The End of a Journey

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:

Clara of The Expat Partner’s Survival Guide shares how she returns back to trailing spouse-dom in the move from the UK to South Africa.

Tala of Tala Ocampo takes a look back into finding her tribe through the year of #TrailingSpouseStories.

Didi of D for Delicious tells more about the happy ending of the trailing spouse fairy tale.

Jenny of My Mommyology describes how the roller coaster trailing spouse ride left her in a trailing spouse twilight zone.

Yuliya of Tiny Expats shares why the trailing spouse life is a challenge and why its great to share stories with fellow trailing spouses.

Liz of Secrets of a Trailing Spouse reflects as her time as a trailing spouse comes to an end.

13 thoughts on “The End of a Journey

  1. Welcome home! Do you think you’ll move again at some point? We were back for 4.5 years before we came here. By the way you should join the I Am Triangle FB group, it’s an excellent resource especially for repats. There is a discussion going on today about exactly what you mention – how being an expat forces you to make friendships a lot quicker and rely on relative strangers in a way you never have to at home. I can feel a blog post coming on this subject….

    1. Thanks Clara, and also for the Faceboook link. We will definitely consider moving abroad again, but for now I am enjoying being closer to our families and all of the home comforts! It seems a lot easier settling in now I have a little one – he’s already made some friends.

  2. Beautiful Liz! And what a coincidence of the blog crawl ending you repatriating! I do feel more gutsy in a way and more open to new experiences because of the trailing spouse experience! We definitely are more than meets the eye! I hope you’ll still continue to write about your repatriation adventures. I’m sure a lot will relate. All the best in your new home! Hugs!

  3. Great to hear that you have already settled back in good old Blighty! It’s been great reading about your adventures and I shall miss that. All the best to you and your family 🙂

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