Updated: Feb 21
Her Expat Life recently had a wonderful chat with Jasmin Braun to learn more about her experience as an expat and coach. Jasmin Braun has been living abroad for over 10 years and has seen it all; from culture shock to the joys of discovering new countries. Her enthusiasm for expat life is infectious and she shared with us her valuable tips for making the most out of life as an expatriate.
1. How did you begin your expat lifestyle? As a student, entrepreneur, trailing
spouse, professional, retiree, etc? And tell us about that journey!
My expat journey began during my studies when I went to Dubai for an internship. Little
did I know that this experience would change the trajectory of my life completely. It
allowed me to discover and connect to the global soul within me and I have since been
living abroad as a young professional, new-mom, trailing spouse and entrepreneur. I
have been on the expat journey for over 14 years so far and what a journey it's been!
2. Where has been your favourite place to live and work?
Having lived abroad in Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok, I honestly cannot pick one as a
favourite. Each of these places were special and felt perfect for the respective phase of
life I was in. I lived in Dubai as a young professional and loved the buzzing world of
consulting firms. I became an entrepreneur and mother of two in Singapore, so it is a
place that holds a lot of special memories for me. And Bangkok was a place of
tremendous growth and vibrancy for me. I feel like each of those places was perfect for
the phase of my life and I wouldn't change a thing about my journey so far.
3. What challenges have you faced along the way as an expat? How did you
As many other expats, I have experienced times of loneliness and feeling lost as I had
to figure out what my life was going to look like in each of the places I lived. I also had to
learn to deal with the uncertainty of expat life, knowing that we could move on within a
few months’ notice. Being a trailing spouse and new-mom in Singapore probably felt the
most challenging as for the first time in my life, it seemed as if I was defined by factors
outside of me which left me feeling quite disempowered at times. But I stepped out of it
by setting up my own coaching business and while I was empowering myself again,
helped my clients – expat women like me – define their own unique path abroad.
Ultimately, what helped me overcome all the different challenges I have faced abroad
has always been a belief that no matter what, I could find a way to make this a
meaningful and fulfilling experience for myself. I often ask myself: when I look back on
this phase in my life when I am 80, what do I want to remember it for. The answers to
this question have always inspired me to overcome the challenges and create
something beautiful from it.
4. As an expat coach, how do you help other women?
As an expat coach I work with expat women who feel lost and unfulfilled abroad. I help
them find belonging, purpose and direction so they can wholeheartedly thrive and feel at
home, wherever they are.
My work is very much focused on mindset as well as emotional well-being. I combine
coaching with EFT Tapping, a powerful method allowing us to release blocks to
emotional well-being. Hearing my clients say “Wow, I finally feel like myself again” is
what it's all about for me.
5. What advice do you have for females who may be transitioning into self-
employment? How do you handle the professional pressures alone?
My advice would be to always stay connected to the reason you are making this
transition, to the work you burn for and the difference you are here to make. Self-
employment will be challenging at times, it's not always smooth sailing, but if you
always keep in sight your vision and that passion that is within you, you can make it
through these phases. And remember, you are not alone. In the first few years of my
business, I did everything by myself and I did feel the pressure of making it all work pile
up on me. Once I became part of a community of entrepreneurs, a place where I could
feel less alone with my challenges, share and receive insights, everything shifted. As my business grew, I decided to take on help for the parts of my business that don't light me up – I now have a team of wonderful people working with me, I feel held, supported and not at all alone in this!
6. What has been the most exciting project you have worked on/client you have
My most fulfilling experiences are when I see the transformation that my clients go
through, from feeling lost and lacking direction, to feeling so deeply connected to what
they want their life to be about and becoming unstoppable towards that. Many clients
changed careers or left their careers to fulfil dreams they always had but never dared to
bring in to life, like opening up an an antique store, becoming a jewellery designer or
finally writing that book. But more than the visible change, I love witnessing the inner
change of becoming confident women that burn for the expat life they are creating for
themselves and their families.
7. What advice would you give women who are working or may be moving to a
country that is completely foreign to their own? How to overcome
For me, openness is one of the key factors that determine whether a person is able to
overcome the challenges expat life brings with it. If we can remain open and honest with
ourselves about what we are struggling with and at the same time have the openness to
explore new ways of thinking, speaking, doing things, we have a pretty good chance of
making it work in a way that feels truly joyful and fulfilling. When we move abroad, we
have to be ready to loosen our grip on the expectations of how things should be and
allow ourselves to be surprised by the new, the unfamiliar and embrace it, because it
makes our lives so much richer.
8. What inspired the transition into coaching? Is it difficult? Did you suffer any
setbacks or failures along the way?
I was introduced to coaching and its powerful effects within my work in management
consulting and HR and quickly realised that this was where my passion lies. Training to
be a coach never felt difficult to me, I loved every moment of it, and if anything felt like I
was finally able to put my gifts to work. My coaching style and skillset have evolved over
the past decade, to be more holistic working with mindset, emotions and how we
embody what we feel and believe. But I never doubted or regretted my decision to
embark on this journey of becoming a coach. The actual running of a business held
more challenges and set-backs for me, and the growth I have experienced through it is
9. What advice do you have for fellow female digital nomads/expats who may be
feeling stuck - need a change of country, or are over teaching English but don’t know
how to make a steady income?
I often speak about our “inner compass”, that wisdom in our mind and heart that tells us
whether we are on the right path or not. When you feel out of alignment, reflect, take
action and realign yourself with who you truly are and what you want your life to be
about. We're only ever stuck for as long as we allow ourselves to be stuck. If any
aspect of your life feels like it's not quite right, take an honest look at what's working
and what is not. Have the courage to take action, even if it feels scary trusting that you
will make it work in the end.
10. Lastly, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Feeling connected with people, nature and myself is very important to me and keeps me
balanced and aligned. I love being by the water, whether that is a river or the ocean – a
good book and good company go a long way to making me feel happy. I love journeys,
whether that is a weekend getaway or road-tripping through a new country. And I have
a love for vineyards – while I enjoy the occasional glass of wine, it is mainly the beauty
of the vines growing in beautiful, sunny rows, knowing their potential – there is
something magical about it for me.
Connect with Jasmin: