A Toolkit to Opportunities and Challenges as Global citizens

Resilience, positivity, talents and dreams

Different stories on topics relevant to global migration, checklists, top tips, reflections…it may support families moving abroad and practitioners supporting them…

Source: A Toolkit to Opportunities and Challenges as Global citizens


Interview At Planète F

I participated in an interview on global migration and citizenship. Please find the link below. A very interesting article in French (and an interview in English) which relate well opportunities and challenges for global families. I summarise here themes discussed by the different families in the article, very similar themes to the ones I have talked about here so far:

  • living in a different language, needing to learn a new language to communicate in an adoptive country and being accepted with a different accent
  • understanding your own culture versus new ones
  • knowing your cultural heritage and origins
  • similarities and differences between political and economic migration
  • needing to come ‘home’ regularly, leaving some deep roots behind
  • saying painful and emotional goodbyes
  • needing to reflect about opportunities outweighing roots and relationships
  • difficult adaptation and integration
  • technology helping communication with relatives and friends



Are we lucky?

Many people have said to us ‘you are so lucky’. Other people have said ‘I could never do this, you are so brave’. Others have said ‘look at you, moving across the world’, ‘look at you a little girl from Mont-Joli’. People’s reactions to someone’s ‘luck’ is interesting…Would I say I am lucky? Definitely not! I never won the lottery, hardly ever won great raffle prizes…I see luck as something your name being pulled out of the hat, out of the blue, when your effort has been minimal.

I would be tempted to say that we have made our luck, or even this isn’t luck. First, we worked hard to get to where we are, qualifications, work experience, children, house, etc. There were a number of setbacks, not always simple to solve. We have had to cope with lots of emotions over the years, being away from our families, needing to be self-reliant. It has certainly not been simple doing a doctorate with young children and a husband working away.

Second, we have continued to be sensitive to new opportunities, enquire, express interests, be in the right place at the right time, building relationships, talking to people, inviting people over, putting ourselves out there in different roles for voluntary organisations… all of which have continued to make us attractive to employers as it shows resourcefulness, creativity and leadership…we could have chosen a different path. It is easy to enter a mould of being at home, ‘waiting for the bus of luck’; it is much harder to get out there create connections and have extra responsibilities. The problem is ‘the bus of luck’ rarely comes, it will go by…If you feel you are not lucky and looking for changes in your life, look around you ‘where am I needed’, ‘what could I do to help’, ‘talk to people about your dreams, talents and interests’…think out of the box…

Third, it takes a huge amount of flexibility to live in other cultures as you need to expect that normal routines, food, language, etc. will not be the same as your native country. You need to continue be open minded and discover new things every day. Yes, it is appealing and exciting but it can also be tiring because things are never familiar, it is always new. It takes adaptation to respond to these new demands and concepts. It may not be for everyone either as some people may prefer the comfort of home, routines and familiar people. Moving abroad certainly brings all the opposite. If you are thinking of moving abroad, perhaps it is important to reflect on the type of person you are to ensure that familiarity and comfort does not outweigh discovery and adventures.

Finally, we always see the positives in a situation or solutions to resolve a problem. Yes, there are moments that are particularly stressful and we experience difficult feelings too, but with communication and positive thinking, solutions eventually evolve.

So are we lucky?…well, we have been proactive, creative, flexible, resilient, self-reliant, positive. Interestingly, I was reading in Psychology Today an article about the 8 habits of Highly Lucky People (www.psychologytoday.com). The different habits explained in the text, be mindful, proactive, be opportunistic, be insightful, be flexible, be optimistic and think out of the box, particularly reflect my way of thinking about our luck…not sure it is to do with luck…