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Why do you have so many friends from different countries, Ronja?

Sep 27, 2023

I tell you why in my world, wonderful connections around the globe are the best thing AND a very “normal thing” to have:

The short version is, my parents had many international friendships, I spent time in the US as a kid, I went to Japan for my internship, married a Japanese man, got the best family in law, I joined international online-courses and went to live events. Everywhere I met the most amazing people. When I started my podcast, it allowed me to interview all these people I liked and before or through that I got to know them even better and the connection grew. Now I speak and write English every day and my worldwide besties are in my heart together with my Swiss besties. I am so incredibly grateful for all these lovely, unique, sensational people in my life. (Remember how I was the shy kid who didn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore because I was crying about anything or something anyway…I’m glad that is not the case anymore : ))

The long version got long… and I won't make it shorter ; ). So read it or leave it, I love you either way!!

First of all, Switzerland is tiny. So tiny. I DMed with a guy from Tanzania on instagram the other day and when I said, Switzerland is so tiny, we can’t drive for a few hours without crossing the border to Germany, France, Italy, Austria or Lichtenstein, I had to check: Tanzania is 23times bigger than Swissieland. On top of that we use 4 official languages within that little country. So I learned from very early on that Swiss German doesn’t take you far.

I told you about my childhood-times in Iowa City in THIS
story from my scrapbook. I have so many GREAT memories from our various longer stays. My father worked in the hydraulic research lab and around his work so many wonderful people were like aunties and uncles to me. One of my favorites was the director of the institute V.C. Patel had the coolest house with so many Indian symbols and meanings incorporated. I remember how fascinated I was from that building.

Two other favorites from Iowa City Jerry and Jana Schnoor visited us in Zurich just last Friday. I have known them since I was a baby, we basically grew up with their kids and they stayed in Switzerland for a longer time period like we were in Iowa, so this friendship even had more time to blossom. So when Jana writes: We’re in Switzerland next week and would love to see the whole family, we know: Let’s create a DATE : ). A rooftop dinner at my sister's place, my parents coming to Zurich and food from Ken's restaurant is about right for such VIP-guests.

I’m always amazed by people who don’t empty their mailbox daily. I had up to 30 penpals and after school (which was dreadful) I ran home to see who wrote back. With 30 people involved pretty much every day I had a special letter to look forward to. I think that’s why I love social media SO MUCH. Communicating with a lot of people is just a great JOY of mine!

We always had guests at our house from all over the world during my childhood. The hydraulic research worldwide connections were strong because they got to meet each other yearly at their conferences. I remember all the Japanese guests so well and I was fascinated about going to that country for as long as I can remember. I had a big exercise ball in my room and I loved collecting “autographs” on it. The Japanese characters made me so happy : ).

So when I wanted to do my internship for my food science studies in Japan, my father didn’t question for a second that this would work out. We contacted all his hydraulic research friends and funnily enough the fairy godfather who organized my perfect internship AND my homestay was a professor of Uni Kobe who my father only had spoken for 20 minutes to once. He told me that he loves international connections and thinks that Japan needs more of them so he’s very happy to help me. And oh he did : ). Before I got married I thanked him for meeting Mr. Sakata because of him, with a very heartfelt letter. He answered something very nice about “destiny would have found another way to bring you two together” without him.

Now I have a gigantic Japanese family in law which is so fun, so warm and feels so much like MY family…I mean how lucky can I even be!

When I bought my first online course to get into online business myself (my English was nearly NON existent at that time) I had to look up every 5th word… I joined the course facebook group and learned English by using it, by reading and hearing it. That’s my kind of jam for learning a language. Through that online course and the second one “money bootcamp” from Denise Duffield-Thomas I met sooooo many absolutely amazing women from all over the world.

During my University years and also in my scout-leading years I preferred hanging out with men 100 times more than with women. I had my bestest female besties but in general I loved being surrounded by men. Style of communication: Simple, straight forward, no strings attached, no double standards, no code.

Through this online community-Universe a whole new world opened up for me. I was part of mastermind groups with women from every continent. My English has improved every year. My coaches were always from some English speaking country and I started my own business in English beside running it in Swiss German. In 2015 I went to my first live event in London (Mika was 4), I hit the blind-date-hotel-room-sharing-jackpot with Madalena. We became friends for life immediately and have visited each other many times since then.

And then we went to live-conferences in America together: One by Brendon Burchard, the other one by Bo Eason. Oh my GOD… these people there (again…from all over the world) were amazing. Because of that I started my podcast
and interviewed many of my new friends there and asked them: “What brings YOU joy?” 

(Check out the list in the PS with all the links to these interviews and where I met everyone)

Through my podcast I met Eleshia and it was love at first sight. She visited me in Switzerland and I just went to England to spend a week together including a photo shoot with Bry Penney… Oh my… I could go on and on… I found out about Bry because of one lady at that London-2015-event. I started chatting with her husband on instagram first and when he said, he would sooooo love to see our mountain cabin in real life I asked Bry, if she would combine a photo shoot and a cabin stay. THEY CAME… with their two huskies. That’s why I have all these amazing pics from my favorite valley and me together and now new ones from our shoot in the UK!

Prita, who visited me two weeks ago for a whole week, I also met because of the money-bootcamp. She stayed at our house two times for several days, is (still) Mikas best friend and mine too! Australian singer songwriter and spiritual coach and bestie in one… check out Pritas music on Spotify, she is amazing.

