The expat partner resources I wish I had 10 years ago

When I first started my path as an expat partner, we had a slow dial-up internet connection. Annoyingly, websites I needed were often blocked. Actually, looking back, I seem to have had a longstanding relationship with The Ridiculously Slow Internet, everywhere I’ve lived. Now that I have finally welcomed Broadband into my home, I know with certainty that we shall never part again, and I can’t imagine how I ever lived without.

Broadband helps me connect with people who share my interests across the globe, to exchange information and inspiration, to give and receive support. I climbed a rather steep personal learning curve last year. I connected with some amazing people and found resources I really wish I had known sooner; resources I have wished for, but didn’t know existed.

Here are a few of my favorite websites for expat partners:

The Expat Lifeline, run by Rachel Yates, aims to help expat women “…put practical, powerful and independent resources in place to make (…) life simpler, safer and saner.” The Expat Lifeline argues that expat partners need to stand on their own feet, and Rachel has the resources available to help you get there. I particularly like The Global Girl’s Guide to Creating a Backup Plan and the How Protected are You? quiz, for their thought provoking questions (disturbingly many of which I could not answer the way I wish I could).

Tandem Nomads is, in founder Amel Derragui’s words, “…a podcast show and platform designed to turn expat partners’ career challenges into great opportunities.” The platform has tons of information and resources on how to build a portable career and the podcast interviews are great! You may have seen me with earphones at the gym? That’s me listening to Amel at Tandem Nomads.

Career In You Suitcase is a book and a website by Jo Parfitt and Colleen Reichrath-Smith. I loved the book when I first read it several years ago. I like that the authors recognize how challenging it can be to manage a portable career, but that they also emphasize how important it is, and how you can practically get there – even if your passport says ‘dependent, not allowed to work’. The website holds data and resources, and the Career in your Suitcase team can help you on your way to establishing a portable career.

Families in Global Transition is “… a welcoming forum for globally mobile individuals, families, and those working with them. We promote cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world.” Their website is full of resources and they host an annual conference. I particularly like that researchers connect through FIGT and that an online research network is available.

What challenges have you encountered on your path as an expat partner? How have you solved them? Do have any favorite resources? I’d love to hear them.

Author’s note: I am not receiving any compensation for promotion of other people’s work – this is merely a small selection of websites I have found helpful and insightful. 

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