Burn Bright

Cultivating a Life of Wellness w/ Christine Job

October 27, 2021 Kelley Anne Season 2 Episode 14
Cultivating a Life of Wellness w/ Christine Job
Burn Bright
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Burn Bright
Cultivating a Life of Wellness w/ Christine Job
Oct 27, 2021 Season 2 Episode 14
Kelley Anne

In this episode, we talk with Christine Job about her journey to leaving America behind and moving abroad.  Christine Job is a Business Development Strategist that helps Black women and WOC ex-pats leverage their talents and expertise into professionally fulfilling and financially abundant online businesses. Christine is also the Executive Producer, Creator, and Host of "Flourish in the Foreign", a podcast that showcases the voices and stories of Black women living and thriving abroad. The podcast also explores living abroad as a pathway to wellness and a life of ease. 
Christine and I discuss the pressure women face, particularly black women, and how living abroad is its own unique and powerful path to wellness. Christine's personality is so grounding and wise if you are feeling adrift and struggling to establish true wellness in your life.  I promise you her words are just what the doctor ordered.  Her podcast "Flourish in the Foreign" encourages women of color to cultivate a life well lived by living abroad. You can connect with Christine at her website and on Instagram for more information @ flourishforeign.
You can connect with this podcast on Instagram and through the new website.  Finally, don’t forget you can buy me a coffee and donate to keep the podcast going.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we talk with Christine Job about her journey to leaving America behind and moving abroad.  Christine Job is a Business Development Strategist that helps Black women and WOC ex-pats leverage their talents and expertise into professionally fulfilling and financially abundant online businesses. Christine is also the Executive Producer, Creator, and Host of "Flourish in the Foreign", a podcast that showcases the voices and stories of Black women living and thriving abroad. The podcast also explores living abroad as a pathway to wellness and a life of ease. 
Christine and I discuss the pressure women face, particularly black women, and how living abroad is its own unique and powerful path to wellness. Christine's personality is so grounding and wise if you are feeling adrift and struggling to establish true wellness in your life.  I promise you her words are just what the doctor ordered.  Her podcast "Flourish in the Foreign" encourages women of color to cultivate a life well lived by living abroad. You can connect with Christine at her website and on Instagram for more information @ flourishforeign.
You can connect with this podcast on Instagram and through the new website.  Finally, don’t forget you can buy me a coffee and donate to keep the podcast going.

[00:00:00] Kelley: Welcome to the burn bright podcast. A podcast dedicated to helping big hearted, creative women, battle burnout, and live happy, healthy, and vibrant lives. I'm Kellyanne, a fellow big hearted creative. A licensed therapist and a proud. Quirky millennial. 

[00:00:20] We'll come back, everyone. It has been a minute and a half. Since I last spoke to you all. And I promise explanations are coming in next week's episode of the podcast. So. Lots to come stay tuned at the end of this episode, where I talk about what's coming next week, and I give you a little tiny sneak peek at season three of the burn bright podcast. 

[00:00:46] Lots of good stuff coming there. As always, there are a few ways to promote and support this podcast. The first way is to share this podcast [00:01:00] across all of your socials. As you know, that's a great opportunity. If you love the content, you think it's useful. Please share the podcast across all of your social media platforms. The second is subscribe to the podcast on all the major platforms. So you'll be notified on the latest episode when it drops. If you have apple podcast, you can leave a review of those five stars, make my whole world. Last, but not least. You can be a patron of the burn bright podcast. You can do it via a site called. 

[00:01:36] Buy me a coffee.com. 

[00:01:38] This is a site that allows you for literally the cup of coffee to support the podcast. Whether it be one time. Or recurrent, and you can do that@buymeacoffee.com slash burn bright. 

[00:01:53] Okay, let's get into today's episode. Today. We are talking to Christine joke. [00:02:00] She is a lawyer, an entrepreneur and a business strategist who is the host of a podcast called flourish in the foreign. Flourish in the foreign has exploded in his popularity and just recently won. Best international podcast. 

[00:02:17] Christie and talks about her own journey. Her desire to live abroad. What made her do it? What changed in her life? As well as talking about the platform of flourish in the foreign, which is all about helping women, helping black women in particular. Learn how to create and cultivate a life of wellness through living abroad. 

[00:02:43] There's so much power to this conversation. Christine is wise beyond her years and drop so many nuggets of thoughtful truth about how we live currently, [00:03:00] toxic hustle culture, and the beauty of introspection and learning how to live. A truly well cultivated. Life. So. 

[00:03:12] Let's not wait any longer and get into this incredible conversation with Christine Job, where she talks to us about. Living abroad as a path to wellness. 

[00:00:00] Kelley: Hi, Christine. I am so excited to have you here today. I have been waiting for you to come on this podcast. People don't know that we are friends and we connected in this really organic, but awesome way as podcasters and women of color and people who've lived abroad.

[00:00:18] And so before we get started in what you're doing now and who you are now and what you're all about, I just wanted to hear about your background and what led you to today and what we're talking about as you know, wellness and living abroad as a path to that. So tell us a little bit about you, Christine.

