Hi! I'm Susanna Reay, owner of Jump Overseas, and my aim is to guide you successfully through your relocation journey.
I have relocated internationally multiple times in my own life and I now want to share my knowledge with you, to help you settle at your new location faster. In the Jump Overseas Academy, I offer personal coaching and online group courses. My ToolKit page gives you some resources to read and follow on your own, but be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get extra goodies and special academy offers.
I was four years old when I first jumped overseas with my parents from England to Seattle, USA. That was swiftly followed a year later to Sydney, Australia. My love for international travel and investigating new cultures had been ignited. I remember vividly learning about all the animals on the Australian coins, and writing my first essays on Marsupials. For family reasons my parents decided to repatriate back to England after four years away. I was the outsider at my new primary school who spoke with a 'funny accent'. I had to re-establish myself back into the local community. It took time, I was teased, but eventually I acquired the new accent and found my place. Along the way I learnt useful techniques to meet new people and integrate fast in new scenarios. There was no talk of Third Culture Kids in the Eighties.. but I was one, finding my own way. Luckily today, there is far more help available to ease people through these transitions.
Skipping forward to my adult years, a new opportunity presented itself for me to move to France. The offer was via my husband's work and a three year international assignment package with a big corporate firm. It seemed like a low risk opportunity to head off and discover new and interesting lands. So we did!
But as these things tend to go... the plan to return never quite came about and 4 moves plus 12 years later, I am still on my relocation journey. Homes to date have been in England, Australia, France, Switzerland and the USA. My current base is Montpellier in the South of France. I really do live by the motto 'wherever I lie my hat, that's my home'. Each year gives new challenges as now we have a growing family with children with their own needs to be considered.
Jumping overseas takes a huge amount of planning and organisation. You must delve deep into emotional reserves to take you through all the challenges that present themselves. It makes no difference if you are single, a couple or a family with children, the task is not to be underestimated. But the rewards are enormous if you can keep a clear head and plan your way out of the pitfalls.
Family Relocation and Third Culture Kids
Family relocation faces particular complexities. It is a challenge of a whole new order. The support network is even more important to have, and yet does not exist when you land in a new place. You answer questions about birth and origin on a regular basis... then schooling age creeps up on you at an alarming rate and relocation means researching not only a whole new area for schools, but completely new systems and ways of doing things. If you are relocating with a family, having a place to relate to others in a similar situation becomes extremely important.
I am an Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK). I have two Third Culture Kids (TCKs) born in two different countries, neither of which is their nationality. From an early age if you asked them where they are from they would answer "It's complicated" or "Long or Short version?" and recently I saw the eldest, now ten, showing her friends where she was from on an atlas... she just spread her hands out as wide as they could be and placed them down over all of Europe and North America then said "here"!
A serious note
A truth that is not often talked about before a relocation is that it is very common for expats, especially the trailing partners, to get depressed, lonely and frustrated in their new life. This is a normal reaction to having the rug of your life pulled out from under your feet at lightening speed. Through this website and on my facebook page I can offer an easy way for you to connect and gain advice to help you through this period. If you need more support, such as individual coaching, please contact me. You do not have to feel alone and depressed, there is a way forward, you just need to reach out and ask and I will make sure you get the help you need.
This website is designed to aid you make the jump overseas far more enjoyable and informed. Check out my relocation tool-kit page for free downloads and recommendations. The Jump Overseas online Relocation Academy has specific coaching modules to help you through the hardest points in a relocation when you need directional help.
This relocation checklist is AWESOME! I wish I had access to that before I made the move to Portugal almost 2 years ago!