The idea behind the blog.

I’ve come to realize that living in a different country brings out so many things in oneself that it is truly transformational.  It is an awakening that begins the minute you realize that the rules and ways of living from your own culture do not apply.  Well duh!  But you just don’t know how deep that goes until its everyday living.  You must adapt and find a new way of being.  Yes it is a spiritual change.  You are learning to be a different version of yourself because you have to examine a lot of whys and whats.  Or better, explain them to your spouse!   The title gives some of this away, GREAT LOVE, this represents how I came to live in the Netherlands (through my husband), EXPAT (short for Expatriate which is someone living in a foreign country), and finally-TATIONS derived from the book title by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations and something we all have when we first move here.

While I am still me I am certainly not the same girl who arrived here in November 2008.  With my first post I revealed some aspects of my former self.  Now I live here.  I have been through some amazing changes but some of it totally unexpected.  As I grow “up” here,  I meet a lot of people.  Some through the language schools I attended, some through the little jobs I’ve held, some through a book club I started with a friend, and now I am meeting women with babies & children.  All of these people are striving to make it here with their spouse/partner also.   When I meet someone “fresh off the boat” I feel for their beginning and try to not thrust my experiences on them.  I hear their story and realize that we all have the same troubles but each can bring a different perspective to a seemingly unbearable adjustment.  People need a sense of community.  It’s fine to tell everyone back home “I love it here!”  “I am having a ball” “No grey clouds here” <–uh if you live in the Netherlands you may not want to say this one!  🙂  They wouldn’t understand how difficult it really can be because it is an experience you must have.  It is for this reason that I decided to start this blog.  I wanted to open up the conversation to something more than windmills, bikes, and wooden shoes [they are great – the end].  I want to explore the hardships and the rewards of living in another country.  This is not to say I want to talk about the pros & cons of each country.  Quite on the contrary.  This is my home now and one of two Motherland{s} to my daughter!  I really love living here.  Its afforded us many opportunities that I hope someday we can explore in the US.

My hope is that people who come to visit this blog share their own experiences.  Give some advice alongside mine.   You don’t necessarily have to live in another country.  I just found that living here has forced me to understand myself on a deeper level that I otherwise would not have done had I stayed in the U.S.

There you have it the reason behind this blog.  I invite you to join me by leaving a comment and giving some feedback.  I would love to hear your love story whether its similar to mine or if it’s about the love you have for living abroad or just the life you are living!


About Self-Love life coach

I moved to the Netherlands to be with my husband. After several years living here and getting through some struggles and obstacles, I decided I would help other expats work through these same things by becoming a life coach. I offered these services under the name of the Life Coach for Expats. Some time later I've taken a deeper look into where my coaching can be most effective. Now you can find me as Susan de Vriend, Self-love life coach at I am the coach who coaches with compassion to support Business Moms find their inner confidence & voice allowing a profound and joyful life to be created on purpose.

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