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: Holidays away from home

After relocation, the first holidays away from home will be the most challenging.  Both awkward and isolating, they are filled with the reminder that, “You are no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.” (Wizard of OZ movie reference)

Our first year in London was all fun and games.  In early summer, we explored and learned all about our new home.  But that first holiday, I wondered, how am I going to do this?

By November, we were pretty well established into routines.  We had daily and weekly activities that kept us full up on groceries and busy.  But what about Thanksgiving???

As an American in London, it was a bit awkward.  Celebrating holiday that was the led us to disconnecting from Britian?  On a non- “Bank Holiday”?  It was a Thursday.

The biggest hurdle though was that the lack of family and dear friends.  We were literally isolated while trying to do something normal.

American Thanksgiving in London

After 36 years of American Thanksgivings though, I couldn’t help myself but to plan yet another one, so I got to it. For non-Americans ~ Thanksgivings is surrounded by harvest foods (pumpkin pies, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey and such), watching the Macy’s day parade and football on TV and mostly spending it with friends and family.

Since only one of the three would be available (this was a few year back), I concentrated on the food and adapted it all to my very small refrigerator, stove and oven.

We invited locals and other expats to join us.  It was fun to explain what Thanksgiving was.  We talked about the foods that make up the meal.  We enjoyed a few chickens since turkeys were not available until Christmas, and I think I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, like starting from a pie pumpkin.

Without Thanksgiving football & parades we decided to go for walk in Kensington Park and played table games. It was nice to take advantage of the temperate London weather.  It was 42 degrees and blowing back in Minnesota.

Everything shifted into something a bit new.

Remembering to keep living!

One of the toughest things in Relocation is to keep living.  There is continual change and adapting going on.  The holidays highlight this additional challenge like a blinding spotlight.

Holidays are surprising.  Since the holidays only come once a year and most relocation assignments are less than 3 years, there is no consistency, no daily practice how to do it.

However, like with most topics on ReloMoms, this post is about getting around being Stuck.

Because everything is new the planning starts a few months early.   This allows the event becomes an adventure with participants on both side of the pond and figuring out how to get this done away from normal.

Involve the friends and family back home.  Get recipes and maybe have holiday care packages sent from there to incorporate into your day!  This also alleviates the day of calls from home full of tears, “We miss you so much.  WHEN are you coming back? It’s not right without you.”

These calls do not help. However….

By involving them, they become part of your holiday even from a distance.  The questions become, “How did the sweet potatoes come out?  Did you play the game? How did your new friend like the ______?”

At your new home, involve the new friends you have made.  They also have local holidays, customs and foods.  Perhaps they could bring cornbread dressing to your holiday event.  Great!  Add it in, and experience something new.

Something NEW

Ultimately, holidays will all change.  They always have, even when you were home from year to year.  It’s just not recognizable because it happens to all of you at the same time.

People come and go.  Foods change, and the days morph in to something bigger and more full than they were in the years past.

The most valuable to do is to embrace where you are and the life you get to lead today.  And when you want to change it, you will make new decisions that will lead life in a different direction.

But today, Celebrate and LIVE.

Explore your new town next:  RELOCATION: What the Locals Do