Navigating the End of Summer and Easing into Expat Life

August 25, 2023 in Ex-pat, Personal Development

navigating transitions in expat life

Easing into Expat Life

As August arrives, it brings with it a bittersweet sense of transition. The long days of summer are winding down, and for many expat families, this marks the beginning of a new chapter as they prepare for the return to work and school routines. The sunsets may signal the end of vacations and lazy afternoons, but they also herald the promise of fresh beginnings and opportunities.


navigating transitions

Embracing the August Shift: a few tips for easing back into expat life

August signifies the shift from the carefree days of summer to the reentry into daily routines. For expat families, this transition can be particularly challenging as it often involves multiple dimensions – not only adjusting to work and school schedules but also adapting to a new culture and environment. The convergence of these changes can lead to feelings of overwhelm and fear. It's important to remember that these emotions are completely normal. Change can make us anxious as we navigate the unknown, out of our comfort-zone. The mountain of boxes to tick before the start of school and work in a new country can leave us feeling overwhelmed. While this is all normal, there are tools we can use to help us navigate through it with more ease, grace, and acceptance.

Overcoming Overwhelm: 

Cultivate Mindfulness: During times of transition, our minds tend to race, filled with worries about the unknown. Mindfulness offers a powerful tool to ground ourselves in the present moment. Whether it's through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment to notice your surroundings, practicing mindfulness can help you manage anxiety and find clarity amidst the chaos.

Celebrate Small Wins: Transition periods can make us feel like we're constantly climbing a mountain. Instead of fixating on the peak, celebrate the smaller milestones along the way. Did you successfully navigate a local market with confidence? Did you have a positive interaction with a neighbor? Recognizing and appreciating these achievements can boost your self-esteem and make the overall journey of easing into expat life seem less daunting.

Build a Support Network: Transitioning doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Connect with fellow expats who understand the unique challenges you're facing. Share your experiences, concerns, and triumphs. Expanding your support network not only provides you with valuable insights but also reminds you that you're not alone on this journey.

navigating transitions

Easing Back into Expat Life: School and Work

For those with children, the return to school can stir up a mix of emotions, both for the kids and for you as parents. Maybe your kids are entering a new school. Perhaps language barriers play a role in what happens next. And maybe kids are not happy to have left their old friends behind. Similarly, resuming work responsibilities can be overwhelming after a period of relaxation. Here are a few ways you can help everyone ease into your expat life and navigate the transition more smoothly.

Create Rituals: Rituals provide a sense of stability in times of change. Establish morning routines that involve simple yet enjoyable activities – a family breakfast, a walk around the neighborhood, or a few moments of quiet reflection. These rituals can help set a positive tone for the day ahead and ease the transition for both you and your children.

Open Communication: This is a big one for kids working through times of change and transition (and adults too!). Whether with your children, partner, or colleagues, open communication is key. Share your feelings about the upcoming changes and encourage others to do the same. By acknowledging everyone's emotions, you create an atmosphere of empathy and support, making the transition feel less isolating. As a parent, share your concerns and emotions. Show your kids that you are vulnerable, too, while modeling good practices for managing these feelings. Allow for all emotions to be okay, and all feelings to be welcomed.

Set Realistic Expectations: The return to school and work doesn't mean you have to reach peak productivity immediately. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family. Give yourselves time to adjust and find a new rhythm. Embrace the fact that some days will be smoother than others, and that's perfectly okay.

navigating transitions

Embracing the New Beginnings

As the August transitions unfold, remember that every ending is a new beginning. The end of summer signals the start of a fresh academic year and new opportunities for growth and learning. Returning to work offers a chance to pursue professional aspirations with renewed vigor. While it's natural to feel a mix of emotions, it's important to approach these transitions with an open heart and a positive mindset. 

As your expat coaches, our role is to stand by your side, offering guidance and strategies to navigate these changes. Remember that each step you take, no matter how small, is a testament to your resilience and strength. You've already shown remarkable courage by embracing life abroad – now, let's face these transitions together, finding the beauty in both the endings and the beginnings.

With warmth and support,
Karly & Chloé

Karly Christ

Karly is a certified NLP and Ikigai coach with over 15 years of expat experience on four continents. Vibrant Ikigai offers workshops and 1:1 coaching services to help expat women move through the ups and downs of this exciting global lifestyle.

Book your free call and let's chat about how I can help you live your best expat life!