From Miss Independent to Happy Expat Wife!

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From Miss Independent to Happy Expat Wife!

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And what are you doing here?‘ That was what the officer asked me after I sat down next to my husband to apply for a social security number. He looked at me like I was just a spouse of some guy with a Visa. I tried to explain that I was there to apply for a social security number, but he replied shortly that I didn’t have any rights to obtain one. And I was send back to sit with the others in the waiting room while he continued with the application for my husband. I was flabbergasted. Because back in Amsterdam I was Miss Independent… And here I appeared to be just the expat wife…

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Expat wife in San Francisco!

Seven months ago, my husband and I started a super cool adventure. We moved to San Francisco for his work, which was a great opportunity and a beautiful ride that we have always been very excited about. My smile in these pictures is sincere, because I am truly happy and grateful that we got the chance to live in California for one year. However, that doesn’t mean that I never felt alone or very small in this big country. Especially in the beginning, when the highlight of my day was ironing shirts and doing groceries. Of course, it is California so I spent a lot of time relaxing in the sun. But even though I am very good at sunbathing, it started to get pretty boring and lonely after a while. As I was young, ambitious, very much in love and in the best time of my life, I allowed myself to be ‘homesick’ for 3 days. And after that, I forced myself to get up, get dressed and make it work!! Because I had been dreaming of going on this adventure to San Francisco with my husband for so long and I was very much devoted to make this period abroad the best time of our lives!

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Build your own life in a foreign country!

So after I manned up, I decided that I needed to meet new people to build a new social network. I opened my laptop and signed up for Meetup, got in contact with some great girls via Instagram and said ‘yes’ to every event. I got on my bike and went to a nice coffee spot to work on my blog while I randomly talked to strangers about life, work, ambitions, relationships, etc. Soon enough I got in contact with many girls and build a great life of my own. I sincerely met some amazing people, like Ashley who took these beautiful pictures or the girls that I was meeting after this photo shoot for dinner. Some of them also settled down in San Francisco for love. And I found out that they all have the following in common: they are adventurous, strong, caring and ambitious. Because that is what it takes to follow your husband to the other side the world. You might not always realize it, but for the one that follows it might even be a bigger adventure. The other one has the job, a purpose throughout the day and people to go out for lunch. And you just have to make it work for yourself as well. As I must admit that I think that I succeeded pretty well doing so (just look at my smile in the pictures) I’d like to share my tips below for any of you who also just moved or will be moving abroad so you can became a happy expat wife as well.

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Tips to succeed as a happy expat wife!

So if you are an expat wife/husband or becoming one soon, I want to share my tips to make the most out of your life when you arrive in a foreign country. Because you truly want to build a social network, and possibly get a career, of your own as well to make sure that you become the happy expat wife and remain Miss Independent:

  1. Make sure you have a goal for the day. It doesn’t matter whether it is a small project but choose something that makes you happy and feel good. Like baking a cake, finishing the photo album or a walk to that cute coffee place. Or maybe you even want to apply for a job!
  2. Use your Instagram account to meet new people. By using hashtags you can find people with similar interests that are living in your city. You can start by liking their pictures and leaving comments. And if they respond in a nice way you can ask them whether they would like to meet for coffee one day. I seriously met several girls that are absolutely amazing.
  3. Be openminded and say yes to any event, even if you have to go there alone. Now that you are an expat wife/husband you can take advantage of talking to strangers when you go out for a coffee by yourself. It is fascinating (and inspiring) to talk to people and to find out how they ended up in the same place as you.
  4. Become a member at Meetup, an international online platform where you can meet people with the same interest as you. My interests were fashion and cocktails and the same week I went to a Martini’s & Manolo’s Meetup and The Bond Girl Meetup. It might sound silly, but I truly had fun and I got some numbers of girls who wanted to go for lunch or drinks the week after.
  5. If you have the opportunity, I would definitely advice you to rent a place in an apartment building, central in the city and with a couple of communal spaces. We have an open coffee spot and work place where I always chat with some of my fellow residents. It really is a great way to get social and we even made some friends that invited us to celebrate the holiday of the year: Thanksgiving.

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About today’s look!

So another important part of this article is today’s look! The great thing is that I only wear pieces I sincerely love. And the best is that some of them were presents from people that I very much love. Like the earrings: I got them from my siblings for my birthday earlier this year. Aren’t these sparkling babies amazing and totally my style?! As well as the bag, which was the sweetest gift from my family in law. It is the cutest statement clutch ever, with the little heart in the front. And this top… Well this top is from the special Kenzo x H&M collection. And as soon as I saw it, I knew it was made for me!! What do you think of this outfit? 

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If you ever have the chance to go abroad, do it! It is truly an amazing experience for both of you and your partner. I sincerely hope that these tips will make it easier to make that time the best period of your lives and meet some amazing people as well!

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Pictures by Ashley from Two Peas in a Prada / @twopeasinaprada

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Get the look: Statement clutch (get similar one here), H&M x Kenzo Top, Black trousers via Zaful and Unisa Shoes.

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I really hope you enjoyed this article!

P.s. You might also like Escape the every day life in the most romantic way & 5 reasons to love California!

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  • That top is absolutely amazing! Wow! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    • Thank you Cielo:)! It was love at first sight! Xx Susanne

  • Andy Thomson

    Amazing outfit
    Looking gorgeous.

