Discussion for foreigners on Braving the Wilderness book

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This post is the first of its kind! It’s a book-club type discussion on Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. Please let me know if you enjoyed it in the comments below so I know whether to make videos like this in the future too!


I read a lot, think a lot and talk a lot. And lately, I’ve been reading, thinking and talking a lot about courage, vulnerability, fear and compassion.

I believe when we live abroad, we look out into the expanse of the wilderness – the complete unknown – on a daily basis. We find ways to cope and minimize our risks, but we also hold ourselves back from living fully out of fear.

My personal motto and the vision I have for this community is to support one another to ‘create a life you love abroad.’ So I felt so much of what Brené Brown discusses in her book Braving the Wilderness is incredibly pertinent to those of us living abroad.

The discussion!

How this came together

What I did after reading Braving the Wilderness  was basically to jot down the things I got most excited about, and used those things to create a narrative, to connect all these things to my own experiences. This is pretty much how my brain remembers things, but I got really excited at the idea of creating a summary for myself and sharing it with you (before returning the book to the library)! The end result is basically a mix of what Brené says, supported by years and years of research, and how I’ve interpreted it and related it to my own experiences.

Common themes

Brene’s book, Braving the Wilderness, has resonated with me deeply, and I’m confident that if you live abroad and/or find yourself reflecting on the themes below, it will resonate with you too:

  • loneliness
  • social connection
  • belonging
  • the courage to be different
  • fear
  • vulnerability

Let me know if you enjoy this format in the comments, so I know whether you’d like more videos like this in the future!

xx Irina

P.S. If you enjoyed this video and the themes covered, you might also like my Course for Inner Strength.


IMG_0139 - Mini copyMy name’s Irina and I was born in Romania, grew up in Canada and moved to Finland in 2010. From a young age, I had to learn languages to adapt to the big transitions going on in life (from Romanian to French to English). I gradually became fascinated by each language’s ability to help shape my identity and reveal new (sometimes contradictory) perspectives about the world. Based on my life abroad since 1993, I weave together experiences to empower foreigners to create lives they love abroad, whether the current challenges are related to language, culture or to a greater personal transition.

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Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Click here to find out more!

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