[00:00:33] What's 

[00:00:33] Christine: your background? Yeah. Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here and chat with you. So, I mean, we could go all the way back. I mean, everything is relevant, right? I'm the granddaughter and daughter of Trinidadi and immigrants, I think is important to note. I'm from Atlanta.

[00:00:55] I come from a family of, I always say like a [00:01:00] small nomadic tribe of women, which I think also explains a lot about my life. I grew up in Atlanta. I always traveled, I traveled domestically. By myself since I was like four years old, internationally when I was 10 years old and I always knew I wanted to just live abroad and I knew I wanted to just see different cultures.

[00:01:26] I want to experience different things because I was exposed to it as at a young age. And the concept of you can do life in different ways was always a part of my life.

[00:01:38] My mom was a world traveler. She is a world traveler. My dad was stationed the air force. I would go visit him. So I would see that kind of lifestyle. So for me, I knew that. Different lifestyles in different cultures. We're always out there. And I think that's, that seed was planted [00:02:00] early and I carried it along with me.

[00:02:02] I went to university, I studied abroad here in Spain, in Valencia. And then I graduated. I went to law school, which was an interesting choice. But it was a choice that also allowed me to like catapulted me afterwards into startup, into entrepreneurship, into really seeing the world.

[00:02:23] One of my first experiences outside of law school was on a business trade mission to Namibia and South Africa where I met for the first time, my whole life, a black woman, us ambassador. And I was like, Intellectually, I know this is possible, but I'm seeing you and you're welcoming us into your compound and I'm like, I want this, I want this job or this kind of thing going on.

[00:02:50] So that those experiences really just were so. Impactful for me. I say those [00:03:00] experiences within also the experience of being a black American woman in the United States of always needing to be twice, three times better working yourself. Not even to the bone, to the soul, allow your soul to be drained out your body.

[00:03:16] And, and not having the tools or support to be able to communicate how I was feeling. And I don't, and that's not for me to blame anyone or anything.

[00:03:28] There is this environment in which, you know, Not suffering, but like there's no time to complain. And sometimes emotional wellbeing and mental wellbeing is confused with complaining when really it is so much more than that. It is. It is so much deeper than that. And so for me having that experience in a nationally, but then also starting to really feel the friction [00:04:00] of burnout, especially when I was leaving law school, because it wasn't the best experience for me.

[00:04:06] And then trying to make my own way after law school, being an entrepreneur, trying to, you know, really feeding into that grind life, that causal life one from law school, because law school was like, who cares? Just work. And then, you know, the trendy, entrepreneurship buzzwords and like cry. Grinded kill it, whatever.

[00:04:29] And you're just like, why am I, why is it violent? Why is it all being so violent? And when you don't have necessarily the tools to take care of yourself, instead of being able to pause and say, Hey, I'm doing great, but maybe I need to check in with someone it compounds, right.

[00:04:47] It compounds into, I'm not good enough. And I got to a point where I just couldn't go anymore. I couldn't do it anymore. And I needed something [00:05:00] else. And at the point, and at that time, I didn't know I was burnt out. I just knew that. I just, I literally felt like I was up to here and I was like, I can't go on.

[00:05:10] And so an opportunity to go abroad was presented to myself presented to me. And I was like, I've always wanted to do it. And I also don't like how I feel. I don't like how I feel right now. And I didn't know how to not feel that way. And so I explored just getting outside of that environment to see how I could feel differently.

[00:05:35] There was a completely different way to, to maneuver and to live. And so when I was up to here and I was like, I can't go on anymore. Going abroad for me was at first, just a way to release some of the pressure off that valve and to get some distance so that I could, I could just see what is it that I wanted and, and [00:06:00] how I can maybe get to that point to that. 

[00:06:04] Kelley: Wow.

[00:06:05] There's, there's just so much there that you're talking about. So I'm going to assume that when I go back and pack a little bit of a one, one of the things I love about doing this podcast is even though, like I spoken to you and talk to you, I still learn new things about people. 

[00:06:20] It's really interesting. How you grew up with this kind of international perspective or this global perspective, just by default of having family. Or having a lineage, it's not American.

[00:06:30] So it kind of opens that up and then having military a component where people are stationed other places. So it gives you an opportunity to see other parts of the world but I really liked when you talked about how.

[00:06:41] Hustle culture uses this language that is the opposite of wellness language it's harsh. And like you use the word violent, like having a crush it the way we talk about goals and smashing goals and crushing goals, and it's really [00:07:00] kind of, it's violent, toxic language around it.

[00:07:03] And then we wonder why we're burned out when we're that's our framework. And the second thing that you said that was really powerful is that somehow wellness and self care or taking care of yourself, or even thinking about it is a con is complaining, is something that is negative. And I think a lot of people, particularly women of color.

[00:07:29] Experienced this, but I think all women in general, especially when women are put in roles experienced this kind of stigma around asking for more or taking time out to ask important questions, right? It's like, is that complaining? Is that a problem? But particularly women in at least from our experiences in a black community that is seen as a negative, like, why are you complaining?

[00:07:54] Like, just get on and go on with life. And you explaining your initial leaving to go broad [00:08:00] was this release mechanism. And I, I can understand that because for me it was like it was survival.

