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Cat Preston

Cat Preston

Expat stories!

Tell us a little about yourself, 

My name is Cat Preston, and as well as being a mother of three and wife of 27 years, I’m a Life Coach and host of The Collective Wisdom Podcast. 

Campden Mill Photography

Where do you live now, and how long have you been there?

I live in Chipping Campden, a small village set in the rolling hills of The Cotswolds. We moved here back in 2017, having spent the previous 20 years living overseas in Malaysia, Singapore, France, the US and Hong Kong. 

What do you love about where you live now?

I love the fact that I live in a beautiful 400-year-old Mill House. It feels like we are conserving and preserving it for a future generation. The original millstream runs alongside the house, and it’s set in a village that made its original fortune from the wool trade. We are surrounded by rolling hills and lots of sheep, but it’s a busy village with a strong sense of community, and there is always something going on.

Have you lived anywhere else?

Back in 1994, my husband took a six-month post in Kuala Lumpur, so we left the UK and ended up staying there for four years. 

We then headed to France, where I taught English, and he studied for an MBA and came back to London to start a family. 

However, within six months, with our first son on the way, he was offered a role in Singapore. We moved there when Jake was six weeks old, had another little boy, Josh and went on to live in Chicago, where Hana was born. 

We then moved back to Singapore and from there to Hong Kong, finally back to the UK in 2017. My husband is now working back in Singapore, and I travel between the two (when that’s even possible)! 

How it all began

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from a small village called Ramsbury in Wiltshire. My parent still lives there today. 

What was your reason for moving abroad in the first place?

My husband’s job as a transport consultant took him out to Kuala Lumpur to work on the North-South Expressway. 

2020

Has 2020 Changed you? If so, how? 

I think it has been impossible not to have been impacted in some way by 2020. It has made me very grateful for my health and caused me to reflect on trying to live in the moment and enjoy every day, as it has brought into sharp perspective the fact that we really don’t know what tomorrow holds.

It has also given me the space to slow down and take more time on the simple stuff.

Has 2020 changed the way you work? 

Very much so. Although I was already working as a coach for Seth Godin’s altMBA, which is a leadership course designed to help people level up and lead, I decided to take a training course with iPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and start my own coaching practice. 

The Now 

How has being an expat changed you?

It has made me more aware of the privileges we have and often take for granted in the Western World. It has also exposed me to so many new worldviews and cultures that have helped me stay curious and ask better questions. 

What are you working on now? 

Back in 2020, as a lockdown project, I launched The Collective Wisdom Podcast, in which I listen to the stories of ordinary everyday people doing extraordinary things to share their wisdom and to help us connect with that wiser version ourselves. 

It’s been a hugely rewarding experience that has involved finding my voice and allows me to shine a light on the capacity of human potential and, in particular, what’s possible when we come together collectively. 

Do you want to contact Cat? You can find her on the following platforms –

LinkedIn:     
Other interesting expat stories –

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Susan Defresne
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