What is used to be like to be a trailing spouse

This month’s Global Living magazine features an interview that I did with my own mother, about what life used to be like for expat partners. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re feeling a little sorry for yourself. No Skype, no email, no cheap flights. Phone calls home were rare, children were far more likely to be packed up back to boarding school at a much younger age than they are these days. Your choices were just so much more limited then than they are now – she gave birth to me and my brother in Cuba; when I became pregnant in Jamaica, I was able to come home for the birth.

On the other hand, I think people settled a lot easier in those days: once you were there, you were there. There was much less too-ing and fro-ing (we went two years straight in the Philippines before we came home for a holiday) and you were so much more cut-off from home that you really did have to try and make friends in your new country as soon as possible.

If you have a read, I would love to hear what you think. There are some pretty pictures too 🙂


9 thoughts on “What is used to be like to be a trailing spouse

  1. Very nice article. My daughter was an expat partner in China for awhile, but I had the luxury of being able to skype with her and keep in touch. I can’t imagine if we hadn’t been able to get in touch with her. She loved her experiences there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This Is wonderful to read, I can’t imagine what some of her postings must have been like. It really puts some of our petty expat problems these days in to perspective. I had to use the maternity hospital in Havana in 2011, I dreaded it then I can’t imagine what it was like 30+ years earlier…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve always said to my husband that I’m not sure how I would have survived being an expat before Facebook, Skype, VOIP and more… kudos for your mom for not only surviving but thriving with 4 kids in what sounds like several third world countries!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an inspiring snapshot into a strong woman’s experience. Living in the UAE, I am so grateful for Skype, international call plans on my mobile and the opportunity to accumulate air miles with my credit card…the most valuable thing my card can buy is a flight home! We are so fortunate to have a thriving expat community here, and schools and hospitals that are of a high standard. I admire your Mum and all expat Mums who are doing their best to make things work. Today the expat community are celebrating Mothers’ Day for the US and Australia, and the other countries that follow suit, so it feels appropriate to wish your Mum and all others a very happy “Expat Mothers’ Day”!

    Liked by 1 person

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