Earlier in the summer I was invited by author Catherine Transler to review her forthcoming book “Turning International”.  As a serial expat, fascinated by the international lifestyle I and countless others have chosen to lead, I was only too happy to do so.  Catherine’s book has now been released, read on for my review.

 Despite my transient lifestyle over the years I haven’t read that many books on being an expat or an international, simply because there aren’t that many good books on the subject.  They tend to fall into the overly stuffy “educational” category or the fluffy and light “I bought a sunflower field in Tuscany” type of read.  Both have their place but I was never particularly compelled to read more than the odd one.

Which is why Catherine’s book was such a breath of fresh air, not only did it contain her very relatable personal experiences of being an international as well as those of dozens of others, but it was underpinned throughout with carefully researched facts, examples and exercises to gently navigate the reader towards their own successful conclusions.

This is an accessible book, not something you race through but something you want to pause with and think over.  The challenges Catherine has faced during her international moves, parenting and career changes are relevant to us all.  What matters is how we respond to those changes.  Turning International helps us build a framework of resilience to do just that.

Particularly relevant to October’s theme of Balance on Amsterdam Mamas is the chapter on Finding Strength  Meaning and Balance.  Based on research, Catherine shows that in order to achieve balance we require three fundamental psychological elements, those of autonomy, competence and connectedness.  When these are out of sync, as can often be the case with internationals after a move, then our resilience is weakened.  Re-balancing these elements within ourselves, helps us to build greater resilience in our lives.

Whether you are approaching a move abroad, recently moved or like me have been moving around for a while, this book is really essential and very informative reading.

Copies of the book may be purchased here and an e-book version is already planned. 

Amsterdam Mamas received a free copy of this book in exchange for our honest review. 

Emmy Coffey McCarthy

Emmy McCarthy was the Director of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas. She is a Mama, Entrepreneur and Connector on a never-ending quest for balance in her life.