I originally wrote this guest post for Bonnie’s ‘Love Week’ while she renewed her vows in Wales and figured I should reblog it a month later since it will give everyone a better understanding on our timeline before moving abroad. It’s important to me to discuss how moving abroad impacted my new marriage and what I’ve learned from the experience because it’s something I never thought about before deciding on this lifestyle.
B and I met at a happy hour in Washington, DC while he was working in finance and I was working on the Hill. Okay, okay… so it wasn’t exactly a happy hour because it was late and I was a little really tipsy, but that sounds better than saying we met at a bar, right? Right. Anyway, things obviously worked out because one year later we were engaged to be married.
While I was trying to plan a long-distance wedding and juggle a Congressman’s schedule, B brought up the idea of moving abroad for his job. I was overwhelmed and had just experienced my first anxiety attack at work, and honestly, quitting my job to move abroad to Scotland sounded like a fairytale. And a good excuse to take it easy for a while.
We got married in the Midwest, left for our honeymoon, returned to DC a week later, and started hauling all of our belongings to a storage unit in Virginia. I had my last day of work and a few days later we hopped on a plane to the UK. This all happened in about three weeks.
Because everything happened so quickly and we still needed to find a place to live in Scotland, we fought. A lot. Living out of a suitcase in a cramped hotel room for two weeks wasn’t my idea of newlywed bliss and I had a difficult time adjusting to unemployment. Eventually we found an apartment and things got a little easier, but I found myself not wanting to get out of bed. I didn’t realize the move would have such a negative impact on me.
I felt out of place, I missed my friends and family and most of all, I was completely bored. While I was working in DC, I didn’t really have any hobbies, so I didn’t know what to do with my time in Scotland. Because I was sad, I contemplated returning home. When I realized going back wouldn’t work, I took out my frustration on my husband. He worked long hours and I was constantly alone so I blamed him.
Then one day things changed. We suddenly realized that since we were living in a foreign country without any support from our loved ones, we needed to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We learned to rely on one another, worked on our communication skills, and helped each other through rough patches during our expat adventures. We planned date nights and vacations, talked about our future and before I knew it, B became my best friend once again.
Even though expat life was hard, it was the best thing that could have happened to us as a couple. Would we have learned this much about each other in DC while we were both working full-time? Eventually, yes. But because we were thrown into this situation we developed a stronger trust.
It’s been a little over two years since our wedding. We’re still moving around, we still have our ups and downs, and we continue to grow.
Do you have a similar story?
Filed Under: Expat, Lifestyle, Marriage