Updated: Oct 2, 2018
If you are an expat your imediate family and childhood friends can be far away. With modern day multimedia we can share moments, but all too often we can not connect with our loved ones if and when needed.
By leaving our hometown we have left behind our “tribe”, that raised us.
Often times those family members and friends can not relate to our new experience and problems that arise by being away.
By being abroad we have outgrown the wealth of experience of our own “tribe” and we are looking for our new community. Some start a tribe of their own, such as clubs or a family of their own, others join already existing communities.
Naturally we are seeking guidance and comfirmation of self.
We find comfort in sharing our positive and negative experiences with people that have a similar mindset and can relate.
We seek advice from those sharing the journey with us.
In this need for guidance and experience exchange, we find our mentors.
They come in various forms. But they all have a lot in common:
-We exchange our knowledge as we seek advice and guidance. -They help us establishing a framework and routines to be able to work on a better version of ourselves. They do hold us responsible if we don’t keep up to our end of the bargain.
-They monitor our progress, but one thing is for sure, as much as they want to, they can not do the actual work for us. -A mentor has our best interest at heart. They want us to thrive. -We are most likely to accept their criticism because we know our mentor believes in us.
Mentors can be found in many parts of our lives.
In my case, I am blessed of having found a variety of mentors throughout the years.
Some joined for a short period along my journey, some are still in my life.
When I started my first job here in Panama in an income service travel agency my boss and manager was as old as me. It felt like he was 100 years older just in knowledge and experience. It was the first time I witnessed the American entrepreneuial mindset in action and soaring. Looking back, I would say, this was when I encountered my first mentor.
My personal trainer, who did not just shrink me into my wedding dress and 2 years later again back into my postnatal wardrobe. He also took care of my body, mind and soul balance. He was the first to introduce me to importance of alkalinity of the body and made me think about my diet. Imprinting a long-lasting impression and forward movement for years to come and the groundstone of my business today. He also pushed my boundaries, he made me always go a bit further than I ever thought it would be possible. When looking back it is amazing to see how far one has come, not just in the gym but in mindset. He listened to my words, he made me grow personally in so many ways, not just in muscle weight.
I currently have a holistic health coach. WAIT, hear me out first. I also swear I would have never thought I would connect with a holistic lifestyle. Incredibly she literally dropped out of the sky when I needed her the most. When conventional doctors failed me she got me through some of my darkest days. She tought me about letting things go. She gave me practical tools to deal with being overhelmed by daily life, my marriage, raising two boys and being a business owner. She helped me on how to stay emotionally balanced while juggling it all.
Since starting my own business I landed in a pool of mentors. They all helped me coaching through the first few days, weeks and months. It’s literally a hand holding business. Even though some are half across the globe, they have been with me at every milestone, cornerstone, up and down along the way. People I never met in person are cheering me on. Even though it often means watching me do 2 steps forward, and typically 1 back, but that is part of life. My mentor are standing by me with tips and advice to put me back together when I waiver.
Good friends. Who else puts your head back straight on, if not your best friends. In an expat world they come and go like the tide, the close ones will stuck to your face like an octopus.
I love the expat world as people you barely know are there for you. We all sit in the same boat and know from first- hand experience how hard it can be. It is that friend, I share that famous cup of coffee with, a universal problem solver for an expat.
It has been a fantastic journey and I can only encourage don’t just look for friends, find people that inspire you, that empower you.
To find and give that uplifiting feeling is something I am here to share with you.