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STEP INTO THE NEW YEAR AT YOUR OWN PACE!

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS… HOW MANY OF YOU MAKE THEM? NOW, HONESTLY, DO YOU STICK TO THEM OR TREAT THEM MORE AS A FUN TRADITION? FIND OUT HOW BEST TO MANAGE YOUR NEW YEAR EXPECTATIONS, ESPECIALLY IF EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IS NEW.

Q

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TEXT KATHY BORYS SIDDIQUI

QUITE FRANKLY, I have never been a big fan of this tradition. Most of the time we make resolutions because we have the intention to follow through. However, often we are not realistic about our resolutions and that can result in disappointment. As expats, we deal with challenges in our global lives all year round and many of us have an abundance of to-do lists and now we will also add New Year’s resolutions? To me, resolutions are expectations under a different name. Usually, we make a list of resolutions - things we should finally get around to this year or what we feel is expected of us. How often do we really think about what achievement would make us truly happy, what would make our lives easier? My point is, less is more. Instead of making a list of goals choose one, you can always add another. Reflecting on the achievements of the previous year is a positive way to start. Success is a great motivator and sometimes even the smallest win can give us the staying power we have been lacking. My own experience has taught me to combine a challenge with a passion. If we are going after something that we enjoy, that we feel passionate about, we are more likely to succeed.

KATHY BORYS SIDDIQUI FOUNDER, ACTIVE ACTION

MANAGING EXPAT EXPECTATIONS! The Expat experience is a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Moreover, we tend to put a lot of expectations on ourselves right from the start of a relocation, and when things do not go according to plan - which they rarely do - we become disappointed. Brene Brown has a brilliant definition of disappointment, “Disappointment is unmet expectations, and the more significant the expectations, the more significant the disappointment.” (Rising Strong). What can we do about these expectations? Well, we can take a closer look at them, in order to see if they are realistic, what are we expecting, why and who is involved. One of the most important questions to ask ourselves when dealing with expectations is “Do we have control over this situation?” Very often, our expectations involve other people, unfamiliar places, culture codes we have not cracked yet… we can not control any of these aspects. Here is a personal example. I expected to find a job in Denmark without a problem and in no time. This was ten years ago on Funen. Now, looking back all I can say is that I had high, unrealistic expectations. I was stuck in my ways and simply needed to regain control of the situation. Once, I began thinking outside of the box and widened my search, opportunities surfaced.

" T H E E X PAT E X P E R I E N C E I S A R O L L E R CO A S T E R R I D E , F U L L O F U P S A N D D OW N S , T W I S T S A N D T U R N S . M O R E OV E R , W E T E N D TO P U T A LOT O F E X P E C TAT I O N S O N O U R S E LV E S R I G H T F R O M T H E S TA R T O F A R E LO C AT I O N A N D W H E N T H I N G S D O N OT G O A CCO R D I N G TO P L A N - W H I C H T H E Y R A R E LY D O W E B E CO M E D I S S A P O I N T E D. "

RESOLUTIONS, EXPECTATIONS AND OUR EXPAT EXPERIENCES Every expat story is unique. We can share experiences, give valuable tips and do a ton of research but in the end, we all go through periods of trial and error. We test ourselves, we see what works and what does not. Making mistakes, learning from them, becoming more resilient, finding our own way makes this expat journey interesting. Living abroad chang-

JANUARY 2019 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

es you. We take in new cultures, languages, people, sights, sounds, everything that surrounds us. Just like a quilt, all these pieces come together to create a story. I started my expat journey with a suitcase which was filled to the brim with expectations. Over time, at my own pace, I have exchanged these expectations with experiences. THE-INTL

Kathy was born in Poznań, Poland and has lived in four countries and on two continents. Growing up as an immigrant and a cross cultural kid she was able to discover a multicultural world that shaped her into the person she is today. As an adult she experienced life as a re-pat as well as an expat and she is not a stranger to the challenges and opportunities that life abroad offers. Just when she least expected it, she met her Danish husband and once again packed her life in boxes and set off to live the happily-ever-after life in the land of the Vikings and Hygge. Over the span of 10 years she has lived on Fyn, in Jylland and currently in Nordsjælland. Kathy has a background in Cultural Studies and also a degree in American Studies. She has been able to combine her passion and profession as a Cultural Transition and Expat Spouse and Partner Specialist at Active Action. A firm believer that if you are lacking something - create it. She is the founder of two International Mom Groups in Denmark, a running enthusiast, active lifestyle advocate, wife and mom.

kbs@activeaction.dk www.activeaction.dk

Profile for The International Denmark

The International - January 2019  

Happy New Year! This month 'The International' turns 1! As we celebrate this milestone, we look ahead to an exciting 2019 full of opportunit...

The International - January 2019  

Happy New Year! This month 'The International' turns 1! As we celebrate this milestone, we look ahead to an exciting 2019 full of opportunit...

Profile for the-intl