From birth to the age of 40 I moved, on average, every four years. First with my parents – Diplomats with the Canadian Foreign Service, later as a University Student (my first repatriation phase) and then as a staff member of the United Nations. Subsequent moves included fist time migration to the Netherlands as the spouse of a Dutch Diplomat; two relocations with the Dutch Foreign Service and two children born in two different continents. Then, as life would have it, my second ‘repatriation’ to the country I was an immigrant to – ended up becoming the place I would stay. As much as I worked to integrate and embrace a life I was truly unprepared for, or unaccustomed to, it was inevitable, that my experience would lead me towards the international community locally, and people who, like me, had travelled. I have been an expat child, expat student, expat professional, expat spouse, expat mother and repatriated immigrant. Along the way I have learnt much, supported many and discovered that from these privileges I have much to share, to help others.
Before you ask the question: I have lived in: Germany; Brazil; Colombia; Canada; Iran; United Kingdom; Ecuador; South Africa and the Netherlands, with shorter stints in the United States and Saudi Arabia. Some countries were repeated in different life phases.