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! 🙂

The One Where I’m Job Hunting During a Pandemic

It’s no news but I have been actively looking for a job. You see I moved here 3 years ago, leaving behind a career in Indonesia. I knew I wanted to keep working after I got married, but I wasn’t able to work immediately after I moved here. So while I waited, I did some remote freelancing work, and once I was able to work, I took on casual work here and there while I settle down and trying to figure out my next move. I then decided to go back to school, enrolled myself in a one-year long Digital Marketing certificate program.

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No English!

Halo, selamat hari Selasa! Ini ada cerita singkat aja tapi sampe sekarang masih bikin saya cekikikan kalo inget.

Minggu lalu saya lagi nganterin mertua ke dokter gigi. Lokasi dokter nya ada di sebuah plaza, di sebelahnya ada supermarket. Sambil nunggu, saya memutuskan untuk jalan – jalan ke supermarket. Sebelum masuk supermarket saya di cegat sama seorang sales person yang keliatannya sih mau nawarin sesuatu. Karena saya lagi nggak pengen di ganggu, saya senyum sambil bilang, “sorry, no English!” hahahaha. Si mbak bilang, OK, have a nice day! dan saya masuk ke dalam supermarket.

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2020… so far

Surely 2020 is not going to be easily forgotten. Funny enough, I started the year being in a middle of a crowd, celebrating NYE in LA’s Grand park downtown. There were fireworks, food trucks, live music.. ah, it was fun and lively.

Fast forward 7 months later, the thought of being in the middle of such crowd makes me shudder. Ain’t life funny.

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Perjalanan Panjang Adaptasi

Udah lama sih saya pengen nulis soal hal ini, tapi akhirnya baru kesampean sekarang. Rasanya saya udah pernah ngebahas sedikit di beberapa post terdahulu, soal proses adaptasi kepindahan saya ke Amerika. Nggak disangka, saat ini sudah 2,5 tahun saya pindah kesini.

Selama 2,5 tahun ini hidup saya banyak banget naik turunnya deh. Sampai ada masanya pengen balik ke Christa jaman dulu terus kasih tau soal segala tantangan yang dihadapi, biar Christa jaman dulu nggak cuma mikirin yang indah2 aja ketika memutuskan pindah ke Amerika.

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