…expat spouse, trailing partner, accompanying person, dependant, wife of…
You name it – there are a lot of labels out there to define who we are (expected to be) in this new role. Most of these terms – never heard of before, but that’s just one of the new things we learned when going abroad.
Luckily, some likeminded souls found each other back then in Montreal/Canada in 2010 and together we have started being coaches, consultants, mentors, lawyers and more for each other. Not just on defining what it really feels like and means being an accompanying partner, but on bringing our newly gained insights and experiences on a professional level and showing a clearer picture of the new tasks which come along as a spouse abroad.
First and most important: Getting an idea who you are now and how to make the most out of this time, being on a “break” from your previous (working) life / the life as you knew it. We also want to raise awareness and demystify the general views (yes – our own as well!!).
Back to definitions / “labelling”: The term “spouse” doesn’t sound very 21st century and the spouse generation 2.0 isn’t necessarily defined by “shop ’til you drop, gossiping and complaining the whole day how hard the jet set life is these days”. We have entered the world of dual-careers, where both partners in the relationship aim to have an interesting assignment abroad. Trust us – not always that easy in practical terms as it sounds and that’s when reality hits really hard and the spouse 2.0 starts questioning his/her (in)sanity, identity, and everything and -one.
This is when we need to be reminded – and entities to speak up for us – as being abroad is one of the biggest, most fascinating, challenging, sometimes frustrating, yet at the same time most rewarding experiences.
For a start, our advice would be to keep your curiosity, reach out and meet other like-minded people and to get all the support from your partner and her/his company you can get to be able to enjoy your expat life as…- don’t label it, there is no one size fits all 😊
To being a SPOUSE 2.0.