Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Moving to a new country often means giving up your own identity and finding your place in the new environment. It can be easy when you move for love and have the support from your family while you are trying to adapt and grow. However, there are internal struggles that everyone goes through while trying to stay authentic. Today’s guest, Laverne Wyatt, has a personal and professional story of finding her true goal in life, which includes living in 3 countries, 12 years, 2 kids, 3 start-ups, 2 blogs, 1 divorce and creating an influential global online presence.
Laverne Wyatt, a Norwegian based global citizen, helps organisations, companies and individuals create more effective life abroad, through workshops, seminars, consulting and design. She has more than 20 years of experience working in media and communication. She works with women who have the vision to be more than their environment but feel lost, unsure or invisible. Laverne helps them in taking charge of their online and offline identity.
"Stop holding yourself back due to the fear for offending someone."
While talking to our hosts Aditi and Alicia, in our latest Authentigration podcast, Laverne shared how her journey from Durban, South Africa to Oslo, Norway started in her childhood when she discovered a book about Norway in a library which had extraordinary pictures such as glass roof with the "Lord of the Rings" mountains in the background. That made her curious about the country and encouraged her to meet people from Norway. She recalls feeling amazed after encountering so many polite and open-minded people from another country.
She moved to Norway after getting married and has been here since then. When asked what is keeping her in Norway even after going through a rough patch with her divorce, she candidly replied her children are the main reason why she is looking to stay in Norway for 15 years or more.
On being asked how has the transition process been for her since the start, she described it as a process of moving every bit of her identity. She went from being single and living on her own to being married and living with someone - in a different country with a different language and completely new culture.
“I have to literally start my day by reminding myself to flip the script. That way I will allow myself to be me.”
After the honeymoon phase in her transition process ended, where she was happy, adapting and walking the streets without worrying about a car running her over - she also acknowledged feeling ignorant and invisible, pretty often. She held on to her roots and upbringing by becoming more patriotic and connecting with African communities and cultural initiatives.
“I started a blog to talk about my experiences which helped me with networking and understanding my own identity in the new world.”
During this conversation, she shared her experiences of becoming a parent, feeling stuck in her own self-pity story, going through a divorce, and finding new beginnings. She says meeting new people who helped her stay positive, travelling more and making the most of living in Norway have been very rewarding. “Bloom wherever life plants you” and “You are not your roots but the flowers that bloom from them” are two famous quotes in Laverne’s personal diary which inspired her and her mission.
Why BLOOM? Laverne revealed that she stand by these core values in her life and in her work -
B – Being brave
L – Love of learning
O – Observant of new opportunities
O – Open-hearted communications
M – Managing Mindsets
Significant advice that Laverne wants to offer, to people who are relocating to Norway, is educating themselves about the fact that once you have children, they are legally bound to be in the country even after divorce.
“Choosing to have kids with a foreigner means that you are buying yourself a one-way ticket, no matter what happens to the relationship.”
Laverne also said moving to a new country can be a great opportunity as well as a challenge. People should not expect their career to go as they want rather they should be ready to completely remake their identity while thinking about what they want to be next - without waiting for someone else’s approval of their achievements.
Listen to the complete podcast at our Podcast Section.
For Laverne Wyatt, Authentigration means integrating without losing individual identity, which is why she finds herself to be the most authentic person she knows. If you like to connect with her, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.