Trailing Spouse Stories: Starting Over in a New Country

Trailing Spouse Jan 2015

After missing the December link up because I was so blummin busy (hence the unscheduled blog absence!) I’m so pleased to be able to get involved in the Trailing Spouse Stories blog crawl with D for Delicious and Tala again. This month’s theme is all about starting over in a new country.

This January we talk about beginnings. We all were there at some point in time. We all started out in strange lands. How was it like starting over in a new country – if you have done it multiple times, does it get easier or harder? And what are you building in this new year?

It’s now nearly 2 years since I upped sticks, jumped on a plane and left good old Blighty behind for a life in the United States of America with the German. At the time, a whole load of thoughts and emotions were running through my mind. Everything from will I like it there to oh my gosh I’m so excited and what if I’m really, really homesick?

It was very daunting to get on that plane, knowing that I was leaving everything and everyone I knew behind, giving up everything to move 4,000 miles away to a new country I’d only ever visited on holiday but I was also excited for all the new adventures and experiences that were in store.

We landed in Atlanta and the new life began. The first few weeks were spent sorting. We had to find an apartment, furniture, buy 2 cars and find a new circle of friends meaning they passed in a blur. It was also the time when I started blogging and documenting my new life abroad. Eventually, we got everything sorted and started to explore our new surroundings more, instead of the many furniture stores and car showrooms!

I was worried about how much I would miss my family and friends, but, thanks to the delights of modern technology, that homesickness wasn’t as bad as I thought. FaceTime means I can see their faces whenever I want and for free. Seeing somebody’s face and talking to them as if you are in the same room is so much easier than just hearing a voice or writing a letter. Apps like WhatsApp and social media means I can keep up to date with everything that’s happening back home and what everyone’s up to. The thing I miss the most though is the hugs and the popping out for a coffee or shopping. Those are the things you take for granted, until they’re taken away from you. I miss seeing my goddaughter grow up, every time I see her she’s so much bigger than the last time, but that’s what you sign up for when you become an expat. You know what you’re leaving behind and how things will change.

The last 2 years have been a roller coaster ride that has been out of this world. I’ve visited places I never thought I would get to see, slotted into a life I never thought I’d lead in a country I thought I would only visit on holiday. I’ve had so many new experiences that have definitely changed me as a person and right now, I couldn’t imagine life to be any different.

Yes, it’s tough, waving goodbye to your loved ones to head to a new country, and, 2 years on, that never gets any easier. There are tears every time I leave after another visit home or when friends and family come to visit us here in Atlanta. But, this move has been life changing and I am so glad we did it. It’s the experience of a lifetime and, when it’s offered to you, something you cannot refuse. I wouldn’t change anything for the world, well, apart from seeing those faces back home a little bit more!

“Read more #TrailingSpouseStories at the links below:
Issa’s story on You Want To Be Rich on how the #trailingspouse life seems to be painful than easier, being haunted by the possibilities and what could-have or might-have-beens.
Yuliya’s story on Tiny Expats on what things made it easier for her to move to a new country. She’s quite the #trailingspouse veteran!
Didi’s story on D for Delicious on how being in a new country is being reborn, except that it comes with a lot of baggage”

18 thoughts on “Trailing Spouse Stories: Starting Over in a New Country

    • I’m not sure I could have done it without modern technology. I do wonder how people who just jumped on a boat and left their families back in the day survived with just written communication. It must have been so tough. Thank the Lord for modern technology! x

  1. It is so hard to start over, but hopefully it gets easier! (I am only 3 months in, so still adjusting) but like the commenters above said, being able to communicate with everyone back home makes it so much easier!

  2. Pingback: Starting over in a new country, TSS blog crawl | tinyexpats

  3. Hi Rachel,

    I’m so happy I found your blog! I’m a new expat, moved to Tallahassee, Florida six months ago with my American wife, she’d lived in the UK for seventeen years and wanted to come home. I was so excited and everything to come here and still am but, of late , I hit the, OMG what have I done wall and got pretty homesick (which I think is a bit bizarre as I’m 50!). I’m sure over time I’ll adjust and blend in!!! I totally agree about modern technology, it’s awesome for communicating.


    • Hey Simon,

      Welcome along! I hope the blog is helping you through some tough moments – us expats always get them. I still do sometimes, 2 years into the adventure! I definitely wouldn’t want to give it all up though and head back home. Technology really helped me to settle, I still have no idea how people managed years ago when it didn’t exist. That must have been so tough!

      Hope you adjust to life over here – the weather must be infinitely better! x

  4. Hi Rachel, I’ve been in Canada for 3 years and like you, I miss my friends and the hugs and the heart-to-heart talk. There are days when it hits the hardest but I know that should I go back, things will be where I left them, partly because of history, partly because of our somewhat constant connection (thru social media and skype). We never truly lose friends, I think, and that’s a real comfort.

    • True friends are definitely the ones that are still there, even when you don’t see them everyday. Like you say, I have contact with mine nearly every day thanks to the likes of Facebook, Skype, FaceTime and everything else you can think of. The modern world is great for us expats – nothing beats a hug but the great communication links definitely help! x

  5. Pingback: Creative Flow 2015 for Trailing Spouse Stories Blog Crawl — Tala Ocampo

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