I think most of us have fancied living abroad. In our dreams living overseas is almost like paradise, everyone understand each other, the natives are always friendly and there are no misunderstandings….and that is where the dream ends. The reality is different and this especially refers to those of us who are the dependants of people whose careers take them to foreign countries.
So the tag-along spouse finds herself (or himself) in a strange country, without friends or family and most certainly without a job. A household needs to be set up and run, children need to be raised in a foreign culture where the rules differ from where you came from and some of the rules (especially the unwritten ones) you might not always understand. There are new schools, doctors, dentists, sport, hobbies, sometimes languages to deal with. Yes, the list is quite endless…..
So after almost ten years abroad – we moved from South Africa to Ireland – I think it is safe to say that I feel more comfortable in my surroundings these days. Although we have had our misunderstandings – might still have some – we understand our adopted country far better.
I have always been a journalist and although being a mom took over from being a journalist, this is a way for me to get in touch with my journalistic side again. Most of my best friends here are originally from other countries. I suppose the connection with a non-Irish person in Ireland is already there and on many levels, even before we had a conversation.
To all those tag-alongs you are doing a great job wherever you are. Go and live deliberately in your new adopted country!!!!