Hi. I’m Jackie, the writer, researcher and all around expat enthusiast behind Family Move Abroad. My goal — to nurture the would be expat within you. To paint a picture that will let you envision living in a foreign country as a family, whether for six months, a year or long haul life change. Then, I want to connect you to the resources you need to bring that vision to reality.
My husband and I had always dreamed of living in a foreign country as a family with our children. We first talked about it before our older child was even born. In the summer of 2016, our sons 9 and 13, we stepped on a plane for Seville, Spain, ushering in a one year family expat adventure. (We’re now on year three, but that’s another story.)
Desperately Seeking Answers
The idea for a website “to help people figure out their visas and other things you really need to do” was born during the absolutely painstaking research phase planning our move to Spain. Finding the information I needed was beyond challenging, and we definitely considered giving up. In fact, I’ve since met people who did just that — gave up on their dream to live in Spain for a year because they were so overwhelmed with the process. I don’t want that to happy to you!
With nearly three years of expat parenting behind me, I’ve expanded on that initial vision to embrace the educational and well being issues we’ve encountered along the way. Every family is unique, yet a common thread runs through the stories I hear from parents raising children outside their home country. In addition to guiding you through the bazillion practical matters to contend with, I hope you’ll come to see Family Move Abroad as a resource to help you navigate this qualitative element of your family expat journey.
So… What experience do I bring to this rather lofty goal of imposing some sense of order on the intrinsically disorienting nature of a family international relocation? (Besides having single-handedly orchestrated the move of my own family to Spain…)
A corporate career in software development, from production assistant to executive level manager. Equally at home within the micro and the macro. Big budgets, tight timelines, the person who had to make the many quirky personalities across a multidisciplinary team to all play nicely with each other. Those years taught me that I truly treasure nurturing ideas into tangible products, and to do so with pure project management prowess.
Full time mother to two beautiful, wild and incredibly strong willed boys. I bring sixteen years as caregiver, homework helper, reading intervention specialist and alternative healthcare consultant all rolled into one. Soccer mom. Snowboarding/skiing mom. Have possibly orchestrated made more travel arrangements than many travel agents. And I happen to bake some of the best homemade Harry Potter and Star Wars inspired birthday cakes you’re ever gonna see. For the last three years, I’ve executed any number of these responsibilities in Spanish. Bottom line, I just plain get the many, multifaceted levels of a child’s well-being you’ll want to consider when you move them to a foreign country.
Finally, I’m a professional yoga teacher. Yes, I realize that may seem completely irrelevant to international relocation support. But my yoga practice, at its core, is about creating the resilience to step outside my comfort zone and explore life with an open heart. There are many ways to stretch, and living and parenting in a foreign country will push you beyond your limits. Besides, I just can’t help inserting a little yoga speak into just about everything I write or say, so figured I should probably mention it.
Where are you at in your expat journey? Contact me here.