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How I ended up in Kuala Lumpur visiting & working together with a 'stranger'

Yes you read this correctly, I booked flights to the other side of the world to spend 2 weeks with a 'stranger'. Looking back now I can tell it has been my best decision of 2019. In the next few minutes you will find out what has led me to take this huge leap of faith. And I will update you on the lessons I've learned from working abroad for 6 weeks in my following blogs.

But first let's go back to the beginning of 2019. I signed up to become a certified Brand the Change trainer (you can read the lessons I've learned from this program here). I choose this course to deepen my understanding of brand strategy in general. And, to learn now skills on facilitating workshops, something I really like doing.

As the founder of this method, Anne Miltenburg, is located in Nairobi, Kenya, the course was finding place online. One of the benefits of joining an online course is that you can have 'classmates' from all over the world! So there we were: a bunch of brand enthusiasts from all over the world, all aiming at bringing positive change to this world.

One of my accountability partners was Nasuha Browning, a brand strategist from Kuala Lumpur. I must admit, we clicked instantly. It was a bit of a challenge sometimes to plan or Skype sessions, as there was a 7-hours time difference but we managed to talk every 2-weeks. From purely discussing branding related topics we soon started discussing personal matters as well. As we both are firm believers of the law of attraction and the influence of energy & good vibes we connected even more!

I think it was a rainy, November Monday morning in Rotterdam when I just sent a message to Nash asking if she would be okay if I'd visit her. It was my dream to escape Dutch winter and to work from abroad so this looked like the best possibility. Luckily she agreed and before I knew it I had booked my flights for February! My main lesson here: if you say you really want to achieve something, just take the first steps. No one else will do it for you ;)

After booking my flights I felt a tiny bit anxious though. Even if we connected very well online, I had never met Nash in person. I didn't foresee any problems, but well, you never know right? After a 12-hour flight Nash picked me up from the airport and it immediately felt if we had known each other for years! I had less than 24 hours to get used to the climate, time difference and new environment before we would give our first Branding for Change makers talk together.

In my next blog I will share some key takeaways from our Branding for Change Makers talk. In the meanwhile, you can hear our complete story in the video below. Enjoy!

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