Exploring Ikigai and its relevance to my life as an expat.

I love being an expat. But as I continued to live in our third African country & our sixth country being as an expat, I start to explore how it can help in my expat life.
Iki means “life” and gai means “purpose” or “worth.” It’s all about becoming your honest self, not your best self. Ikigai impacts every aspect of your life and translates into your relationships, career, spirituality, environment and so much more. It’s a concept that allows you to see different perspectives in life, break out of your comfort zone and learn to understand who you are on the inside and out.

Kamiya Mieko (mother of Ikigai) identified the basic needs in our lives that must be satisfied to have a high sense of ikigai (and overall well-being):
-Life Satisfaction
-Meaning and Value
-Bright Future
-Change & Growth
– Freedom
-Sense of purpose

When many expats move abroad, they initially plan to stay for an X of years before returning home or moving to the next adventure. However, often, one year turns into several, and they find themselves stuck in a loop of comfort, doing the same things: work, socialize, sleep, repeat. Starting anew elsewhere feels daunting, so they remain in this comfort zone.

Living on autopilot, they lose track of their original motivations, goals, and the joy of living in the present moment, forget to stop and smell the flowers. Over time, they may struggle to define their purpose as they age. This is where the concept of Ikigai becomes valuable. It encourages us to slow down, engage in meaningful experiences, and reflect on our identity and desires. By asking ourselves important questions, we can rediscover our true selves and create the fulfilling life we ​​desire.

If you think about it, we ask other people questions more often than we ask ourselves, therefore, we lose sight of who we really are and what we want.
In the context of expat life, understanding your ikigai can help you navigate new environments, find meaning, and purpose in your actions, and adapt to change with greater confidence and satisfaction. Ikigai can be valuable to an expat in the sense that when we move abroad, we often lose the basic needs needed to live a happy and fulfilling life. This requires working on the core attitudes of life – our ikigai – to achieve a fulfilling experience of life abroad.

Moving gives us the opportunity to reinvent who we are. We are freed from our usual restrictions and can use the lid to set ourselves up as new expats. This may be the first time we are truly free to design the life we ​​truly desire.

What is my Ikigai?
I started to explore my Ikigai: writing, painting, doing crochet, yoga, I get my Nutritionist Diploma and continue my expat lifestyle blog in instagram with the nutrition topics and how to improve your life with healthy food. I think when you start to explore yourself more, you start to find out you can do more than one purpose.

“To inspire” is everything I stand for and everything I do.
I inspire daily. I inspire my friends, family, myself, and my clients. I inspire myself in my creative work, my personal life, and my writing. “To inspire” is everything I stand for and everything I do.

Exploring ikigai can serve as a valuable tool for expatriates seeking fulfillment and guidance in their overseas experience. It provides a roadmap for overcoming challenges, improving mental well-being, and enriching their journey abroad.

What is your Ikigai?

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