在異國婚姻的背後-離鄉別井 – the other side of international marriage – moving away

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.

It all feels like a dream come true, we worked so hard to be able to go back on our own and we are doing it. But as happy as I am for this to finally happen, I’m also very scared and worried.

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.

When you get married, especially if it’s an international marriage, you need to think of few things that are not often discussed:

  • 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!

11 thoughts on “在異國婚姻的背後-離鄉別井 – the other side of international marriage – moving away

  1. Um, yeah, Andy and I both come from dysfunctional families. So we’re cool with living 3,000 miles from our homes.

    My advice to international couples would be, “Yahoo! You should totally get married and live far away! Here’s you chance! Built-in excuses not to see toxic relatives again ever!”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Terrific post Lina — and a major issue for couples. I’m Pink that communication and compromise are very important. Would add to that a willingness to listen and understand one another, as when you come from different countries and cultures, you can have different perspectives on things…which can sometimes lead to arguments. So understanding where each other is coming from can go a long way to helping resolve things.


  3. I can totally relate to this because we are going through it right now! It’s really hard because you have to consider both sides of the family and what is really best for yourself (as a couple). I moved home earlier this year and now filing papers for my husband to join me. We still don’t know how everything will play out but you just gotta keep your head up high! 🙂


  4. Has anyone considered that some countries are incredibly large and it’s easy not see family because it’s expensive, requires time, etc.? I’ve living well over 3,000 away from birth family and we all live in CAnada. I saw my family 2 yrs. ago.

    Same for living in the U.S. ==the width of country is similar. But CAnada is bigger. I have a work colleague who worked in the Canadian far Arctic for a decade…

    It does require some thought when making very long distance moves permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s actually very good point – I only looked at this from a perspective of European. How does it look like in terms of flights? For example in Poland the flights within the country should be cheaper than going abroad (my best purchase was Ryanair for 10 PLN which is like 2.5 EURO between Warsaw and Gdansk) so are the domestic flights as expensive as international flights due to the distance or are they still cheaper as if you flew the same distance but just crossing the international boarder?
      That’s actually something I didn’t even think of, thank you so much for this!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would suggest the following:

    support system (to connect, make friends/family friends to support you emotionally)
    -how attached are you with your family? do you plan on visiting every year/ duration of each visit? how about after having kids, what will the frequency of visiting be?
    -supportive of your spouse during times of homesick that type of thing, or just growing together (it may sound easy to do, but in reality, it can be difficult not every spouse will be as supportive)

    -employment/education opportunities

    After all, if your decision was moving away from the hometown and family, you have to realize that it was a choice you made. There are always trade-offs in life, you will not get the same degree of closeness with family because of that choice. It’s also a new chapter of adulthood 🙂 Best wishes!


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