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To receive

Most expats I know are very accomplished and brave people who choose quite different career and life paths to whatever they grew up with. We are great at creating and doing. What we often lack is the ability to truly receive.

I meet many expats (myself included) who struggle to receive kindness, help, support and ultimately trust. Why is that you might ask? Well many of us chose to live by the concept of ‘make it on your own‘ during some (or all) of our journey. And when you’re so used to doing and creating, is it any wonder that we find it challenging to receive?

It might not be true for everyone, but I’ve certainly found this to be true for myself and some expat friends very close to me. So what does this mean?

  1. Trust is always selective: You don’t have to fully trust someone and let them into your heart just because you show gratitude for what they give or offer you. Just say thank you!
  2. Pay it forward: Sometimes the best gratitude for a kind act someone did for you, is to pay it forward to the next person you meet who needs it the most. The travel and expat community is overall a very generous and kind one – make sure to be part of that too!
  3. You don’t owe anyone anything more than a genuine thank you. Just because you graciously received and said thank you for what someone kindly did to help or support you, does not mean you owe them specifically anything. It’s that easy. Receive kind things with gratitude and say a genuine thank you. I was quite surprised when I ran a travel blog for many years and so many people used to email me directly to ask for advice on their trip and then didn’t even say thank you when I took the time to send detailed responses. Always say thank you if someone helps out!
  4. You still ‘made it’ even if you got some help on the way! Yes, you might think it’s better to do it on your own (I used to think that). In reality most things are better shared. Enjoy the help on the way and follow step 2 if you feel like you need it!

What are your thoughts around receiving – do you find it easy or challenging? And how do you go about paying it forward?