What to Do as an Expat Wife: Tips for Making the Most of Your New Life Abroad

3 Apr 2024·9 min read
What to Do as an Expat Wife: Tips for Making the Most of Your New Life Abroad

Moving abroad as an expat wife can be challenging and exciting at the same time. Two thirds of expats believe their quality of life improves in a new country. This blog will offer tips to help you thrive in your new surroundings, from building friendships to finding personal fulfillment.

Dive into a journey of discovery and growth!

Key Takeaways

  • Acknowledge your feelings and reach out to build a support network with other expat wives.
  • Get involved in the local community through volunteering, joining clubs, and attending cultural events.
  • Don't isolate yourself; explore new hobbies and pursue activities that fulfill you.
  • Make sure you have international health insurance for access to medical care abroad.
  • If facing challenges, consider seeking professional help to adjust successfully.

Challenges of Being an Expat Spouse

Adjusting to a new culture can lead to feelings of homesickness and loneliness. The loss of identity and unmet expectations are common struggles for expat spouses.

Trailing spouse syndrome

Trailing spouse syndrome hits when one partner moves abroad to follow the other partner's career. This often leaves the trailing spouse feeling lost, with a sense of identity crisis and isolation.

They might struggle to find their own purpose in the new country. It's common for them to feel left out from the expat life excitement that initially comes with moving abroad.

To cope, it's vital for trailing spouses to seek out activities that fulfill them personally and socially. They can join expatriate communities or pursue hobbies they enjoy. Meeting new people becomes crucial in battling loneliness and building a new support network overseas.

Volunteering is another great way for them to integrate into local communities while finding personal satisfaction.

Homesickness and loneliness

Adjusting to expat life can bring about feelings of homesickness and loneliness for many expat spouses. It's crucial to acknowledge these emotions and seek out support from the expatriate community.

Finding fulfilling activities, pursuing hobbies, and connecting with other expat women can help combat these feelings. Riding public transit aimlessly or exploring beyond familiar places can also aid in fully embracing the new life abroad.

Additionally, integrating into the local community through volunteering and taking language courses can provide a sense of belonging and purpose while living overseas.

Loss of identity

Moving abroad as an expat wife can lead to a loss of identity, making it challenging to adapt to a new lifestyle and culture. Finding meaningful activities, pursuing hobbies, or volunteering can help in rediscovering your passions and sense of self.

Engaging with the local community and connecting with other expat women provides support and empowers you to navigate the changes positively while embracing your new life overseas.

Expat living can be enriching yet daunting; however, by being proactive, seeking opportunities for personal growth, and building a strong support network, you can overcome the challenges of losing identity when relocating abroad.

Relationship problems

Expat life can put a strain on relationships, leading to feelings of isolation and conflict. Adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle can cause misunderstandings between partners who may have differing expectations.

It's important for expat spouses to communicate openly about their feelings and work together to find common ground, as well as seek support from other expat couples who may be experiencing similar challenges.

Engaging in cultural activities together or seeking counseling can also help strengthen the bond amidst the adjustments.

Living abroad can lead to relationship problems due to the stress of adapting to a new environment. Expats should address these issues by finding ways to connect with each other, seeking counseling if needed, and keeping communication open between partners.

Unmet expectations

Living abroad as an expat wife can lead to unmet expectations due to cultural differences and lifestyle changes. Adjusting to a new country might not always align with the romanticized image of expat life.

In fact, nearly 36% of expats report feeling that their personal lives haven't met their expectations after moving abroad. This discrepancy between reality and expectation can be challenging, but seeking support from other expat spouses and finding fulfilling activities can help manage these feelings.

Adjusting to overseas living comes with unique challenges for expat wives such as dealing with unfulfilled expectations. Expats often have high hopes for a better quality of life when they move abroad, but many find it challenging to adapt due to unforeseen difficulties.

Tips for Managing Challenges as an Expat Spouse

Acknowledge and accept your feelings when adjusting to life abroad. Build a support network and pursue fulfilling activities to combat homesickness and loneliness.

Acknowledge and accept your feelings

Recognize and embrace your emotions as a crucial part of the expat experience, allowing yourself to feel homesickness or loneliness is normal. Understand that it's okay to have mixed feelings about adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle, which can help you process and cope with these emotions effectively.

Embracing your feelings will enable you to take proactive steps towards building resilience and finding joy in your new life abroad.

Build a support network

Connect with other expat wives and local residents to establish a support network. Seek out local expat groups, community organizations, or social events to meet new people. Engage in activities that bring you closer to others, such as volunteer work or language classes.

Building meaningful relationships will provide emotional support and practical advice as you navigate life abroad.

Engaging with other expats can help you create a sense of belonging and foster friendships that understand the unique challenges of living overseas. Online forums, social media groups, or neighborhood gatherings can help you connect with those who share similar experiences.

Pursue fulfilling activities

Explore a new hobby or sport to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet new people. Learning a new language can be personally fulfilling and help you feel more connected to your surroundings.

Take time for self-care, whether it's through yoga classes, art workshops, or simply exploring the local cuisine. Additionally, seek out opportunities to volunteer and integrate into the local community by joining clubs or organizations related to your interests.

Don't isolate yourself; make an effort to get out of the house and engage in activities that bring you joy while broadening your horizons.

Incorporate enriching experiences such as riding public transit aimlessly to explore your new surroundings and connect with other expats who can provide support as you adjust to your life abroad.

Connect with the local community

Engage in volunteer opportunities within the local community to meet new people and contribute positively. Participating in community events and cultural activities will help you immerse yourself in the local culture and make meaningful connections.

Get involved in language courses or other educational programs to understand and integrate into your new environment better. Joining clubs, groups, or organizations can provide a supportive network of like-minded individuals who understand the expat experience.

