As I've written before I think it's extremely important to use the time spent as An Expat Wife well and to take advantage of the situation you find yourself in. This could include taking part in a new activity anything from learning Tai Chi during a posting to Shanghai to learning to scuba dive in Australia.
If you often thought you would like to do something but never had the time, then there quite literally is no time like the present. Even if you don't have any specific goals then I think its still important to use your time wisely.
There are two things I have started doing recently instead of wasting my energy complaining that I am bored or sitting at my computer with Mr Google as my companion.
The first is that I came up with a list of places in Switzerland I wanted to visit. The second is to go for a walk for at least an hour on the days where my daily chores leave me mostly housebound.
The list of things to visit in Switzerland was as easy as buying a guidebook and putting post-it-notes on all the pages that interested me. In CH I can buy a reasonably priced train ticket for the entire network to use after 9am and pretty much get anywhere in Switzerland and be back in time for dinner if necessary. It has also enabled me to learn a lot about my new home country which will also benefit any visitors we get as I can give first hand recommendations.
Of course this is much more fun to do with friends however, its really is something you can easily do alone. The view from the train window is often quite spectacular and you can listen to music or even a spoken book at the same time (I'm currently listening to the Michel Thomas CD's in an attempt to improve my German !).
Of course not all countries have such good rail networks but creating a list of things to do can easily be a list of things within the city you live in. Many people who live in London never visit many of the cities museums and galleries. There are loads of events and pre-viewings during the day time. Also, for example the V&A Museum have a fabulous membership with a packed diary of events that can keep you busy and educated at the same time.
My second thing to do, going for a walk, was the easiest thing to do that has also had a positive effect in several ways. Besides the fact that being outside in the fresh air and getting some exercise is a good thing for anybody. I also feel the positive benefit of simply enjoying the environment I live in.
I notice different things going on the the village where I live. Signs for pick your own cherries and flowers or the start of the pumpkin season for example.
Going for a walk also gets me away from the drudgery of the laundry, ironing, bathroom cleaning and all the other necessary household chores. I listen to feel good music, turn the volume up and almost literally dance though the forest nearby my village. I arrive back home energised and often with my head full of ideas for anything from things I'd like to do do with my time to things I'd like to try to cook.
I have noticed a steady increase in my stamina and consequently my energy levels have increased too. Its a win win situation. Plus I get to see all of this .....
So my advice is get out there and enjoy what is often on your doorstep, learn new things about your country and new home.
Take a camera so you can share what you see with visitors or even your Facebook friends but most importantly get active.....
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