Welcome to the very last #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl. This last time, we all give our final words about the entire trailing spouse journey.
This past week has marked the end of my life as a trailing spouse, for now at least, as by the time this is published I will have moved back to the UK and will no longer be classified as a trailing spouse. In a way I am hugely excited about throwing off this label, despite the fact that I will be exchanging it for another one that I am not particularly fond of (a housewife)! But since I set off on my trailing spouse journey four years ago, what has changed?
In some ways, my experience as a trailing spouse has changed me completely. I feel so much more confident about moving across the world this time around, and not because I am going back ‘home’. Things that used to seem huge are no longer so daunting. As a trailing spouse you have to put yourself out there in different and challenging situations on a regular basis. Now, the idea of turning up in a new city and going to join in a club where I don’t know anyone doesn’t seem scary, whereas four years ago I would have spent ages worrying about whether the people would be friendly or if I would fit in.
Over the past year I have really enjoyed sharing stories with other trailing spouses, both in real life and online. I know it won ‘t be as easy to find a sense of community when I move back, the sort of close community spirit that exists here amongst the trailing spouses is very rare indeed. I’ve learnt how other people can surprise you with the things they are willing to do for someone they may not know that well, or how much effort friends will go to – when there are no family members nearby to offer their support, your friends often offer a lifeline. I hope that I will remember all the things that made me so happy over the past four years, and that I continue to make the effort to stay in touch with everyone who has offered their friendship and support to me. Thanks to the kindness of some friends here I will miss Brunei very much, and always look back on my time here fondly.
When I first became a trailing spouse I struggled to work out what that label actually meant. From my own experience and from reading about other trailing spouses I think I can sum it up a bit better now. A trailing spouse is not just a person who has followed their partner to a new country. A trailing spouse is resourceful, energetic, courageous, and many other things besides. They have much more to them than meets the eye, and if you spend any time talking to one you will find plenty of interesting stories. I am grateful to have had the chance to share my story and read about the journeys of others on the Trailing Spouse Blog Crawl and am sure that, although my journey as a trailing spouse may be over for now, there will be many more stories to come.
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.