Brave Stories from

All Around the World

My interest in discovering the world has led me to have lived abroad for the last 32 years, in a total of 9 different countries and 16 cities. I first started off alone and then was joined by her husband of 25 years and along the way, we added our daughter, who is 20 years old right now. Scarily enough, I have set up houses 27 times and as far as I can see, there is no end in sight (yet).

 

I have lost and found myself many times during these moves, not all have been easy, not all have been smooth. The loss of identity has happened more than once, always being the one in the family of having to find a new purpose in every new country because only my husband being granted a work permit.

 

Two years ago, I decided that I needed to find a long-term project for myself because I could see my daughter heading to university soon and was frankly afraid of the “empty-nest-syndrome”. So, I opened my horizon and started studying the one subject I was passionate about, psychology, at a long-distance university in Germany. I absolutely love it and my passion is pedagogical psychology, especially the teen years.

 

My start as a Teen Girl Coach

As I have seen the challenges that my daughter and her friends had to face while growing up around the world and being on the move all the time, I decided to get trained as a Teen Girl Coach. It was a wonderful experience, and I am specializing now in online coaching for TCKs girls. TCKs are “Third culture kids”, children who grow up in neither their mother’s, nor their father’s passport country, but in a different, a third one. This means that most of the expat children are considered TCKs.

 

These kids have on one hand a privileged lifestyle but on the other hand many challenges due to their frequent moving. Many of these problems are often not being recognized neither by their parents, nor by their teachers or even themselves, so, these kids suffer in silence. One example is unresolved grief from losses that are not very obvious and therefore not addressed. What are these losses? Every time TCKs move, they lose their friends, relationships, neighbors, teachers, schools, surroundings, possessions, they lose their world and their life-style. And, in the next country, they have to start all over again which means, new friends, relationships, neighbors, teachers, schools, surroundings, and possessions. A brand-new life phase in which there is no time to grieve… And so, the grief gets buried, again and again, and at some point, mostly in the teenage years, it comes out in anger, resentment, and fights targeted at the people who love them the most, but have “put them through all this”, their parents.

 

I am so glad to be able to help these teenagers and their parents to address this grief in the best way possible. This and many other challenges make them so special, so unique!

 

The pandemic has only proven that online coaching is becoming “a thing”, that it is doable and that it is real! We can meet up around the world, timezones don't matter, and we are just some clicks away from each other. Social distancing now means: online connecting!

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If you have an interest in connecting with Andrea Schmitt you can contact her through Global Girl Coach.com or follow her on Instagram @globalgirlcoach

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