Want to go beyond surviving and start thriving as a family overseas?
We know how hard it is… and how rewarding it is to climb that mountain!
But first, a funny story about a cave.
Caving in Thailand
Once, our young expat family thought it would be a great idea to go caving. We hopped into our rented Touktouk (cheaper than a car) and let our GPS take us to one of many famous caves in Thailand.
Our first step was to descend a steep ladder with our two preschool-aged children.
Not as fun as it sounds.
Once inside the cave, we crouched under low-hanging stalactites and creeped around sharp corners. We avoided child-sized precipices and bats clinging to the ceiling. Then one of our flashlights went dead.
My hands immediately got clammy. That’s a problem when you’re trying to keep two toddlers from falling into dark, bottomless pits.
Did I mention we were all wearing flip flops?
“I’m… slightly less than okay,” I said to my husband.
“Don’t worry, Britt,” David said, soothingly. “Everything’s fine. But let’s turn around. I don’t think our other flashlight will last.”
When we finally emerged from the cave, alive, I looked at David. He was drenched in sweat–not from heat, but from stress! We both burst out laughing. Later, we saw a van with the bumper sticker “We Caved” on it, and laughed again. We, too, caved.
Just once. Never again.
Why tell you this story? Because if we could give you one piece of advice about living the expat life as a family, it would be this:
Don’t spend your entire time overseas feeling unprepared, unequipped, and unsure. Don’t go home thinking, “Never again!”
When we moved overseas as a young family, we had heard about culture shock. But we thought our dreams would carry us easily over any difficulties. How hard could it be?
If you’re still reading, you probably know the answer to that!
Sometimes we felt like we were back in that Thai cave, staring in horror at our dying flashlights. If we wanted any happy memories overseas, we’d have to get really good at problem-solving.
Because two weeks overseas is an adventure. But living and working in another country is a “whole ‘nother” thing.
How We Survived
We leaned on experienced expats and read a ton of books. We adjusted our expectations, strategized late into the night, and sometimes felt like we should just give up. But each time we faced a new problem, we rolled up our sleeves and found a way to fix it.
Ten years later, we started meeting people facing the same struggles we’d had.
We talked with them about how to survive and even thrive, did a bit of cheerleading and co-strategizing and hopeful visioning. We learned to ask good questions.
That’s how Expat Family Coaching began.
Do you need to talk to someone who understands where you’re coming from? Someone who can help you find your family’s unique next step? We would love to coach you to get to where you want to be, no matter how dark or foggy your path.
Areas of Expertise:
We coach expat families through managing both practical and heart issues overseas, whether it’s your first week or your 101st. Here are a handful of topics we’d love to chat with you about:
- Visas and residence permits
- Money management
- Finding and succeeding in a job
- Self-employment overseas
- Employing others overseas
- Learning languages
- Children’s education
- Handling special needs overseas
- Stress management
- Mental Health
- TCK (Third Culture Kid) issues
- Managing a home overseas
- Finding friends (for kids and parents)
- Understanding other cultures
- Maintaining relationships with family back home
- Intercultural marriages
Our Mission and Goals
We empower expat families to:
Get along, even during stress
Problem-solve like a boss
Have a positive attitude towards their host country
Understand the language and worldview of their host country
Make amazing memories overseas!
Ready to thrive?
A Little More About Us
We started dating when we were teenagers. We love hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and camping (but not caving!) Together we’ve learned seven languages, but don’t remember all of them anymore. We love trying new foods–we’re flexitarian (our term… we’re mostly vegetarian but eat whatever’s healthiest.) David has worked both teaching English and facilitating leadership training. Brittney is a freelance writer. We have two kids and we all love books.