise my value and deliver on it without self-judgment.