Everything you need to know about moving to a foreign country
Contrary to popular belief, not all expat wives are genuine ‘Tai Tais’ (Read: out swilling champagne and playing tennis all day, while someone else takes care of their kids)! 😉 As an expat the challenges of being a mum, (so called) trailing spouse and career girl in a foreign country reach far beyond where to find the best Dim Sum (ok, so the odd champers or three can be a pre-requisite to expat life). 😉
Here a few of my top posts on moving overseas and what it takes to survive.
The decision to uproot your life and relocate to another country can be a daunting one. This is my story on making the move to Hong Kong and settling in to a foreign land where tall buildings and chopsticks rule the universe!
Everyone thinks – as an expat – you’re living the dream. There may be fancy holidays, fast cars and Filipino helpers to make life in a foreign culture pretty easy for some, but there’s also this little thing called ‘reality.’
One of the biggest things about being an expat is missing family. Going home for a visit is a big reality check and can make you miss your loved ones even more. The upside is you get lots of quality time together and have the added bonus of seeing things in a new light (without the smog)!
Moving to a new country as a Trailing Spouse can be tough at the best of times. Moving with no job and a new baby, even more so. But all is not lost, it just takes time and it’s a process of reinvention and redefining who you are.
When you’re in a foreign country, devoid of all things familiar – from the language, to the landscape, culture and climate; not to mention your community, friends and loved ones, you reach out (clutch desperately) to those like-minded souls walking the same path as you. You don’t realise until it’s time to say goodbye just how pivotal the expat connection has become to your daily existence.
What happens when you fall in love with an expat posting and then you have to call it a day? After 4 years in Hong Kong, I knew the time would come, eventually….but how prepared can you be. For me, nothing could compare to Hong Kong, so I had to take on a new attitude and be ready to embrace mainland China.
It’s my second expat posting, so while I’m not a newbie to “expat life”, having bandied about the term ‘culture shock’ on this blog many times, I’ve got to say, moving to Xi’an in North West China, I had it covered. In all honesty I had rather naively forgotten how confronting moving to a new country could be. It made me re-evaluate what priorities you need and how to get through. My top ten tips!
Goodbyes! As an expat do they ever get easier?? It’s the constant pull of family verses the adrenalin-fuelled expat adventure. One day soon, you know you’ll most likely be back home….no doubt wondering were you ever really there at all…
It’s not easy, but know you are not alone! How do you cope saying goodbye?
We all know that ‘heart in your mouth’ feeling…when you’re new in town and have to pull yourself right out of your comfort zone and meet (shock horror) new people! It can be daunting and downright painful….but it’s usually always worth it. I’ve begun to think of these meetings like ‘blind dates’ without the romance (hey that’s how I met my husband – they can’t all be bad!) 😉 If you’re the new kid on the block and it all seems a bit too much to handle. Read this!
For the partners of those taking up a new posting, it can often feel like you’re the one left to pick up the pieces, pack up and sell the house; and then in your new home, make a new life, for everyone! They like to call us Trailing Spouses, but I’m sure many women (and men) take great offence to this! Out of our comfort zones and into a foreign whirlwind, in my mind, we’re definitely not Trailing Spouses, we’re more like Trailblazers!!