Anne, what kind of a Musette are you?
Hello spouses-expatriates! My name is Anne Luong. I grew up in Aveyron on this land of French gastronomy, between duck breast and aligot!!! I am an unconditional gourmand and I also like to go on an adventure to discover new countries.
I’m a multicultural mom, a chameleon. Born in France of Vietnamese origin, I feel as well at home in France, as in Vietnam, as in Hong Kong, or in Qatar. A citizen of the world!
Where do you live?
I live in Qatar in Doha in the district of Al Waab. We chose to live far from the city centre and the buildings! It is a strategic choice that allows us to be as close to our children’s school as the office of my spouse.
How did you get here?
My husband had a transfer to Doha, so I followed him.
Have you ever lived abroad?
We have been expatriates since February 01, 2007. In our early years, my spouse was “spouse-follower” but over time the roles reversed. Since we move every three/quatre years. We lived in Vietnam, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong and today in Qatar.
How long have you been expatriated in Doha?
We arrived in Qatar in September 2016 with our 2 children. My boy was born in Vietnam, he is almost 7 years old and my daughter was born in Hong Kong and has just been 4 years old. We quickly adapted to the country and the 4×4 outings in the desert must certainly be there for something. The adaptation has been very natural and we have been very well integrated.
You have developed your own activity: How did you come up with the idea?
I created my company in Hong Kong just before I left the country. At that time, I had a lot of ideas in mind but nothing specific. The idea matured when I arrived in Qatar. Just before we left Hong Kong in 2016, I refused a nice promotion because I chose to follow my husband. It was a thoughtful and assumed choice but it left me a taste of unfinished.
I had this feeling of living my life in parentheses, for I could not really decide my career
Professional. I could not project myself, to work new for a company. I wanted to find freedom and have the hand to decide the turn of my professional career.
I am part of my own personal situation, this need for independence, for freedom. My goal is to have an activity that I can take everywhere with me. but not only; I wanted to help other expatriate spouses followers to be masters of their professional lives. So I worked for several months to propose a key formula in hand. My mission is to help spouses create their own nomadic career. Turnkey because not only do I accompany them in the launch of their project but I offer them an international portage service. This allows them not to re-create a legal structure for each new expatriation.
How do you organize yourself between your business and your personal life?
I work from home where I created my own space, my office. It is a space that I have totally appropriated, where I feel good. From the moment I’m at the office, I’m at work. It took a little time for my children to understand and respect my workspace. But after a few months, they quickly assimilated that mom also to a job just like Dad!
I very much appreciate that flexibility. In the morning I work from 8am to 1.30 pm, I will then pick up my children at school and I re-attack around 3pm. With this rhythm well defined, I manage to reconcile my activity while enjoying my children, something of which I had no time in my life as an employee.
So you’re a very busy “Momp follower”?
Yes I am totally a “Mompreneuse”, a woman entrepreneur, a chameleon! My days are very fulfilled and I try to organize myself at best to optimize my time.
Organizing is the key to moving forward. I make schedules and I have alarms so as not to forget to get the children to their activities. 😉
Before I made the decision to get started, I had a lot of prejudices about working at home. I was afraid that I would not be able to devote enough time to my project and I dreaded finding myself alone, facing my screen. I quickly went beyond the barriers and learned to work differently. Besides, I’m not alone, I make virtual encounters just as magical as each other. And even if it’s virtual, I really feel like I know them personally.
Would you share your “Musette happy moments”?
This freedom that I created this quality of life. To be able to participate in the extra-curricular outings of my children, to involve me in their daily life. It seems to be so innocuous, but I appreciate so much to have this choice today, to be free to organize myself as I wish.
You care a lot of children, a small Home-made to share?
I love to do manual activities with my children and teach them how to divert everyday objects.
For example, every year for the pancake of kings, we make ourselves the crowns from the wrapping of puff pastry.
In addition to being “Mompreneuse”, what are your favorite cultural outings of the moment alone or with the family?
We spend most of our weekends in the desert, enjoying nature. We have been living in Qatar for 1.5 years but we still appreciate our outings in 4×4, see the sand dunes and enjoy the sea. There are few cultural activities in Qatar; However, it happens that exhibitions are passing through Doha and we particularly like the MIA, the Museum of Islamic Art.
Cultural moment: Could you quote me one of your favorite paintings or books?
We had the chance in Doha to receive the Picasso-Giacometti exhibition last year. And I had the opportunity to accompany my son and his class for this cultural outing. It was an exceptional exhibition and I made the discovery of Picasso’s “bathers” sculptures. I knew Picasso mostly for these paintings but less for these sculptures. I really liked this work because of the presence it certainly gives off due to the size of the sculptures-about 2 meters.
In a nutshell could you tell us about the art of living in your country of expatriation?
Qatar is a small country whose peculiarity is the melting pot. There are about 2, 8millions of inhabitants of which more than 85% are foreigners. You can then meet both Pakistanis, Indians, Filipinos as well as French, Moroccans, Brazilians…