May 2, 2014

I am a trailing spouse, if you will!

This morning I read the umpteenth article about an Expat wife complaining being called a trailing spouse. There are many definitions: trailing spouse, desperate housewife, expat wife, accompanying partners.

My friend came up with IPM (International Professional Mover). I quite like that definition because in my experience many of those so-called moving and relocation professionals have never actually been through one themselves. THAT says it all. They might be helping you but they can't relate to your experience and don't necessarily understand your needs. The latest example was importing my car: by the time the relocation officer figured out where to start, I had gone ahead and done it! Of course, it does help if you speak the language.

Way back when... in a former life... I used to work... my conviction was that YOU define your job. You push the boundaries of your responsibilities and therefore make it more interesting. You don't just follow your job description.

All this to say, get over it and get on with it. Whatever others may call you, however they define you, you are the one who's getting the job done. Being an expat wife can be a lonely affair, especially in the early stages of an International move. Usually, you don't know a soul in your new host country, sometimes you have to learn the language first in order to be able to communicate, you spend endless hours trying to figure out the labels in the supermarket not to mention all the paperwork that comes with a relocation!

At the same time you launch into conversations with weird and wonderfull strangers since you don't have anybody else to talk to and eventually some of these become your friends, even life-long friends. But again, it depends on how far you push yourself. It is up to YOU to make a difference. Who cares about what they call it?

Yes, I follow my husband around the globe, does that make me a trailing housewife? No. My friends can attest to that! I believe, it is more important to make your own definition.

I am the one out there, boldly taking up the challenge to leave the comfort and security of the familiar, exploring the world with a big smile on my face, making lots of new friends and experiencing new cultures, while supporting my hubby and kids in making a smooth transition into their new life. Because I actually have time and freedom to do so, and I appreciate every single, moment. So next time don't just call me trailing... call me trail blazing!

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1 comment:

  1. So true! Thank you for your great article!


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