How I Got Here: Ann-Katrin van Schie
Born and raised in Germany with dual German-Swedish citizenship, I always felt as if I did not belong in Germany. At 27, I left Germany and embarked on an adventure that took me to Belgium, Singapore and Egypt. After a rather tough repatriation period in Germany, I came here to Tokyo with my family of five. I’ve moved alone, with my partner, and with kids and each situation has had different challenges and benefits. Each has made me evolve as a person.
For example, quitting my job when we lived in Singapore was a turning point for me. The situation showed me what kind of impact dissatisfaction and frustration can have on your health. Before taking that big step away from employment and stepping into something new and unknown, I faced almost a year of insomnia. The day I quit was the first night I slept through the night again.
Now, I am in the process of getting out there to provide a space where expats, repatriates and people facing another move can feel “at ease,” with yoga, guided talks and wellness information. I believe a place is needed where this group can access a sense of calm, seek support and find balance.
Moving around can leave you feeling lonely, lost and misunderstood. Every move is different and challenging, but we can draw strength and comfort by sharing our experiences with others and by taking time for ourselves so that we feel grounded and strong again. With AtEase, I want to create a place where Yoga and guided talks let expatriates and repatriates feel at ease in body and mind.
FEW has inspired me more and more to go forward and to put my idea into something real. The group of participants is absolutely interesting and very wide-spread in terms of profession, backgrounds and cultures. The meetings and the seminars are always inspiring, uplifting and encouraging.