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  • Claudia Disco

How to Thrive as a Trailblazer (Trailing Spouse)


Thank you all for your comments on my last post. I am going to vote, very autocratically, for trailblazers as the best term to replace trailing spouses. All the credit goes to Lorraine Elsmore!!


Expat spouses do not trail, but blaze. But there is no denying that trailblazing is hard work. For all those heroes and heroines out there, here are some tips to stay sane and healthy.


We all go through the pains of moving and starting fresh in a brand-new place. Let us face it, we are cutting ourselves from one or all of the following: a supportive network, a familiar place, a job. And it is ok to experience a roller coaster ride of emotions. You might be experiencing loneliness, lack of direction, loss of identity, relationship problems and a gap between expectations and reality.


These emotions are part of the deal. The most important thing is not to get stuck, nor be defined by them. Before you leave, if you have the time and resources, prepare yourself, you partner and your children. Most importantly, give yourself the credit you deserve, blaze your trail, and do something for yourself:


1. Sign-up for that training that you always wanted to do, but never had time for. Language is no longer a problem in today's digital world.

2. Pursue that crazy hobby or passion you never dared to tell anyone about. You cannot embarrass yourself around strangers.

3. Build your tribe. Get out there and meet locals through interest groups and volunteering activities. Connect with other newcomers through a welcoming organisation.

4. Learn the language and culture with an open mindset. Things are different, not better, or worse.

5. Look for a job or pursue a different activity. If you are not allowed to work, find a volunteer opportunity, and give back.


Loosing things means that you also gain something new. Define your own life and who you are. Do not forget to have fun and enjoy the trailblazing!

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