Are You An Expat Wife?
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Fifty Shades of Selfish

Fifty Shades of Selfish | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
Why not being selfish is in fact, selfish.  Part Three in the series 'From Struggle To Success, From Miserable to Magnificent' for fulfilled Expatriate living.   Right, so this week I'm getting per...
Eleanor Brown's insight:

This really really resonates with me - especially the bit about that darned Protestant Work Ethic :-) 

But really, it's like with the oxygen masks on the plane - you have to help yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Otherwise you're just a martyr (or my mother).  And you don't even get beatified for that these days.

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Anne Egros's curator insight, September 30, 2013 1:22 PM

Yes ! be incredibly selfish !

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Just Landed | How to act like a local in London

Just Landed | How to act like a local in London | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

In the third instalment of our new series of posts about blending in like a local, we journey to London. London is one of the top destinations in Europe for both expatriates and tourists. As an expat in London Town you probably want to feel like a Londoner and distinguish yourself from the thousands of tourists. Below you can find some tips and information on how you can blend in like a local in London....

Eleanor Brown's insight:

The Just Landed site is an excellent resource  - especially the Country Guides & blog posts like this one. Good search function too.

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Perpetually Expat | British Australian trying to make sense of life in the USA

Perpetually Expat | British Australian trying to make sense of life in the USA | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

I'm an English Australian currently living in Los Angeles, California.  I’m into science (physics, astronomy), communications (written, photographic) and science communication(translation, explanation, promotion). I’m also a bit crazy about running....

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From Expat Spouse to Relocation Specialist

From Expat Spouse to Relocation Specialist | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

From the Inside Out | Read about 3 remarkable women who parlayed their personal international relocation experiences into careers in global mobility.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Great article about trailing spouses who've put all their moving experiences to good use - by getting into the relocation business themselves! I've done this and it's a flexible, portable, &largely virtual career - a perfect fit for us expat partners. Thanks Michelle Sandlin for sharing via the Families in Global Transition group on LinkedIn

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The 'C' Word For Expats

The 'C' Word For Expats | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
Part Two in the series 'From Struggle To Success, From Miserable to Magnificent' for fulfilled Expatriate living. Some might call its use inappropriate to expatriate life. It will send shivers...
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You Chose It

You Chose It | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
You chose it, you wanted it, and most of the time, you love it. Don't complain. You chose it.
Eleanor Brown's insight:
I chose it, I wanted it, and most of the time, I love it.You chose it. Do something with it.
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The Expat Woman

The Expat Woman | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

If you've seen the French and Saunders skit of the two expat women who can barely get off their chairs to pour their gin, you would have to agree that expat women have a pretty terrible reputation.

It’s obvious with their cushy lives that they spend their days playing golf while dripping in diamonds, surrounded by staff who fulfil their needs. “In my next life I’m coming back as an expat wife” G’s first boss in Jakarta told me, my smile remained fixed while his colleagues laughed and nodded in agreement.

Of course now that it’s 2014 they’re no longer called expat wives, they’re “trailing spouses,” yes, thanks for that, I feel so much better now. I love the visual of me trailing behind G, hunched over and waiting for direction...

Eleanor Brown's insight:

If there must be a revolting label, give me "expat wife" over "trailing spouse" any day. Yuk. At least the stereotypical expat wife existence sounds like a fun one - pass the gin please! And it can be a great game to make people wonder just a little bit.... ;-)

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Ms-havachat: Women And Lunch Time Conversation

Ms-havachat: Women And Lunch Time Conversation | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

It dawned on me, while sitting back listening to a conversation about 'sunny Wexford' being shared between an older Irish lady, a Brit and an American that this eclectic mix of women is what being an expat is about.