[00:08:05] It was like, it was not really this understanding of wellness. It was more than. Just just, I just gotta go. Like, I just got to do something different than what I'm doing and I love that concept of release. So am I capturing it right when I say that for you? It wasn't necessarily this whole concept of wellness initially.

[00:08:22] Like you weren't forward-thinking that much. It was just like, I just got to do something different and I got to do it now. Was there a sense of urgency and your decision? 

[00:08:32] Christine: Yeah, I don't think wellness was at the forefront. I think intentionality was as much as I could be intentional while in that kind of heightened emotional state, but wellness wasn't at the forefront.

[00:08:46] It was always a long held dream to go abroad. And so I, I was like, let me bet on myself and hopefully take care of. [00:09:00] 'cause I was, I was drowning and I was just like, well, this isn't great. So let me try this other thing that I've always wanted to do. And at least I can check it off the bucket list and see for myself.

[00:09:13] And if it doesn't work out well, what's now like I'm drowning, so

[00:09:21] Kelley: right. It can't get any worse than it is right now. 

[00:09:24] Christine: Exactly. But it was amazing because what happened was it gave me space and it gave me time for consideration in contemplation, which I. That I hadn't actually had in a long, long time, you know, I went to law school and yeah, we read a lot. Maybe we contemplate a lot.

[00:09:50] We comprehend a lot and we have to quite quickly, we got to get it really fast, but contemplate or deeply considered. I don't [00:10:00] know. I don't know if introspection is something that is widely touted as a wellness key. And I think it is, it's important to understand how you actually feel about things because a lot of.

[00:10:17] We are revert or we're regurgitating feelings that people have told us, we should feel about things. And the thing about going abroad for me is it literally gave me physical space from the people, my peers who have the things that I should have, who are doing the things I should be doing. And so instead of feeling like you're a crazy person, you're trying to be an entrepreneur, you are drowning, you are roller coaster.

[00:10:49] And sometimes it's good, sometimes bad. You're a failure when I'm you know, when I first went abroad, there's no more of that noise. And now it's, how do I actually feel the situation, not how I [00:11:00] should feel or how I should be. I think that was a first step for me, discovering living abroad as a pathway to wellness.

[00:11:09] And I also have to say that it's important. To know that it's not the app. Of physically moving yourself to a different place. I did have an intention for myself. My intention was oddly enough, even though at the time I didn't have the language of burnout. I was just like, I'm not, well, I'm not well, and I'm not okay.

[00:11:38] And I don't want to feel this way forever. I just can't. So my intention was to go abroad into feel better. Basically. I was like, I want to feel better. And what going abroad in the manner that I did, I basically took a sabbatical and I taught English for nine months. [00:12:00] And I had a schedule of 12 hours a week with a stipend and health insurance.

[00:12:06] And I worked three days a week and it was great, but it was very not so great because as a person who's always busy and always moving and always doing that allowed the time for contemplation, the anxiety that seeps in, right? Like, wow, I don't have to be any place and I don't have to be doing something.

[00:12:27] And I know all my friends are doing this, but I'm on a terrace drinking wine. I should feel guilty that, that in that dissonance space is what I think. That's where the wellness lies for me, because that's where the contemplation lies of. Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel guilt? Why do I feel like I need to be busy at all times?

[00:12:52] Why do I feel like I'm in competition with people that I don't even they're far away and they're not thinking about me, [00:13:00] right. Why do I feel like I need to make the Mo make the most of every moment and all this kinds of weird Western propaganda or at least American propaganda. And I think that that is really the root, at least of my belief that living abroad as a pathway to wellness it's in the distance.

[00:13:23] It's the, it has to be because that is where you start to get to know yourself and the discomfort and the literally sitting by yourself and fidgeting around and being like, it's. It's true. Still. It's still what siesta what's going on? Why are you guys sleeping in the middle of the day, then? Like all of that weirdness, the people just like you came to our country and now you're going to ask us why we do our things, right?

[00:13:51] Chill the hell out that space. And if you are aware enough to not [00:14:00] project it onto the local population that has been living their life and mind their own business, before you moved there, you can really learn so much about yourself and start and start really envisioning what a life well lived looks like for you.

[00:14:17] And you can start really discovering. What are your personal wounds? Like what is it that you feel must be occupied by all time? Busy-ness what am I trying to overcompensate? What am I trying to shield from others? Judgmental eyes. What part of myself am I not okay with? Because I've been taught that I shouldn't be okay with myself.

[00:14:44] What part of myself would I love to showcase to people, but I don't feel like it's going to be received well that I think is that's the pathway to living abroad, being a pathway to wellness, I think. 

[00:14:57] Kelley: Yeah. Again, beautifully [00:15:00] stated. And you, you kind of were outlining the challenges and the benefits of that kind of how it's improved your life.

[00:15:06] Right? You talked about the concept of space, which I know we've had conversations before about what it did for my life. And just in general, when I talk about what makes people well and what makes people feel whole and complete is having space literal space. People need that. I don't think people being in like Casa phobic, little boxes can, can function, but emotional and mental space.

