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I refer to Jeanette as a resilient expat because she has definitely been through a lot during her years abroad, both good and bad. She refuses to let anything get in the way of her search for happiness and a place to call home. She is certainly not shy about her strong feelings so apologies in advance for the salty language, but sometimes it’s nice to hear the flip side of everything being rosy all the time.

The Resilient Expat: Cat Woman Jeanette:

the resilient expat jeanette
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the resilient expat jeanette
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Teaching, her true profession, would not be something she would like to go back to. Too many bad memories.

Jeanette was born to parents from the Caribbean in the U.K ( Mom from Jamaica, and her dad from St. Kitts). She got her thirst for travel from her father. A lot of times, we are led to believe that racism only happens in the U.S..Not so, because she experienced it as a child growing up in Birmingham, and learned to speak up, not just for herself, but for her siblings, and parents.  She embarked on a life of travel, starting out in the Canary Islands, then on to Dubai, and a few other places before finding herself back in the Canary Islands.
Listening to her was refreshing because she didn’t mince any words. Expat life is not always the wonderful experience that most people make it out to be. Being a lesbian woman has sometimes been challenging for her as well. She has loved most of her travels and has absolutely wonderful memories of Dubai. I believe she is the second woman in the series of interviews to have said the same about Dubai. Telling.
I love the fact that she has now drawn her line in the sand, and is determined to make things work. Going back to the U.K is not for her. I apologize for the lengthy conversation, but l was having so much fun. Imagine me liking a cat woman! :-).
the resilient expat
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the resilient expat
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Living the island life.

 

Highlights of the podcast:

  • Growing up in the U.K. and standing up for her brothers when they were mistreated, and the impact it had on choosing a profession.
  • Papa was a rolling stone, and inheriting the wanderlust.
  • Loving ex-pat life in Dubai but hating the teaching profession.
  • Feeling a calling to Colombia.
  • Village life, and surprise at finding a gay center there of all places.
  • Becoming the cat woman.
  • Losing her business in Colombia.
  • Loneliness and not being able to integrate into life in the Canary Islands.
  • Covid making the situation worse.
  • Would she consider moving elsewhere, and the countries she has already tried out.
  • Her determination to stay and make it work.
You can find Jeanette on her podcast  “The Colombian Cat Woman” where she shares her thoughts on life as a late bloomer, queer woman of color, and entrepreneur.
If you’re enjoying the podcasts, please subscribe or comment. I’m thinking of making changes and wonder if it’s worth it.
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Listen to the resilient expat podcast here:
Other podcasts you might like:
Have you thought about expat life? Where would you go? If you’re already an expat, have you found “home”?