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Embarking On A Global Family Life Adventure

Written by: Judit Végh, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Judit Végh

In our fast-paced and interconnected world, families eagerly venture into uncharted territories, embracing boundless opportunities. From immersing themselves in diverse cultures to forging connections that transcend borders, global families have become a powerful force shaping today's society. As we embark on this exhilarating expedition, it is only natural to yearn for a sense of security and a clear path forward. But where can we find the guidance we seek? Discover a concept that empowers your family to flourish amidst bewildering challenges. How can the Global Family Navigator, with its fresh perspective, instill in you the confidence and clarity essential for your extraordinary global family adventure? Let us embark on this innovative journey together, uncovering the transformative potential it holds as we navigate the intricate dynamics of being a global family.

Happy family to sail out to sea.

Imagine your family as a sturdy sailing vessel, gracefully manoeuvring through the vast expanse of the sea, propelled by the winds of adventure and endless possibilities. As you embark on your global odyssey, you find yourselves sailing together as a family, steadily progressing towards new horizons. Navigating through a myriad of experiences, your family treasures each fleeting moment encountered along the way.


Sometimes, favourable conditions effortlessly propel you forward, enabling you to glide through the glistening waves. In those serene moments, you wholeheartedly immerse yourselves in the present, finding pure joy in the very act of journeying. It feels as if an invisible force guides you effortlessly, and embracing this natural flow becomes your greatest accomplishment.


However, there are also instances when your ship seems adrift, lacking direction despite your best efforts. The relentless tides of the sea and the opposing winds challenge you, making it arduous to maintain control. You may feel powerless as everything slips through your fingers, leaving you uncertain of your course. Moreover, there may come moments when the wind completely abandons you. While the sun continues to shine upon the tranquil waves, your ship remains motionless. In those instances, you may briefly appreciate the serenity of the boundless sea, but soon unease settles in. Questions flood your mind: Where do you go from here? How do you proceed? You yearn for answers, eager to resume your voyage before the gathering squall, feeling trapped in a state of uncertainty yet embracing the thrilling challenge that awaits on the open sea.


Reflecting on your global expedition, you recall the companions who joined you, the motivations that propelled you, and the decisions you made together. In this vast tapestry of global living, you navigate through diverse climates and maritime conditions. Simultaneously, you engage in an ongoing process of learning. During the smooth sailing of your initial journey, it is easy to become fixated on a particular order, unintentionally forgetting to immerse yourselves in the experience fully. Anxiously, you hold on tightly, meticulously monitoring every circumstance.


Yet, in the subsequent moments of tranquillity, armed with newfound knowledge, you have the opportunity to release your grip on minor details and fully embrace the pleasure of shared experiences. Every storm you weather becomes a valuable lesson etched into memory, teaching you the essential elements and actions that guide you safely through tempestuous waters, minimising damage, and allowing you to continue your voyage in the most optimal manner.


Now, you may wonder, why does this matter? The true significance of your ship's journey is not magnified during harmonious moments when progress is seamless. Instead, its importance becomes amplified during periods of change in your life. It might be the transition to the next port of call, a sudden shift within your family dynamics, or the profound effects of a global paradigm shift, as witnessed not long ago.


In times of transformative change and transition, the Global Family Navigator stands as your unwavering companion, empowering your global family. Collaborating with my esteemed colleagues at Intercultural Life, we have immersed ourselves in extensive research and gained hands-on expertise as both academic researchers and global family members. This collective effort has led to the development and refinement of an innovative approach tailored to address the unique challenges faced by global families. The Global Family Navigator provides you with unwavering confidence, stability, and direction to overcome obstacles. It encompasses essential elements that lay the foundation for a thriving global family, offering a personalised plan equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to optimise your global family life. By leveraging this invaluable resource, you acquire the skills needed to navigate the ever-changing seas of a global lifestyle, embarking on a remarkable journey of growth, connection, and fulfilment.


Now, let us plunge into the depths of this concept as we dive into the practical steps that will guide you towards a thriving global family life. In addition to the self-reflection questions provided, if you feel the need for further support or a more comprehensive application of the Global Family Navigator to your global life, Intercultural Life is here to assist you every step of the way.


Step 1 – Setting sail: Discovering the crew


Let us embark on this journey by delving into the individuals who form the crew of our family ship. Extensive research on global families reveals a multitude of variations in family composition. One prevalent form is the nuclear family, consisting of parents and children. However, it is not uncommon for them to embark on separate voyages aboard different ships for varying durations. For instance, during school holidays, one parent may accompany the children to their grandparents' country while the other parent remains in the host country due to work commitments. Alternatively, extended family members may visit and stay together with the family for extended periods. Understanding these dynamics becomes crucial in comprehending the intricate network of families and ships and how they function.


