It’s official! We’ve reached the one-year mark. One year ago, my husband, our three young kids, and I – along with 13 suitcases of everything we owned – boarded a plane and moved to South Asia, where we’ve lived, worked, and learned for 12 months now. As I reflect upon taking this giant leap of faith this time last year, I find myself stuck in a world of ...

If you have ever read " Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst, you can sympathize with Alexander’s woes of waking up with gum in his hair, not being able to please his teachers, discovering a cavity at the dentist’s office, and losing his best friend to someone else. 

When thinking about moving overseas, we usually give a lot of thought about how to pack and what to take with us. But, it’s also good to think about what to leave behind. Here are a few tips from those who have moved overseas.

Lebanon is a small country, and I used to live on the outskirts of Beirut, which is overpopulated. People were friendly and curious about others, especially when their new neighbor was the only Asian-American in that area. 

My very first language class was held downtown between the hours of 8:00pm and 10:00pm.  My supervisor was less than thrilled. I was on my own, new to the country, and finding my way around the city.

Recently I realized I’ve learned another language. No, not Turkish, French, or Arabic, although I’ve learned each of those to varying degrees of proficiency. I guess it’s not actually another language I’m learning, but a dialect I call Expat.

Overseas living is like playing an old familiar game of life, but the rules are completely changed. How do I gain competence? How do I progress? How do I “play fairly?”

Several years ago, the possibility of taking my family overseas to a new country became a reality. Since then, our lives have been anything but predictable. Looking back, if I had known what I know now, I would not have been filled with doubt, fear, and hesitation. Instead, I would have been filled with expectation and excitement.

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What do you most fear? Failure? Rejection? Loss? The unknown? How do your fears prevent you from pursuing your professional goals? 

For nearly a year before our family moved overseas, my mind was constantly processing the losses my young children would soon experience.