2015. Berlin, Germany. I sat together with an actress from the USA, who moved just few months ago to Berlin, Germany. She told me about her life in New York and how she came to Berlin with her german husband. How she left all behind and started a new life in a new culture. I was fascinated about her amazing energy and optimism, but also her vunerabilty. She told me about her strong will and drive to make 'it' in Germany. To get jobs, to understand the culture, to live in that culture, to learn german, to make new friends, to create her own private and professional life and all the other challenges. Feministic independency was very important to her.
But she admitted that her strong drive went hand in hand with impatience. She had to face a wild and crazy emotional rollercoaster between excitement as well as motivation with "yes, we can" and in the next moment "i will never make it, i feel helpless, lost and naive'. She told me that this emotional rollercoaster has a strong negative impact on her marriage and that she is really worried about that. She was telling herself "Less complaining, more positive thinking and get proactive".
When i was listing to her i felt a big relief. All those feelings and situations have been so familiar to me, when i had my expat time in Denmark and i wished i would had met women like her, who could related to my situation then. It would have been so much easier for me to have support like this, back in the days. It's a good feeling to know that you are not alone with that kind of thoughts, feelings and challenges.
I started to tell her all my experiences. We both have been so grateful to hear each other stories and to learn from it. The best moments have been always "You too? Oh god, i was thinking i am the only fool..... So it's normal?". Those feelings of shame and fear got so much smaller. Confidence as well as optimism raised again. We empowered each other.
Years later i've met again and again other female expats all over the globe. I loved the strong, vunerable conntection i've felt when i've heared other female expats stories and wisdom. I also realized how much encouragement as well as validation was needed to be heared and also mirroring each other like "Look! How far you've already come! Be proud! That's so great!"
More and more i realized the central theme in all stories. It's not just the challenge with bureaucracy, it's much more the emotionale challenge that you have to face, even after years of living abroad.
In 2018 i spent my time in Croatia and met a beautiful young lady from Brazil. Again, she told me her story and her challenges as a female expat. I told her that i already have the idea to create a female network and she was really into it.
But as many ideas, it takes time and a few attempts until you really go for it.
In Summer 2020 i worked a few months in Italy, met again a few female expats and their stories. Because of the impact of Covid19 it was really difficult for me to get new contacts, to make my business and expat life run. Later i got into a very difficult situations and i felt very lost, especially when it came to emotional support. I already have italian friends but they not really could understand what i made through. Another young female expat from Russia had also though time and i realized her tricky situation. Her lack of life experience and the absence of her family gave her a strong emotional challenge. I tried to help her but i have seen that she need more support from someone at her age.
That's how "Female Expats United" was born.
So i started to connect with a lot of other female expats around the globe and create a world wide network. Everyone their specific skills and knowledge to help other female expats to have an easier, healthy and succussful life in a foreign country.
Sure, there are many webpages and platforms that tell you as expat where you get appartments or how to do bureaucracy stuff, but pretty often i felt overwhelmed with following accounts and finding the right information for me. Nowadays we are drowning in information, but which are really helpful to move on successfully? And how do i get emotional support with my specific female expat challenges?
Whatever expat online platform i used then, i had to face this annoying phenomenon that i got constantly, many messages of men, who use those platforms as dating pool (to say it in a very kindly way ;-) ). Even on popular, paid platforms to learn a new language you get as women again and again unwelcome messages from men. The only goal i had with that kind of platforms was to connect with people to have an easier start and life abroad. I was looking for serious help, information and support, but not for a sexual adventure or romance. Not at this place.
I realized how special the position of a woman as an expat is and how much we are looking for a safe place and connection to open up.
Even now with our own growing community and platform - for females only - many men confuse this educational and support platform as "dating platform". Nope. It's not. Sorry gentleman. That's our house rules.
'Female Expats United' is more than words.
'Female Expats United' is a place, where you learn to get proactive and be a part of a change, instead of waiting for a change.
'Female Expats United' is focused on giving you tools to become more relaxed with creating a life in a foreign country.
People also get the opportinity to create a career through or with 'Female Expats United'
This company, network and community - 'Female Expats United' - conntect, support and empower people around the globe.
Sharing is Caring & Leave no one behind.
Lots of Love & Optimism
Anja Kadt, Founder of 'Female Expats United'
Any thoughts or critic to that article you want to share? If yes, please write to email@example.com