Tale of a Trailing Spouse

After 9 years and 3 countries, I’m making the transition from expatriate to repatriate. It’s a brand new chapter with new stories to tell! I now come to you from the home of baseball and birthplace of Frank Sinatra— Hoboken, New Jersey.

About the Trailing Spouse

Diana Mahmoud

Hello, I’m Diana. I recently repatriated back to the United States after nine years living abroad. During this time my husband and I lived in three amazing countries (Germany, Spain, and Singapore) and were forever changed by the incredible places and people we met along the way.

But now I’ve moved to a new town in my home country trying to figure out what is next for me. Some women who have already made this journey into repatriation tell me it’s way more challenging than expatriation. Let’s see.

First things first. For the most part, I put my career on hold in support of my husband’s during our time abroad, so I need to figure out how to start a new chapter that balances both work and family.

This blog is mostly about me, my daily and sometimes mundane existence navigating yet another new chapter of life and occasionally my perspective as a woman without children in a world that portrays infertility as a stigma at worse and misfortune at best.

My writing is for anyone whose life didn’t turn out exactly as they planned and is cool with it, for those who believe we choose happiness by looking at the blessings we have and not the ones we don’t.

22 comments on “About the Trailing Spouse

  1. Jason and Julie Nitz
    August 18, 2012

    Hi Diana, I have recently returned from a trip to Singapore and stumbled across your blog. We are an expat couple with 1 beautiful son living in Manado, Indonesia. We have are also on the move regularly with my husbands career. All the best in Singapore! Julie

    • Diana Mahmoud
      August 20, 2012

      Thank you Julie! I look forward to reading about your adventures in Indonesia too!

      • Jeff
        October 15, 2013

        I have just read and enjoyed your letters (and follow up comments) and i’m in a very similar situation to both of you. In my case, its my Wife with the Global Job and i’m the one who gave up life & my store in Toronto to come along. We’ve spent 12months in Jakarta, now 6 in Makati (manila) and recently visited Singapore over the long weekend in October (12-14) 2013 ..and fell in love with the city. I feel a yearning to pursue PR status in Singapore where we can have a nice quality of life for our growing family; just thinking about ways to make it happen 🙂

  2. Pingback: Two more Stars! | Expat Alien

  3. The Travelling Chopsticks
    December 27, 2012

    Hi Julie -I stumbled upon your blog from Expats blog and just wanted to say hello! I grew up in Singapore so its fun to me to see what your impressions are, as well as it stirs up some very nostalgic memories!

    I am currently living in Mexico and have newly become a ‘trailing spouse’ – hot quite how i envisioned my life, but i am loving it! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures! 🙂

    • Diana Mahmoud
      February 7, 2013

      Hi chopsticks! Do you mind if I call you that? 🙂 SOrry for the delayed response. I never saw this comment, maybe because I was traveling at the time with intermittent Internet connection. So nice to meet you too. How do you like living in Mexico?

  4. petroleumwife
    January 7, 2013

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog through Laura’s “Texas on Thames” site. Talk about relating to a complete stranger, your ‘about’ could easily be written about my current circumstances as well. I love being a ‘lady of leisure’ as you put it. At least for now! Really looking forward to reading more from you. PW

  5. Alex
    February 7, 2013

    So glad to have come across your blog! I’m a brit, just slightly older than you, I also gave up a good career to follow my husband to Dubai. Now back in the UK (for now). Re: childless and life not panning out as you thought, but being very happy – I’m with you on that one too.

    • Diana Mahmoud
      February 7, 2013

      I’m glad you came across it too! It’s nice to meet another person who accept life as it is without carrying a grudge. DO you blog?

  6. Jenny
    February 12, 2013

    Hi Diana! Although I am new to your blog, I’ve really enjoyed reading your perspective on all-things-expat. Your positive yet honest outlook is helpful to someone dipping their toe in the water of becoming a potential trailing spouse. My husband and I are in the very early stages of accepting an expat assignment in Singapore. You’ve really helped me start to feel more comfortable with the idea of taking this step. Can’t wait to read more!

    • Diana Mahmoud
      February 13, 2013

      Thank you, Jenny. I am sure you will really enjoy the experience. Let me know once you land in Singapore!

  7. Jessica
    February 26, 2013

    How neat! I lived in Hong Kong for a year and Taiwan for two. Never made it to Singapore and am currently scheming to go back. Good for you for taking up the adventurous life!

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 9, 2013

      I hope you figure out a way to make it back!

      • Jessica
        March 9, 2013

        Me too! And thanks! 🙂

  8. 'aysha.
    March 6, 2013

    I just stumbled upon your blog and completely love it, your spirit, and I think, you too. Perhaps we’d unknowingly run into each other one day. I’m Aishah, going 39, unmarried, unchildrened, grateful in Singapore(:

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 8, 2013

      Oh thank you for the compliments!! I do hope we meet soon!

  9. kyrian777
    March 24, 2013

    Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  10. Valentine
    July 26, 2013

    Soon to be a “trailing spouse” – I’m also childfree with a big resume. Your posts are refreshing to the other “dip wives” blogs that keeps saying “just have kids.” Thanks for they are helping me know I’m going to be fine… now, I just have to start learning a new language!

  11. Miranda Thomas
    January 29, 2014

    Hi I’ve just come across your blog and it really has given me hope. I am about to become a trailing spouse and have quite mixed emotions! I have my last day at work this week after 28 years as a a Health Visitor and will be coming to Singapore on 20th February with my husband who will be working there. I’m a bit worried about leaving family, friends, hobbies etc behind but also looking forward to having new experiences and adventures. So much I need to know!

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 10, 2014

      Hi Miranda, sorry that I was delayed in replying. How are you doing with this change?

  12. Jeff H -Makati (@dmcjeff)
    March 10, 2014

    My wife has a good job in Jakarta (we are canadian and she is originally from the philippines). Singapore is very close to Jakarta and we enjoy flying there on long weekends a few time a year to enjoy a city with a modern transit system, beautiful parks and walking areas, waterfront and dining options we don’t have here 🙂 Often we ponder our future whether we want to go back to north america to canada or usa … or rather live in a warm yet modern city like singapore

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