[00:15:30] And so living abroad gives that particularly when you step out of your own world, because then you're, you're released from being connected to the routines and the habits and the pressure and the culture, the cultural norms that keep you imprisoned to going on autopilot. Right. And yet that also you highlight can be a challenge because then you're also like, those are the things that also kept me from introspection.

[00:15:54] Which is a pathway to wellness, but it is an uncomfortable, those are uncomfortable moments [00:16:00] where you have to sit and think, well, now that I'm not in this, you know, caught up in the crushing toxic culture of go, go, go, go, go. Now that there is quiet. Now there are moments to think, is this what I want my life to be?

[00:16:13] And then you have to acknowledge the ways that you probably have an honored yourself. You have an honor your journey, and what you think is authentic to you. We talked about with burnout, like what things get you through burnout? I tell people like authenticity and clarity, and that can be a painful process.

[00:16:28] When you realize the ways that you haven't been true to yourself and getting clear on what you need to do. And it's so beautiful when you talk about the space between those concepts, that, that dissonance, that discomfort is where the growth is and where the wellness happens. And I think that is so powerful and so true.

[00:16:46] And I think for people who take advantage of living abroad with the opportunity that. They get that. That's one of the ways to get that if you go abroad is because you're just thrust out of your old habits and your old life, and you have a [00:17:00] lot of time on your hands or a lot of distance, if nothing else to be like, oh, okay.

[00:17:05] I don't have someone over my shoulder telling me we have to do these things and go these places. And I think that's really powerful the way you captured that. And so in general, why do you think it's important that you cultivate a life of wellness whether it's living abroad or finding some other ways, just in general, what about that for you? Cause you were searching right for something, right? You knew you had to get, we said you weren't you want your life to be better.

[00:17:33] I think is what you said. You wanted to feel better. And now you are on a mission to cultivate a life of wellness via travel and be a living abroad. So why do you think it's important for women and, and particularly BiPAP women or black indigenous people of color is what that stands for? Why do you think it's important for women and BiPAP women to kind of cultivate this life of wellness?

[00:17:55] Like why is that an important topic? 

[00:17:57] Christine: It's so important. It's so important. [00:18:00] And I think it's such an important topic for women and especially women of color to cultivate a life of wellness because through the cultivation of wellness, we are centering ourselves in a society in which we are never centered in a society that is patriarchical and in a society that is majority white.

[00:18:23] If you're American, UK, wherever. So we are not centered our wants our needs, our preferences, our dreams, or hopes. Are not centered and we're taught not to center ourselves. We are raised to not send, to not center ourselves. We are raised to literally put others before us and for the, and that is praised.

[00:18:49] And even if it goes horribly wrong, or even if it goes horribly, right, right. It's still it's. That is what is, that is what is [00:19:00] pushed. And it's very strange because that is the quote unquote norm. And yet there are no accolades or, or awards or even acknowledgements, right. If, if one decides to center family as a woman and you go do this, there's not a pat on the back because that's what you're supposed to be doing.

[00:19:20] There's no, like, you know, centering someone else in the, in the work field, centering the team and being a team player. That's not acknowledging your pat on the back because. That's what you're supposed to do. And if you're not, how dare you step out out of line to be innovative, to think freely, to have a different point of view, to create boundaries.

[00:19:43] How dare you, because your boundaries aren't affront to the system that takes from you, but does not ever give to you. That only once your labor, but never wants your consideration or your preferences or your mind or your thoughts. [00:20:00] You know, it doesn't ever want you to be the director of the labor. So cultivating a life of wellness is to center yourself in your life.

[00:20:12] And it is so important for everyone that hears this, to understand that centering yourself in your life and cultivating a life of wellness is not selfish. It is vital because if not me, then who, if no one takes care of me, then who is going to take care of me. Because again, in this society, we're not in a society where, especially in American society, in which it is a communal society that takes care of one another.

[00:20:41] And as a black woman who is going to take care of me. So, no, it's not. If it is, it is self preservation. However, people would love to use the language of selfish and all these kinds of negative terms, but that is regulation to [00:21:00] once again, take from us to utilize our labor without just compensation, to utilize our labor without our own free, will our own thoughts.

[00:21:12] That is it. And I completely rebuffed that. So cultivating a life of wellness is the first step of, I believe. Really envisioning in and taking control of your personal narrative in your life and how that's going to affect everyone that knows you because everyone who knows you is going to have an opinion about it and odds are, they're not going to like it.

[00:21:39] At least that's what I've discovered because you to say, yes, this is what I want. I've sat in deep contemplation, everyone. And this is what I liked. This is what I want. This is how I envisioned my life. Whether that decision is for you to live your truth in a variety of ways, being [00:22:00] childless by choice living far away from your parents to cutting off certain people, whatever it may be, different professions.

[00:22:09] No, like people are not going to like it and it can be as I think harmless as just saying, don't call me after 8:00 PM. That is like, I, that's not what friends, that's not what families do. And guess what all that. Yes. But no one is going to no, one's really going to have your back. And I believe that.

[00:22:35] And I think that's harsh. I think some people are like, that's not true. And I'm like, you know what, when we really think about it, this is our life. This is our life. And what we realized is that sometimes familial and friend relationships and support are conditional. And so it is really important for us to understand that our self-love can [00:23:00] not be conditional.

