Welcome to the Empowering Expat Coach Page!
One of the things I get asked about the most is why did you become an expat coach?
Well, I could summarize it in one line just saying I know what it is like to struggle as an expat and I want other expats to create a life they love as I did.
But that wouldn’t give you much context, would it?
First of all, my name is Mariana, I am an expat from Portugal based in Geneva, Switzerland.
And as you probably have guessed, I am an expat coach!
How did it all start?
The reality is, I have been an expat for the past 5 years.
I have been through a lot of challenges:
- Feeling stressed about whether I would find my accommodation,
- Feeling lonely,
- Not really knowing anyone
- Dealing with a lot of small issues that I felt I needed to overcome by myself because all my friends and family were in Portugal, where I am originally based.
Why did I even become an expat?
I started by moving from Portugal to Scotland back in 2018, and if you are wondering why I did it, it was because I didn’t see a possible career for me in Portugal and I wanted to see how it would be in another country.
When I was about to move, I still remember, being on the sofa with my parents, and just crying, not knowing if this was the right call or not.
And what got me deciding to go was a simple thought that I could go back home if I wanted to so I wouldn’t have to stay if I was unhappy.
How did it go at first?
in the beginning, it was hard, I felt lonely, I felt stressed with all the things I needed to do and organize and I didn’t even know where to turn to. On top of that, I had chronic knee pain so I needed to find a good physiotherapist to help me out.
A stressful period I have to say.
And then, while I was thinking it will always be like this, I met my best friends 3 months after I moved to Edinburgh. And I started feeling so much at home.
Going forward 1 year, I was laid off from my company and I found another job in Geneva, Switzerland. I knew I wanted to go but saying goodbye once again and not knowing when I would see my friends again was really hard.
How did it go in Geneva?
March, 2019, arrived and there I was.
Once again in a country where I knew no one.
This time I have to say it was harder. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t speak the language.
Once again, I started feeling lonely but I just reminded myself if I could feel so well in Edinburgh, I could do it anywhere.
So I started going to events, I started meeting new people and I found my best friends.
I am writing this to show you, I have been where you are and I know you can overcome anything to have a life you love.
Why did I decide to become an expat coach?
I ended up deciding to become an expat coach because if I had had a coach back when I moved, both times, feeling at home would have been so much faster, and the stress would have been so much lower even.
So here you go.
A bit of my story, a bit of who I am, what I struggled with but also, how I stepped into the other side, into being happy where I am and I want that for you too.
How am I planning to help expats?
To be honest with you, this website was born because I wanted to add all the resources I have created in one place.
- Coaching 1:1 – to help you move forward with me by your side at all times (read more)
- Podcast – to help you with life stories plus coaching tips (read more)
- Newsletter – weekly reflections with ideas on how to meet new people, make friends and keep on feeling happy in your life as an expat (read more)
- Webinars and workshops (coming very soon!)