Creating community and mental health awareness for Americans living overseas
About this site
Living abroad is an experience like no other. For many, life feels like it's suddenly filled with remarkable rewards, amazing pictures, and tons of unforgettable experiences. It can also be hard - very hard. And, it's not for everyone. Sometimes, it feels like everything is harder because we're so far away. The time difference can very easily mean we have to pull all-nighters just to get someone on the phone, participate in video calls, or to take those college courses that have been sitting on our to do list. Sometimes, it can feel like no one understands what we're going through because finding people who can relate is hard. What results, is this weird mix of excitement and frustration because life overseas/abroad is turning out to be completely different from anything we previously imagined or expected. Even if we have the ability to take a step back and appreciate the big picture, there's no denying that until we feel settled, the day-to-day can be exhausting.
No matter how excited you are about this big move, living abroad will have its fair share of stress. Learning the bureaucracy of your new home takes time and if you don't speak the language of your host nation, then something that might seem simple back home can turn into a several day ordeal that feels like it has no end. Any number of things can quickly cause your dream of living overseas to turn into a fireball hurling towards any number of unintended targets. Add to this, the possibility that moving abroad wasn't your idea, that you left behind a fulfilling career or a wonderful community of friends and family, and a simple call to the local internet provider can be all it takes to push you over the edge.
These feelings and others, can feel so much more intense if you happen to be one of the millions of people in the world who suffers from childhood trauma. Throw in a global pandemic and we can easily begin to feel like low-lying fruit, ripe to the point of explosion.
This site was created as a place where we can go when we feel alone. It's a place to cultivate resources that are intended to help with the emotional struggle that accompanies a huge life transition like moving or living abroad. My hope is that I can share my experiences with you from my many years overseas so that you might learn from (or laugh at) my mistakes. I hope I can share findings about the effects stress and trauma have on the body that I've learned from my yoga teacher training and my graduate degree in counseling. I will provide you with information to help educate you on the reasons why we want to reduce elements in our life that have little or no benefit to our overall well being.
Lastly, it might feel like because we live somewhere that fits the vacation ideal (I'm in Western Europe), our stress isn't valid. I want to assure you that it is and that sometimes, no amount of castles, museums, or sunshine and swaying palm trees can make the anxiety and depression go away. As great as it might look on social media to live in a foreign country, it can be lonely. If you're living in a place where it rains a lot (I'm looking at you, Germany and England), you might feel extra distressed because of the short days in the winter. This is especially true if you're coming from a sunny and dry climate. The point is, no matter where you landed or how you got here, my goal is to provide you with resources that can help you move through the hard times more quickly, grow resilient, and learn how to live well abroad.
Adapting to life abroad
I mean, emotionally & psychologically.
There are a lot of definitions about what it means to "be well" or to "live well." Wellness has become a big business but more information isn't always better. On this page, I hope to help clear some of the noise around wellness and self-care and give you some basic information so that you can begin to live your best life.
My resource selection is diverse and dynamic, and I try to address the most relevant topics regarding mental health, wellness, relationship and family advice. On this page, you'll see that resources have been separated into categories so you can choose if you feel like listening to something, reading something, or watching something. None of the published works on this page are my original work. Whenever possible, I've credited the original source as opposed to a third party. Feel free to get in touch with your own suggestions if there is something you'd like to see. This page is constantly updated so continue to check back often.
“What you seek is seeking you”