My husband and I started our journey internationally as Peace Corps volunteers (Lesotho) 1976 and 1980. Altruistically motivated to making the world a better place, and wanting to experience other cultures “on the ground” was compelling. After completing our volunteer service, we continued on to our respective careers internationally for decades; only returning to the States for family, graduate degrees, certifications, health, and the birth of our two daughters. For 10 years I worked in four international schools as head librarian, and then another seven years traveling globally for conferences and sessions to train librarians and do presentations.
Our family moved, settled in, culturally adjusted from country to country. In Dhaka, bizarre crystals grew out of the floors in our house, rickshaws collided with us as passengers, and our daughters graduated and left for college in the U.S. I do remember crying in front of the fridge when I realized I had bought food for a family of 4, not for an “empty” nest. Our possessions were lost to a flood in Bangkok, two men tried to carjack our vehicle in Nairobi, and we evacuated for political reasons from both Ethiopia and Morocco within a decade. Each of our experiences may vary in kind and intensity to others, but a unique set of skills and adjustments is needed by those of us who live outside of our passport countries. I understand this keenly.
Our daughters are TCKs who graduated from the American School in Dhaka. Resettling back to the States for university was challenging for them. They were not foreign students. They were Americans who had not lived in their passport country for 15 years, and had “gaps” in their cultural understanding. It was endearing when our daughters loved watching U.S. TV commercials; it was heartbreaking when one was involved in an accident because she didn’t remember that cars in the U.S. drove on the right side of the road. Throughout – we kept our hearts fixed on our values, intentions and motivations, while trying to figure it out as we went.
After three decades of an ex-pat life in 8 different countries, and 40+countries for work and holiday, we repatriated to Kentucky in 2022. This transition to our passport country was a difficult one.
I hung on to the words of wise man, “Home is not a place. It doesn’t matter where you are geographically. Home is inside you. You have the power to create it” It felt like a great message back in 1976, and I tried to live it as best I could throughout. Four decades later, I was more angry at the words than finding alignment with them.
Each of us is a very unique human comprising of a set of values, needs, experiences. In life coaching, you will find a safe, confidential, thought-provoking space. Because my accreditation and training are bound by the guidelines of the ICF, you can be assured of excellence, ethical standards and integrity in every interaction I have with you.
There are a myriad of ways we can partner, connect and interact, but your life’s tapestry is what has made you special. As a trained coach (ACC certification 2023), I continue to learn the tools to help you get from “here to there” in your life, with you as the center of your universe. In a world – actual and within ourself – of “noise” and distraction, a coaching session with Ellen is a space just for you. With someone with life experiences, training and compassion to help you get unstuck, move forward and be the best of you.