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  • Who gets lonelier: the posted diplomat or the accompanying significant other?

    I’m asked this question more than any other when people learn that I’ve twice been the posted diplomat and twice been the accompanying significant other during my 20-year diplomatic life.

    Let’s answer the question and investigate what it really means.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: who gets lonelier: diplomat or spouse?’ at https://bit.ly/2DwtrqX
    My book: https://amzn.to/3brZTXr
    Seminars, mentoring and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Subscribe: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • You know that I often recommend that we who live the diplomatic lives need to use social media for good. But was I using it for good? This question prompted my month-long detox from my personal social media accounts.

    I had two major insights during the detox. First, social media can be a powerful tool of connection when we use it mindfully. It’s an avenue for mindless consumption of ideas, thoughts and stuff when we don’t. Secondly, you and I get to decide who we let into our online lives, just like we do in our ‘real’ lives.

    Can you review who you’ve let into your online – and therefore, real – life? I reckon you can.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: lessons from my social media detox’ at https://bit.ly/3fHdJXW
    My book: https://amzn.to/3brZTXr
    Dr Vivek Murthy ‘Together’: https://amzn.to/3exQE9T
    Seminars, coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Subscribe: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

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  • Change is inevitable. Seasons change. Children grow up. People come into – and then leave – our lives. Why is it that I resist the changes I know that I must make in my own life, even when I know that I must change if I’m to evolve and grow?

    Why is it that we all do this? Change does not happen – within our selves or in society – from simply reading, listening and watching. Change comes from doing.

    Let’s do change together.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: a letter to myself about change’ at https://bit.ly/2XM7vhQ
    My book: https://amzn.to/3brZTXr
    Seminars, coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Diplomacy and the diplomatic life can place enormous stress on our relationships, and yet we don’t tend to talk about what can happen when those relationships end. Why is that?

    My friend Katia Vlachos and I discuss breakups, separations and divorce in this episode. Katia has written some outstanding articles on the topic within the global expatriate community and shares some amazing insights with us here.

    About Katia

    Katia’s professional background is in policy analysis. She holds an MA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a PhD from the RAND Corporation. Katia is a seasoned expat herself, having lived in eight cities, seven countries and three continents in the past 20 years. She currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

    Her book ‘A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving In Your Expat Assignment’ is an indispensable resource for anyone who moves internationally.

    Her website is www.katiavlachos.com and her book can be ordered from www.katiavlachos.com/book

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on breaking up’ at https://bit.ly/3frlGRH
    My book: https://amzn.to/3brZTXr
    Katia's 'Huffington Post' articles: https://www.huffpost.com/author/katia-vlachos-834
    Seminars, coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • What can happen when relentless competition, isolation, power, ambition and expectations of constant high-performance mix? Abuse of power. Bullying. Harassment. Discrimination.

    It’s clear that some of you are going through – or have been through – hell as you live your diplomatic life. Let’s start some courageous conversations and expose the dark corners of our diplomatic workplaces where this appalling behaviour thrives.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on bullying, harassment and discrimination in diplomacy’ https://bit.ly/3eAU4ZG
    My book: https://amzn.to/3brZTXr
    NZ Government workplace bullying site: https://bit.ly/2Kl8oYF
    Seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Social media is awash with tips and advice on how to survive and thrive through COVID-19 induced lockdowns and isolation. This episode focuses on serving and supporting you in a very practical way as you live your diplomatic life wherever you are in the world.

    These are extraordinary times and I know that those who live the diplomatic life are coping as best they can with what they have wherever they are in the world. Adapting and getting on with it is what we do. It’s an honour to serve you through these times.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on supporting you through COVID-19’ https://bit.ly/2Jkyo5M
    Jase Te Patu’s yoga on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3azrvcK
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Couldn’t you do with some more simplicity, calmness and rejuvenation in your diplomatic life?

    In ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on minimalism’, I wrote that my journey into minimalism started when I wanted to have less stuff to pack before a posting.

    Let’s have a chat about how we can make that you’re surrounded by people and things that restore, uplift and calm you in this episode of The Lonely Diplomat podcast.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on minimalism’ https://bit.ly/2TVyiql
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Join me for a cup of tea with my friend Jase Te Patu as we talk about the superpower that is the practice of mindfulness.

