Question: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself
Hi everyone! I’m Katia Vlachos, a certified life coach, passionate writer, lifelong global nomad, and Greek mom. I was born in Cameroon, Central Africa, to Greek parents and grew up in Athens after the age of four. Already as a child I knew I would travel the world and live in many different places—and I’ve done exactly that for the past 27 years. I now live in Zurich, Switzerland, with my husband and two of my children (we have six between the two of us).
My Mediterranean heart needs regular doses of sunshine and water (preferably the ocean, but a lake will do). The one place I’ve lived where I would go back in an instant is Los Angeles (I’m also a California girl at heart). I’m high on empathy, a good listener (I guess it’s no coincidence I’m a coach), love connecting with people, and am a devoted friend, but I’m also a strong introvert, so I regularly need space to recharge and feel grounded.
Question: Tell us about your work
In my previous career, I was a researcher and military analyst. It was intellectually stimulating work and fun to be the only woman in the room, but I missed a sense of purpose. After a decade, I made the bold decision to exit the world of defence and reinvent myself completely. After going through a very challenging expat move, I became passionate about helping other global nomads like me make smoother transitions and, ideally, build thriving lives abroad. I started by writing A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment, which is a guide for making successful international moves, and somewhere along the way I discovered coaching—and my true purpose in life.
As a coach, I support my global clients as they navigate different life transitions—from international moves to career changes to relationship breakdown. Many of those clients are talented, ambitious, globally minded women who decided to take a step back in their careers at some point in their lives and years later feel trapped by their own choices. They come to me because they’re not ready to give up on their dreams and long to do meaningful work and realize their potential without feeling weighed down by guilt. Together we get clear on what they truly want, build up their confidence to make bold decisions, and create a plan that allows them to pursue their aspirations—unapologetically. Supporting these women to break free from what’s keeping them stuck is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.
My work has also inspired and informed my writing. My upcoming book is a memoir about making bold decisions and breaking free.
Question: What does a day in your life look like?
I’m self-employed and have always worked remotely, which allows me a lot of control over my schedule. I consider that a gift. I’m also a routines-and-rituals kind of person.
I meditate twice a day for 15 minutes (early morning and afternoon). After my children are off to school, I grab a large cup of matcha (my favorite addiction) and start my morning routine, which includes journaling, planning my day, and deciding on my top priorities. This routine is crucial because it launches me into the day with intention and positive energy.
My working days are a mix of writing, coaching (including with my own coach), and working on my business. I try to follow my natural rhythm (I’m a morning person), so I do my writing first thing in the morning while my brain is still fresh. I find it hard to do creative work after 2 or 3 pm, so afternoons are primarily for coaching. When I’m not coaching, I’m supervising homework, driving kids around, or having them drive me around (both my teens have learner’s permits they are eager to put to use).
I like to schedule my week in advance and build in opportunities for even a few minutes of movement every day, whether it’s yoga, dance, workouts, or a walk in the nearby forest (one of the perks of living in Switzerland is having nature literally at your doorstep).
Question: What can our readers expect from you?
Through my own experience as well as my work, I’m intimately familiar with the rewards and challenges of leading a global life and going through diverse transitions, including building a new life and home, raising a family, pursuing or changing your career, redefining your identity, or dealing with relationship difficulties—while living abroad.
As the resident expert on Global Living and Life Transitions, I’m excited to provide My Swiss Story readers with insights, tips and tools for making smoother life transitions, whatever those are, and leading an intentional, thriving global life.
Question: Tell us some fun facts about you
- I was born on a stormy night with no electricity. The doctor who delivered me was smoking a cigar (!) in the operating room, and my mother almost died after giving birth (Mom, I hope it was worth it).
- When I was ten years old, I was sure I wanted to be a ballerina. I still go to ballet class now.
- I’m a passionate water skier. I learned how to waterski when I was 37 and never expected to get hooked, but I totally did!
- I’ve been married twice.
- I speak five languages, but will always struggle with Swiss German.
Question: What do you do when you’re not working?
- Lots of driving kids around (see above).
- Reading. I have the bad habit of constantly buying new books and starting to read several simultaneously—in print, e-book, and audio format. There are just so many interesting books out there, I can’t help but want to read all of them.
- Movement!—whether it’s exercise or travel.
- Spending time with friends—one of my top priorities in life.
- Standing around a football (soccer) pitch, watching my children play (I guess that makes me a soccer mom).
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.”Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Would you like to “meet” like minded women for a cup of coffee ? If your answer is YES – don’t forget to check out our brand new initiative “Coffee with a Purpose” and register for FREE, places limited.
To read posts from April, click here