The Trailing Spouse’s Guide to Surviving Expat Re-entry
Fun having this piece on trailing spouses, accidental expats, and re-entry blues in the Wall Street Journal‘s #ExpatBlog today, co-authored with a new friend who is a military spouse based in #Tokyo, the blogger Susan Dalzell. In it, we give a series of tips for surviving the dreaded “re-entry” phase back into your expat country after even a short trip home.
For those of us who are trailing spouses or “accidental expats”—drawn abroad not necessarily for our own #careers or sense of #wanderlust but for a partner’s job, family or #nationality—#globallife presents unique challenges and sacrifices. Western culture in particular glamorizes expatriate existence, suggesting a life of global #travel, #international panache, and a social circle of like-minded #explorers: a slightly more #multicultural, perhaps sober, version of #Hemingway and his brood.
Reality can hew a little rougher, though…
My favorite tip we include is this one, drawn in part from the struggles I explore and the lessons I learn in The Good Shufu:
Don’t feel #guilty if you don’t always (or even ever) #love your #expat “#home.” As a trailing #spouse–especially if you’re #married to someone from the country where you live–you may have asked yourself when you’re going to fall in love with your overseas home just as you once fell #inlove with the #partner who brought you there. If you’ve recently been back to your native country, you may have heard #friends and #family comment on how exciting your expat life must be and how lucky you are to live #abroad. But don’t let this guilt you into thinking you always–or frankly ever–have to love the land you’re in….As long as you’re fascinated by it, or even continually learning from it, you’ll have an expat life worth its weight in yen or euros or…
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