• Alicia Assad

Would You Say Yes to Adventure?

“In less than three months,

we are moving to Hong Kong!”

Photo Credit: Photos by JLM

The first time Eddie mentioned the idea of moving abroad, I quipped,

“Hell no! I won’t go!”

But as soon as this crass negativity escaped my mouth, I realized fear was driving my closed-minded attitude.

My thoughts then shifted to my writing on resilience and motherhood. For a few years now, I’ve been sharing about how things like struggle, fear, insecurity, and failure have made me into the resilient mom I've become. When you land on my website, you’ll be met by a bold claim, "I am strong enough to survive and to thrive."

Indeed, having been a lifelong student of wellbeing and navigated my way through a complicated decade of motherhood, I am confident I’ll find the strength to survive whatever it is tomorrow will bring.

Given this powerful intention I publicly declared in 2017, I had no choice but to give myself a swift kick in the ass. I then worked hard to compartmentalize my fears, and acknowledged the vulnerability this move requires is the birthplace of growth.

Listen, a sudden move abroad might not be hard for everyone. Maybe you crave adventure and change, but this is NOT in my nature. My most authentic thoughts on the matter?

I do not like the thought of breaking down the life I worked so hard to create in my suburban town.

I do not like the idea of moving halfway across the world and starting over again.

I do not like change.

I do not want to move to Asia.

I would not, could not move that far away.

Don't make me go, Sam-I-am.

Since my rumination resembled the unnamed stubborn character in the Dr. Seuss classic, I couldn’t help but remember he actually likes green eggs and ham when he finally tries them.


Heeding this lesson from a book I read to my kids softened me to the idea of life in Asia. Then Eddie pointed out,

“The opportunity is too good to pass up. This is my calling. We’ll come home. The kids will thrive. Our friends and family can visit.”

All of these optimistic thoughts present a valid argument. Since I am mindful of my strong negativity bias and trust my husband implicitly, I said,

“Ok, I’m open to it.”

Before I could shut down again, his company booked us on a trip to Singapore and Hong Kong to see which country was a better fit for our family. Within a week, we were taking off on a whirlwind tour of Asia in the heart of the holiday season.

Yes, this left my head spinning. As we soared towards a land we never even discussed visiting (let alone living in), Eddie noticed my tension and said to me,

“I know this is hard for you. We can say no. Don’t worry, we’ll figure something else out.”

His words laced with authenticity offered an escape, but I replied,

“If we don’t try to make this work, we will regret it. I’ve decided we cannot approach this trip wondering IF we can make Asia work, but HOW.”

The energy it took to find this optimistic mindset wore me out, and I dozed off on our 16-hour flight. At some point a squirming toddler woke me up, and I noted our flight path showed we were somewhere over the North Pole. Enter panic:

We are so far, far away from home. This. Is. Insane.

The words I reached for to slice through my fear?

Alicia, this is an adventure! Embrace it!

As the story goes, I’ve entered 2018 with a spirit of adventure. In less than three months, we are moving to Hong Kong!

No, I don’t know what this journey fully entails yet, and while I had a lot of different plans for my writing path in the coming year, life happened, and I’m going to roll with it.

What this means is I'll show you what our #AssadHongKongAdventure

looks like on my social media feed. Then, you can read my most authentic words about what moving to Asia with four kids under 9 on short notice fully entails here on my blog.

Having finally shared this big news with you today, I am moving forward with a renewed sense of strength.

They say home is where the heart is, right?

Maybe then, the resilience I've found by writing to you suggests that each time I share my truth, I'll find my way back home.