What NOT to Say to a Trailing Spouse


Over the past several months I’ve been faced with a few questions and comments about my life choices. Most of them are basic questions, asked out of love, caring and curiosity, but then there are others that have just rubbed me the wrong way. From complete strangers giving me career and financial advice, to new acquaintances asking me personal questions that are really none of their business, I feel like I’ve heard it all.

And I knew I mustn’t be alone. My situations in Canada, Spain and England can’t be unique, so I reached out to other expats and trailing spouses (or love migrants as one referred to herself) to find out what questions and comments they get asked that hurt their feelings, made them feel judged, or just rubbed them the wrong way. I received a number of responses, but there were a few themes/comments/words that seemed to pop up over and over again.

So, without further ado, here’s what NOT to say to an expat or trailing spouse: Continue reading

Expat Update: Patience and Privilege

Title card - Expat Update: Patience & Privilege [petiteadventures.org]

Our first six weeks in England haven’t at all gone as I had planned. I thought life in England would be easier than in life in Spain for the simple fact that we spoke the language. But our time here has been anything but simple. Since we arrived (and even before) our days have been fraught with bureaucracy, hurdles, and more paperwork than I could have ever anticipated. Most disappointing has been the fact that I haven’t had a single chance to wear a fascinator, and I am really keen to wear a fascinator.

Last week, it all sort of hit me. The weather was cold and cloudy, my ovaries had taken me hostage, and I was tired of dealing with stuff. I was tired of overcoming hurdles only to encounter new ones and, oh-my-goodness, I was beyond tired of dealing with paperwork! So I stopped. I took a few days off to mull over where we’ve been and where we still have to go, and I decided to write a little rant about it.

So, without further ado, here is my expat update rant about privilege, patience and life lately. Continue reading

How to Satisfy Your Wanderlust When You’re Stuck at Home

How to satisfy your wanderlust when you're stuck at home [petiteadventures.org]

Since we arrived in Leeds, I’ve been staying close to home – not because I don’t want to get out and explore, because trust me, I do – but because getting set up in a new city, finding a flat and a job, getting internet, utilities and bank accounts takes time. I’m trying to be responsible and adulty – and let me tell you. It. Is. Tough.

Now that it’s been nearly six weeks since we’ve arrived, the travel bug is starting to bite – and is biting hard. These past few days I’ve spent all too many hours browsing Skyscanner, flipping through guidebooks, living vicariously through Bill Bryson, and planning trips I’m just not 100% sure I’m ready to book.

But it won’t be long. With each passing day, I feel myself getting closer and closer to saying yes.

Thankfully, until I’m ready to throw down my credit card and buy those tickets, there are a myriad of ways that I can (semi)-satisfy my wanderlust, even though I’m more or less stuck at home.  Continue reading