Guest post by Louise Wiles
What have been the main Turning Points in your life?
If you, like me have relocated abroad a number of times then you will without a doubt have faced a number of Turning Points.
When Kate Cobb the editor and creator of Turning Points challenged me to write about mine I was intrigued by the idea. She asked me to think about one time where I had used a Turning Point as a springboard to creating something new in my life.
A Turning Point is a “point in life when things go wrong or life takes an unexpected or challenging turn”. At these points we can embrace the change, learn from it and move forward OR fight against it, struggling to maintain our fragile status quo, attempting to live as if the turning point hadn’t occurred.
My Turning Point originated from a number of factors all coming together at the same time. The specific details I will save for you to read about in the book! I’ll just say for now that a relocation abroad and the challenge of creating a new life in that new location formed a big part of my Turning Point.
Mobile expatriate living is all about recreation. It provides the opportunity to experience new and different ways of living within different cultures. It’s often viewed as a great opportunity and embraced as that by many who relocate frequently. However this positive side is often accompanied by challenges:
- Living in a culture different from our own will perhaps cause us to question our personal beliefs and values. We may find that some of our personal beliefs and values are in conflict with those of the host culture and this can be a source of stress and discomfort.
- However much we are excited by the opportunity to move abroad, there is always an element of sadness as we leave loved ones behind. At these times the emotional impact of our ‘goodbyes’ can be tough to handle.
- We may find that our personal identity is challenged. Moving away from social networks and roles in our old lives that helped to define us can leave us feeling becalmed, uncertain of which direction we should now take.
These and other challenges are all derived from the Turning Point and it is down to us to determine which direction we now take. I know I drifted for a number of years in previous relocations. My Turning Point inspired me to start taking active decisions about how I could move my career forward abroad.
And as I have done so I have learned so much.
This quote by Aldous Huxley sums this up very well:
“Experience is not what happens to man, it is what a man does with what happens to him”
You can read about my turning point in the Turning Points book which launches on November 1st. You can also read about twenty four other women’s amazing, and at times shocking but always inspiring stories. But the book is not simply about their stories. The book is also about the learning that they gained from their experiences and how they now use that knowledge to guide, support and help others. It is full of advice and tips for turning lives around.
Go and visit my Turning Points page here.
You can buy the book and then claim three wonderful gifts with my compliments.
Also you can visit The Turning Points Launch page here.
GCC blog: In addition to contributing to what looks like a fascinating book, Louise is also our co-creator of the “Living and Working in the UK” online course. Thanks again, Louise, for offering your support and offering to share your experiences with other expats!