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Home Alone - Expat Edition

The holiday season is upon us and for most families this means visiting loved ones, eating a traditional dinner and spending time in a very specific way. You might say people follow specific traditions around this time of year. And obviously there is nothing wrong with that. However, once you are living abroad things start to change.

First of all, due to the distance to your home location, you might not be able to fly back home to visit your friends and families. We have run into our first problem, because what happens if your family is expecting you to visit no matter what? What if they don't understand that it is simply too far for you or that you have other plans for this time of year. They may not understand that it is important to you to spend Christmas and the holidays in the country that you are staying in and you might hurt their feelings if you decide to not go home. We talked about expat guilt before and this situation definitely adds to this feeling.

Even if you do decide to travel back home, you still need to figure out who to visit first, where to spend your time and how you can fit in to visit all the important people in your life in one or two weeks. More often than not there are expectations from both sides of the family especially if grand-children are involved and if your families don't live close to each other you run into your next problem.

If you don't have a family and you are on your own in a new city and you don't want to fly home, you might feel lonely during this time of year. This could either be because you really feel lonely or because the people around you suggest that you probably do feel lonely because they cannot imagine how wonderful it might be to be on your own during this season, if that is what you prefer. So many expectations around the holidays and we often try to please everyone.

So what do you do?

Well, you have to figure out how you want to spend Christmas this year. Who would you like to visit? Under what conditions would you like to visit them? How much time would you like to spend where and with whom? If you like to travel: Where would you like to go? What traditions do you want to pass on to your children? And if you are alone: How can you use those days in the best possible ways?

And this is where coaching comes in, because if you put in just one hour of work, of thinking these questions through you might actually enjoy the coming days like you have never before.

COACHING because you need to figure out how to spend Christmas.



- Kevin, Home Alone -


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