And then in my last mastermind I was part of, I met Amandine from France who was on my podcast too, of course : ). You will learn about her incredibly tasty herbal tea-blends when I get my bespoke Joy-blend which will be a present for my dear Joy Academy members…I can’t wait! Soooon we will meet for the first time in real life!!!

Eleshia, Prita, Amandine and I have a whatsapp-chat which is one of the most treasured “things” in my life as we all understand our businesses (my “old” Swiss friends mostly have no clue, how an online business works and what the challenges are) and we know about our daily lives too. If you want a support-squad which uplifts, understands, loves, encourages, coaches you every day of your life, I can HIGHLY recommend looking out for the perfect matches for that adventure. It took me a loooong time. I had many attempts and “breakups with groups”… and it IS like with marriage…when you know you know… I am so, so, so grateful for our group and so incredibly happy that we found each other.

Hahaaa and these are only some of my favorite examples…there are so many more. I won’t run out of scrapbook-stories for sure…

Soooo, you made it here. You are my bestie too! THANK YOU for being here!!

If you have any questions for me to answer in a story-email or in general, please hit reply and let me know.

Let’s make this world a more colorful, playful and joyful place, shall we? It works for sure with beautiful connections all around the globe.

I send you a big hug from Zurich, Switzerland,

PS: If you want to read about V.C. Patel and his work, I found this article about him and I LOVED to see his picture.

And now beloooow you get all the podcast-guests in the order of the picture which was randomly put together : )

Kevin Laylor - We met at the Brendon Burchard live event in San Francisco and had such deep conversations over dinner and so much fun during the day. Listen to this man, he’s a force with the biggest heart.

Farahdja Maria Casseus - I asked Farahdja if she would honor me with an interview after I interviewed her husband David Sain-Pierre. We never met in person YET but we are connected on social media since that interview.

Marie Claire Ashcroft - we met in London 2015 the first time and she and her man came for a Zurich visit and stayed at our house. That was sooo much fun and I got to shoot some amazing pics with Marie Claire, she’s a photography pro and fellow Unicorn and Rainbow-lover!

Dr. Lulu - we met online in a book-writing course, where she published several books during the time I wrote my book : ). If you want to get inspired to DO things and GO FOR IT, find this woman and follow her on all her channels… but first, listen to our interview!

Heather Robinson - my planning coach and dear friend who I met first in Portugal at a retreat. When I write this text, I’m sitting on HER sofa in France : ). I had the absolute pleasure to spend 4 days here to plan my next quarter and the next 12 months. If you want to get accomplished, book her VIP service and you’ll implement so, so much!

Terri Wade - we met at Brendon Burchard's event too and ever since stayed in touch. This interview is sooo uplifting! Terri has her second book coming out soon or by the time you’re reading this, it might be already in the stores!

Prita Grealy - it’s funny to me that exactly Prita, Eleshia and Amandine have the new design of the podcast title images… How perfect for our wonderful group! Pritas and my first date was 10 min long at Zurich main station. Then when she came back from the mountains and passed through again I rode on that train for an hour and went back afterwards so that we had time to talk more. The next time we were smart and she stayed at our place : ). We can’t get enough Prita-time.

David Saint-Pierre - we met in a Bo Eason facebook group called A-listers. Somehow we were talking about podcast interviews and tadaaa, he said YES. And through David I met his wife. I love how these paths always lead to the next wonderful connection.

Alec Penney - we met on instagram, because I was the biggest fan of his wife : ) and then we became friends and the mountain cabin-photo shooting turned into a week full of so, so, so much great conversations, hikes, meals, adventures and the bond was made in real life forever. When they stayed in Zurich with their two huskies Mika was the happiest girl on earth and went for dog walks with Alec even though she hardly spoke any English back then. Connections work even without language. Ask Ken : ) we could hardly communicate when I met him.

Eleshia Harris - Fiona, my world best assistant, was working in my office when Eleshia and I met for the first time on zoom. I remember her smiling from ear to ear because we were laughing and giggling and having the BEST time right away. Since then we met our families and spent amazing days together in the UK and in Switzerland, how wonderful is this!!

Madalena Fossatti - I told you about our adventures a lot already : ). Just listen to the episode to learn more facts about this wonder woman. She’s a trombone teacher, stand up comedian, trivia show host and so many things!

Junko Suzuki - we met in Tokyo because of a Taiko-drum-teaching-course Mika and I booked on airbnb-activities. What a great time we had thanks to Junko.

Coach Fard Bell - I just begin to smile when I think about our interview… you have to listen and read Coach Fard's book! We met at Bo Easons 3 day training event and had such a great time… I know I’m repeating myself but sorry not sorry it’s true : ).

Mike Wolf - When Madalena and I met Mike at Brendon Burchard's conference and we asked him what his business is, he said: “Oh, I travel full time. My team works best when I’m out of their way!” Woooow… listen to his episode because there is a lot of wisdom in it to explore HOW to do the things you WANT!

Amandine Ayala - I told you about our connection above AND Amandine is now not only a tea alchemist, herbalist, pro, creator….she also bought her dream finca in the Spanish countryside and you can run your retreat there and book her cottage on the property and so many more things. Check her website out! We will soooon meet in person, that makes me so happy! After 18940 conversations and hours of interacting online : )


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