    Following the blog post ‘Mindfulness and you’ - written by Jase (link below) - I’m eager to give you, my awesome audience of diplomats around the world, further support as you work to optimise your mental health and well-being as you live your diplomatic lives.

    About Jase

    Iwi - Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa

    Jase is an award-winning facilitator with over 25 years’ experience in the health and wellness sector. He is co-owner of Awhi Yoga and Wellbeing in Wellington, a teacher trainer, facilitator, keynote speaker and creator of M3. Jase’s students include the All Blacks, the Hurricanes, the Pulse, the NZ School of Dance contemporary students and many more high-performance athletes.

    Jase has received many awards for his work particularly in the mental health and well-being space. These include the NZ Exercise Industry Awards- Body/Mind Teacher of the year in 2018, the Lifekeeper’s Award for Suicide Prevention, the Regional Local Hero medal as part of the New Zealander of the Year Awards 2018 and the Absolutely Positively Wellington Award 2019.

    Jase is an Edmund Hillary Fellow and an Ambassador for international brand lululemon.

    Jase facilitates full and half day PD sessions for both Primary and ECE Teachers. He is also the creator of our M3 Video Resources for classrooms. M3 is a beautiful way for Jase to share all his skills with the tamariki of Aotearoa. His message can be seen in his popular kōrero at TedX Wellington.


    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    M3 Mindfulness for Children: www.m3mindfulnessforchildren.com
    Blog post: ‘Mindfulness and you’ https://bit.ly/31XnLi0
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Following the beautiful and insightful blog post ‘On anxiety and being a diplomat’ - written by one of my awesome audience - I’m keen to start a real, authentic, kind and honest conversation about mental illness and mental health and well-being in diplomacy.

    SPOILER: We must get real about our mental health and well-being and this must start with you.

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘On anxiety and being a diplomat’: https://bit.ly/2NVt37y
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • This episode features my interview with Amel Derragui from Tandem Nomads.

    Simply, this conversation was so much fun. Amel and I chatted about how she came to start Tandem Nomads and how – with support – we can turn the challenges of our diplomatic lives into opportunities, just like Amel has.

    The episode was a direct response to the many comments I receive from you, my wonderful audience, about how the life of being a diplomatic spouse means leaving behind your career to accompany your diplomatic significant other. It doesn’t have to be this way if you want to maintain – or start – your career.

    If you’re accompanying a diplomat, wondering how we can better support those accompanying diplomats or have an idea for ‘something’ to do while you’re accompanying your significant other, you MUST listen to this episode. You will be inspired.

    About Amel

    Amel Derragui is a marketing and business coach, a speaker and the founder of Tandem Nomads. Tandem Nomads is a podcast show and entrepreneurship platform designed to help expat partners and global nomads build a successful portable business thanks to various resources and training programs. Her work has been featured on the cover story of Forbes Magazine in Austria, Global Living Magazine in the US and various other media. She is regularly invited to deliver workshops or webinars on how to build a successful portable business. She also often speaks about this topic at conferences for multinationals and international organizations (such as the World Bank, IMF and Foreign Ministries) who need to address the dual career challenges and support their employees’ spouses abroad.

    Contact Amel: connect@tandemnomads.com

    Links

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    My book: https://amzn.to/2RkJCuv
    Blog post: ‘On setting up a portable business as a diplomatic spouse’: https://bit.ly/35T3mLm
    Tandem Nomads: www.tandemnomads.com
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Let’s become linguistic ninjas.

    As diplomats, we know how important language is to our work. We put in a great deal of effort to phrase our communiqués, speeches, letters and other communications just so.

    Indeed, diplomacy is ruled by protocols and using the right words at the right time in the right way avoids misunderstandings. Our words and thoughts at work can be dominated by keeping all possibilities open, lest we miss an opportunity to advance our country’s interests.

    But what happens when we adopt the same communication style within ourselves and with those around us? Let’s explore this and become more aware of the power of the words we think and use.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on language’: https://bit.ly/2LwLXRh
    Miguel Ruiz, ‘The Four Agreements’: www.miguelruiz.com/the-four-agreements
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Friends of The Lonely Diplomat: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/friends
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Let’s explore what it’s like to be LGBTQ and in a same-sex relationship while living a diplomatic life.

