It’s the end of the school year in the expat world…

For me, it’s THE END of the dreaded first year in a new country! It’s such a good feeling not to be the new kid/mom at school anymore, to see familiar faces, to get invitations to dinner with people you know and feel comfortable with, to notice that I’m starting to feel really at home here in Milan. 

It is also the start of something new for me – this is the first time that I’ll be full of working during my visit to my home country, Brazil. My holidays are going to be in August after we come back to Italy.

I’ve been working on the move for a few years but always took July-August off completely to be with my kids and the extended family. To be honest, I didn’t see any other option. In my mind, there were two thoughts:

“I want to be able to enjoy my people, my kids are young, and we live far from family & friends.” 

and 

“See, expat partners can’t have a serious job.”

In previous years, my coaching practice was following the school calendar and those two thoughts, as my expat mom clients also stopped coaching for their home leaves or moves. This year I’ve been noticing a difference on the flow, with more and more clients continuing their work over the break. I could say that right now I see two distinct groups: 

  • The first one, clients who are on the phase of thinking of building a professional career. This group tends to shut down for the Summer and postpone their dreams to restart in September. 
  • The second one, those who are already moving/taking steps towards a professional somehow are continuing throughout the Summer. 

I can say I relate to both of them. 

I’ve been working part-time for most of our expat years, always interested in figuring out my passion, studying and starting my practice in different locations, but stopping every school holiday break and visitor stay. Looking back, I think I wasn’t yet convinced nor wholly engaged in making it happen. The moment I decided that I don’t want a career as a hobby anymore, just a side gig to being a mom, I find myself super energized for the first time to keep going throughout the Summer. 

I’m enjoying the idea of choosing the three weeks that I’m going to take off, feels good to know what I’m switching off from. 

Quite frankly, as I’ll be working from my home country this year, I’m enjoying the idea of my extended family watching me work instead of just me talking about my hopes and dreams about it by the pool. No, this time around is happening, it’s growing, I’m in it! And it’s freaking exciting!

It’s got me thinking, the change is really on my mindset, as my kids have the same holidays this year that they’ve pretty much always had and we’ve similar travel plans. 

But I no longer want to leave it to September to restart (just to stop again for the next school break).

It takes me much more energy to restart, to gather courage all over again, to justify to myself and to my family investing more money and time without concrete results.

Even worse, in my experience, this constant start-stop-postpone-start again has a sneaky consequence: to lower self-esteem and increase self-doubt.  Naturally, after a while, there aren’t many results, and you get frustrated, disappointed, disempowered as you start believing that the circumstances of your life don’t allow for your success. 

I don’t want to feel like that anymore. 

As we pack our bags this year, may we start being who we want to be now, instead of leaving it to September.

Safe travels everyone!

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