Expat Partner: Reluctant Traveller

In some cases the accompanying partner may be a reluctant traveler, understanding that the move is unavoidable, but reluctant to disrupt their lives with a move to an unknown new environment.   These circumstances represent a real risk to the relationship as well as the success of the assignment, new role or business. 

Compromise and understanding will be key to success.  In such circumstances it will be vital to ensure that plans are considered in advance to ensure that the partner has a plan to take up a role or an interest that will satisfy them and hopefully give them an opportunity they would never otherwise have had.

Typically the expat arrives and is immediately involved in the challenges of their new job or in setting up the new business.  Meanwhile the accompanying partner is trying to settle in to a new environment and culture without an established group of friends and often prevented from working due to immigration restrictions.  If this represents an interruption of an existing career it can be a real challenge to overcome.

Time spent in the early stages to help to settle the partner in can pay dividends.  Spend time together whenever possible becoming familiar with the new environment, engage with the expat community through work colleagues, expat clubs etc and make sure that you develop a clear plan as to how the expat partner will get the best out of their time abroad.  You can also take advantage of innovative ways of settling in like joining Vizeat where you can share a meal with locals and other expats.