Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to use hope theory as a foundation from which to understand the global dual-career exploration phenomenon. Additionally, the concept of curiosity is explored as a triggering mechanism for dual-career couples to explore and learn about career options in a global context. Design/methodology/approach - Hope theory is used to provide theoretical support for the proposed conceptual model. Findings - It is concluded that hope and curiosity are important elements for dual-career couples to leverage in order to reduce stress, maintain marital status, and allow the trailing spouse to resolve the potential dramatic and negative impact on their career path. Practical implications - Both hope and curiosity have been argued to have developmental aspects, meaning that individuals can nurture and strengthen their level of hopefulness and curiosity. Organizations which aid individuals in developing these abilities will likely increase the probability that their global employees will successfully complete their foreign assignment. Originality/value - The paper explicitly examines dual-career exploration as it occurs in a global context. More specifically, it takes the perspective that global dual-career exploration is a continuous and adaptive process in which individuals who are hopeful and curious will be more successful in exploring and adapting to career options.