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Expat Picnic at Canberra’s Botanical Gardens

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Henrike

Henrike Schreer remembers what it was like to move to Australia. “It seemed like all of a sudden I was thrown into a whole new world. I was nervous, worried and felt incredibly lonely without my friends and family. At the same time, I was excited beyond belief – every kangaroo, every lorikeet and cockatoo reminded me of the amazing adventure I had just embarked on. Crazy times full of contradicting emotions.”

That was almost two years ago, but these days, the 32-year old is all excited again – she is planning the first Growing Roots in Canberra expat picnic on Saturday 31 March at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. “With Annie and the Armadillos, Canberra’s most popular jazz, swing and blues band, hot latin rhythms by the award-winning performers of Salsabor Dance Company and fun kids’ activities in place, the picnic promises to be a great day for the whole family,” she sais.

So how did this idea come about?

Henrike who came to Australia from Berlin, Germany recalls, “We moved to Canberra when my husband was offered a teaching position at the Australian National University.” With a small son in tow, the couple packed up all of their belongings and moved to Australia. “I had always enjoyed travelling and had previously lived in Spain for a year. So after a bit of convincing, I said yes.”

That’s not to say that Henrike didn’t have to do some adjusting, “I felt overwhelmed by so many small things,” she laughs. “Even driving was a challenge, I was scared to get myself killed driving on the wrong side of the road!”

But it was more – having left a fulfilling job back in Germany, she suddenly found herself a bit adrift – no job, at home alone when her two boys were at school and at work, she felt increasingly depressed. An experience that many expat spouses share.

After some soul searching and sleepless nights, Henrike decided to change careers and train as a coach and NLP practitioner. “Having gone through this whole experience and having emerged happier and stronger than ever, I have made it my mission to support those who are still at the beginning of their expat experience.”

With her business Phoenix Evolutioneering, Henrike aims to ‘create extraordinary expat experiences.’ “As an expat coach, I know that no two journeys are the same, but with the right strategies in place this phase of dramatic change can actually become the most rewarding journey of your life.”

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