My wife is a far more free-spirited, adventuresome person than I, and it was she who convinced me to take that initial leap and head off to London for three months. I am glad she did as we have been enjoying the fruits of that life-style for the last 30 years.
However, there is an admonition to this story that must be fully aired and discussed before diving into the details. Even though it may be a single professional in the family applying for the position, it is the entire family who will go, including a spouse or partner. If you are married or in a committed long-term relationship, it is critical that this individual be a supportive and enthusiastic ally, not an unhappy, unwilling participant. It is unfair, not to mention unpleasant, to spend an extended length of time on an overseas trip in which you have no stake and absolutely no interest.
Remember when you were dragged kicking and screaming to that ballet, opera, or football game? In that case your agony lasted only a few hours and was soon forgotten. Now imagine the discomfort of attending an event that lasts one, three, or possibly even six months! This is a recipe guaranteed to produce unhappiness and marital discord. (Unhappy kids are a different issue that I address in later posts.)
So, before diving into the upcoming stories and eagerly sending off that application for a working vacation in Portugal, Panama, or Papua New Guinea, be 100 percent sure that both you and your life partner are enthusiastic about this undertaking and equally excited about the adventures that await. If that is the case then read on, and make certain your passports are up-to-date.
Now, let’s see, we had just arrived in London ….