    In this episode, I have a fantastic and far-ranging chat with my friend, Kevin Huntting. Kevin wrote ‘On being gay and living a diplomatic life’ which was published on my blog in November 2019. The post has been widely read around the globe and has received some great feedback. We explore the issues raised in his blog about coming out and being vulnerable, how he’s experienced loneliness and lack of a career and how LGBTQ diplomats and their families can be supported.

    About Kevin:

    Kevin Huntting resides in Miami with his husband who is a member of Mexico’s Foreign Service. He and his husband met in San Francisco in 2006, and have had posts in Dallas, Mexico City, and Washington DC. Kevin began his career with General Electric and has spent 12 years working in various marketing areas like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-commerce, and Digital Marketing for Fortune 500 brands like GE, Gap Inc., Fossil Group, and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC.

    It was through these various life transitions that Kevin recognized there was little information focused on the needs of the global LGBTQ diplomatic and expat community. In 2016, he launched The Proud Diplomat (www.theprouddiplomat.com) a website, and social media channels dedicated to sharing the authentic stories of the LGBTQ expat community as well as insightful information impacting this community. He is currently pursuing his certification as a Professional/Personal Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: ‘On being gay and living a diplomatic life’: https://bit.ly/354zE64
    Coaching, seminars and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Friends of The Lonely Diplomat: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/friends
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com
    Contact Kevin: info@theprouddiplomat.com

  • It’s time to have a kind and honest conversation in this episode of #thelonelydiplomatpodcast about a topic that makes many of you – my lovely audience – feel uncomfortable: loneliness.

    Let’s have this conversation together. Let’s talk about how we can say that we don’t feel lonely, but recognise how we need for more real, authentic connection in our lives. Can it really work this way? Is it that we just want the fix but not admit we have the condition? This is a real opportunity lost.

    I talk about the common responses I receive to when I admit that I have been lonely (and that I still feel lonely sometimes) and how we can all about connecting with others. Indeed, it seems that we rush to connect with others and the world around us but not spend time getting connected with ourselves.

    Make yourself a cup of something nice and settle in for a chat. You may indeed be lonely, but you’re definitely not alone.

    Links:

    Book: https://amzn.to/2q5kNJf
    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on loneliness’: https://bit.ly/36tzZAx
    Blog post ‘Loneliness and the lack of real connection’: https://bit.ly/32iXlW9
    Coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Friends of The Lonely Diplomat: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/friends
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • The very words ‘mid-life crisis’ can induce feelings of angst, unease and a desperation to recapture what we feel that we’ve lost. We desperately do not want to be the stereotype, but sometimes a red sports car or the affair is too tempting.

    But Dr Dougal Sutherland and I explore how we can face the thoughts and feelings that herald a mid-life crisis and use them to our advantage and conduct a useful evaluation of our life.

    I also share how I desperately did not want to have a mid-life crisis, but it turns out that the chance to re-evaluate my values reconnected me back to me and to those around me.

    Get a pen and paper now; you’ll want to take notes.

    About Dougal:

    Dougal is a clinical psychologist who teaches at Victoria University of Wellington and works for Umbrella (www.umbrella.org.nz). Dougal has worked with New Zealand diplomats helping with their resilience, mental health, and well-being.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post ‘The Lonely Diplomat: on mid-life crises’: https://bit.ly/2Z7C7x9
    Coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Friends of The Lonely Diplomat: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/friends
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Being a male diplomatic spouse sounds like the ticket to the sweet life, doesn’t it? There’s the chance to explore the city, learn new hobbies, play sports, meet others just like you.

    Well, appearances can be deceiving. The lived reality can be very different. There’s social isolation that comes from having very few peers and living with being different to society’s expectations of a man’s role to contend with.

    There is a way through, and to thrive, when being a male diplomatic spouse. It involves answering the question: from where do you derive your sense of self?

    Simon is my guest in this episode, and he answers some of my questions about his thoughts about being a male diplomatic spouse through his experiences shared with us in his blog post ‘On being a male diplomatic spouse’ (link below).

    You’re not alone. I’m here. I’m creating an environment to help diplomats and those living the diplomatic life reconnect with themselves and the world around them.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: https://bit.ly/2Y2hxKI
    Coaching and other services: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/services
    Friends of The Lonely Diplomat: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/friends
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Leaving a career to start afresh is scary. We leave behind a world we know for something that we don't. We must decide if the price of staying where we are is higher than the price of moving on. We must decide if the life we’ve built around our current job is worth risking for another.

