Expat wife life: Bring a piece of peace


I have found that when I start something completely new, like moving, starting my own business or getting involved in a relationship, it brings a lot of stress. It isn’t that familiar stress that comes when I’m experiencing lack of time, due to too many things to do. No, it all has to do with me being out of my comfort zone. I don’t know the hidden rules, I feel lost or confused or I am constantly doing things that I’m not used to do.

It has become very important to me to make myself some kind of physical comfort zone. To be able to relax in a comfortable armchair, reading a nice, uncomplicated book and drinking cups and cups of tea – that brings me peace in times of confusion. To when we moved to Shanghai this summer I was quick to ask the people I met if they had any nice books I could borrow. I even asked the school librarian if I could use the school library, which was fine. At first I was ambitious and choose some classics that I haven’t had time to read before, but it turned out that they were also adding to my stress. Some feelgood books were just the right thing!

So my advice now to people moving abroad is to bring something that can give them a little peace in the beginning. It might be some books, painting equipment, training clothes, baking material, knitting things etc. I know that most people who move just have one suite case for clothes and things to use for a month or two before their shipment arrives, but I still recommend to bring it. It is worth it to be able to relax just a little bit in that first stress.

And I am sure that goes for us when we are out of our comfort zone in our regular home and country as well: to know what brings us peace and mindfulness. Not everybody knows that. Try to find out what energy sources you have! Is it to sit on that stone in the forest? Is it to meditate, write, read, paint, workout at the gym? Whatever it is, don’t underestimate the importance of it in your way to everyday peace of mind.

One thought on “Expat wife life: Bring a piece of peace

  1. Caroline Renblad 15 February, 2016 / 15:32

    When making great changes in life you get yourself into “first-time” situations all the time. The first time you do grocery shopping, the first time you join a lunch with people you have never met, the first time you kiss your kids goodbye at the schoolbus…These “first-times” takes energy, build up stress and confused feelings.
    I fully agree with you the importance of finding time/place for “normality”, whatever that is!


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