“Now What?” How Expat Life Can Force You To Grow

“In this world you are either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz


It’s usually around this time of year that something inside begins to stir. It starts with a general feeling of “blah”, and a yearning for self-care and deep reflection.

I have been here before. But before I knew what to do with this “stirring” I would experience it as vague discomfort. And then, because the holiday season is so full of distractions, I’d turn to holiday treats, busyness and tending to other people’s needs to quiet this inner stirring.

These days, I handle it differently. Instead of pushing this quiet discontent aside I acknowledge it as a clue to step “inside”. I find quiet time to journal, reflect, and turn to people, books, and podcasts that inspire me. And I come out of it with insights and clarity and a step forward on my personal path of growth and self-actualization.

The fact is that we all go through these “growth spurts”. Especially expats! We are ALL looking to find deeper meaning, purpose and passion. Perhaps that’s what fueled this unusual lifestyle of taking risks and living abroad.

From a historical perspective it is a relatively new phenomenon that people across the globe are moving out of survival mode and into growth and personal power and that they are doing so in a truly authentic way, which honors our deeper wisdom and intuition.

Being an expat can push you into this process purely as a result of the very nature of expat life. By uprooting ourselves and shifting into entirely different environments and cultures we are taken out of our comfort zone, we are required to open ourselves up to new experiences and to create new and meaningful relationships wherever we go. After the initial excitement and adjustment period we find ourselves with more time on our hands and a general feeling of “now what?” Some, like me at one time, fill up this void with a very busy schedule of activities and social engagements and in others it triggers a deep dive into questioning our purpose.

Fortunately there is a way to approach this yearning for authenticity, growth, personal power and the manifestation of our deepest desires.

I have found that there are a few essential elements that are intricately connected and need to be tended to in order to optimize your inner growth.

  1. Be the healthiest you can be

There is an important distinction between feeling “blah” as a result of a need for redirection and growth and feeling “blah” because of physical or mental imbalances.

If you are always tired, struggling with brain fog, feeling bloated or dealing with aches and pains or any other health issue, you are going to be limited in your ability to step into the person you are meant to be.

You need energy and vitality to pursue your goals and dreams. You need a clear and balanced mind and a strong and healthy body in order to live your most optimal life.

This foundational step involves optimizing your diet and your lifestyle according to your bio individual requirements, and resolving health issues that are holding you back.

Being healthy just makes inner and outer growth so much easier.

  1. Find your calling, your purpose, your passion.

I will be the first person to tell you that discovering this can be hard but what helped me was my yoga and meditation practice.

It’s easier to find the answers when you allow yourself to be still and tune into your inner wisdom. You may not get your answer on a silver platter but you will find clues on your path that point you in the right direction.

Taking time to be still, in whatever way that works for you, is essential to “hearing” an inner calling.

  1. Follow your interests, even if there is no clear destination.

When we had just moved to Singapore and the boys were still small I had a deep yearning to discover my purpose in life. My children were in school for at least a part of the day and it felt like there should be more to my life. After some soul searching I realized that my true purpose in that moment in time was to be the best mom I could be and I made peace with that. However, I also simultaneously started to pursue the things that I was drawn to heed a call for “more”. I signed up for a yoga teacher training, not because I believed this was my calling but because I loved yoga and wanted to learn as much as I could.

I continued to follow my interests over the years, and it eventually birthed an entirely new career that honors my desire for a high-quality family life and my own passions. I now I help other people optimize their lives through nutrition & lifestyle counseling programs and I absolutely love it. I may not be able to tell you my exact life’s purpose but I do know my passion and it sure feels like I am on the right path.

So in a nutshell: find a way to be still through yoga, meditation, a breathing practice, or journaling. Then use your intuition and inner wisdom to find and follow your interests and stay open to the opportunities that life brings you.

  1. Work the inner terrain

When it comes to making changes most of us are very good at self-sabotage. We walk around with self-imposed barriers and limiting beliefs that we must identify and dispose of. These belief systems can seriously interfere with your ability to care for yourself, change your nutrition, uplevel your health or just pursue a passion.

Some of these beliefs come into existence at an early age through the people around us or through our circumstances and we unknowingly use them to play it small, stay in the background or believe we are not deserving or good enough.

You can call this your head trash and in order to take out the garbage you need to listen to your inner voice and investigate what is holding you back.

  1. Find support and make growth spurts easier

While you can certainly do things on your own, I have found, time and time again, that finding the right support can accelerate and shorten the bumps along the way. Find others who you resonate with and who you can turn to for support.

Surrounding yourself with those who are ready to cheer you on and who are on a similar path of self-actualization can make all the difference between making progress or falling prey to beliefs and patterns that hold you back. Engaging in deep and meaningful conversations will leave you inspired and motivated to make positive changes in your life.


If you feel you need support in one or all of these steps, consider signing up for a Free Nutrition Breakthrough Session here. We’ll explore your health foundation that will make all the other steps I’ve outlined here, far easier to pursue. It’s simply much easier to navigate growth spurts and engage with new skills, interests and passions, when you feel good and have energy to spare.

Be Well.





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