We support each other despite our age differences, nationalities and experiences.
We listen and care regardless of what's going on because we know it could be us needing the shoulder one day.
We find things in common to celebrate and bond us, and we learn something new with the differences we bring to the conversation.
We laugh. Boy, do we laugh! The observations of our new home, something as simple as grocery shopping or the frustration with going for a drivers licence can have us in stitches.
I guess, depending on how the friendships go, we might even shed the occasional tear.
We are strong. We have to be.
We bond over silly things and very important things.
We seek out people to be our surrogate mums, grandmothers and sisters, whether conscious or not. We are surrogate mums, grandmothers and sisters to others - whether we know it or not.


Eleanor Brown's insight:

"If you've chosen this life, embrace it for all it's worth.
For it could all be over tomorrow and lunch will be a quick hour if you're lucky....."

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Good reads, sites and films about "Third Culture Kids"

Good reads, sites and films about "Third Culture Kids" | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

In this section you can find an ongoing bibliography that I call good-reads and a list of sites about "Third Culture Kids".

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Excellent list of TCK books, articles, resources & films - regularly updated by Ute.

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REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK #3: IDENTITY

REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK #3: IDENTITY | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

WHERE DID I MISPLACE MY IDENTITY?

Expats are all too familiar with the impact an overseas relocation can have on identity. Well, ditto for when you repatriate.  My reverse culture shock was intensified by my identity changing from something recognisable overseas, into a discomforting state of flux back in the sedate little city I call home. "

Eleanor Brown's insight:

More wise words from Repat Jack on the painful but necessary process of rebuilding your identity (again!) when you return home...

 

"Friends, family and former contacts were making noises about my having had ‘The life of Riley’ and it was time for the old me to come back.  I understood but it irked me. I wasn’t prepared to park those identity forming years just because folks thought I should.

...

I embraced [a] temporary identity as an ‘expat wife in reverse’... & filled my free time with sport and recreation, creative and cultural pursuits, globe-trotting and community involvement.

....

Riding along with an identity in transition and focusing on non-career activities have helped re-frame my professional and personal life to fit more with who I am, and what my lifestyle is, today. Eventually, I found my misplaced identity. "




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Repatriation & Career - REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK #2

Repatriation & Career - REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK #2 | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

 Repatriating your career after years of living overseas is a double-edged sword for the accompanying partner, especially if you’ve also worked while abroad.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Wise words & useful resources from the excellent Repat Jack. She says: "You’ll need to present international achievements in an applicable way for your home location and actively seek employers who value that experience.

...

Efforts extolled overseas towards establishing and maintaining a career will be the same on your return, if not more, for the accompanying partner.

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It requires bucket loads of creativity, energy, tenacity, resilience, optimism, resourcefulness, flexibility and self-assessment. Oh, and endless cups of tea."

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A Career In Your Suitcase - the expat partner's career/work bible

http://expateverydaysupportcenter.com/why-every-expat-should-buy-a-career-in-your-suitcase-for-hisher-trailing-spouse/

 

http://drieculturen.blogspot.nl/2013/04/just-right-book-if-you-are-dreaming-of.html

 

http://expatriatelife.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/one-more-thing-i-would-do-differently/

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Latest edition is out now!  I've downloaded it to my kindle, but ashamed to say haven't got round to reading the new one yet.  The previous edition was excellent so I have high hopes that Jo & Colleen will have incorporated all things new & web into the latest one.

Certainly the reviews above would suggest so - and these guys really know what they're talking about :-)

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Just Landed | Everything you need to live abroad

Just Landed - All you need to live, work and study abroad: Expatriate Information, Country guides, Expats Community, Expatriate Jobs and International Property.
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50 signs you're an American expat in China

50 signs you're an American expat in China | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

There's fifty nifty U-ni-ted States, and 50 ways to tell you're from one of them....

Eleanor Brown's insight:

My favourite is no.9: "As soon as you discover something new at the import store, you Wechat all your expat friends to alert them"

(Except I had to Google what Wechat is ;-))

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Foreignfootsteps's curator insight, June 6, 2015 10:40 AM

Eleanor Brown did a great job with this list. If you are an Expat in living in China  this will surely make you smile.

