For a while I have been following expat ladies around the world online. I like their posts, their stories, blogs and pics. They are inspiring to me and these ladies make me feel connected. They make me feel belong to a very special group. This group is special because it is global, multicultural, and multilingual. We all have different backgrounds, but we share one thing in common: being an expat lady.

For the last couple of weeks I have noticed something on social media: sorrow. It looks like expat ladies are losing hope and they cling onto good old memories.⁠

In relation to this there is something that I have to get off my chest. I might surprise you with this blog, but I hope you will see the positive side of my message to #staypositive

Three times in a row

For me this is my third time as an expat lady. The first two times were great. Challenging from time to time. But I considered them as adventures. And these adventures made me grow and made me the person I am today.

Back in the old days

The first time we were living the expat life was in the United States of America. This was 23 years ago. At the time we could only get in contact with our loved ones overseas by collect call (which was very expensive) or email. There was no flat rate super-duper phone call connection, no mobile phones, no Facebook or Messenger, no What’s App or Instagram, no Twitter, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Zoom or even Skype.

Losing hope

Lately, to me it looks like expat ladies are losing hope and cling on to good old memories. There is nothing wrong with this. It is a natural and humane response to all the restrictions of countries being locked down. And having to wear masks when you go outside. Not being able to go to your favorite hairdresser or go out for an ice cream with your partner and/ or children.

Enjoying the sun during my coffee break from cleaning the house

Can we continue like this?

Yesterday evening I lost it myself for a moment after the press conference of our Prime Minister. The restrictions will be maintained until the end of May. How much longer can we continue like this?

Way different for everybody

We cannot. I believe that we cannot continue like this if we are losing it. We are hanging on to good old memories for dear life. But life is right now and right here. Yes, our expat lives are way different than anybody could have imagined. But life is way different for everybody right now.

Stay in touch

Also, as an expat it is very challenging and heart breaking when you are so far away from your loved ones and are not allowed to visit them. I feel the same way. I cannot wait to see them in real. But nowadays there are all of these (inexpensive or free) ways to stay in touch with each other. They are there for you to use.

Physical distance

No, it is not the same. But did you as an expat visit your loved ones at your home country that much more before the Covid-19 broke out? I sure did not. This was because of the physical distance. And this distance remains the same with or without the virus. To me that distance is part of being an expat.

What do you choose?

The whole Covid-19 sure is weird. It is almost surreal. That is how it feels to me. And apparently to other expat ladies as well given their online posts. But it is what it is. And only you can decide for yourself whether you will lose hope or keep your spirit lifted. I have chosen the latter.

Thankful

So, I have made a decision and that is to #staypositive. I do not only want to cherish good old expat memories. I want to make those now as well. Even if it means having to stay at home with only my husband and my dog. I have so much in life to be thankful of.

#staypositive journal

I am going to write those blessings down in a special #staypositive journal. Each day when it is time to go to bed, I will take out that journal and write down what I am grateful of that day. This way I will go to sleep with a positive vibe and rise the next day with a positive vibe. This will not only help me to stay positive in this surreal time, but I will radiate that positive vibe to all of my loved ones.

Cherish the here and now

So please, stay positive. Not only for your own mental state, but also for your partner and children. Cherish what you have and what you still can do. Use the many means of communication to stay in touch with your loved ones at your home country. Make this time with the people in your expat country a warm and special one. Even with the limited means at hand at home, and tons of ideas online.

As expat ladies we are all in this together and together we can lift each other’s spirit.

#staypositive,
Natasja

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