Husbands, wives, fiancées and partners who are accompanying a loved one on a trip or work term abroad have a very unique type of international experience. Traveling abroad with a loved one can sometimes be stressful and challenging. After all, you've been picked up and moved from your home on account of someone else’s career. Staying busy, motivated and engaged in your new environment can help you overcome many of the challenges associated with being the "traveling spouse."
- Get to work! The very best way to stay busy, enthusiastic and self-confident as a traveling spouse is to find a job. Depending on your skill set, you may wish to freelance work, start a tutoring business or take a job in your host country.
- Respect your employer: If you accept a position with in organization or business, be clear about the length of your stay abroad and the likelihood of your continued availability. This is simply good manners.
- If you do not wish to work, use your time abroad wisely: Do not miss the opportunity to take language courses, volunteer with local organizations, study at a local university or participate in pastimes native to your host country.
- Avoid the “expert ghetto”: In certain fields (especially diplomacy and the military) it is incredibly easy for an accompanying spouse to socialize and interact only with other experts. By doing this, you are robbing yourself of a potentially rich well of life experiences.
Related reading on the mainMyWorldAbroad site (for registered users):
- The Traveling Spouse: Why Work?
- Your Individual Circumstances
- Deciding to Work: Practical Advice
- Alternatives to Working
- Spousal Job-Search Strategies
- Getting Job Ready
- Networking and Researching Employers
- Types of Spousal Jobs Abroad
- Common Hurdles for the Traveling Spouse
- What Expats Say: Adaptation, Work and Pragmatism
- Job Hunting Upon Your Return Home