I’ve always been a bit of a “personal development” junkie. My parents were entrepreneurs for as long as I can remember and from an early age instilled in me a “can-do”, “never quit”, “go for your dreams” type mentality.
Real Tony Robbins stuff that I kind of live for!
When I was in my 20s, I read books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I like to think these authors gave me the confidence to try new things and the drive to keep growing.
Looking back after two years of living abroad in Spain, I realize what an important role these books and others played in getting our family here. Would I have even entertained the idea of leaving home to move across the world to a foreign country otherwise?
I’m not so sure… So maybe you’re someone in the same position. You’ve always dreamt of taking the path less traveled and venturing outside your cozy comfort zone but the voices inside tell you not to.
Maybe it’s worry, fear, kids, a long list of questions or the lack of belief that living abroad is for you. Whatever’s keeping you from changing the trajectory of your life, maybe a mindset shift is the kick you need.
Perhaps they’ll open your mind to the possibilities and give you a new perspective.
1. How to Quit Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie – A legend for sure, Dale Carnegie’s simple yet impactful style in teaching intrapersonal skills never disappoints. The nuggets I found in this book cross my mind a lot living in a foreign country and navigating this unfamiliar city.
Basically, Carnegie teaches us to image a “worse case scenario” from those worries holding us back. And in the end, we come to realize that the worries consuming our minds aren’t actually as big as they seem…or even likely to happen at all! *Sigh of relief!
2. Dancing in the Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad by Karen McCann – This one really hit home for me since the author talks about moving from Midwest America to Seville, Spain (one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful cities in this country!)
It’s entertaining, funny and real. Yes of course, there are headaches and hiccups along the way, which the author isn’t afraid to share. But McCann’s stories will bring a smile to your face and push anyone thinking about moving abroad to just DO IT!
3. A Place of YES: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life by Bethenny Frankel – You either love ‘er or you hate her on the American reality show Real Housewives of New York City. I happen to adore this witty, sarcastic lunatic of a business mogul. Her tell-it-like-it-is approach is so refreshing and she holds nothing back when it comes to facing obstacles and eliminating excuses.
Anytime my mind got filled with negative mental “noise” about moving our family abroad, this book encouraged me to say, “Oh, will you the shut @%$& up!”
How about the little (or big) tots in your life? If you plan to move abroad with kids, they’ll need more than reassurance from just Mommy & Daddy.
It also won’t hurt to grab a copy of these and start reading together in the weeks or months before your move.
For Your Kids:
1.Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss – Obviously a classic and one every child should have on their bookshelf. In the light-hearted rhyming fashion Seuss is so famous for, this story will inspire young readers to dream big, overcome obstacles and march to the beat of their own drum.
2. Little Bunny Dandelion is Moving House by Angela Schreiner – A sweet and tender story, younger children will immediately connect with the main character who learns to make new friends in an unfamiliar place filled with diversity.
Simply perfect for any kids experiencing a move, but most especially those relocating abroad. The author even included an activity at the end encouraging children to use their fingerprints and create their own “little bunny”.
3. Big Life Journal http://www.biglifejournal.com – The activities and worksheets offered by the folks at BLJ have been crucial in helping my kids overcome some of the obstacles and emotions of being expats.
I discovered Big Life Journal one day while scrolling through my Instagram feed and it immediately sparked my interest. Think “self-help university” for kids young and old! Words like resilience, confidence, belief and attitude jumped out and this told me the exercises would be perfect for us.
To date, we’ve completed the Growth Mindset Kit and Challenges Kit, which can be purchased online in a digital printable file. My kids love the Kindness and Self-Love Challenges. Honestly guys, I am OBSESSED what this company has put together and know you will be too.