What They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad For Love

I remember my initial reaction when I was introduced to my husband. “it’s not going to work”, was what came to mind when I learned that he lives in America. At that time, I had no slightest desire of moving to the US. The American dream was not part of my dream, if anything, deep down, what I wanted was to be able to live in the UK again, one day.

Long story short, today I’m approaching my 3 years moving-to-the-US anniversary, yet sometimes I still find myself in disbelief… wow I have really moved abroad for love. It has been quite a ride, full of ups and downs. I’ve shared bits and pieces about my immigrant story in the blog, but one thing I realized that I haven’t shared is the things that nobody told me before my big move.

There will always be that void in your heart

…from missing your family and friends in your home country. Of course you will build a new family together with your significant other, you’ll also make new friends, and you/they can always visit! But things will be different. I’m thankful that I moved in the era of the internet, where connecting with distanced loved ones is no longer a hardship. But still, there will be moments missed, connections lost, which, sooner or later you just gotta accept.

Starting over is hard…

…and it takes a lot of patience. For a planner like myself, my move abroad means having to deal with uncertainty, and many times it almost killed me. Over and over I had to face that plans do change, especially when you are starting over in a new country. Latest example? COVID-19, which of course caught everyone by surprise. Personally, it affected my job hunting after I finished my certificate program. Not going to dwell on it here, but you get the point, starting over is hard and it takes a lot of patience.

Your significant other might not get it…

…but it’s essential that they do! In the earlier days of our marriage, after my move, I realized that my husband did not really get the struggles that I was facing. Whenever I had a difficult moment, he could only say, “be patient”, without actually understanding why I felt whatever I was feeling. He would think that he “understood”, and started to think I was exaggerating, while in fact he did not. It took us a while to work on this issue – now he finally gets it, and even if he still does not, he now knows how to ask the right questions/ how to deal with the issue. It gives me so much peace and comfort knowing that I have someone who truly understands and it calms me during my difficult moments.

Slowly, you’ll find yourself letting go of what you used to know…

…and embracing what you don’t know. My long-time blog readers should know that this move is not the first for me. Back in 2009 I also moved abroad, for education, albeit only for 1 year. At that time, I had to rely on the things I know to survive. I used the way I do things to navigate through the move, adapting to the changes, surviving grad school… and everything that happened in that one year. But now, I realized that I can’t solely rely on myself. I have my husband and like it or not, he does have more experience here in this country. It took me a while to embrace it, letting myself receiving help in navigating my new life here, without thinking that it’s a sign of weakness.

You’ll find that the opportunities are endless…

…it’s just a matter of how you want to make use of it. I like to think that being a “love immigrant” puts me in a unique position. I’m married, in my 30s, with no children, living in the a new country, which means that I get the chance to reinvent myself, a thing that might not be the case had I stayed in my home country. Should I switch careers? should I open my own business? Should I be a full-time housewife? I feel that I now have the liberty to choose what I want to do next, considering that I now have a “backup”, that being the full support of my husband.

Did you also move abroad for love? Have other things to share? Would love to read them! πŸ™‚

15 thoughts on “What They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad For Love”

  1. Aku enggak ada pengalaman moving abroad for love Christa. Tapi, kalo ada yang mau kukomen dari tulisan ini, mungkin tentang “be patient”. Bisa dibilang, aku dulu enggak ngerti arti sabar itu apa. Kalo pun aku bilang “be patient” ke orang lain, pastilah itu karena aku enggak tau lagi mau ngomong apa. πŸ˜€ Tapi kemudian tahun2 berlalu, dan setelah mengalami berbagai hal dalam hidup, ternyata sekarang aku malah bisa dan sering ngomong “be patient” ke orang lain dan bersungguh-sungguh dengan ucapanku. πŸ˜€ Kehidupan memang terus berubah ya πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks udah berbagi ya. πŸ™‚ You’ve done really well.
    Walau gak mengalami, tapi rasanya bisa memahami kondisinya. Aku setelah menikah pindah kota aja merasa harus banyak adaptasi dan mengelola ekspektasi. Hehe.. Sekarang udah 6 tahun and things get better.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Christa πŸ™‚ Mungkin Christa juga tahu aku ada rencana untuk tinggal dan bekerja di Jepang di masa yang akan datang πŸ™‚ Sebenarnya pengen banget bisa terwujud sekarang, tetapi terus aku sadar ternyata kalau Allah ngabulin sekarang, kayaknya aku belum siap dan mampu karena berbagai sikon yang ada πŸ™‚ Jadi kadang baca-baca pengalaman orang yang sudah duluan tinggal di LN, jadi makin yakin harus mempersiapkan diri untuk menghadapi hal-hal yang Christa ceritakan di atas πŸ™‚

  4. I can 100% relate!πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜Š It was difficult at first, and missing family moments is definitely the worst… but at the same time I love the fact that I’m living here so.. there’s always a price to pay they say 😝

  5. Hi Mba Christa,

    Thank you for sharing. Kita senasib. Haha. This is my 2nd year in US and boi it’s such a struggle! Baca tulisan Mba ini rasanya kaya baca perasaan sendiri. Tahun pertama masih semangat, masih excited, harapannya masih membuncah. Lama-kelamaan layu sendiri, jadi uring-uringan, bawaannya mau mudik barang sebulan dua bulan tapi kayanya nggak mungkin, jadi suka nangis sendiri kalo liat video keluarga lagi kumpul atau hari raya haha. Tapi emang pikiran positif harus terus dipupuk, apalagi suami udah usaha keras biar bisa ngertiin. Keep going ya Mba, semoga selalu dapet yang terbaik :). Oh ya, salam kenal!

    1. Halo Felicia, maaf yaa baru bales lagi. Makasih udah sharing ceritamuu, we’re in this together! πŸ™‚ salam kenal dan semoga happy2 selaluuu

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