Take advantage of social media platforms to connect with locals for advice, recommendations, and potential friendships.

Seek professional help if needed

If needed, seek professional help to cope with the challenges of adjusting to expat life. International relocations can bring about significant emotional and psychological stress, making it crucial to address these issues with a qualified mental health professional.

Additionally, reaching out for support from an expert can aid in navigating feelings of isolation and homesickness experienced by many expat spouses. Seek counseling or therapy when dealing with relationship problems or identity loss due to relocation as this will ensure a smoother transition into your new life abroad.

In case it is necessary, consider seeking professional assistance to manage the unique challenges that come with being an expat spouse. Mental health support is important in addressing emotions such as loneliness, homesickness, and identity loss that may arise during international relocations.

Navigating Health and Safety as an Expat Wife

Ensure international health insurance coverage for comprehensive medical care. Be aware of safety concerns for women abroad and maintain a medical checklist for expat women.

International health insurance coverage

International health insurance is crucial for expat wives, providing access to quality medical care while living abroad. It ensures that you can receive treatment in case of illness or injury without incurring significant financial burden.

Expatriates often face unique healthcare challenges due to different healthcare systems and language barriers, making comprehensive international health coverage essential for peace of mind.

It enables expat wives to seek medical attention promptly and helps them navigate the unfamiliar terrain of healthcare in a new country. With adequate international health insurance, expat spouses can focus on embracing their new life overseas without worrying about unexpected medical expenses.

Safety concerns for women abroad

Amid the excitement of living abroad, expat women should prioritize safety. Research local customs and understand potential threats in your new location to stay safe. Keep emergency contacts handy and always let someone know about your whereabouts when exploring unfamiliar places.

Stay informed about international health insurance coverage in your host country and carry out a medical checklist for expat women to ensure access to necessary healthcare services if required.

By being vigilant and proactive, expat wives can minimize safety risks and enjoy their overseas experience with confidence in their personal well-being.

Medical checklist for expat women

Moving abroad as an expat woman involves navigating different healthcare systems and ensuring you're prepared for any medical needs. Here's a detailed medical checklist to help you stay on top of your health while living abroad:

  1. Enroll in international health insurance to ensure coverage for medical emergencies and routine healthcare needs.
  2. Research the availability and quality of healthcare facilities in your new location, including hospitals, clinics, and specialists.
  3. Schedule routine medical check - ups and screenings to monitor your health and address any concerns early on.
  4. Stay up-to-date with vaccinations recommended for your new country to protect against local diseases and illnesses.
  5. Carry essential medications, prescriptions, and first-aid supplies, especially if specific brands may not be readily available.
  6. Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers and local healthcare resources in case immediate medical attention is needed.
  7. Consider obtaining a medical alert bracelet or card with important information in the local language.
  8. Understand cultural differences in healthcare practices, seeking guidance on respectful ways to communicate with healthcare providers.
  9. Connect with other expat women or locals for recommendations about trusted healthcare providers and wellness services.

Empowering Yourself as an Expat Wife

Reinvent yourself and your career to embrace new opportunities in your host country. Connect with other expat women for mutual support and companionship as you navigate life abroad.

Reinvent yourself and your career

Discover new career opportunities as an expat wife by seeking out local job fairs and networking events. Use your unique skills and experiences to find remote work, freelance opportunities, or start your own business.

Embrace the chance to learn a new language and take up courses or certifications that can open doors in your host country's job market. Engage with other expat women to exchange ideas and support each other in pursuing fulfilling careers while living abroad.

Stay proactive and adaptable, as reinventing yourself professionally can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling expat experience.

Explore different hobbies, classes, or volunteer opportunities that align with your passions and interests. Utilize online platforms like LinkedIn for professional development resources targeted toward expatriate professionals.

Connect with other expat women

Find fulfilling activities and hobbies

Engage in self-care by pursuing fulfilling hobbies and activities to make the most of your new life abroad. Join a local book club, art class, or yoga group to connect with like-minded individuals and immerse yourself in the culture.

Volunteer at a community center or animal shelter to give back and build a sense of belonging while embracing the expat experience. Embrace outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, or gardening to explore your new surroundings and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

By actively participating in these activities, you can ease homesickness and form meaningful connections within the expat support network while adapting to your international relocation.

Explore opportunities for cultural adaptation by involving yourself in local arts, crafts, cooking classes, or music lessons that reflect the traditions of your host country. Immerse yourself further by attending cultural events such as festivals or theater performances to gain insight into the unique aspects of your new home.

Don't isolate yourself

Avoid isolating yourself as an expat wife. Seek opportunities to connect with the local community and fellow expats, allowing you to build a support network and combat feelings of loneliness.

Engage in fulfilling activities or hobbies that interest you, providing a sense of purpose and belonging in your new surroundings, enhancing your overall well-being.

By not isolating yourself, pursuing selfcare becomes essential for maintaining mental and emotional health. Embrace the chance to make new friends abroad through various social activities, thereby enriching your experience as an expat wife.

Seek support and resources

Find expat support groups or online communities to connect with others in similar situations.

Explore local resources such as language classes, volunteer opportunities, and cultural events.

Join clubs or organizations that align with your hobbies and interests to build a supportive network.


Living as an expat spouse offers new opportunities and challenges. It's essential to acknowledge your feelings, build a support network, and stay connected with the local community.

Seek professional help if needed. When it comes to health and safety, ensure international health insurance coverage, prioritize personal safety, and utilize medical checklists for expat women.

Empower yourself by reinventing your career, connecting with other expat women, pursuing fulfilling activities, and seeking support and resources. Remember that making the most of life abroad involves embracing new experiences beyond the familiar touristy bubble.