Today’s Expat Spotlight interview is a Cross-cultural Coach Trainer who is “On-the-go all the time!” in Batam, Indonesia
- Name: Emily Mahoney
- Occupation: Cross-Cultural Coach Training
- Current Location: Batam, Indonesia
- Originally From: Texas, USA
- Expat Locations: Indonesia, France, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Taiwan
- Website: cernysmith.com
How did you become an expat, and why?
I have wanted to work internationally since before deciding where to go to college. I might not have known where I wanted to study at first, but I always knew I wanted to move overseas as soon as possible! I found a great company that one of my friends had worked at before based in Indonesia, but the company works with expats all over the world. I jumped at the chance and here I am! It’s such a great opportunity to learn about the culture here and the expat community together. Plus, I am right next to Singapore and that makes for great weekend trips! Mostly, I wanted the experience of working overseas, another culture, and international business. I feel that I will use all three throughout my life.
Where else have you been an expat?
I have been all over the world and find it so fascinating that each place is so different, but how amazingly and inherently similar the human race is. My family moved to France when I was a child and I spent time in Tours, France before moving to Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. After several years, we transferred to Dakar, Senegal, West Africa where I spent the majority of my teenage years! Since then I’ve had the chance to spend a summer in Taiwan, and a summer traveling Europe! But I’m not quite ready to stop yet…
Best piece of expat advice you’ve received?
“Just go, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!” – Said to me by my mentor when I was trying to decide about taking the job in Indonesia.
Best piece of expat advice you’d give?
Develop your communities. Get to know the local people and build strong relationships with them, but also get to know other expats and learn from their experiences. You will need both in your time overseas. The trick is not to isolate yourself!
Favorite expat related web sites?
- BBC News – Because it’s always good to keep up with the news.
- Expat Women – Because there are some great stories of amazing expat women listed here, such an inspiration.
- Expat Exchange – They write great stories that tell you everything you’d want to know about any country you can think of!
- Glimpse.org– Hilariously entertaining stories about young people living abroad and the shenanigans they run into. Also, weekly photo contest.
Are you planning or dreaming of a move? Are you going home instead? Where to and why?
After my term here is up, I’m not sure where I’ll end up next! I never thought I’d end up in Asia, so who knows where is next. I would love to be able to try living in the Middle East for a while. Europe is so romantic of course and I would love it there. But overall, if I could live in Singapore after this year, I would be satisfied. I love the city, their values, the personality of the streets, and the way they are growing.
Tell us more about what you do in your location?
I work with a consulting company that trains coaches to work with a cross-cultural assessment. This means that I get to spend my days talking and encouraging expats around the world. It is extremely rewarding and since I love being overseas and traveling so much, I love that my job is to help others love their job and their location as well. During my free time I’m learning to drive my scooter, exploring new parts of the city or nearby islands, and trying to learn to cook! There are many weekend options and with flights in this part of the world so cheap, there are no limits on the number of places to explore.
Would you recommend your current location to other expats? Does it rock or does it suck?
My current location is great, but it will take a certain personality to enjoy living here. Not too many Westerns come visit, so whenever I go out, it’s a big deal and can get challenging at times. The city is nice and has anything you would need, however it is difficult to get much imported. The great thing is Singapore is so close, anything you need you can find there. The cost of living is very low here and the fact that it’s an island in South Asia helps a lot. There are some of the most amazing beaches I’ve ever seen here. The nature is astounding and a hike through the jungle will take your breath away. There are challenges, public transportation is undesirable and there is dirt, but if you are comfortable facing a challenge, you will love it!
What is the expat community like where you are?
There is not really much of an expat community here. I work with several other expats and have become close with them. There are not many in the city here, but it makes it easier to get out and build relationships with the people who live here.
Thank you, Emily for participating in our Expat Spotlight! We wish you success and happiness in your current location, and wherever your dreams and business endeavors take you.