Phil McAuliffe


I am on my fourth diplomatic posting. I have had two of my own postings in Ho Chi Minh City and Seoul, and two as an accompanying diplomatic spouse in Caracas and, now, Wellington.

I'm so grateful for the many amazing experiences I've had during my 20-year career. But it's not the glamorous career imagined by many outside the profession.

I knew that I was living my dream. I got to live and work overseas, multiple times, while representing my country and advancing its interests internationally. My career was going places and I knew I had a loving family. If I was living my dream, why did I feel so empty and lonely?  

I was adrift. I felt isolated from my family and my friends. I was focused on what was next, worried about what others thought of me, saying and doing the right things at the right time to the right people to get ahead.

I had no one routinely in my life who knew me longer than my wife. I no longer knew who I was. What happened to that young, idealistic me? Where did he go? Was this all there was ever going to be to my life? Emails? Cables? Visits? Meetings? Travel?

I sought help, but found that the best help and advice come from other diplomats who understood what I was going through. With the help of an awesome community, some real conversations and courage, I did a lot of work within myself and now I know who I am and what's important to me.

Displaying stories 1-2 of 2 in total

The Lonely Diplomat: on mid-life crises

by Phil McAuliffe

The Lonely Diplomat: on loneliness

by Phil McAuliffe
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