Essentials of being a successful (expat) Work Widow

If I bothered to take a survey, I think I’d find that a lot of expat ‘love immigrants’ abroad are also work widow/ers. To quickly define the terms I’m throwing around:

Love immigrant: Someone living abroad whose main motivation for being there is a spouse, partner, lover, etc, and not career or business.

Work Widow/er: Someone who is often alone for prolonged periods of time, having a spouse/lover/partner who is called away for business reasons.

Having served three+ years’ of long distance relationship before finally moving to Germany, I know what it’s like to be lonely and without the one person you would most like to have next to you. When we’d agreed that Olli would go to the US and I would stay in Munich and work (and wait) until he returned, I knew what I was getting into and planned accordingly. My weeks have been filled with Champagne Thursday evenings with the ladies,

Champagne Thursday.jpg

yoga classes, working overtime, weekend outings, Skyping, etc. I even went and baked cookies the other day.


I’ve been busy. I’m surrounded by familiar faces and friends. Still, it kind of sucks to be both a love immigrant and work widowed in a foreign country. It is plain weird to video conference my husband, living in my country (albeit New Jersey) without me. I like living in a foreign country, but I never counted on having to do this alone.

I do have a the benefit of the light at the end of the tunnel, this is only for six months. But after years of being almost illiterate and unable to communicate, the confusion and difficulty of (normally) easy every day matters humbling me beyond even my own expectations, I’m realizing there are limits to what I’m willing to endure. There’s only so much I’m willing to do without.

The night before he left, I told Oliver that I knew I would be having problems with this setup. Being alone was no longer a viable option for me. He had a choice about the outcome, but I would not be sleeping alone.

Together we chose Antonio… or Winston…


or Tobiko… we’re not sure yet what he’s called. Let’s just hope he keeps growing, he’s about the size of a remote control right now and I’m worried my new lover will die if he gets rolled over on in his sleep.

Ladies, I highly recommend getting one of these to keep you warm this winter.


6 responses to “Essentials of being a successful (expat) Work Widow

  1. O.M.G!!!!! He’s soooooooooooo absolutely adorable!!!

  2. I hate being away from you! Have the two of you any plans on Thursday?

  3. It broke my heart to leave for work today, luckily he had his face in his food dish when I left. 😦

    O: It’s a date babe, see at the airport. The ‘kid’ stays home though.

  4. Your new friend is adorable. I had my problems witha former land lady’s cats and my comforter – we’ll leave it at that -so I am holding out for a dog/pupy in a few years. I am sure that the yet-to-be-named kitten will never cause you that kind of trouble 🙂

    The cookies look great – where did you get the chocolate chips? The champagne night photo is enough to get me interested in organizing something of my own.

  5. Awwww, he’s so incredibly cute! If I wasn’t in the throes of training a puppy I’d totally want a kitten now…

  6. Happy Thanksgiving Megan and thank you for the visit …

    Richard (just another Love immigrant)