Creativity adds a sense of hope and possibility to anything you choose to do.
While traveling the world I meet many people who have to do the same thing again and again – pack their stuff, move to the hotel, hop on the airplane, move to the new home and try to settle in just for a while with the vision that in a year or two, they will have to do this all over again.
While this lifestyle can be exciting and rejuvenating, eventually you start thinking “Is this what I am going to do forever?” “Does this make me feel happy any more, content, fulfilled?”
Living in the communities of expats I noticed that spouses who have been following their family members for some time have this air of constantly searching for themselves. I often noticed sadness, hopelessness, discontent about them. Even though they seem happy outside, they are not so happy inside. I met intelligent, brilliant, highly educated, beautiful people, who seem to have chosen to sacrifice their talents and skills for the sake of their spouse’s professional success.
Having a lifestyle of a world traveler can certainly create difficulties for developing a career, or at least finding the ways for professional growth and personal fulfillment. It all eventually boils down to what you mean under your growth and fulfillment.
For some people – being a caring parent and a spouse is all they want. For others – becoming an entrepreneur or an executive is the vision of success and happiness. While everything that falls in this range is perfect, we need to figure out where exactly we want to show up and where we can find the satisfaction of growth and fulfillment.
All of this requires you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your mind and learn new skills especially if you live abroad. Here are some ideas that I’d like to share with you and certainly I’d be happy to help you with.
Living in different countries, I have tried a few opportunities where I could apply myself as a professional.
- During my first international assignment in Brisbane, Australia I was deeply involved in Toastmasters Clubs. My husband and I were very much interested in leadership and public speaking skills development. Toastmasters clubs around the world are a plethora of opportunities for communication, meeting people, learning about the culture of the country you are in, and applying your own talents for the benefit of you and those around you.
- You can try yourself working in International schools. I got a job as a pre-school teacher when we were in Turkmenistan and Dubai. Even though it was quite challenging fitting into the environment of an established professional community, I found that experience professionally fulfilling for me. I felt successful in seeing the results of my hard work and commitment. Welcoming my grateful parents and cheerful kids every morning gave me the boost of energy and motivation to keep doing what I chose to do.
- Volunteer organizations. Search for ways to volunteer. One of my experiences as a volunteer I will remember forever – Red Cross event wrapping Christmas presents in the shopping mall in a small town in Australia. It was worth every minute of my time and effort because it allowed me to meet and experience a diversity of life, I would not have enjoyed otherwise.
- Communities of expats. If the opportunity presents hop on to organize the events, play days, celebrations, garage sales, fundraising. One day I found a paper pushed through under my entrance door. The paper invited me to participate in the Halloween celebrations for kids. I plunged myself into that project. Even though it didn’t go the way I thought it would, I felt happy to be able to contribute and play with the children on the lawn.
- Do the well-being sessions. One of our ladies was a Pilates master. We had a great time doing Pilates together. If you are like that – let others know and do it.
- All kinds of clubs and interest groups: Book-club, Craft club, Language learning club, History and culture club, Gardening club; Hikers and walkers – Movers and Shakers. I was a member of the book club during one of our assignments in Central Asia. Meeting people to talk about the books was enlightening and heartwarming.
- Entrepreneurship, coaching, consulting, project management. This can be a long-term goal, however, I’d encourage you to consider starting an online business. Think about sharing your knowledge, perspectives, and experiences with people around the world. Serving others and helping people make their lives better is a rewarding and inspiring vision in itself.
Creativity and desire to reach out to the world is all you need to feel that you are on the right path. “Bring purpose to everything you do” a life coach Marie Forleo says. You don’t need to see it as your calling or your dream-chasing process. It doesn’t have to be big, but it needs to be meaningful to you. Enjoy being of service, be playful, and have fun.
I’d love to hear what you do while traveling the world and how you find fulfillment and satisfaction in what you choose to occupy yourself with? Leave me a comment and please, subscribe to my Newsletter in the footing of this page.
Life is a journey of joy! Embrace it.
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