Welcome to the very last #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl. This last time, we all give our final words about the entire trailing spouse journey.
November is a month of many anniversaries and important dates for me. I started Tiny Expats blog exactly 1 year ago, publishing my very first post on the 2nd of November 2014. I wanted to share our expat experiences and in return I can now read about lives of so many wonderful people, it’s just amazing.
Tomorrow, on the 3rd of November, will be our 9th wedding anniversary, which did not only mark official beginning of our family life, but also provided the grounds for my decision to follow my husband for his career and hence become a trailing spouse.
With all those eventful dates comes another one – today is the final instalment of Trailing Spouse Stories blog crawl, which I participated in for almost a year now, sharing trailing spouse stories and experiences with my readers and with fellow trailing spouses. Tala and Didi (ladies, who host this blog crawl and do an amazing job and setting up themes, dates and getting everyone together!) gave us pretty much a carte blanche this month, letting us choose what to talk about in this final Trailing Spouse post. I wanted to sum up here what I enjoyed the most about this experience.
Being an expat has its perks, but it’s also extremely challenging – don’t let all the fun stories about seeing new places and meeting new people kid you! New culture, new language, new customs, knowing nobody and feeling lost quite a lot – this is a part of expat life as well. Being a trailing spouse can be even harder at times.
– First of all, you don’t have those social opportunities to meet people and make friends, as your partner quite often has at work.
– Quite often, a trailing spouse stays at home with kids (whether they’re still very little or you just can’t get a work permit as a trailing spouse!) and being a full time parent without a support of grandparents, aunties or friends gets that much harder.
– If your partner has to travel for work, you stay behind in a place, where it’s just oh so easy to feel lonely – circle of friends is not formed so easily.
– When holidays come, especially the ones that are celebrated in your culture, but not in the host one, you can feel pretty low at that time, being away from your family and friends.
– If there’s a foreign language to consider, take all of the above points and just double the effort needed to sort them out.
All these experiences toughen you up, but at times you just want to curl up under a duvet and let someone else deal with it. Just recently a friend of mine got a message from her landlord, letting her know that she would need to move out of her apartment and find a new one. She was very stressed about it – 16 years in this place, it became her home. She told me, she has no idea, how I can move around so much. I, in turn, cannot even imagine, what it could be like to live in the same place for 16 years. I am used to moving, but it doesn’t mean that it’s all so easy and effortless for me.
And when you feel tired and low and don’t want to deal with all those trailing spouse issues, you come across a post written by someone, who is pretty much in the same situation as you are, you read about their struggles and how they manage to stay sane and it gives you such a boost! ‘Stop being such a wuss! You’re not the only one struggling – they go through the same and manage to come out on top, so can you!” – this is an approximation of how it sounds in my head.
What I wanted to say is, thank you, ladies, for sharing your experiences and helping me to continue on my trailing spouse journey without whining about it (well, maybe just a little)! You’re all amazingly strong and talented and a great example to fellow expats – we can all do it, just need to keep on going!
Check out other #TrailingSpouseStories in this month’s blog crawl:
Didi of D for Delicious tells more about the happy ending of the trailing spouse fairy tale.
Yuliya of Tiny Expats shares why the trailing spouse life is a challenge and why its great to share stories with fellow trailing spouses.