Feed Your Passion

Butterfly Evolution Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Feeding your Passions after relocation can feel impossible.  Your passion is part of a group or activity, a thousand miles away and the local area doesn’t have that type of group or activity anywhere near by.  Everything is different and without your group it is now impossible to feed your passion for  “______” like you used to.

The challenges are real and the circumstances are set.  It may seem dire or even impossible to jump back in but there are a few ways to do that, with a few new thoughts and some creative thinking.

Feed Your Passion through Support

The monthly meeting are not possible, nor is hitting the road with the running club or reading to kids at school.  But there is participation beyond physically being there.

These groups of people and their activities can always be supported in other ways.  Most of these groups depend on getting the word out about who they are and how to participate.  Your passion for the group and what they do is invaluable.

Consider active Facebook or Social Media participation.  Your posts about the group drive traffic as well as provides a real opinion about the group and what they do.  Other posts can include safety tips that apply to the activity,  i.e. stretching for runners or injury prevention.  Also think about posting about why you joined and how it served your passion.  This will help others looking to feed a shared passion to consider this group.

In addition, the active Facebook participation is connection with your friends in the previous group is that it provide things to talk about and strategize on.  A reason to call and chat.

Feed Your Passion through Skills Development

Just about everything we can think to do requires skills and practice.  Even an Olympic Runner is constantly striving to improve.  Learning about nutrition, mental focus hacks or technical tweaks to enhance performance there is always something to learn.

If you have found yourself in a place without a way to feed your passion through an existing group or place it is time to change the attention to enhancing skills development.

Consider creating a Passion project that begins with research and ends with being an expert.  An expert who knows every aspect of the subject that support a personal passion. 

Back to the running example, have your considered lately how to improve on your performance from an equipment standpoint.  What is the latest in shoe technology?  What is the most accurate distance terrain tracking device?  How is a cold and snowy day conquered?

Striving to become an expert opens up your mind to the world beyond what the original passion experience and boundaries.  The additional knowledge will provide new ways and topics to connect with others you meet in your new community.

Feed your Passion through Activity

We all know the local running club isn’t going to come knock on the door one morning and ask you if you want to come run with them.  Joining a local club take getting out into the community and doing it, sometimes alone at first.  Doing what you love, your passion, is what feeds your passion and ultimately being in the community doing and talking about it then connects you with others in the new community. 

Finding my passion project people

For example, I am working on a passion project to promote a local charity that works to teach personal character values (honesty, discipline, respect, kindness, etc.) through a full time in school Karate program, Kickstart Kids.  My network upon starting this few weeks ago was cold.  In addition, I do not live in the school districts where Kickstart Kids is located.  I needed to get connected in order to find those interested in going to the benefit.

My solution was to visit over 35 networking and Chamber of Commerce meetings over 4 and a half weeks.  This was tough to do especially in the towns where the program was located.  But all of that changed as I attended meetings that were listed on internet.

As a result, I met people at each meeting that would say, “you should attend this networking meeting tomorrow or next week.” 

The only meeting I could find for a city would then turn into 3 or 4 other meetings.  As a result during that first week, I found and was invited to enough meeting that I met my 35 meeting goal.  During these first few weeks I have talked to at least a hundred people now.

The Bonus

After that, a funny thing happened.  I started to connect and began connecting people to each other.  Not only did I find people who were interested in my story, but as I listened to theirs I was able to help them out by connecting people to each other.

In the first couple of weeks I have had the chance to feed my passion for Kickstart Kids by telling the story, but more importantly I have found a number of connections that share my passion for improving the lives of inner city and at risk kids.  I have begun to build a passion based group I never expected to find.

Cast a Wide Net

Consider attending any of your local meetings whether garden club, chamber of commerce or PTA.  Work to meet as many people as possible and get connected either via social media or with an old fashioned phone number. 

When asked what you do, use this as an opportunity to talk about the recent relocation and your passion.  A relocation, even a year old, is an instant conversation starter for most of the people you will meet.  Most will take an interest in your passion whether or not they have the same passion, and consequently will even find a new connection for you, either a group or a person.

The point is to meet as many people as possible and cast a wide net.

Next, especially if there is no existing group, consider starting up your own group.  In the age of city mom groups, the internet and social media getting the word out get easier every year.  And after attending the local meetings you will have a number of contacts who will be willing to share your new group personally with who they know.

Feed your Passion beyond the Four Walls

We can go for a run by ourselves.  We can foster dogs on our own.  We can paint by ourselves at a local park. We can…but we need community.

By sharing and living our passions with others, this is what feeds our passions most fully.

Life starts out with only the core family in the first few relocation weeks. However, to start living our lives, as we want to, we need to live our passions, expand what we know, support the people from our previous community as well as find the new people who share our passion where we are now.

This is how we all feed our passion and build our new sense of community.

Annette Walters is an empty nester who has relocated 13 times with 2 years as an EXPAT. She shares her life with her talented husband and sweet Coco the dog with whom she is always looking share the next adventure in the Wilds of Texas and far, far beyond.

For other ideas on connecting see my blog “Connecting after Relocation

Relocation Overwhelm

Free photo 95868525 © creativecommonsphotos - Dreamstime.com
Free photo 95868525 © creativecommonsphotos – Dreamstime.com

Relocation Overwhelm is the relocation surprise that occurs somewhere between closing and the end of the 1st move in month.

Relocation Overwhelm is a stealthy adversary that does not present as itself but as exhaustion, frustration, lack of focus, shortness with others and in my case tears.  It comes up and attacks in the most simple moments such as trying to find the honey at the grocery store.