    And so it is with diplomacy. It can be a lot to give up, but sooner or later, we all reach a crossroads where the thoughts of staying or leaving occupy our minds.

    What to do? Where to go? There’s so much to consider.

    Angela Pickett is my guest on this episode and together we explore her decision to leave diplomacy after a 15-year career. If you’re thinking of leaving diplomacy – or any career – you must listen to this episode.

    You’re not alone. I’m here. I’m creating an environment to help diplomats and those living the diplomatic life reconnect with themselves and the world around them.

    About Angela:

    Angela Pickett is a copywriter and aspiring novelist. After a 15-year career as a diplomat with postings in China and Vietnam, Angela decided to make a “vine change” and moved to the Barossa Valley. With her husband and two boys, she’s building a freelance lifestyle with time to cook, travel and explore while providing a taxi service to her boys growing list of sporting activities. In her spare time, she sits on the board of a local philanthropic foundation, is the treasurer for a local basketball club and has established a writing group. And because food and wine is such a part of the lifestyle, she can often be found at Crossfit or parkrun.

    Go to www.angelapickett.com.au for more about her and her work.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: https://bit.ly/2HaAg07
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • The life and career opportunities afforded by diplomacy are amazing and life-defining. Many of us keep looking for opportunities to work and live overseas to further our country’s interests and to satisfy our innate curiosity for how the world works. It's addictive.

    But there is a cost to living this life, and sooner or later, we all must pay. And no, I don’t mean the financial cost. I mean the physical, mental and emotional cost that this diplomatic life demands of us all.

    This episode of The Lonely Diplomat podcast explores the price that we all pay for living this diplomatic life and challenges you to pay attention to, and get curious about, your complaints.

    You’re not alone. I’m here. I’m creating an environment to help diplomats and those living the diplomatic life reconnect with themselves and the world around them.

    Links:

    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Blog post: https://bit.ly/32Tm0m3
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Without doubt, social media has made our world smaller. We are more connected than ever. Our social media accounts have hundreds, even thousands, of our friends and other people we collect through life.

    For those of us living the diplomatic life, social media is a real link to those friends and family members spread all over the world.

    Why then do so many us feel so alone? Why are we in the grip of a ‘loneliness epidemic’?

    This episode of The Lonely Diplomat podcast investigates how we diplomats and those living the diplomatic life can use social media in a way that it feels like real connection, but it’s not. It’s ersatz connection.

    Let’s talk about how we can use social media in a way that serves us and actively use it to connect with the people in our lives.

    Links:

    Blog post: https://bit.ly/2CKRvUs
    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    ‘The Loneliness Epidemic’ (NPR ‘On Point’ story): https://wbur.fm/2NessjL
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • Something wonderful happens when diplomats and those living the diplomatic life get together. We are with people who understand; we are with people who get what this life is like. Without too much effort, stories of successes, near misses and disasters are shared.

    This episode of The Lonely Diplomat podcast looks at these stories and how they’re a valuable source of connection but can also evolve into competitive stories where we ‘one-up’ each other with our tales.

    What happens when someone says something that could indicate that they’re not OK? What if their courage and bravery in admitting that they may be struggling – albeit subtly – is lost in a round of competitive storytelling?

    What if the only people who really understand and can help us aren’t listening?

    Links:

    Blog post: https://bit.ly/2KB7JEw
    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com

  • If you’re a parent who’s also a diplomat or you’re the child of a diplomat, you need to hear this episode of The Lonely Diplomat podcast.

    In my chat with Jaqueline Benndorf – herself the daughter of a diplomat and accomplished psychotherapist – we explore what her childhood and adolescence in a diplomatic family has meant for her throughout her life.

    As parents, we all are doing the best we can for our children. Jaqueline and I provide some advice for those who are parenting as well as leading a diplomatic life and some advice for the children living a diplomatic life.

    Jaqueline is wise, kind and extremely funny. The interview is emotional and very real.

    Oh, and our collective wisdom combined with our awesomeness broke the internet at one point. Sorry about that…

    Links:

    Jaqueline’s blog post: https://bit.ly/2F7jeiw
    Website: www.thelonelydiplomat.com
    Please, support my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/support
    The Lounge: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/thelounge
    Stay connected with me and my work: www.thelonelydiplomat.com/subscribe
    Contact me: admin@thelonelydiplomat.com