[00:23:01] I got to love myself. I cannot contort myself, bend myself, break myself, diminish myself, deplete myself in the hopes that you will always love me and support me because I can do all that. And you can still quote unquote, betray me, drop me, whatever. However, if I am most loyal to myself and I put my wellness first, then that isn't me saying that I cannot be a friend or a family member to you.

[00:23:31] It just means that I am taking care of my health and my vision for my life. I'm taking in. I'm taking charge of that. And so it's so important for, for women of color, especially, especially in United States, because there's so many layers of oppression and there's so many hoops to jump and there's so many people to [00:24:00] appease in there. So many fake smiles, a plaster on your face, and so much anger to swallow all the time.

[00:24:10] That's why cultivating a life of wellness is survival. And hopefully if we cultivate it and really nurture it, it is thriving, but it only thrive for the space of deep nurturing. And that is like you said, we have to give ourselves permission, but we also have to create space. Like you said, also that space.

[00:24:32] It has to be the removal of people and things and constructs. Wellness is not just bath bombs and crystals. I always say that because I love those things and I think they're great, but they're not.

[00:24:46] And especially for women of color, it is much deeper than that. 

[00:24:49] Kelley: The radical step of centering yourself is so crucial because it is you're right. It is a moment to do that. [00:25:00] And like you said, it's just, if you don't do that, You lose who you are. And so many people have lost who they are and it can be, like you said, when you do the introspection, it can be as big as choosing a whole different life.

[00:25:13] Like it is like up and rooting your whole life and living in Japan, right? For the rest of your days. It also as small as telling someone, no, call me after 8:00 PM and you will get reactions to both. Trust me, devote I've done both and gotten reactions to both setting boundaries and loving yourself.

[00:25:31] Like you said, it's not conditional, and I also just, what I love about what you're saying is part of the thing that drives you to do it for you. But also if you feel communal, because we live in a Western world that isn't communal part of what should drive it too, is to set an example, to give other women and particularly also women of color permission to do the same, because there are so many women who know that they don't 

[00:25:56] feel.

[00:25:58] How many of us are waking up every day and being [00:26:00] like, I don't feel good. And so how refreshing, even if there are people who are feeling uncomfortable with who you are and who you're choosing to be when you're choosing this life of wellness, to be able to say, though, it makes me uncomfortable to see Christine and to see Kelly doing this, living their lives.

[00:26:15] What has driven me is that they know I exist and I know I'm making these choices. So that one day, if they choose to they're like, I, there can be a different way. And I just want like a thousand snaps or everything you said, and particularly. Women of color who are on top of everything else. I think women are oppressed and feel all those things and feel everything that you said, but then you add, like you said, the other layers and layers and layers of swallowing it down and, and the anger that exists in women of color on top of all that, it's like, there's a call beyond everything.

[00:26:47] You know, Audra Lord's saying that, you know, self care is an act of self-preservation. It is not self-indulgence and that call to do it because it's like, you have to, to survive, you have to deal with self-care and that it [00:27:00] isn't matcha tea and tumeric, lattes, and bath bombs. It is, you can do all those things and they're fine to do them, but it's not, don't call that wellness.

[00:27:08] I mean, I'd call that something you would like, and that's totally fine, but that's intentionality. I want you to also talk about this all converged for you into something like you didn't just sit there and you like, you made your living this life of wellness, you moved abroad, but you've turned it into something like a movement almost.

[00:27:26] And it's called flourish in the foreign. And so I want you to talk a little bit about what is flourished in the foreign. What does it mean to you? Both like as a philosophy and practically, what is. 

[00:27:37] Christine: Yeah. So flourish foreign is a podcast and platform that showcases it elevates and affirms the voices and stories of black women living and thriving abroad.

[00:27:51] And it also explores living abroad as a pathway to wellness. I was always looking to, [00:28:00] to live abroad.

[00:28:01] And what I found was I didn't see a lot of. Stories about women who looked like me, who had my experience living abroad. I remember when I graduated from university and my mom was like, well, what are you going to do? Cause I graduated in 2009, not a great time to graduate from university. So horrible time actually.

[00:28:23] And I was like, I want to live abroad. I want to work abroad. And you know, I fast forward to 2014 and I'm walking the community on Thiago, which is a pilgrimage across Spain. And I'm like, I can live here cause this is cool. I can live here and then figuring out how to move to Spain.

[00:28:43] And I'm just realizing, like I moved to Spain, I, and I've traveled. And I see all these black women who are just doing it, but I'm like, where have you been? Because they've been living abroad for 20, 30 years. And I'm like, I didn't know that. And I would've loved to know that you existed. [00:29:00] And so the first kind of catalyst was wanting to create an anecdotal resource bank of black women, just for anyone else to be like, Hey.

[00:29:11] She's done it. She's doing this and I can do it too, but also I wanted to create something for us by us, 

[00:29:24] You know, the thing is, is that when you say, you know, digital nomad or location dependent or ex pad, you have images of white people.

