Eilian Huisman


I am a North Walian by birth, am both British and Dutch, was brought up bilingual and lived overseas as an expat child for twelve years. Literally a ‘flying’ start in life!
I currently live in picturesque Haarlem with my wife and our two young daughters. I have a passion for travelling, sports & nature, and prefer to be outside rather than inside.

My overseas expat experience, combined with my parents’ open minded approach to local people and habits, have undoubtedly led to my passion for travelling. All this has shaped my innate curiosity about and involvement with people, leading amongst other things to a master’s degree in Anthropology. But I specifically get a kick out of helping individuals gain more confidence and be truly present.

After 11 years of corporate experience of which 6 as a dedicated coach for high potentials, my focus is now also on YOU, expats & expat partners. I’m so excited to work with you, especially because I recognise the unique position you are in. I know from experience what it is like to have to let go and re-focus almost simultaneously. And that doing so in the right way with the right people leads to a fulfilling time abroad. The positive flip side of letting go is purposefully embracing the open space ahead. My goal is to facilitate you in reinventing yourself in the lowlands!

If 1 on 1 coaching is not your thing, then check out Great Expatations for a FUN expat/expat partner coaching & training programme with fellow expats!

More about Eilian

Taking charge of my own life. Do I always find it easy? Answering that question in the context of my expat experience may seem silly, considering I was a child. Nevertheless, I also had to adapt each time, reinventing my social and personal identity to make sure I fitted in. Not that I was necessarily always conscious of this process, but the fact that my memories of moving around are so vivid, reinforces my belief that these experiences really impacted me. I now know that it was indeed not always easy. In short, the wonderful and less wonderful experiences and challenges of being an expat child are things only my childhood expat friends can really understand. It takes one to know one.

Back to the here and now and I can answer my initial question with a ‘no’. I would otherwise have pursued my CoachActive dream sooner. Moreover, I wouldn’t have experienced a burn-out either. It’s as simple as that. Yes, I did toy with the idea of starting my own business after becoming a professional coach, but why the rush? I was enjoying being a corporate coach. The fringe benefits were also near to perfect. Comfortable and no worries! Wonderful!

It is exactly that feeling of comfort, that distracted me from my deeper desires. I was conscious of them, but was always quick to focus my attention on the undoubtedly horrid things that would come my way if I were to rock the boat. It meant that I was in fact failing to sufficiently live my life according to my own values. This resulted in a feeling of emptiness I could no longer ignore, despite the pleasure in my job. I realised that if I coach others to take more charge of their life, I have to keep on giving the right example. But not before I landed myself in a burn-out. Not only was I not paying enough attention to my values, I didn’t take any charge of my life  when the birth of our eldest upset the balance. Instead I wanted to remain in control of everything: work, personal life and just about of everything I did. As if nothing had changed. Everything had to be perfect. Only to learn the hard way that (attempting) to have control over life is not the same as taking charge of your life. By not taking charge of my life and by not making purposeful choices, I helped myself to a burn-out. That’s on me and no one else.

‘Gaining insight’ and ‘taking action’ are what characterize the period following my burn-out. It sounds simple now, but it was in fact a dynamic period during which I looked into the same mirror I present to my clients. I took charge of my life again and that led and still leads to action and growth. Not only have I managed to pull myself out of my corporate comfort zone, I am also better equipped to deal with the pitfalls that resulted from my burn-out.

The sometimes hysterical proverbial ‘toddler’, yelling loudly that my career change was the most stupid thing I could possibly have done, is no longer wrapped around my leg. Yes, rationally speaking, that ‘ toddler’ was partly right. I was of course taking a risk by giving up my fixed contract. But that risk doesn’t outweigh the risk of leading my life without purposefully choosing for the fulfilment my gut feeling is directing me towards. Your ill-tempered ‘toddlers’ who mean well, will let go when you compassionately embrace them. They may exist and are welcome. But it is up to you to make sure they don’t distract you too much.

More information

For more information about me also take a look at Great Expatations and my Linkedin profile.

Come and experience what I can do for you!