Last week we held the first of our monthly in-person ‘Welcome Club’ get togethers.
The gathering was a great success; with everyone agreeing that it was fabulous to come along feeling it was THEIR experience of being out of place and to discover it is OUR shared experience of being out of place!
It was a very informal session and as we chatted, introduced ourselves and told our stories, it was evident that despite our many different backgrounds and experiences many of the elements of our experience have been the same.
To appreciate the diversity of this first group I will just share some facts about us…
- We had been in the English Midlands between one month and 10 years.
- We had been born in Australia, England, Germany and Hungary
- We spoke at least 4 different languages
- We had children with ages ranging between 5 and 15
- For each of us the reason for being here in the UK was our husbands’ work
- Some of us have to return to other countries regularly to maintain connections with family, one does this within the UK and one has returned to the area, so has family nearby
Some of the elements we discovered to be the same about our experiences were:
- That we had learnt a lot about ourselves from the process of being ‘out of place’ and are more empathetic towards others who have had similar experiences
- We feel our family and friends from our ‘home’ country/place do not always understand or comprehend the challenges we have faced with choosing to move away
- With this lack of understanding there is sometimes judgement and a ‘disconnecting’ from relationships
- As the person / family who has moved away, the onus on keeping the connections falls on the leavers, especially when returning ‘home’ to visit
- Feeling enriched from the experience of global migration
- There was a general feeling of not fully belonging in either place (no matter the timescale)
We are all excited to continue the discussion at future meetings and on the Group Facebook Page and look forward to welcoming new members to the group.
At Enhanced Relocation we are not the only ones noticing this deep connection. Families in Global Transition and www.tckidnow.com are examples other places where this connection is well recognised and there is support for cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world.
At the Welcome Club, here in the heart of England, we welcome families arriving from somewhere else. Some of us have been here a while, and others have just recently arrived. You are welcome no matter how far you have travelled to make your home here, (expats or native to the UK but new to the area).
To find out more about what we are about, please go to:
We also welcome individuals and local businesses who might have something to offer newcomers. A kind word, a service or suggestions of ways to link with the local community are all welcome here.
Our next meeting is in Leamington Spa on Monday October 8th at 1 pm.
Please join us! Book your FREE Ticket here.
We are looking forward to meeting you!