A new kind of networking challenge

After relocating six times with kids, expat partner Sophie Duverdier has inevitably found it a little strange adjusting to a new life in Monterrey now that her three daughters are all studying in Europe.

Child-free assignment

“This is definitely the hardest relocation I have experienced since the first one. Over 20 years ago, I moved to Amsterdam as a young mother. I remember not knowing where I could possibly meet people so I just took the buggy to the park hoping to randomly find other mums!” says Sophie. “Over the years, as we moved from one country to another, I got better at knowing what to do (or where to look) when I relocated. But, with a growing family, I must admit it also became easier and easier to meet people.”

Advance networking

“It’s definitely been a new kind of challenge to meet people without having the girls around. However, I had anticipated this! So before I relocated, I used the Global Connection directory and Facebook to try and find other expats and networking groups in Monterrey. I also joined two international women’s clubs to find out about activities that I can join and events that I can attend. I think it’s always helpful to get a sense of the community before  you relocate. Sometimes you might have to try something new – I once joined a class for calligraphy, which really isn’t my cup of tea, just as a way to meet people.”

Family management

“Now that my husband and I are parents with an ‘empty nest’, I have definitely had moments when I have wondered what I should be doing at home. Organising all of the family’s affairs used to account for so much of my time on a day-to-day basis. It was basically a full-time job. My three daughters call me the ‘family maman-ger’! To be honest, I’m still organising things for everyone but now it’s mostly an online role!”

Free to roam!

Although she misses having her daughters around, Sophie admits there are some pros to this new phase of life: “My husband and I travel together much more than we ever did before as expats. Even when he is travelling for work, I will often tag along. Why not? It’s always a pleasure to discover more about your host country. It fills me with positive energy, which is exactly what you need when living the expat life.”

Photo: Sophie, her husband and their three daughters

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