What is a Trailing Spouse?
In short, a trailing spouse is “the husband or wife of an employee who is sent to work in another country” (Cambridge Online Dictionary). The word ‘trailing’ comes from the fact that the spouse often finds it difficult or impossible to find work in the new country, often due to visa restrictions.
In November 2011 I moved to Brunei from the UK as a ‘trailing spouse’. Although apprehensive at the prospect of my first international posting and the implications of being a ‘dependent’ wife, I have found the experience more enjoyable than I ever imagined. I was intrigued by the term ‘trailing spouse’ and the negative connotations this implies – type the term into a search engine and read in horror articles with titles such as “The ‘Trailing Spouse’ No Longer Need Be Such a Drag” or “Why Trailing Spouses Can’t Be Happy”. I’m not saying that relocating to a new country and giving up my job hasn’t been difficult at times, but I wanted to share my experiences and hopefully reassure others who are making a similar move that life as an expat can be a rewarding and exhilarating experience, as well as satisfying the curiosity of all those people who ever wondered what it is really like to be an expat.
I live in Brunei with my husband and son. Before moving to Brunei I worked in the UK as an English teacher. I am a voracious reader and have recently started experimenting with my own writing, thanks to my new found freedom as a trailing spouse! I spend my days volunteering and pursuing my interests in reading and writing when I’m not attending baby groups. My other passions include food, running and travel – not necessarily in that order!
About This Blog
This is by no means a definitive guide to living abroad, merely my personal experience of life as an expat and what it’s like adapting to life in a new country with a culture very different from my own. My aim is to relate my own experiences in a (hopefully) informative and entertaining way, and of course I am happy to respond to comments and suggestions. The structure is very loose, but I will try to theme each post to cover a different aspect of my experience. I will not be posting political or religious comments on Brunei, or anything that could otherwise be deemed as offensive. Above all, I hope that whoever may happen upon this blog enjoys reading it and I in turn look forward to discovering new blogs and meeting new people.