Furthermore, it is vital to acknowledge that any change brings about adaptation, learning, and further transformations. By consciously paying attention to these processes, you can simplify and clarify learning and adaptation. The ultimate goal is to embrace your global life to the fullest extent. By exploring these aspects, you can gain a deeper understanding of the ever-evolving nature of your family ship and the various roles and experiences that shape your global journey.


Self-reflection


Take a moment to envision your own sailing ship and take note of the individuals on board. Who are you sailing with? Reflect on the regular changes that take place on the ship. Are there occasional visitors who join the journey? If so, who are they, and when do they come aboard? Furthermore, delve into the instances when a part of your family temporarily disembarks from the ship. What are the circumstances that surround these events?


Step 2 – Powering the journey: Roles as the engine of the family ship


Now that you have identified the individuals on board your family ship, it becomes crucial to determine the roles each family member assumes within your global family. Have you ever contemplated the specific roles that each family member plays? Also, consider the significance of roles for those family members who are only temporarily present on the ship or for situations where some of you or your children are periodically transferred to another vessel.


Understanding these roles holds immense importance. Being aware of the roles we play within our family and our ability to adapt to different circumstances is instrumental in navigating times of change. It is akin to having an engine that provides you with an additional layer of safety and stability, ensuring that you can function at your best. This awareness allows you to embrace new experiences, learn from them, and optimise your ability to thrive in the face of uncertainty.


Let us explore the various roles in life. Depending on the perspective you adopt, you can define relational roles based on your connections with others. For instance, "I am my mother's daughter, I am my son's mother, I am my husband's wife." On the other hand, there are roles that are self-defined and independent of any relational associations, such as designated occupations.


How does awareness of your roles, as well as the roles of your family members, benefit you? It simplifies interactions and provides clarity on when, where, why, and with whom you can engage within the family dynamic. By investigating the roles, you can gain a deeper understanding of the functioning of your family unit and enhance communication and collaboration.


Self-reflection


Take a moment to identify and contemplate the roles you play within your family. Consider the relational roles you hold, such as being a parent, spouse, sibling, or child. Also, reflect on the roles that are independent of relationships, such as your professional role or personal interests. How do these roles contribute to the dynamics of your family ship? How do they shape your interactions with other family members?


Extend your reflection to include other members who join your family ship permanently as well as temporarily from time to time. Whether it's relatives visiting or family members on short-term transfers, consider the roles they assume during their presence. How does their temporary presence impact the dynamics of your family ship? How do you navigate and accommodate these changing roles within your family structure?


Step 3 – Guiding the way: Embracing the wheel


Now that you have familiarised yourself with the individuals journeying alongside you on your family ship and have gained insight into their respective roles, it is of utmost importance to explore the dynamics of communication among these crew members. Standing behind the steering wheel, guiding the course of your ship (which we will delve into further when discussing decision-making in the subsequent step), and establishing effective and transparent channels of communication becomes paramount.


Within the family unit, you must engage in meaningful discussions to reach a consensus on who assumes the responsibility of steering the ship and when they do so. It is crucial to maintain open lines of communication, expressing your needs and concerns while being receptive to offering and receiving assistance as required. Additionally, you should contemplate the notion of taking turns at the helm, considering how you can rotate this essential role among family members and provide support to one another along the way.


By fostering a culture of open and honest communication, you can create an environment that promotes collaboration, understanding, and effective decision-making. These essential components enable you to navigate the waters of your global journey with unity and cohesion, ensuring a smooth and harmonious voyage aboard your family ship.


Taking hold of the steering wheel requires active engagement and a commitment to effective communication. As you navigate the uncharted waters of your global family adventure, remember that it is not just about reaching your destination, but also about the journey itself. Embrace the challenges, the uncertainties, and the moments of discovery along the way. By fostering a supportive and open communication environment, you empower each family member to contribute their unique perspectives and insights, enriching the voyage for everyone involved.


Self-Reflection


Visualise yourselves as captains at the helm of a ship, grasping the steering wheel that guides your global family journey. Who currently holds the steering wheel in your family? How do you make decisions collectively? Is it a shared responsibility, with different family members taking turns based on their strengths and expertise? Reflect on the dynamics of communication within your family ship. How do you ensure that everyone's voice is heard and valued? How can you create a collaborative environment that promotes effective decision-making and unity?


As you embark on this global family adventure, navigating through the vast and unpredictable sea, remember that the journey is a shared experience. Together, you can weather the storms, embrace the calm moments, and revel in the transformative power of exploration. With confidence in your roles, open communication, and a collective commitment to growth, you can steer your family ship towards a thriving global family life.


Step 4 – Navigating the voyage by shared values


Now that you have identified the crew, explored the roles they play, and established effective communication channels, it is time to delve into the art of decision-making. Just as a skilled navigator plots the course for a successful voyage, your family must navigate the complex choices that arise along your global journey.


