Posts in Life

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Why’d you do it?

September 26th, 2016 Posted by Life, My Story No Comment yet

When I was 5 years old, my parents and I moved from Bucharest, Romania to Montreal, Canada. After the initial excitement of my first time on a plane, I struggled to understand why my parents had made this life-altering decision to move as I tried to adapt to a place without my grandparents, in a language I didn’t speak (French) with no friends and other family nearby.

One day, I asked my parents:

Photo by Oscar Keys _ Unsplash _ Unsplash_files

Are you telling yourself this lie?

August 21st, 2016 Posted by Life, My Story, The Desire Map No Comment yet

It took me a couple of years to track down the lie I’d been telling myself that was holding me back (there are lots of them and like you, I’m a perpetual work in progress). The first year I lived in Finland was tough. Honestly, what helped me through the uncertainty loneliness was something I told myself over and over again…

lamp ride

What fear can teach you

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Life, The Desire Map 2 comments

Fear is good teacher but all students can, at some point or another, be resistant to its teachings…

Last week, I posted about how to tell whether you’re thriving or surviving in your life (abroad or at home) and shared with you my own my core desire feelings: connected, fearless, truth & simple.

In response, one of my readers wrote to me with some deep, deep questions. Among them were these two gems:

What does fearlessness represent for you? Would feeling fear prevent you from feeling connection?

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Are you thriving or surviving?

June 16th, 2016 Posted by Life, The Desire Map 1 comment

Do you remember thinking: “What do I want to be when I ‘grow up’?” I do.

In fact, well into my adolescence (erhm, early adulthood), this question used to plague me. Conversations in my family sounded a bit like this as university applications approached:

Mom and/or Dad: What do you want to do when you ‘grow up’?
Me: Speak German.

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Beyond Language: Lessons on personal growth abroad

May 10th, 2016 Posted by Life, My Story, News | Announcements | Updates 2 comments

At the 2015 polyglot gathering in Berlin (an event for those who love learning languages), I gave a talk called ‘Beyond Language: Lessons about life, self-understanding and transformation.’

During the talk, I shared what I had learned from living in Finland for 5 years, and how I had adjusted (the ups and downs I went through) – basically the messy process of personal growth abroad.

Chen YiChen

How to deal with growing pains abroad

April 29th, 2016 Posted by Blog, Life 2 comments

Ever have those days where it seems that everything would just be easier if you’d stayed home or moved back there? Me too. There’s some growth involved, and with it comes some pain as well, but fear not! I wrote this post to help you understand 2 things: why we get into bad moods/funks in the first place (and why you’re especially likely to develop them if you live abroad) and, how to shift out of them when they happen.

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Who is your Finnish expert?

August 18th, 2015 Posted by Language, Life No Comment yet

This might sounds like an odd question but have you ever wondered, who is the expert on Finnish? I don’t actually mean a person employed as a Finnish expert but rather, in the context of your life, who do you consider to be the expert on the Finnish? And when it comes to learning Finnish, is it an expert you should be turning to?

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One reason Finns switch to English when you’re around

August 8th, 2015 Posted by Life, My Story 8 comments

A funny thing happened to me at work the other day. I walked over to a coworker’s desk and straight into a 4-person conversation that was going on in Finnish. I watched the conversation switch from Finnish to English to accommodate my arrival, and guess what I did next?

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Real reason many don’t Learn Finnish (& not what you think)

April 13th, 2015 Posted by Language, Life 2 comments

Awhile back, I was talking with one of my students from the Finnish Language Group Program about how English in Finland gets to be so comfortable, that it’s easy to get stuck just speaking English.

Simple is beautiful.

Let things be easy.

March 4th, 2015 Posted by Life, My Story No Comment yet

This morning, I woke up with a plan: I was going to get up, get dressed and head out for a walk first thing. It was snowing – the kind of snow that tends to get us a little wet and only sprinkle the ground with white. The air was so fresh though, it felt like coming alive first thing in the morning.