Embrace the Journey: 20 Empowerment and Motivational Quotes for Expats

Discover my collection of empowering quotes tailored for expats, offering inspiration and motivation for navigating the challenges and embracing the adventures of life abroad.

Gal Szmelcman Sela

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Smoozitive Magazine/Family & Wellness/Embrace the Journey: 20 Empowerment and Motivational Quotes for Expats

As I stand amidst the bare walls of my new living room, paintbrush in one hand, coffee in the other, I can't help but marvel at the journey that led me here. I moved back to France in 2020, in the middle of the covid outbreak, not knowing if I'll even want to stay in France, or if it's just a lay-over on my road to some place else. Happy to say that I fell in love again with this country and Paris - but the journey isn't always easy.

Life abroad can be both exciting and challenging. As an expat, you are embarking on a new adventure, but you may also face feelings of homesickness, culture shock, and uncertainty. And in those moments, it's best to find little things to help you keep going.

I find strength in empowerment quotes and mantras. It might sound weird, but I need my walls to convey some positive vibes. It has been the case for almost two decades now. When I was only 19 years young (yes I prefer this term), I crafted my first 'inspiration wall'. I collected some sayings that resonated with me, that filled my heart and mind with strength for rainy days, and painted them in big letters on the wall.

Later on, as a student in London, as I wasn't able to paint the walls, I printed out a variety of those lovely Pinterest motivational quotes and hung them all over my student dorms. I picked those words carefully, so they remind me of what I'm capable of. Make me smile. Confident. And give me the energy I needed on those super long nights of working on my Master's dissertation.

When I relocated to Israel, I faced some really hard and unpleasant moments. It was my 'home country', but I had never lived there as an adult before. I had no friends, no points of familiarity, no safe-space. I had to rebuild myself in this new environment, while I was dealing with a heart break on top of it. HELLOO challenges ;) but I kept on doing what I knew - helping myself. So I looked once more for some mantras, quotes and saying that could help. Put them on the wall. And it helped, for real.

One particular quote stands out among the rest. When I first heard it I got mad; it wasn't a fun moment to be honest. But I came to discover the power of this saying a short time after, and it changed my life. So much so that I instantly opened my laptop, created a new poster with it, and (you guessed it by now, right?) put it on my wall - so I see it daily.

"What's in my reality is what I want."

This simple yet profound revelation, was a wake-up call that propelled me out of my comfort zone all the way into relocating to the vibrant streets of Paris. And as I stand here, wondering which words to adorn my new living room wall with, I'm reminded of the power all these quotes, mantras, words have done for me over the years. How they helped in moments of darkness and doubt. How they made me go after my dreams, chase after what sets my soul on fire. How to become the best version of myself.

But enough about me – this is about you, and what I believe that can help, inspire and give you a boost on your journey. Words. Powerful ones. So I put aside the paintbrush, and I sift through a treasure trove of quotes, words, notes I wrote down over the years that has the potential to ignite your own life abroad. Those might not be only expat quotes, but they surely can be beneficial on your expat experience.

Here are my 20 Empowerment and Motivational Quotes For Expats:​

Feel free to save them on your phone, use them as screensaver, or like me - print them and hang them on your walls - so you get those daily positive reminders.​

What's in my reality is what I want quote design by smoozitive

1. What's in my reality is what I want.

This one is close to heart, like I mentioned before. It requires reading it a couple of times before you get this 'aha' moment. But once it hits, it's like a crazy force of lighting. You got the power and responsibility over your life, and this quote is a great reminder of it. You created your current reality, if you'd like it to change, you can.

woman interviewing an american expat in europe Photo by Edmond Dantès on Pexels

2. If you're waiting for a sign, this is it.

Sometimes, we find ourselves waiting for the perfect moment, the right opportunity to take the leap into the unknown. But life is too short to wait for signs – sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith. So if you've been waiting for a sign to embark on your expat journey, consider this it.​

woman interviewing an american expat in europe Photo by Edmond Dantès on Pexels
Be the energy you want to attract quote design by smoozitive

3. Be the energy you want to attract.

As expats, we're constantly surrounded by new faces, new cultures, and new experiences. And while it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, remember to be intentional about the energy you bring into the world. Whether it's kindness, positivity, or love, be what and who you want to attract - and believe me you'll get it.

What's the best that could happen? quote design by smoozitive

4. What's the best that could happen?

In the face of uncertainty, it's natural to focus on all the things that could go wrong. But what if, instead, we shifted our perspective and asked ourselves: "What's the best that could happen?" Embrace the possibilities, the adventure, and trust yourself that things will turn out even better than you imagine.

What's the best that could happen? quote design by smoozitive
Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe. quote design by smoozitive

5. Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

Living abroad can be exhilarating, but it can also be overwhelming at times. And on those days when you feel like you're barely keeping your head above water, remember that it's okay if all you did today was to simply breathe. Allow yourself the grace to take things one breath at a time.

A mind stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions. quote design by smoozitive

6. A mind stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.

Each new city, culture, and person you meet has the power to expand our minds and broaden our perspectives in ways we never thought possible. Embrace the discomfort of the unknown, knowing that it's through these new experiences that we truly grow.

