As announced in the previous part of my blog ‘Around the world with MANN+HUMMEL’, in this final part of the series I will tell you a little about how the life as an expat works if you have a family, whether I still get homesick after all these years and what the future may have in store.
What in the meantime happened
In September 2014 – earlier than originally planned – I left Bangalore, India and moved, together with my family, to the West Midlands in the UK. There I now hold the post of Director Finance, Controlling and IT of our UK companies. This was not the first time that we cut short our time in one country in order for me to take on a new role in another one. In a large, global business like MANN+HUMMEL, new opportunities come up frequently for people who are mobile and flexible.
Globetrotting with family
Making a decision to move into a new country is a real challenge, especially with family, as the children’s education and the family’s well-being naturally have a high priority.
Moving to a new location is easiest for me. While I spend the vast majority of my time at MANN+HUMMEL, my family has to adapt to a new social environment and manage our day-to-day life. I have great respect for my wife and our children, who not only deal with all of these changes, but approach them in a positive manner and see them as a plus. Luckily, my family also enjoys adventure, and experiencing new countries, cultures and languages.
Overall, I have the feeling that we are living a more intense life than if we had not moved around. As we are aware that we only have a limited time in each country, we for example try to make best use of our weekends, travelling around to get to know country and people.
With trust and composure
Our life always holds surprises for us and sometimes it can be a real adventure. Our children are growing up speaking three languages, they are cosmopolitan and are used to other people looking completely different to themselves.
As exciting as it is to live in different countries, it also brings additional challenges with it. Of course, these days it is more difficult for our children to leave their school and friends behind than it was when they were younger, for example, when we first moved to China together over five years ago. And relocating to the other side of the world with the whole family is always a strain. It can often take months for things to settle, and for everyone and everything to find their place.
In such times, our family sticks together even closer to support each other. Learning to stay composed in these situations and to trust oneself and your family is for me the key to living this kind of life with a family.
My home is my castle
Naturally, there are a number of factors affecting how quickly you feel at home in a new location. For us, it is particularly important to create a comfortable environment for the family to come home to. Many expats choose to live in fully furnished apartments or houses, which significantly reduces the efforts of relocating and allows to quicker move out of a hotel and into one’s ‘own four walls’. After all, the usual long waiting times for household goods that have been shipped around the world do not apply in this case.
For us, however, it has always been very important to take our own furniture and household effects with us. This means that, wherever we are in the world, we have the feeling of returning to a familiar environment and can still offer our children a certain level of continuity in very different parts of the world.
Where the next journey will take us…
…is as of yet undecided.
For now we will first make the most of our remaining time in England. After that, Germany is of course a preferred option after such a long time away, but up until now we have not been so homesick that we would not consider other possibilities. Things continue to be exciting!
Have I piqued your curiosity in terms of the opportunities on offer at MANN+HUMMEL? Do not hesitate to contact us at MANN+HUMMEL with your questions.