We are currently 92 days away from the move. The tickets are purchased, Biscuit’s application is approved and the whole process is moving along. We broke the news to my parents, to Sing’s family, to our friends. We are officially moving.
I am the only child and once again I will be far away from my family.
When Sing and I met, we were madly in love and thought nothing of ‘being homesick’ or ‘being thousand miles away from family’ – Sing left for school to Australia when he was only a teen so most of his adult life he spent away so to him it wasn’t as big deal as for me.
As I mentioned, I’m the only child and apple of my parent’s eyes. My dad wouldn’t show it in a ‘traditional way’, but if I got sick or wouldn’t respond to my texts he wouldn’t be able to sleep and would actively text me if I’m OK. Same for my mom – doesn’t matter how old I am I have to at least send my parents (in a family WhatsApp group of course, because it’s not like they live together and can simply just tell each other I’m fine!) a thumb-up emoji so they know I’m safe and sound back home. And now you also know my top-secret code, I guess I need to make a different one!
So there we are – this young and naive couple, madly in love, leaving all the world behind to be together.
My first move to the US back in 2013 wasn’t as bad – my mom cried a bit, I cried a bit, but I was excited for our life together as a married couple. Due to visa regulations we wanted to play it safe and not leave the country during Sing’s OPT which resulted in not seeing my parents for 1.5 year.
It was a tough time, and one of the reasons we decided to take our chance and move to Ireland – less fun and attractive, but closer to Poland.
Again, I grew closer to my parents as I could see them few times a years. They got to spend more time with Sing as well and love him even more than before. Despite the language barrier they even have inside jokes! ‘Your dad hugged me so close I nearly passed out’ evolved into ‘nearly passed out’ jokes that is used by the whole family now.
And here we are again – just like in 2013 – I’m flying far away, leaving my closed ones behind.
I know we have airplanes that can get me from Hong Kong to Poland within 12 hours, I know I will spend more time with them during my trips to Poland than what I would normally spend since I would have to split my holidays between to families, but it’s still hard on me.
- Where do you plan to live after you get married? Your country, his country, or maybe a third country?
- How do you plan to split your holidays?
- What is the most economical way to see your family the most?
I think all these things are not discussed enough. Interracial and international marriages often speak of cultural differences, racism, raising mixed kids – these are all very important issues, but I think the whole ‘living away’ topic doesn’t get enough attention.
It is very serious and will have an impact on your marriage, unless you’re like rich second generation and can afford to see them as often as you want – but let’s face it, how many of us are in such comfortable situation?
It gets even worse the older you get. You realize the value of the family even more, you see your parents’ age and you feel that guilt for leaving them.
There’s family, there are friends and places left behind and sometimes you will feel shitty about the decision you made.
The important thing is to find support in your closed ones – my parents were really supportive of our decisions, reminding me constantly that we are now a new family and we need to think what is right for us, what we want from life and they can just make sure we ask ourselves the right questions and not regret it in future.
The other important thing is to evaluate all the options – which place to pick, what will give you the most happiness, what will make you closest to your family, what place is not an immigration jail for both of you, where you want to raise your child, where you can earn enough not to look at every penny twice before spending it.
If we moved to Hong Kong few years ago I would probably said it was an impulse, rather than a decision we took time to make. We thought what is the best for both of us, if we can afford to live there alone instead of with Momzilla
(although that would give me plenty of material to write about), if we can afford to fly back to see my family, if we will have enough holidays comparing to our current PTO to see them. We thought if we have anything left for our own holidays from time to time as well.
There are so many things you need to take into consideration when you move abroad for your international marriage.
It sounds all fun at the beginning, but closer to the move and older you get you will realize that it’s tougher than it seems. However, working pass through it will make your relationship only stronger and your family even closer so don’t give up, but be aware of the existence of this problem.
What is your advice you would give to international couples if they plan to switch from long distance relationships to living together? Would love to read your take on this!