[00:29:34] I don't know, enhanced with their laptops in their lap. Why would you do that on a beach? Strange to me for so many reasons, to so many reasons, you know, like that is the image and that's not the truth of it. That's why people, aren't the only, ex-pats like, they're not the only digital nomads. They're not the only people who are out here doing things for adventure.

[00:29:58] And yet the [00:30:00] predominant and prevailing Meredith is that. And that, especially black Americans, like you don't do this and that's not true. It's just not. And so I thought, you know, I can't wait around for mainstream media to what validate us to be interested in our stories and then botch it. Like they always do.

[00:30:18] I need to create a platform for us to tell our own stories in our own way our stories are worth capturing and that they're important in this.

[00:30:29] We must, we must be the definers of our own narrative, you know? So there's a really important Toni Morrison quote, and she says definitions belong to a defined. Not be defined in a lot of times we as quote unquote minorities, or let's just say black people in general, because you don't want to have to be a minority black person, our definitions and our narratives have been defined by other people.[00:31:00] 

[00:31:00] And what happens is that that definition then gets morphed into truth as if this is the mean and the truth of you and what we're capable of and what is possible for us. And that's not true. And so I think it's important for us to be the definers. We need to define our, our place in history.

[00:31:20] And so that, those two things were really important for me to create flourish and the foreign is to showcase that. But also what has been really profound for me speaking to now, I guess 100, I think black women who are living abroad or who have lived abroad is that the profound experience of living abroad has on people, right?

[00:31:46] Because these women are not moving abroad for struggle or strife they are moving abroad for adventure, for love, for career on a whim. They've got nothing else to do. I don't know. I'm moving. [00:32:00] These are real stories and that's important to share, but also the powerful transformative. Effect of with being abroad and how their life has been influenced, how different aspects of their wellness be it financial or professional or mental or physical has been affected by living abroad.

[00:32:24] I was one of those people. Yep. Right. People who have gone abroad and had mental healing, they've had emotional healing.

[00:32:32] They have had financial, they've had financial wellness, professional wellness, their lives have been changed. And I thought it's really important to capture this narrative 

[00:32:45] And I want people to have more intention and I want people to, I want them to embrace, be the transformative experience, but you can only embrace that [00:33:00] by being intentional. And you can only do that by understanding that the transformation happens in the contrast.

[00:33:08] It doesn't happen by drinking out of a fresh coconut. So it's delicious and 

[00:33:13] Kelley: nutritious all inclusive result. 

[00:33:17] Christine: Right. Like if it's delicious and I love it, but like, that's not necessarily, that's not usually where it happens because no matter where you go, you bring yourself. So there's a change that happens, but there's a space that allows this change to happen.

[00:33:35] Especially for these women, that the transformation that they're experiencing in all aspects of their life, regardless of, you know, what their story is, results in a softening in that mess.

[00:33:49] And. It's something that I have to investigate more. I know because I keep on getting these nudges, but everyone always uses the word soft and it's [00:34:00] not a weakness. It's not as necessarily a weeping vulnerability. It is a softness that happened from, from these experiences that I think is, is so beautiful.

[00:34:12] And, and that is what I'm really interested in, in showcasing and amplifying is this different way of living life, how choosing to live life differently in a way that may sushi best, perhaps it's not in Mexico, maybe it's in Albania. But you'll know it by the softness that you feel you'll know it by the wellness, the deep wellness that will resonate within your whole life.

[00:34:41] Right. You will know that for yourself. So, so showcasing that and, and nurturing a community that, that really embodies it has been life-changing for me. And that's what my foreign is all about. ultimately it's about [00:35:00] flourishing in a foreign or different mindset, lifestyle, different way of moving and being that you were not necessarily raised in and yet fits so much better than anything you've ever tried on before in your life, you know?

[00:35:16] And I love it. It is proven to be very powerful. Women are starting to uproot themselves intentionally and replant themselves they know what they truly want and desire. And they also know they have a community of other women are to support them. 

[00:35:33] Kelley: Right. It's that brand new. I, I first saw it comes through so clearly that you are passionate about it and it is, it is a beautiful thing that you're doing.

[00:35:41] So I think representation matters. People seeing themselves matter. You can't be what you can't see. You're giving people an opportunity to see the possible, when so many people don't think that's something that you can do. And if they haven't had, like, we're fortunate enough to have international connections and people who have lived abroad.

[00:35:59] So it's [00:36:00] not an impossibility to dream it and make it a reality. But there's a lot of people who have never had that they've never left their town or ever imagined that you could be out of sight of the United States, right up their state that they live in or the city or town they live in. And so having this.

[00:36:17] Connection. And this ability to listen to the stories and to listen to the joy and the changes that these women experience is like, it's, there's no price tag. You can put on how precious that is. And I also love the Toni Morrison quote that you gave us, because I think on an individual level there's truth to that, that if there's one thing that people can take away from this is that it is up to you to define your life.

[00:36:41] Because if you don't, you will be the defined, but we all have the opportunity to be in the other role, we can be the definers of our life and going abroad gives us the opportunity. And I feel for myself, I can say personally, it shifted me from the defined to a definer that I got to define my life [00:37:00] when I lived abroad, because of all the things that we talked about today versus feeling defined and.

