I have been leading the peripatetic life of a serial expat for over 20 years. After growing up in a Craigrothie, a hamlet of 250 residents, in Scotland, my itchy feet took me first to Edinburgh, then London, then New York where I worked as an investment banker. I met my Australian husband in business school in New York and continued my expat wanderings as an accompanying partner. I liberated myself from the crazy hours of investment banking when our daughter was born in Hong Kong. Our son was born in Switzerland almost three years later and our family has since lived in Shanghai, Michigan USA and now Belgium. Although expat life is not without its challenges, we have made the most of our opportunities to experience countries and cultures and our children are true TCK’s who look for common bonds and see beyond differences.
Not only have I moved countries six times, but I have also guided friends and colleagues through their own international moves. I have a rigourous program for organising an international move, making the move as seamless as possible and maximising the benefits from other service providers. I have also learned that the way to get the most out of the expat experience is different for each individual and that having a sense of “right way” going into the assignment eases the transition and makes the assignment better for the whole family. Through The Smart Expat, I hope to pass on the benefit of my experience and guidance to those who are embarking on their expat adventures.