  • ALY
  • Nina

    I totally understand how it feels to move from your country to another, it feels lonely at the begining. 7 years ago, when I got married, I had to move to USA where my husband lived and it was not easy to get used to new life. These are great tips for girls, finding the way to socialize is so important. You look amazing in this outfit.
    Nina
    Nina’s Style Blog Giveaway __ Enter to Win $100

    • Thank you Nina for your sweet comment! I hope you also have a great social network and live the dream with your husband! Thank you for your compliments as well! Xx Susanne

  • You look absolutely gorgeous, girlie! I adore your top and that bag is too cute! I really admire your perception on relocating with your husband and you took it as an opportunity to meet new people and form new relationships, that’s awesome, and I really appreciate your tips. I actually think they can be used even if you’ve lived in the same place for years and just desire to come out of your shell and meet new people! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have the most amazing week ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Thanks sweetie!! Your comment means the world to me! It is indeed taking the step to go out of your shell, because it isn’t always fun to go somewhere alone. But thankfully the American people are very welcoming, so that helps! Have a wonderful day beautiful! Xx Susanne

  • Alya Mooro

    Love love love your top! Super interesting read, too! Thanks for sharing xx

    moorizZLA

    • Thank you Mooro!! That is very sweet! Xx Susanne

  • Your top is so fresh and unique! Love the pattern and your clutch is lovely 🙂 http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2016/11/the-ultimate-jet-set-gift.html

    • Thank you so much Heather! That is very sweet:)! Xx

  • Ellese Launer

    I am loving everything about this look! Perfectly styled. XO, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

    • Thanks babe!! That is very sweet! Xx Susanne

  • WhatWouldVWear

    I love love your top! So chic and colorful!

    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

  • Great post Suzanne. I actually used to use Meetup back in Toronto even though I was born and raised there. I just love finding out about new events and meeting new people, so that was fun for awhile. I used it in LA when I first arrived and it was a great reason to get out and meet others. I also was really driven, so I continued to keep myself busy with the blog, and as an extrovert, go out as much as possible. Meetups and going to events are not always perfect, since it can sometimes depend on the type of event or crowd, but it’s always a good way to discover new events and potentially meet like minded people who enjoy some of the same activities as you do. 🙂 I love your top. I actually really wanted this dress, but I never went to the store to buy it. I can’t stand the idea of the crowds but I do wish I checked online. I ended up with a sweater and a hat, and they’re quirky and fun. 🙂 Great post. Have a beautiful week!

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

    • Thank you so much sweetie!! You always have the best comments!! And I love how you just went to MeetUps in Toronto and LA! I also met a very cute girl from SF at one of the drinks; she is so nice!! I can’t wait to see your sweater and hat!! Will you show it soon on your blog? Big Xx Susanne

  • That top is so adorable! I love the print!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  • Dominique

    Such a great post hun! Moving is such a brave thing to do and such great tips on being en expat wife. You look amazing, loving the KenzoxHM top, looks fab on you! xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

    • Thank you so much Dominique!! That is very sweet of you! Hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend! Xx Susanne

  • merel

    Great post, loved reading it! Sounds like such an adventure. Great tips too!

    X MEREL
    http://WWW.ANDATHOUSANDWORDS.COM

    • Thank you so much Merel!! That is very sweet! Xx Susanne

  • I love this story. It takes a lot of strength to say, okay, three days of feeling sad is enough, lets get going! While I am no expat, I did move across the country and I think reaching out to other bloggers and saying yes to the events helped me to build my network and find friends too. It makes you feel more ‘you’ again to be part of a community.
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com/

    • Thank you Jenelle for your super sweet comment! It means a lot to me to find out that I was not the only one who felt alone… I hope you are living an amazing life now and are surrounded by a lot of friends:)!! Big Xx

  • Emma Corrie-Hill

    Blue really suits you and I love that heart <3

    http://www.londonstylegirl.com

  • Kelsey & Kenecha

    You are so brave doll, best wishes for your future x
    Really love this look, that clutch it adorable x

    Florals&Smiles

    • Thank you sweeties!! That is very sweet! Xx Susanne

  • Such a lovely post!

    http://styleonheels.com/

  • This post is so inspirational! I moved to a completely new state last year and it was hard for me, so I can only imagine what it’s like moving to a whole new country. I liven all of your tips!!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    • Thank you Courtney! I can so imagine that you also had a hard time when you moved to a new state. It is super exciting but also far away from home. Thanks for your sweet comment! Xx Susanne

  • Aww this is such a lovely post!! I love all the photos too, you look absolutely gorgeous!

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

    • Thank you so much Layla! That is very sweet of you! Xx Susanne

  • Joan Michel

    Love the wallet! Remind me of Kanye West’s album.

    http://www.swaagcaat.com/

  • Beauty Follower

    WOnderful top and clutch!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr/

  • Great top and bag – I think your attitude made the difference 🙂

    • Ahh thank you Lorena!! That is very sweet!! Big Xx

  • I read this post via bloglovin and I loved reading it. Your story is really inspiring, especially for someone who is ready to become an expat like me! I am sure instagram will come a lot handy! To tell you the truth, I can;t wait to leave Greece for so many reasons, and I am happy to do this with my hubby-to-be! Your story really inspires me to see this change in my life even more optimistically! Thanks for sharing my dear! PS: LOVE the look!
    Much love,
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    • I’m so excited for you!! Because truly it is an amazing adventure!! When and where are you going to move? And a wedding to look forward to:)! This must be a super fun and crazy time for you! Your blog and Instagram will be a great way to start your own life!! I know for sure you will succeed!! But if you ever have a question, please let me know! I’m more than happy to help! Big kiss and have a wonderful day!! Xx

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