Offline Networking as an Expat in Covid times

Covid activity networking

Ode to expats migrants trying to make connections.

Last week I attended a face-to-face networking event for expats; we’re yet another social group needing connections a bit more intensely than average (having no/limited family or support networks where we live).

With real life events now an endangered species, it felt extra-ordinary. I approached it with a mixture of emotions: trepidation, curiosity, anxiety and self-talk “it’d be cool”.

Predictions is not just one of the things your brain does. It is the primary function of the neocortex, and the foundation of intelligence [J. Hawkins 2004]

Expats (or migrants) are the community I hang and identify with the most: our courage to push beyond the status quo behind never ceases to amaze me. The rawness in which we seek human connections is both our driving force and our addiction. The candour in opening up to a fellow expat on our current struggles our strength.

When I turned up, precautions against it becoming a super-spreader event had been taken – in spite of them, or maybe because of them, strange is the term I’d use to:

 – do introductions without handshakes
– greet someone you knew without a hug
– read facial expressions when a mask was worn
– discuss topic that didn’t involve work from home, isolation, tests & Co.

It made me realise that, as a species, we have learnt a set of new societal norms. A couple of years ago we surely did behaved differently: this time around no judgement was involved.

It made me realise that, as a species, we have been thrown right out of our comfort zone. And increased our sensitivitybecause of that.

It made me realise that, as species, the once taken-for-granted permissions have shifted levels.

It made me realise that, in our species, there are people still longing a real connection.

How do you network these days? If you are a migrant, do you reckon your cultural intelligence is a super-power or a hindrance?

#livingabroad #testimonials #graziecoaching #mindsetcoaching

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