Seriously, that’s how corporations refer to us. In real life, I am a former nurse, college tutor, bartender, wife of 1, mother of 2, and owner of 2 dogs, 3 cats and a goldfish, most of whom I have successfully, transplanted through 5 moves and 3 continents over the last 10 years. So I sort of resent the ‘trailing’ bit – I prefer groundbreaking, trailblazing or hauling ass , which is far more accurate from where I’m standing.
Now, if you think that I am some sort of relocation goddess, put on this earth to make it all
look effortless, think again. I spent the first six months of my time in Kenya sobbing at my loss of identity, career, and support network. But if there’s one thing that I am good at, it’s spotting quality. Clothing, leather goods, friends; I can sort the good from the not-so-much with a few piercing glances and a little warped humor. I now have a collection, not of Prada purses, but of creative, clever and downright funny people who have been kind enough to share their worst moments, so you can fast forward to the fun stuff.
Defining Moves is the result of the personal experiences of myself and the countless other trailing spouses I have met on my travels, in answer to the questions raised continually though discussion forums, relocation research and our own mistakes. I have yet to read a study that tells how spouses are well supported throughout the transitions that they are asked to make, but have many which show we feel isolated, disempowered and frustrated a great deal of the time. So I asked everyone I knew who has relocated, whether across state, country, continent or the world, what they wish someone had told them.
Welcome to our world.