Welcome to my website!


The fact you are here tells me that you are probably an expat partner, a localised expat partner or you have been repatriated after several years abroad.

Do you recognise this?

• Graduated from higher education;
• Developed career;
• Gave up career to follow partner on international assignment.

• Supporting working partner;
• Supporting children;
• Managing house;
• Filling free time with exercise, leisure activities and more study.

• More of the same.

How do you feel about this?

You are an intelligent woman with great capabilities that are underutilised.

Do you think that you will ever feel truly fulfilled if you continue not using your professional skills and experiences, in whatever way?

You may have been a non-working expat partner for a short while or for many years. No matter what it is, you have been thinking about using your skills and experiences in a professional way again, but you are not quite sure how.


Life as an expat partner

The expat community doesn’t really encourage you to build your own professional life:

      • None of the other expat partners work;
      • Everybody seems happy living the expat partner life;
      • Your husband travels all the time;
      • There is so much going on for the children that you need to be involved in;
      • You may be moving again soon;
      • ………

It almost feels easier to forget about your own professional aspirations. It’s all so much effort and you may feel selfish for wanting to focus all that attention on yourself.

But ignoring your needs is generally not a very good strategy. Denying what you feel will not make it go away. It ensures that it will never get resolved. And worse, it can severely impact your mental well-being.

Research by Professor Yvonne McNulty (*) of Singapore University of Social Sciences has shown that career-minded expat partners who do not work or do something else that replaces that in a satisfactory manner, experience a strong urge to return home, high stress levels, over-dependence on anti-depressants, addiction, and even thoughts of suicide.

(*) https://expatresearch.com/dual-careers/

On the other hand:

Expat partners who are working while abroad experience a positive impact on their adjustment, family relationships, health and well-being, as well as a willingness to complete and to extend their current assignment and to go on a new one, according to research by The Permits Foundation.

Of course, not all expat partners are seeking professional fulfilment. Some are truly happy with their stay-at-home status. However, there are more expat partners than you think who are not feeling fulfilled. It is not something that is discussed enough but research by Internations shows it clearly:

A survey by Internations in 2019 (*) among 1,325 expat partners shows the following:

87% of respondents are highly educated with undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD degrees;
57% are not working;
44% are dissatisfied with their career prospects at the start of the overseas assignment and this number goes up to 50% in the period of one to three years.

(*) https://business.internations.org/expat-insider/

Take back control of your own life!

There are many different ways of engaging in a professional manner to give you that sense of excitement when you get up in the morning and the feeling of fulfilment when you go to bed at night.

Whether you have been out of work for only a short while or for many years, your aspirations are an important part of you. Ignoring or denying them can have serious consequences for your mental well-being. Please, don’t let that happen.

Work with me; together we can find your path to professional fulfilment that fits your life. Whether it is employment, setting up your own business or volunteering; together we will explore and find what it is that you want to do and work towards professional fulfilment.

Click the Facebook icon to join my Facebook group “Expat partners seeking professional fulfilment”.


“My time with Wendela helped me to understand how to deal with the anxiety I was feeling, how to simply let it pass and to let go of a number of fears I was harbouring for no sound reason. Wendela guided me through a difficult period and taught me some valuable tools to use in the future to keep anxiety at bay. An investment in myself both mentally and financially that was well worth the money.”.


“As an expat-wife, no job, nearly 50 years old and an empty nester, I struggled with the meaning of my life and felt very useless. I wanted something, but what?
Wendela helped me to get a better and more realistic picture of myself. By asking the right questions, I started to discover who I really am, what I like and what makes me happy. Then it became much more clear what it was I wanted to do!
Wendela managed to do this in an quiet and safe environment without judgement. For me that was very important because talking and thinking about yourself is not always easy. But with Wendela I felt secure enough to talk openly.
Now I have started a new study which gives me a lot of fulfillment. But I also feel a lot happier in the roll I play in life besides my study. So I can only speak highly of Wendela from openRabbit.”.


“Dank je Wendela voor onze coaching sessions. Precies wat ik nodig had. Fijn om met iemand te praten die de situatie zo goed aanvoelt. En in mijn eigen taal.! Ik heb nu een veel duidelijker beeld van welke kant ik uitwil in mijn leven.”.


“Wendela’s ability to probe and gently challenge established patterns of behaviour has been valuable and effective in helping me create a more satisfying and appropriate role for myself at work. She encouraged me in self reflection, helped identify obstacles, and supported the process of change without being directive. I feel her input has improved my work-life balance, even 30 years into my career!”


“I can really recommend Wendela Elsen. Her calm presence and ability to really listen have helped me to get my focus back on what I really want. I have been an expat partner for 15 years. When I contacted Wendela she asked the right questions and gave the space to explore options. Her experience as an expat partner herself made me feel understood. She has a very pleasant, reassuring voice (important when you can’t meet face to face) and she takes you as a person very seriously. I know what I want again and Wendela you have played a great part in that. Thank you!”