Decision-making in a global family requires a delicate balance of individual autonomy and collective consideration. It involves weighing the needs and desires of each family member, while also taking into account the broader impact on the family unit as a whole. As you steer your family ship, you must engage in thoughtful discussions, exploring different perspectives and seeking common ground.


One crucial aspect of decision-making is recognising the importance of adaptability and flexibility. The global landscape is ever-changing, and your family must be prepared to adjust its course when necessary. Embrace the unexpected twists and turns, viewing them as opportunities for growth and learning. By remaining open-minded and receptive to new possibilities, you can navigate challenges with resilience and grace.


In the process of decision-making, it is essential to consider the values and aspirations that guide your family. What are the core principles that shape your choices? How do these values align with your global family vision? By anchoring your decisions in your shared values, priorities and motivation, you create a compass that keeps your family ship on course, even during turbulent times.


Self-reflection


Take a moment to reflect on the decision-making process within your family ship. How do you currently make decisions as a family? Are there opportunities for each family member to contribute their ideas and perspectives? Consider how you can foster a decision-making approach that balances individual autonomy with collective consideration. How can you create a space where everyone's voices are heard and respected?


Additionally, reflect on the values, motivation and priorities that guide your family. What principles are important to you as a global family? How can you ensure that these values shape your decision-making process? By grounding your choices in your shared values, you can navigate the complexities of your global journey with clarity and purpose.


As you navigate the waters of decision-making, remember that it is a continuous process. Embrace the iterative nature of choices, and be willing to course-correct when needed. By approaching decision-making with a sense of curiosity and adaptability, you can steer your family ship towards a path of fulfilment and growth.


Step 5 – Being fully present in your global family journey


In the vast expanse of the global family adventure, there will be moments of uncertainty and unforeseen challenges. Embracing the unknown requires cultivating resilience and a mindful presence. It entails being fully present in the journey, savouring the joys and finding strength in the face of adversity.


Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt and thrive in the face of challenges. It is a vital skill for a global family to navigate the complexities of a dynamic world. Resilience is nurtured through fostering strong family bonds, supporting one another through difficult times, and instilling a growth mindset in each family member.


Mindful presence is the practice of being fully engaged in the present moment. It involves cultivating awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as you navigate the global family adventure. Mindfulness allows you to savour the beauty of each experience, to appreciate the unique moments that arise along the journey.


As a global family, embrace opportunities for growth and learning. Seek out diverse experiences, engage with different cultures, and encourage curiosity in each family member. By nurturing a sense of exploration and open-mindedness, you create a rich tapestry of experiences that shape your global family identity.


Self-reflection


Take a moment to reflect on the resilience and mindful presence within your family ship. How do you support one another in times of challenge and uncertainty? Reflect on the strength of your family bonds and how you can further nurture resilience within your family. Consider the practices of mindfulness and how you can cultivate a sense of presence in your global family adventure. How can you encourage each family member to embrace the unknown with curiosity and open hearts?


Furthermore, contemplate the ways in which you can seek out diverse experiences and engage with different cultures. How can you foster a spirit of exploration and open-mindedness within your family? By embracing the richness of global diversity, you expand your collective understanding and create a more vibrant and interconnected global family.


Remember, the global family adventure is not merely a destination to reach but a transformative journey to be experienced. Embrace the challenges, uncertainties, and joys along the way, knowing that with resilience and mindful presence, your family ship can navigate even the most challenging waters.


I encourage you to embark on your global family adventure with confidence and curiosity. Embrace the boundless opportunities that await you. Let the Global Family Navigator be your guide, providing you with the tools, knowledge, and support to thrive in the face of perplexing challenges. Set sail with a clear vision, engage in open communication, make decisions rooted in shared values, and cultivate resilience and mindful presence. By doing so, you will navigate the intricate dynamics of being a global family and create a remarkable journey filled with growth, connection, and fulfilment. Bon voyage!


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Judit Végh Brainz Magazine
 

Judit Végh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Intercultural Psychologist & Global Family Consultant Judit Végh, Founder of Intercultural Life, is a recognized expert in Intercultural Psychology. With a focus on global family life, acculturation, relationship dynamics, change management, and career planning in global family settings, Judit brings over a decade of knowledge and expertise to her work. Her personal experiences have driven her passion for supporting transnational families and providing exceptional support to her clients.


Judit's experience also includes a decade in HR and ongoing work as a career education consultant for an edtech startup. This diverse background has given her a unique perspective on global family life and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by transnational families.

She is also a PhD candidate in Psychology, having conducted extensive research on global family life published in high-ranking journals such as Thunder Business Review and Journal of Global Mobility. Judit is co-founder and board member of SIETAR Southeast Asia, a society for intercultural education, training, and research, and a member of several international professional organisations, including the Asian Association of Social Psychology, International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Hungarian Psychological Association, Mobile Professionals and Families, Families in Global Transition, and World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence. Her expertise and dedication to her work have made her a regular presenter at scientific conferences.

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