A mind stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions. quote design by smoozitive
"Do it messy. Do it scared. Do it imperfect. Do it anyway" - Bari Baumgardner quote design by smoozitive

7. "Do it messy. Do it scared. Do it imperfect. Do it anyway" - Bari Baumgardner

There's no 'right' way to move and live abroad. But if this desire is within you - just do it! It might be messy, scary, with plenty of mistakes along the way, but at least you'll go for it!

Do all things with love. quote design by smoozitive

8. Do all things with love.

Whether it's exploring a new city, making new friends, or pursuing your passions, approach each experience with love in your heart. When we transform expectation to appreciation things look better, trust me. Let love be your guiding light as you navigate the ups and downs of expat life, knowing that it has the power to transform even the darkest of days into moments of pure joy.

Do all things with love. quote design by smoozitive
Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year. quote design by smoozitive

9. Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.

Living abroad can be challenging, and it's easy to get discouraged when things don't go according to plan. But remember, that it takes time. Be patient with yourself as you navigate the highs and lows of expat life, knowing that even the smallest progress is worth celebrating.

The most important stranger you'll get to know abroad is yourself. quote design by smoozitive

10. The most important stranger you'll get to know abroad is yourself.

Living in a foreign country forces us to confront ourselves in ways we never imagined. Embrace the journey of self-discovery - you'll be surprised how many things you're going to learn about yourself.

The most important stranger you'll get to know abroad is yourself. quote design by smoozitive
"Travel is never a matter of money but of courage." – Paulo Coelho quote design by smoozitive

11. "Travel is never a matter of money but of courage." – Paulo Coelho

The true currency of travel is not money, but courage. True moving and living abroad usually come with a big financial investment, but put money aside for a second. Because no money will get you overseas if you don't have the courage to actually take the step. And if you're already abroad - use this as a reminder of your bravery.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. quote design by smoozitive

12. We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

Moving countries is not about running away from our problems or seeking refuge from reality. It's about embracing life in all its messy, chaotic, beautiful glory. We only live once, and if Barcelona is your dream - go for it!

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. quote design by smoozitive
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." – Lao Tzu quote design by smoozitive

13. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." – Lao Tzu

Every great adventure starts with a single step into the unknown. Just start. Book the ticket. Make the phone call. Apply for the job. One step is all that it takes to bring you closer to your destination.

"What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" – e.h quote design by smoozitive

14. "What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" – e.h

Fear of failure often holds us back from pursuing our dreams and taking risks. But what if, instead of focusing on the possibility of falling, we focused on the positive opportunities ahead? Allow yourself to fly.

"What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" – e.h quote design by smoozitive
Stop saying I wish. Start saying I will. quote design by smoozitive

15. Stop saying I wish. Start saying I will.

It's that simple. Living abroad is not for the faint of heart – it requires courage, determination, and a willingness to take action. Instead of passively wishing for change, take ownership of your dreams and aspirations. Say "I will" and take massive actions.

"Today I choose courage over comfort." – Brené Brown quote design by smoozitive

16. "Today I choose courage over comfort." – Brené Brown

Comfort zones are cozy and familiar, but it's also limiting. Moving to a foreign country is far from comfortable. But believe me you'll thank yourself for going on this journey.​

"Today I choose courage over comfort." – Brené Brown quote design by smoozitive
"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." – C.S. Lewis quote design by smoozitive

17. "You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." – C.S. Lewis

You're never starting from scratch, even when you relocate somewhere new. It doesn't matter if you moved when you were 20, 35 or 60. Use what you have learned in your life up to now. And start to live life as you want, right now, where you are. You got this.

Do it for you. Not for them. quote design by smoozitive

18. Do it for you. Not for them.

As expats, we often feel pressure to conform to the expectations of others – whether it's our family, friends, or society at large. But remember, that your journey abroad is yours and yours alone (even when you move with someone) - make it what you want it to be!

Do it for you. Not for them. quote design by smoozitive
"A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it is built for." – Albert Einstein quote design by smoozitive

19. "A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it is built for." – Albert Einstein

Living abroad is risky – it requires stepping out of your comfort zone and venturing into the unknown. But if you feel like you want more, you aim for the adventure, the discovery, the craziness of it all - go and trust that you have everything within you to make it work.

"The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." – Mary Davis quote design by smoozitive

20. "The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." – Mary Davis

Living abroad can be challenging, but it's also filled with moments of beauty and wonder. It's up to us to decide where we focus our attention on - the challenges and hard moments, or the opportunities and joys of life abroad? By embracing gratitude and practicing it daily, we discover more and more the positive aspects of our lives.

"The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." – Mary Davis quote design by smoozitive

Let these words speak to you

It doesn't matter if you print them and hang them on your wall, say them out loud as part of your mantras, use them as screensavers, or just save this post for a rainy day. Use these words to serve you. You'll be surprised by the positive impact it will have on your life.

I collected these empowering quotes for you, as a reminder that you are capable of overcoming challenges, embracing change, be brave, and grateful. So, when you're feeling homesick or uncertain, turn to these quotes for a dose of inspiration and motivation. Remember, you've got this!

​With love,

Gal Szmelcman Sela Founder of Smoozitive

Gal Sela-Szmelcman
Founder of Smoozitive

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