Why a website and blog?

More in-depth reflections about our experiences

When we arrived in Australia, I started updating my status with photos and posts related to our experiences on a social media site. It then became clear that I needed to share more of my thoughts around our experiences and particular issues around our global migration. I also realised that over time, with my 18 years of migration, I had stories to tell. I never anticipated this need to be so vivid and vibrant. I had never felt the need to write stories about my migration before.

One morning, I opened a blank Word document page and I started writing about ‘our story’ and then texts about ‘packing’ and ‘moving’. I was surprised that, although writing is not my preferred mode of expression, ideas flew and reflections became at the forefront of my thinking. As the days went by, I started thinking about writing in my daily routines and listing on my phone new ideas and topics. It surprisingly felt natural to write. After using writing for academic and professional purposes so frequently and routinely, writing personal reflections and ideas that are accessible felt much more therapeutic and easy than I ever anticipated.

Using technology as a communication tool

As a global migrant, because of the distance, the need to communicate when travelling and keeping in touch with many across the globe, technology is just amazing. I remember being excited when my husband opened my first email account, in 1999, a year after moving to the UK. It was just a revelation to be able to write and communicate with emails. Similarly, social media sites have evolved global communication to another dimension. I wrote my first essay on a computer when I was 19, never thought that technology would become so essential in my life. For me, writing a blog has taken it to a different dimension, learning about designing a website has been challenging, but with the technological support from wordpress, I got through it and I am proud to have learnt so much about something completely unknown.

Bridging past and future experiences

As a group of Educational Psychologists, we prepared a presentation on global migration in June-July 2015. I was truly inspired by my colleagues’ diverse experiences and the opportunity to prepare a presentation with them. Our fascinating conversations made it a great experience too. It motivating me to talk more and more about this topic. It made me realise that I had a lot more to tell. It gave me strength and courage to voice my view about global migration issues. A month later this presentation, I was preparing a move abroad. A particularly important anchor point for me!

When I started looking into our move, with its opportunities and challenges, the most significant challenge was having my qualifications recognised. Although I felt, I would be busy enough with settling three children in three different educational settings, I also felt that I had worked very hard to complete my doctoral studies and wanted a project for me, a stimulating and enriching experience that I could be proud of. It became clear there was going to be a length of time where I was going to be unemployed, or need to process paperwork to have my qualifications recognised. Designing a website and writing a blog aims to continue developing my skills, provide an interesting and stimulating project in a waiting and transition period, using a negative aspect of the move into a positive aspect, transforming the negative into possibilities and future.

Writing

I have had some ideas for some time about a possible book. Although my writing skills are fluent and competent enough, writing is not a skill that I seek as a first mode of expression. By writing my ideas and thoughts about experiences that are close to me, I felt that it would perhaps support me in this writing process, bringing me out of my comfort zone and trialling some new skills. My writing is evolving. The writing in French is also interesting! I would love to be able to share my idea of a book with publishers, one day!

Innovative approach to support families and practitioners

When we were planning the move, I looked into a number of websites and blogs to support us with questions and queries. I did not always find all the answers we needed. I also felt the need to have checklists and top tips to support us in our planning. I designed the website so that tools, practical and psychological, are main features of the blog and website. As I develop the site, I will aim to include more and more tools that can be used when planning a move abroad.

Links to psychological concepts

In my work, I meet many parents and practitioners who express the need to expand their knowledge about psychological theories. As moving abroad relates to a number of links with psychological concepts, I aim to link these concepts to our experiences so that concepts are exemplified and simplified for all.

Creativity: art work and photos

When I started designing the website and looked into possibilities for images, I looked around me, we did not have much at the time. I felt I wanted images which would represent my writing and experiences. Photos were a must so that people could see photos of our adventures. This is why I created a Gallery. I then started to use my art work as photos. I never anticipated using my paintings on display as I do painting as a hobby in my very rare spare time. I am a complete amateur and never had lessons. I enjoy joining writing with the art as it strengthens the message. I am looking forward to do more painting!

Relaxing and enjoyment

Over the last few months, writing has become a regular activity that I enjoy. Children go off to school, I drive our youngest to the childcare centre, I come back home, I go for walk or a run, I make myself a cup of coffee and write…Surprisingly, it has become a moment of enjoyment in my week. New experiences take place, new ideas come up, I feel as if I am looking forward to write again. The birds singing and the outlook over the woods are also pretty enchanting and supporting my writing…particularly calm and peaceful!

Hope you enjoy reading and please share as the website is designed to be helpful and supportive!

Pascale