I am María J, I am ICF coach, and I am on a mission to accompany expat partners in any physical or personal transition.
I am Spanish by birth, Belgian by love, and also a little of each country in which I’ve lived because they’ve all contributed so much to my identity. For two decades I’ve lived in the expat world, as a trailing spouse, enjoying this unique life, and accepting it as it is – with its thorns and its flowers. I have lived in a permanent state of transition, which has allowed me to grow in every sense.
I’ve lived in 8 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. I’ve been an expatriate alone, as a couple, and with my husband plus 3 kids. My three children were each born on different continents (South America, Europe, Africa), and are now TCK teenagers. My husband and I are an intercultural and multilingual couple. I have come up with my own definition of "home", "belonging", "career", "common thread", "roots". I’ve lived in countries where legally I wasn’t allowed to have a paid job (expat: Venezuela), where I could neither be employed nor volunteer (expat: Ethiopia), and where legally I could get a job, but was needed at home (fauxpat: Belgium). Finally, in the US, I was able to get a paid employment. Professionally, I’ve worked in a company, in education and recently launched into entrepreneurship. I have also been the full-time CEO of my household.
In any transition, it is crucial to practice self-awareness and determination to seize opportunities and live the life we want.MJDL
Being a trailing spouse is not easy. Transitions wear you down. I also, like maybe you now, felt stuck, lost track, faced self-doubt. While in a personal transition, coaching turned out to be one of the most significant transformative experience. I would like to facilitate that you get to feel it too!