I at the grocery store staring blindly at a 18 years old stock boy.  Tears are welling up and a spurt out, “Where is the honey.  I can’t find the honey.”  A tear hits my shirt.  Helplessly, he points to isle 3 and says, “half way down.”

It’s not about the Honey

Any relocation survivor I tell this to looks at me with warm understanding and shakes their head up and down in an accepting and connecting way.  We have all experienced it.

If you have not walk through this yet on your first relocation, know that it is coming.

The inability to find the honey is just one more of a million activities and decisions that a blown up your expectations.  It is on the heels of walking kids into school, just to be rejected because their immunizations are not what is required.  It is the presentation of pink eye with no know doctor to go to.  It is a kitchen that has no place for your favorite roaster.

But it adds up

It is not like any of this or most everything else that happens are critical issues that cannot be solved.  However, because you have landed in a new town, everything…every issue…every decision requires your full and complete attention.

This is not like pre-relocation life where you knew how to do everything and had the resources on speed dial.

Being out of real control and having to reel it back in with every decision is why it adds up.

Relocation Overwhelm Pre-work

One of the best ways to head off Relocation Overwhelm is to know it is coming.

Know that the decisions will beat you down.  Know that expectations will consistently be not met and adjusted.  Know what you will do in the face of this happening.

Like with most of Relocation, planning ahead to set relocation specific expectations is your key to traversing this with more ease.  The plan begins with knowing this will happen.  The second step is to plan what you will do in the face of all of these.

You are not planning an exact reaction to I can’t find the honey I like, SO I will order it online.

You are planning your reaction.  Deciding ahead of time how you will face the disappointment and yet another missed expectation is the way to go through each and everyone of these.

You will not QUIT

We both know quitting isn’t an option, even though we may sit in the foyer with tears for a few minutes.

We get up brush ourselves off and get after it again.

At the primal level of who we are, our brains will not let us stop until we get back to normal.  See the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

So we get up brush off the frustration and work to solve the need for a new veterinarian, a doctor for those vaccinations or a way to get our child in hockey or a similar sport in a town without hockey.

Include a Pause in the Plan

So you know it is coming, you know how you want to react and you know ultimately you will not quit.

But what you do need is a pause.

This pause, which you will fight for, pushes back the walls of Relocation Overwhelm.  It allows you to recognize it and make peace with its presence.  The lack of fight and acknowledgement conserves your energy for “getting back after it”.  But only after you have gathered the peace that is right in front of you.

Relocation for the trailing spouse is a BIG JOB.  One that you only know after you have walked through it.  Not impossible, just big.

You will make it

So keep after it relocation warrior.  You are a survivor and you will do what you need to for you, your family and your marriage.  Trust in yourself.

You will find you have strength you didn’t know you had on the other side of this.

More about you… http://relomoms.com/know_thyself_during_relocation/

Annette Walters is a ReloMom of 13 moves and 2 EXPAT years.  She is passionate about helping other ReloMoms find their groove and want to help encourage strength in the face of the battle.

#1 Relocation Challenge Who to Call

ReloMoms Who to Call
Who to call after relocation

Relocation week one!  The kids are sick.  The washer is missing a part. The water is still not on.  School starts Monday.  And oh by the way you need to start interviewing.

Who DO you call in those first few days or weeks?

It was your friend.  She knew everyone and had a knack for knowing what to do and who to call, but she is 350 miles away.

In this new city, the only people you know are your realtor, mortgage banker and perhaps a neighbor who dropped by to introduce themselves.  Not friends, but the only locals you know.


Is everything an answer?

Perhaps, but let’s categorize these needs 4 ways: Me, Home, Children, and Spouse

Below each list out what each needs to move forward tomorrow and in the next week.  Here are some examples.

Dividing them in to categories makes each easier to prioritize.  You mind will automatically jump to the ones with the most urgency.

The relocation challenge of this list is that it takes extra time to make any of this happen.  Phone calls, online reviews and referrals from the few people you know here will add 5 to 15 minutes to each.

Knowing this ahead of time will help manage expectations.


Start with who you know, then move to those organizations or other individuals who are accessible.

Everyone loves to feel like the hero, especially when helping kids.  Asking the questions gives them that opportunity.


Create an organized list, by type, of all the go to people in your phone.  Chances are these are the same services, activities and types of organizations you will look for in your new community.

As you contact the “Where to Start List”, ask them for referrals to fill out your list.

If you are working on your second black belt OR your children are current Karate students, ask everyone.

Oh by the way, do you know of a great Karate school?

You will find that they have children, neighbors or cousins that love their dojo.


Emergencies happen.  These are times when you call your next door neighbor, your mom or your best friend.  Those are not available in the first few weeks so you need to be prepared for

Just in case

Work Colleagues

Being a corporate move your first line is the new colleagues.  These are the people you met before the move and now are seeing on a daily basis.  That working relationship is actually stronger than any of the other connections.

Community Options

Professional organizations and services are your next option.

Medical and Childcare will be the most important issues that will arise.  A medical emergency that keeps you from being able to take care of the children is worst case.

As you are asking for opinions and referrals, remember to ask for local organizations that help with 24 hours childcare as well as preferred emergency medical facilities.  If anyone in the family has critical and specific medical issues this is imperative.


Your dependable Who to Call list will grow exponentially.  Everyone will have multiple referrals for you.

The entire list may be filled in a few chats, especially if both of you work on it.

Who to Call Worksheet

For more information, ideas or encouragement, please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com

A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.