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Pruned: Blossoming Through Life's Difficult Seasons by Ariana Mullins

Pruned: Blossoming Through Life's Difficult Seasons by Ariana Mullins | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

Are you going through a challenging season? Are you facing difficult changes in your life– a major loss, a tough family situation, a big move away from your comfort zone? Or maybe it’s a matter of adjusting to a new phase of life, or trying to get free of intense burnout… It’s OK.  We all go through these challenging life experiences. 

Pruned: Blossoming Through Life’s Difficult Seasons addresses the inevitable periods of crisis and struggle that we encounter, and offers hope, perspective and practical resources for turning these “pruning experiences” into positive opportunities for a stronger, intentional and more joyful life."



Eleanor Brown's insight:

"As humans, we want to believe that we can have control over our lives, but in truth, change is the one constant– all things are forever in a state of flux.  Knowing how to embrace change as an opportunity is critical to experiencing joy in life.
This book imparts hope and humor to the inevitably heavy parts of living– job loss, financial strain, illness, family changes, and everything else that inevitably comes with the human experience.

On a practical level, this book is a guide to coping with the logistical and emotional challenges of major upheaval or personal struggle– Ariana shares tips on how to strengthen family bonds during trying times, how to get the support needed to survive the bumpiest parts of the journey, how to face fear and worry, and effective ways to take care of your internal resources during trying times."

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The Thing I Miss The Most

The Thing I Miss The Most | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
There's a Facebook group for expat women living in Singapore that I follow that frequently has "what should I bring from my home country?" type questions. Within seconds multiple responses will pop...
Eleanor Brown's insight:
"to be frank, you’ll probably adjust faster if you don’t bring everything from home with you. Sure, the first bit will be rough but it’ll get you out and about through necessity"
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Jessie Bryson: A "Trailing" Spouse?

Jessie Bryson: A "Trailing" Spouse? | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
If anything, as I suspect most trailing spouses will profess, we thrive under pressure. We may shed a few tears every now and then, but handling overseas life is easy, compared with answering what seems like a simple question, “What do you do?” Coming to terms with that has replaced cooking a perfect pot roast as the million-dollar dilemma.

I wrote earlier that I’m a trailing spouse, thanks to my husband. But, of course, my husband isn’t tying me to the seat of every plane he boards. And I wouldn’t trade in my marriage, our travels or my job, however undefined, as a writer, for anything. My husband and I make some decisions independent of one another, but most are made together, including spending his career overseas.

At the end of each assignment, when our worldly goods are being carried out the door in a crate that will spend eight months in storage, I can always bow out of this difficult role. But I ask myself: Would living in a shoebox apartment in a fifth-floor walkup in New York really be more glamorous? More fulfilling?

I don’t think so.

Trailing spouse? To me it looks more like prevailing spouse!
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Sunny De Bruyn: I'm not an expat...

Sunny De Bruyn: I'm not an expat... | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

... ok well technically I am. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm not. Why? Well, I didn't realise it prior to coming to Singapore, but expat is kind of a dirty word. It is said here with loaded meaning, assumption, a tinge of distaste...

So, although I’ve only been in Singapore for six weeks, I’ve thought a lot about how I feel about being called an expat. And it’s made me realise that I don’t like being called one. I also don’t like being treated like one. I have to say, that one thing that has made the move to this country much harder than I had imagined is the feeling of not being welcome or wanted. And I have felt it on multiple occasions here. I also feel like I have been dismissed as ‘just another expat wife’. Ouch.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

"I don’t plan on being entitled and sitting around all day getting my nails done whilst bossing around domestic staff and making them mix cocktails for me at 10am in the morning and feed me grapes. I can mix my own cocktails at 10am in the morning. And I don’t really like grapes. Sour or otherwise."

Exactly! :-)



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A Dose of Positivity – Apple Gidley in the Expat Telegraph

"Sometimes in this era of micro-managed relocation it is easy to get hung up on the minutiae. Of what is available, of whether a cinema, if indeed there is one, shows the latest movies, of what food is on offer. That is not to lessen the importance of finding the right school or a hospital that will cater to a sick child, but does it really matter if a favoured cereal is unavailable. Taste a new one.