[00:37:06] The frustrations that came with that and the burnout that came with that but I got to step out of that and redefine who Kelly was and that made all the difference.

[00:37:16] So I think this just is so incredible and beautiful what you are building, you know, what you are what you are growing, which are cultivating and flourish in the foreign. So where can people connect to this podcast? I'm going to put in the show notes, obviously, but just verbally. How can they connect with you before we do a rapid fire question?

[00:37:36] Christine: For sure you can listen to flourish on all major platforms and Pandora now. So that's, there's no forum. You can actually check out the show notes and listen to the episodes on the website, WW dot flourish, and a foreign.com. You can definitely subscribe to the YouTube channel where I do interviews and have lots of really [00:38:00] practical, how to kind of tips.

[00:38:02] Again, YouTube channel is where boring and obviously follow across all social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook flourish, foreign Instagram, started to pop up. It's really fun. 

[00:38:14] Kelley: All right. Well, I'll make sure to link all of that in the show notes so that you can connect with Christine Jo, who is incredible and flourish in the forum podcast,

[00:38:23] so before I let you go, I'm so excited that you came on. I want to give you the same rapid fire questions. I give every guest. These are meant to be fun. So don't take it too seriously, but I am judging you. Okay. 

[00:38:38] Christine: First question. 

[00:38:39] Kelley: What is a quote saying, or song lyric that you live by? 

[00:38:45] Christine: I have so many, I have so many one would be, it is done on to you as you believe, which is a biblical scripture in Matthew.

[00:38:55] I believe that I just believe that wholeheartedly. I think. [00:39:00] Faith. And your belief in yourself or your belief about a situation tends to I guess it tends to reflect. So, I believe that's also I like the lyric by Drake, of course I'm not a huge Drake fan, but I do like this lyric and he says, I'm the type of just pray and then go out and get what I prayed for.

[00:39:20] And that that's me too. I'm like, I'll pray about it. I'll think about it and I'm going to go get it. And so, yeah, those are my two, I think, gospel of 

[00:39:30] Kelley: Matthew to a little known gospel of Drake. 

[00:39:33] Christine: If you could choose another career, what would it be? I would be a soap opera actress. Would you be. 

[00:39:43] Kelley: Tele novella like a Spanish one, or like American, like guiding light general hospital. 

[00:39:47] Christine: We gotta be specific here. Well, let me tell you both. In high school I actually got into, I was studying Spanish and I got into Mexican. Telanovela a lot hardcore. [00:40:00] And so yeah, I would do both. I would be a part of, yeah. I would be a soap opera actress.

[00:40:05] I think I'm ready for it. Actually 

[00:40:08] Kelley: do that today. I don't think there really, it's not a high bar to clear. I feel like to be a soap opera, actor, actress. So I feel like I'm waiting for you to show up. I'm I'm voting for you. I will, I will watch you just need to let us know where we can catch you next on the next day to tell novella or, you know, young and the restless.

[00:40:26] I don't know. Whichever you show up on first we're we're we're we're waiting. Who is your celebrity crush? 

[00:40:34] Christine: Yeah, I thought about this and I don't have a slippery Pradish at all. Like I thought about it and I thought about it and I was just like, there's this no person you look at and go 

[00:40:45] Kelley: other attractive.

[00:40:48] Christine: Wow. I don't, I don't see anyone. I thought about it too. And I looked on Instagram. I was just like, no, I don't know. I don't have a [00:41:00] crush on anyone. Oh, wow. If you can only see it, 

[00:41:04] Kelley: everyone, no one can see my face right now because I like the polar opposite. Like you just throw out a name.

[00:41:08] I'm like, oh yeah, I probably have a crush on them, but sure. That's hysterical. You're our first guest without a celebrity. 

[00:41:16] Christine: Nobody like, I'm still stumped. I'm like, there's no 

[00:41:19] Kelley: figure life. What about in your life? But like, 

[00:41:23] Christine: I went back to all the courses I had in my life. What am I thinking? Like, it was so weird.

[00:41:29] I thought about it and I was just like, there's no way that my first one. I was probably like Tevin Campbell or something. Really? No mine was 

[00:41:43] Kelley: Michael Jackson, whatever. And George, Michael I'm totally aging myself. You're kidding me by Tammy Campbell is totally acceptable. It's all acceptable 

[00:41:55] Christine: and ideal way to spend a weekend.

[00:41:59] Ideal way to [00:42:00] spend a weekend is definitely getting up early. I know I'm an early person, but getting up early and like going on a hike would be really nice, especially here in Barcelona. We have mountains before anyone else gets up. So I'm like, I don't really like being around people when I first wake up.

[00:42:17] So getting up, going into hike, coming back, having breakfast, like maybe on the beach with like friends and just like kicking it and drinking champagne or kava kava here. COVID. Yeah. And then going home, taking a nap, maybe going back out for another like wine or like some kind of a band, like this is like pre COVID, right?

[00:42:46] Like, because here everything is it's super chill. The perfect weekend is activities, friends, speech, and always wine and just, you know, kind of like kicking [00:43:00] it.

