Interview with Adina Petre, an inspiring psychologist and coach from Romania living in Maastricht.
Romania and major change
Hello! My name is Adina, and I´m a Romanian who´s been living the expat life in Maastricht for over seven years now.
When my father passed away in 2009, life changed for me dramatically. Suddenly my Child Psychologist and Career Counselor job was not rewarding enough for me, and a major change was needed. I realized my Clinical Psychology education was limited to the Romanian population but my upbringing has always been bilingual, forward thinking and very modern for a girl born under a totalitarian regime. I chose to study Psychology because I love humans, their complex personalities and my greatest joy in life is to see them happy, living the life that brings them fulfillment.
My choice for studying Cultural Anthropology at Maastricht University was made with the sole purpose of learning how to address people who come from different cultures and have versatile backgrounds. Shortly after I moved to the beautiful province of Limburg, I took ownership of my whole existence and opened my own company in a foreign country, whose language I did not understand and whose unwritten rules were a mystery to me. You could say that seven years ago, I took a leap of faith, or placed a major gamble on myself and the stake was to either make it or to go back to my country.
Building a life as an expat in an era of extreme uncertainty is challenging no matter where in the world you find yourself. But to build yourself from the ground up is the most empowering experience I could ever recommend to anyone. When we well with ourselves, even if we are taken out of our comfort zone, and placed in a totally new and unfamiliar but friendly context, we have all the reasons and means to thrive. And Maastricht is a very friendly place to be in.
Ever since I moved here, I have met people from all over the world. I made friends from India to Colombia, from Canada to New Zealand, from US to Singapore and everything in between. And each and every one of these people has been in one way or another helpful to me and my personal development. It took about five years to build the exact life I wanted for myself, and I could have never done it all without the community I embedded myself in. I became fluent in three foreign languages and I´m currently working on my fourth – yes, Dutch! – what a challenge! 🙂
My strongest belief is that we owe it to ourselves to dedicate our lives to becoming the best possible versions of ourselves. Moving to Limburg and choosing to settle in Maastricht was for me one decision to consciously and constantly level up.
Since making that choice, everything has improved for me. I changed my lifestyle and I became healthier, my career became my own project and it´s been flourishing.
I started my life in Maastricht as a student working as a waitress and ended up being a Psycho-Trauma Psychotherapist, a high performance lifestyle coach, and a public speaking trainer to this day. I work primarily with expats, and since I trained with the best professionals in my field in Germany, Singapore, Norway and the UK, I have a broad understanding of these cultural differences. I also do a lot of online work, since I have clients from all over the world now.
My clients are highly motivated people who want to optimize their lives, who need to achieve better results in their work, or who need to overcome personal adversities in order to feel like themselves again. I take people´s fears away, I empower them to make the changes they are scared of making and I bring people in touch with their authentic selves.
My Dutch family in Maastricht
But my life here is not just about work – thought I am so passionate about what I´m working on that I hardly see it as work anymore. I love building life lasting friendships with people who are profoundly human. I created here a circle of friends whom I call my Dutch family, and it´s fascinating to me to see how we all grew up from living the student life to conquering the job market, creating our own companies or starting our own families. I´m the proud “aunty“ of baby Matilda from Romania – she is the daughter of my best friend who´s simply amazing for having made the `effort` of keeping our friendship alive and well through means of modern technology. I´m also happy to be the “aunty“ of baby Mats, the son of my dear friends from Maastricht whom have been part of what I call `my Dutch family`.
Together with my friends I discovered Maastricht bit by bit, and I settled in the city center which makes me feel like I´m still living the `big city life` – where people are out in the evenings, there is a buzzing sound all over the place and everything is conveniently located within a few kilometers radius. My office, my gym, my house, my friends, and my favorite places in the city are all at an arm´s length, and that makes my life quite easy and efficient. I´m very approachable and easy to talk to, and if you invite me for coffee or a good bite to eat, I will always say yes!
Three years ago I met my Dutch partner, and since then we have been building a wonderfully loving and healthy relationship. If you´re looking for me in the weekends, most of the times I´m somewhere out of Maastricht with my partner or with my friends, or with family who visits me.
Transferring knowledge and life skill into work
All the life lessons I have been given, I have explored them in full and I have transferred that knowledge and life skill into my work. My teenage fight with weight gain has made me a nutrition coach, the trauma of losing my father brought me to train with world renowned trauma therapists, so that I can be there for people in the most difficult moments of their lives; my need to build my own career has given me the gift of coaching others and my healthy relationships have given me the ability to offer support to couples and families who are in a rut and my expat experience has taught me how to provide support for other expats who are settling in.
I brought from Romania a lot of passion and determination and in Maastricht I was welcomed with support and opportunities for growth. I´ve built the life I dreamed of, and I have more ambitious plans for the future but I´ll leave those for future discussions. 😉 If anything from my story resonates with you or if you are ever curious to know me, just ask me for coffee, I´m always happy to expand my knowledge by getting to know you!
Learn more about Adina and her work here:
With Adina’s sister Nanda
Adina’s home town: Constanta in Romania
Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania: Romania
Photos: Adina Petre © Copyright www.communications-unlimited.nl, 2018
Text: Communications-Unlimited.nl © Copyright www.communications-unlimited.nl, 2018. All rights reserved.
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