Expat couples heading abroad leave behind a support network of friends and family. To fill in those roles, expat couples become one another's action-movie obsessed brother, chatty sister, or stew-cooking mom.
There are a lot of “love refugees” in Norway.
When I meet other expat couples, particularly trailing spouses like myself, we usually ask each other how we ended up in Norway. It always comes down to one thing: our partners. They are either Norwegian (who are great at falling in love overseas) or our partners aren’t natives but followed their careers here, bringing their families in tow.
There is an immediate camaraderie among expats. In leaving our comfort zones to see the world, we’ve all done something very brave.
Moving to Norway was a big decision for my husband and I. The opportunity popped up out of nowhere and it took a lot of research before we could make an informed decision to move to a place that we hadn’t even considered as a vacation spot.
Once you’ve landed overseas, the strength of your relationship is put to the test and you find that you have to rely on each other in ways that other couples don’t.
Autumn of 2011 was a tumultuous time for us. With each step that brought us closer to a life in Norway – putting our London flat on the rental market or giving notice at work – we wondered if we were making the right choice. If one of us became overwhelmed about what was ahead, the other would toughen up for the leap of faith that was taking us to Oslo.