I’m a trainer, facilitator, coach, entrepreneur….and serial mover.
Moving has always been part of my life. I know what it means to start over again….and again. To overcome the homesickness, to make new friends, to learn the ‘language’, to move beyond just fitting in and feel like you actually belong, to find a sense of purpose and a career that moves with you.
But despite the challenges, it’s through moving that I’ve learnt, grown, gained the most, met incredible people, and built a successful business and a fulfilling career.
It’s moving and embracing the change that’s made me. Me.
My story begins with my dad’s stories of Africa. It was the time he spent there that fueled his desire to move overseas for work. This time he went to Germany, and it was here that I was born.
At the age of 10 I returned ‘home’ to the UK. My first lesson in how to transition.
At the age of 18, I moved away to study in different parts of the UK. First a degree in Geography, and then Masters in International Development.
During my degree I met a friend who waxed lyrical so much about Chile, I decided I had to go. Not only was it an amazing country in which to spend 6 months, but I also met my now husband. Albeit an English man from Durham. But I’m glad I had to go to Chile to find him!
It was through the International Development projects that I established, that I became aware of the support people need to make a successful global transition. Successful transition is not something that just happens. It requires a set of competencies that need to be developed, and starts with knowing yourself.
Based in London, but travelling every two months to work in countries as diverse as Kazahkstan, Zambia, Guyana and Cambodia, I developed and delivered training programmes to enable expats to work out of their comfort zone, to build effective international teams, and to return happy and well.
In 2003, I moved to Chester had two children and set up thinkingpeople, a cross-cultural learning consultancy with my business partner, Jo Bloxham
We worked with Fashion Buyers to engage in cross-cultural dialogue their overseas suppliers, with Media Consultants to create cohesive virtual global teams, with staff in the HE Sector to improve the service they offered their International Students and with international footballers and their families to help them make the most of their overseas experience.
The work was diverse, dynamic and rewarding, but after 12 years there was a desire to move again. To show my children, now 6 and 9 that there was more to life than Middle England. To prove to myself that I wasn’t ‘stuck’ in one place. That moving was still an option with all it’s challenges and new possibilities.
In 2015, we moved to Montreal, and I became an accompanying spouse. A whole new challenge!
We settled in quickly with the help of a great expat network and some super kind Canadians. As a family we belonged, but I had lost my sense of identity, my sense of purpose, my sense of fulfilment.
I needed to work, beyond looking after my children and my husband, if I was going to get that back.
So after some reflection, lots of discussion and research ….and definitely too many late nights, I set up KathrynRelocated.
Who knows where I’ll go next …
If you would like to know more about Kathryn’s experience, training, skills and knowledge please view her LinkedIn profile.