Jo Parker - Shaping her life during 12 months in Denmark.

Finding freedom and purpose in her life at sixteen years old whilst on Rotary exchange.

About Jo

Johanna Parker is a heart-centred life, confidence and public speaking coach, international speaker and MC, life coach trainer, authenticity-advocate, travel junkie and founder of her personal empowerment business, Heart Sparks. 

Hailed by Women’s Fitness Magazine as a ‘positivity expert’, over the past ten years she has empowered thousands of young people and adults across not-for-profit, local government, education and community settings to become more connected to themselves, to confidently embrace their uniqueness, to bravely honour their voice and to build incredible, purposeful lives all over the world.

She is an avid traveller who caught the travel bug at a very young age and successfully built an location-independent business that nurtures her love of wandering while still allowing her to call Australia home.

I just kept showing up and really threw myself into learning the language and connect with people.
— Jo Parker

When coming home...

  • Emotions Jo faced - Resisted thinking about returning home. Looming expiry date of trip. Jo felt displaced, alone, misunderstood, sad and confused for 9-12 months after returning home.
  • What had changed - Felt like the world had stopped. Everything had changed but Jo felt grateful for the experience. 
  • How Jo supported herself - Aligned with anything that connected with who she really was. Maintaining relationships in Denmark, talking to those who were excited about her travels. When she was feeling sad, she gave herself space to process the feelings.
  • 3 Lessons learned from travel and reverse culture shock
  1. Reverse culture shock is a real thing, its a natural part of travel so take the pressure off.
  2. Home is on the inside, home is wherever you are.
  3. The relationship that you have with yourself is paramount.
  • Advise to herself for returning home - Everything will be ok, you can always choose to do something different and you have the power and the control to change things.

Jos tips for dealing with Reverse Culture shock.

  • Recognise what it looks like feels like sounds like.
  • Take the pressure off.
  • Find people who you relate too.
  • Be willing to speak up if you are struggling.
  • Follow 'sparks' of what feels interesting.
  • Know that if you return to where you travel.
Denmark taught me that I wanted to work with people and that I loved working with and meeting new people.
— Jo Parker



Jos Instagram: @heart_sparks

Facebook: HeartSparksbyJo

I make space for whatever form that looks like.
— Jo Parker

Cover and above photos: Eyes of Love Photography