[00:43:00] Kelley: That's one of the great things about Barcelona is like you could be in the mountain and they, and the beach at the same, in the same day, like you could do both. So that's one of the great things. What is some advice you wish someone had given you five years ago? 

[00:43:13] Christine: Ooh, So much I think five years ago, gosh, I thought about this too.

[00:43:21] And I was like, how am I going to answer this? I'll say this five years ago, I wish someone would say, would have told me to better myself, Belle myself more. And to try, because I think overthinking, and I'll say this again for women of color black women. We are conditioned to doubt ourselves. I wish five years ago, someone would have said to me, Christine, try, go do bet on yourself. Because what [00:44:00] I'll say is that when I, I started doing it while I was abroad, but really launching this, this podcast. Broke something inside of me. Like it broke something open inside of me because I didn't know what I was doing at all.

[00:44:13] I don't know anything about audio. I didn't know anything about podcasting support. I didn't know most of the women that I talk to regularly now. Like I haven't met in person, but I trusted myself and my instincts and how I do things.

[00:44:30] And I have been able to create a successful podcast. And I wish I would have been on myself sooner , that's, that's the thing I feel like as, as women of color, as black women, We need to fling ourselves off the cliff a lot more. We need to pull the trigger a lot more because what white, you know, CIS, hetero men do is that they pull a trigger more and people call it brilliant land [00:45:00] 

[00:45:00] Kelley: don't fall.

[00:45:01] They don't, they don't hit the ground and smack they don't because they 

[00:45:04] Christine: have support network they have to support each other. But they pull a trigger and they iterate and so perhaps we don't have that many chances in certain situations, but if we are the creators. I have plenty of chances I'm going to create and I'm going to figure it out, but I'm going, I'm going to, I can figure it out.

[00:45:25] So bet on ourselves and, and trust that that you're enough. 

[00:45:30] Kelley: Yes, I am into that last, last question, a song that gets you through tough times.

[00:45:37] Christine: Through tough times. Well, I'm a die hard Adele fan. I've been rocking with the Dell since 2006. Her MySpace days. I saw her in Atlanta when her tickets were like $20 in, like, you can reach out on the stage. Yeah, that was like [00:46:00] 2007. She had just won her first screening. So I'm a, I'm a huge Adele Adele fan.

[00:46:05] She's my girl. I will say chasing pavements, I'll take it back to chase and pavements. Whenever I hear, I still get a little bit emotional because it is a song for me that is basically about. Do I bet on myself or do I quit? Like, do I, should I keep on going? And even if it leads nowhere and I think that's something that's really profound, especially for me who has been raised to be a hyper overachiever that needs to strive and go to be able to pursue something.

[00:46:41] And it not have an, an end that is traditionally successful, that you don't have something shiny to show and just pursue it just because you need to pursue. It has been basically my later half of my [00:47:00] twenties, my late twenties and thirties. That's what, that's what my life has been. It's made no sense to people, but I have continuously tried to follow my instincts and the things I need to create into.

[00:47:14] Do 

[00:47:15] And so when I embark on something new or when I'm having a hard day and I'm just like, I could just be a lawyer making lots of money, 

[00:47:23] Kelley: but on a Dell, 

[00:47:25] Christine: you have to put it on because it's like, is that what you want?

[00:47:30] And I'm like lots of money. Yes. To be a lawyer now, 

[00:47:36] Kelley: and then doing things for the sake of joy. I mean, the other thing is, is like the act of doing things that bring you joy is its own reward. And it is an exercise. And just like any other muscle, it has to be repeated so that you get better and better at it.

[00:47:49] And like your, whatever your fears are, your concerns, they get less and less and living a life that isn't traditional, that isn't everyone, else's Insta still [00:48:00] approval. It takes. A lot of continuous effort, even when it's something that you do, like, because you do have people who make you doubt yourself and question yourself.

[00:48:10] So, you know, cheers to Adele. We do love Adele. She's wonderful. So I love that song choice. 

[00:48:17] Christine: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well done. I liked that, 

[00:48:22] Kelley: Christine. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You're so awesome. I will put in the show notes, how people can connect with you. And I'm just so happy that we got to chat today.

[00:48:31] And we talked about living abroad as a path to wellness. So thanks for joining us on the burn bright podcast. 

[00:48:38] Christine: Thank you so much for having me. Its been fun!

[00:00:00] Kelley: So that was Christine job. As I mentioned before, you can check out her podcast flourish in the foreign on all major platforms and I will drop her social links. And the link to the podcast itself in the show notes. 

[00:00:14] This incredible conversation is just a sneak peek. Of what's to come. So next week we're going to have our season finale it'll drop on the normal Wednesday date. And this is where I tell you where I've been, where I'm going and give you a little sneak peek at season three. Which is coming in January, 2022. 

[00:00:35] As always thank you for joining me with this week on the burn bright podcast. You can find me on Instagram at burn bright podcast and at let's burn bright.com for more. Information on self care, mindfulness and burnout prevention. You can find this podcast on a host of platforms. Apple and Google podcast, Spotify, just to name a few, make sure to subscribe to that show so you can catch a new episode [00:01:00] as it drops. 

[00:01:00] Kelley: Until next week, which will be the season finale of season two. Take care of yourself and take care of each other.