About a month ago I started a new weekly column on both my Instagram and Facebook account: Expat Xpert. In this column I informed my Dutch audience about organizing a coffee/ tea social which was meant for the expat spouses of Luxembourg.

I was going to organize this social in order to have a platform for the expat spouses where they could meet like-minded people, exchange experiences and make new friends. Once the platform was created, I would then organize all kinds of social activities for and with these expat spouses.

In this blog I will explain to you why I will reach out to all expat spouses, not only of Luxembourg but around the world. Also, I will explain why I will communicate in English from now on.

A stressful move to the United States of America in 2006

For Dutch expats only

Until I started this new column, I wrote my blogs and posts for Dutch expats in Luxembourg only. This was because of me being a Dutch expat in Luxembourg myself and I did not give it much thought.

However, with the opportunity to organize this coffee/ tea social for expats of ALL nationalities in Luxembourg, I realized that it would be wise to communicate in a language most people understand. And that for sure is not Dutch. The idea of communicating in English was born but not yet executed.

Corona outbreak

Unfortunately, because of the Corona outbreak shortly thereafter, I had to cancel the social. The Luxembourg government first had declared a state of emergency and later extended this for another three months. It is still unsure if and when I will be able to resume the social.

I will persist

But I will not sit and wait around. I will persist in my plans. With all the Corona misery going around in the world, I want to reach out to you and all other expat spouses more than ever. That is to say “online,” because there is no sight of resuming social contacts offline yet.

Expat experiences

My first two times as an expat were amazing. I loved living, working and making new friends out there. But there were also challenging times. Like during our first time in the United States of America when all of a sudden one of our family members in our home country had a cerebral infarction.

My favorite expat house (Utah, USA 1997).

Please leave a message

Our family back home tried to reach us for days to inform us of this tragedy. However, we were travelling through the United States with guests. And since there were no cellular phones at the time, our family could only try and reach us at the hotels we were staying. But each time they called a hotel we had already left for the next one.

Finally, they managed to leave a message behind at our next hotel. When we got the message, my husband took the first plane home. I stayed behind with our guests.

In good times and in bad times

At times like these you realize that being an expat is not always and only about the good times. Being an expat can be lonely, challenging, making you home sick and so on. At times like these it makes it hard(er) to be so far away from your family and friends.

Worldwide and on your own

But the situation we live in right now is a global one. It is fiercely and intense. It affects each and everyone of us. Whether or not you are an expat, this Corona virus does not distinguish one from the other. We all have to deal with it in our own way.

From my personal perspective

Therefor, I can only write from my own perspective of living an expat life, in this particular situation and in general. It is a very personal perspective. But I am convinced that parts of it will match with your perspective. That you will recognize some of my feelings, happiness, frustrations and challenges in your own experiences, no matter what nationality or background you or I have.

1998: Hiking the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with guests.

I want to write for you

So I want to write for you; the expat spouse who lives away from her friends and family. In general though, I will write from a human perspective and that will make (parts of) each story applicable to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations or stages of live.

In English please

So, to make sure that the majority of the global expat population is able to read my blogs and posts, and therefor they can somehow find support in these, I will communicate in English as of now. Hence this blog.

Out of my comfort zone

All in all I can tell you that this feels like a major step out of my comfort zone. But since this is what I want, I have faith in the outcome. And who knows, maybe some day I will be able to resume organizing that international coffee/ tea social offline after all. Maybe I will see you there?

Until next time,
Natasja der Kinderen

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