Musings of a Trailing Spouse!
Hello you! It is with great pleasure that I bring you another guest blog post by my very dear friend Akaji. Akaji is a very dear friend who has been away from Nigeria on expatriate postings with her husband and family to both the Hague, in Netherlands and Pau in France. For someone with a love for travel, I really enjoyed Akaji’s postings! I travelled vicariously through her and peppered her with questions about all the locations, the people, their culture, everything! See Akaji’s other guest post at https://hajelpitan.com/2013/10/07/the-hague-through-akajis-eyes/!
Now she shares a different insight into the expatriate experience, one we do not normally see and one which is totally interesting to consider. And for a die-hard lover of adventure like me, its a perspective that still makes me want to go-go-go!
Enjoy Akaji’s musings of a Trailing Spouse:
Being an expat wife or a trailing spouse as we have so been dubbed is a position not without challenges. How you handle these challenges and the attitude in which this is done is critical to enjoying these years spent away from ‘home’.
HOME… Where is home exactly? At one time I would have said Lagos, Nigeria but now home is everywhere I have left a little of myself and gained from others. Home is the Hague with the lovely flowers that literally spring out everywhere. My lovely Dutch neighbour and her family who took me as a daughter and my kids as her grandkids. The wonderful TAPCH church family with wonderful ladies bible studies and lovely children teachers. Thank you Pastor Tim Blackmon, Brad and Heather Fuller. The amazing BSN Family with patient and loving teachers and an incredible bunch of supportive parents.
Home is Pau, France. I had heard so much about the South of France and always wondered about the fuss. However, having spent a little of me there, Pau was all that and more. Clearly no Paris but rich in its own unique way. Rich in culture but then I guess the whole of France is…LOL. Pau, the door to the Pyrennes, and what an amazingly breathtaking view those mountains give. I could never ever get tired of those mountains. Pau with the wonderful ISB family…an incredibly culturally diverse bunch but so loving, caring and supportive.
In this almost nomadic lifestyle, I have come to learn to be less attached to material things. Not that some furniture or knick knack here and there don’t hold memories but when one has to move around a lot one has to learn to let go. I have come to learn that a photograph of the keepsake works just as well as the keepsake itself and wells up just as much emotions and memories as would holding the actual object.
I doubt you can remain an introvert in this lifestyle…lol. A fellow expat wife, friend and blogger at http://www.canadianexpatmom.com, describes relationships formed during this time as one done on enhancing drugs…hahahahahahaha and honestly it seems that way. But what is interesting is that though these bonds are quickly formed, they do run deep and often times extend even to their families back home. India for example is for me no longer a tourist destination to see the Taj Mahal but holds for me a dear friend’s family of her mum, dad and incredibly beautiful sister. I hear something in the news about India or Japan or Lebanon or Scotland and am worried calling up to find out if ‘my extended family’ is fine.
Trailing spouses we may be, but strong brilliant courageous fun-loving women we definitely are. Giving up careers, comfort zones etc for the good of the family has provided us opportunities to build up other qualities and skills we may ordinarily not have and friendships we may never have made.
Who says women can’t be supportive? Who says women always try to bring each other down? Clearly I have been blessed to have the former and definitely not the latter. A band of cheerleaders who are truly interested in all that concerns you.
I am thankful for the expatriation experience. To my friends and families I say Keep It Up and see you soon!!!!! And to intending expats, Embrace It!! Get high on the drug enhancing experience and by Jove, ENJOY IT!!!!!
Thank you so much dear Akaji! I loved reading this post! Sure your life is richer for the beautiful friends and experiences that come with this! Whatever lies ahead, I pray that all your tomorrows are more beautiful than all your yesterdays, and that you continue to enjoy God’s beautiful world! Thanks for sharing with me and my readers! Stay awesome everyone!
Update: After I published Akaji’s post, I found this post on the same subject and thought it made thought provoking reading, enjoy it at http://sixdegreesnorth.me/2014/10/09/trailing-spouse-embrace-the-opportunity/.