...

Woe is me’ does not translate well into any language and negates the resilience and perseverance of those who travelled before us. Of those who endured true hardship. A quick look back at the wars our parents and grandparents survived, whether in the trenches, on the seas, in the air or at home, shows real fortitude, or those living through current war or civil strife. None of it is comparable to a sponsored trip to an overseas posting now.

...

So along with the crockery and bedding pack a dose of positivity, lose the sense of entitlement, and take this incredible opportunity to learn about something new not only about a place and her peoples but about yourself."

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Lose the sense of entitlement & pack a dose of positivity - abso-bloody-lutely!  Wise words that expats old & new all need reminding of now & then.

And Apple says it so much better than most, too - she's not afraid to get to the point, where I might pussyfoot around the subject :-)

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Repatriation: 8 causes of "re-entry shock"

Repatriation: 8 causes of "re-entry shock" | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it

Repatriation can be more stressful than the outward trip. I am a long term expat with two international moves under my belt. Three if you count the move from England to Wales.

....

Expats talk of “re-entry shock” and feelings of reverse homesickness are very common. Re-assimilation can take anything from six months to five years depending on the length of the overseas assignment and the degree of local integration experienced in their expat lives.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Dorothy Dalton on "re-entry shock": as with so much in (expat) life, it's all about managing expectations. Remember how we're always told never to assume? Here are 8 (erroneous) assumptions that will leave you floundering when you return "home".

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An expat teacher's story - book review of Here We Are & There We Go: Teaching & Traveling With Kids In Tow by Jill Dobbe

An expat teacher's story - book review of Here We Are & There We Go: Teaching & Traveling With Kids In Tow by Jill Dobbe | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
How was your summer? Mine was spent housetraining my new puppy Max, cleaning up puppy puddles, taking shoes out of Max’s mouth, keeping the two dogs from killing each other, and wondering what the ...
Eleanor Brown's insight:

Book review by Maria at IWasAnExpatWife.com

 

"Here We Are & There We Go covers their time in Guam, Singapore, Ghana, Guadalajara, Egypt, India, and Honduras. Jill has a lot of great material to work with, and it’s an entertaining read....Seven countries’ worth of stories are a lot to cram into a single book, and at times it was a little unsatisfying, like being served a sliver of cake when what you really want is to eat the whole thing, calories be damned. More than once I was disappointed to find we were moving on to the next destination before I was ready to leave the current one....."

 

Maria hones in on Jill's family's return to the US which resonates with her own repatriation experience.

 

"....Jill and Dan moved back to the US after their Guadalajara sojourn. “Repatriation was actually quite tough....Everything we had experienced during our 10 years overseas was still such a big part of us. Then when we moved back we found that no one was really interested and people were more concerned about the new reality show, Survivor, and what the weather was going to be like the next day.” They lasted six years before the lure of expat life became too strong to ignore.....[Jill] has no regrets about the decision to become serial expats. “It seems to me that what our kids experienced living in different countries and cultures far outweighed what they missed if they lived in the US during that time,” she says."

 

Check out more reviews of Jill's book here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15904851-here-we-are-there-we-go

 

or buy it for your Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Here-Are-There-Traveling-ebook/dp/B008PV3N9G

 

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Fifty Shades of Selfish

Fifty Shades of Selfish | Are You An Expat Wife? | Scoop.it
Why not being selfish is in fact, selfish.  Part Three in the series 'From Struggle To Success, From Miserable to Magnificent' for fulfilled Expatriate living.   Right, so this week I'm getting per...
Eleanor Brown's insight:

This really really resonates with me - especially the bit about that darned Protestant Work Ethic :-) 

But really, it's like with the oxygen masks on the plane - you have to help yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Otherwise you're just a martyr (or my mother).  And you don't even get beatified for that these days.

more...
Anne Egros's curator insight, September 30, 2013 1:22 PM

Yes ! be incredibly selfish !