It takes a special person to follow their partner to the armpit, ars*ehole or ends of the earth. A very special person indeed. One in a million in fact.
One of my favourite expat quotes EVER was coined when a British couple moved to the small island of Okinawa, Japan. At the time (aside from a formidable US presence on military airbases, which was a self contained community with their own on-base shops and cinemas and social life), the sum total of the expat population was around 10 people and most of them had Japanese spouses and were there on a fairly permanent basis.
It’s almost certain that the British couple were the only non-military expat couple on the island. Okinawa’s population at the time was around the 1 million mark and thus quipped the wife to the husband whose job had taken them to this tiny isolated dot in the Pacific Ocean:
“You always said I was one in a million Dear, but you didn’t actually have to prove it.”
C. Gray – Former expat wife upon moving to the island of Okinawa with a population of approximately 1 million.
That former expat is my mother, she survived the two year posting to Okinawa and was and still is one in a million.
And so to all you expat partners, past, present and future, whether you are battling language, culture, traffic or homesickness, whether you’re in the throes of packing up and moving AGAIN, whether you’ve moved to a tiny island that nobody’s ever heard of or it’s all of the above and everything else in between, I salute you, you too are one in a million!