Prologue

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One day I woke up, walked out on my job, and moved to a different continent.

Once in awhile we all wake up and think “fuck this!” yet we move on and get our asses to work.

I didn’t get my ass to work that day.

There is something about a terrible breakup and realizing that someone you were in love with was cheating on you. You wake up with a special kind of bitterness. This wasn’t some kind of “girl power” moment either so I’m not going to paint it that way.

I wallowed in self pity as I locked myself in my apartment for two weeks. I had to throw away the remaining bottle of wine I gave myself as a gift. All the songs on the radio reminded me of him, all of the objects in my home somehow brought back memories, and I couldn’t go for a walk without wanting to hit every couple in the face that crossed paths.

It was a decision made after endless hours of ugly crying and refreshing his Facebook page. Everyone started to feel sorry for me, and sometime after devouring too many Lindt chocolates (damn those were good) I started feeling sorry for myself.

When I gave Tony my two weeks notice, he smiled, seemingly unsurprised. He told me to give him a call if I needed anything. He probably just wanted a quick shag.

I decided I would start with the language course. After all, I had studied Spanish at college so I wouldn’t have too rough of a time understanding how to get taxi, perhaps renting out a small place, and eventually looking for a job.

I sat next to my window and looked down at the people walking by. Two girls walking to school wearing matching pink oversized backpacks. An eldery man with his over-eager French bulldog going for a walk. A middle aged couple holding hands. For fucks sake, another couple.

This isn’t going to be like one of those movies where a sad woman moves abroad and lives a life of luxury, meets tons of attractive men and “finds herself”.

I stood on a chair in order to fetch the dusty suitcase that was propped on top of my wardrobe.

This is a story of a woman who made a terribly impulsive decision (as I’m known to do) and moved to a country with no backup plan, a considerable amount of credit card debt, and difficulty finding her keys let alone some kind of personal realization.

There were quite a few attractive men though.

5 Things That Happen When You Date Someone From Another Country

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So you’ve met the love of your life! Or maybe, the love of the moment? Regardless of the situation, if they are from a different country or a background completely diverse from your own, you’re setting yourself up for a series of events that can be insanely enjoyable and full of unrestrained suffering at the exact same time!

1. I have no idea what she just said.
So it’s time to meet the parents of your significant other. The problem is, you don’t share a common language, not yet anyway. There are going to be a lot of smiles, and even more nodding. You are going to feel like a toddler at the dinner table because questions will not be asked to you, but about you.

You won’t be able to form an instant relationship with his or her loved ones. There will be a moment where you feel a bit inadequate in comparison to their ex – because you can’t even say “hey, thanks for this great food!” without a ridiculous thumbs-up gesture. When you’re out with their friends, the conversation gets even more complicated, so you just sit there, smiling. Everyone thinks you’re a psychopath because that’s all you do. You become extra grateful for the one friend that speaks English. Eventually, it gets better, believe me.

2. Jetlag is my middle name
Travel is automatically included when you’re dating someone from a different country. If the two of you aren’t living in the same country, and doing the long distance thing – you better like spending what is leftover of your paycheck on planes, buses, or trains. If you eventually find yourself in the same place as your significant other, there will always be family visits from one homeland to another. If you like traveling, this will be a pleasant surprise. (I think you almost HAVE to love traveling in order for this kind of relationship to work).

3. Pass the pasta, please.
If you love eating as much as I do, you’ll be thankful for the world of new cuisine presented before your eyes.There’s no better way to get to know people than to see how they eat. Meal times are often reflections of a specific culture, and eating with loved ones may be the most important part of the day. What people eat, how, and what time, say a lot about the specific country at hand. Unfortunately, I’m Canadian, so I can’t offer much in exchange to my Italian counterpart (other than poutine, but I’ll pretend that doesn’t exist).

4. Are you yelling at me with your hands?
When it comes to arguments, people fight differently. You might mean one thing, and your significant other hears something else. Words and actions may be misunderstood due to cultural norms. Not many Canadians can express “you’re acting like an idiot and I can’t believe you would say that to me, are you crazy?!?!” with 3 hand gestures. I find this part more interesting than infuriating. Regularly, I come across a response to a situation that would be considered weird, offensive, or surprising in Canada, yet here, its completely normal. It’s fun to discover the ins and outs of a relationship based on the cultural differences that each person brings to the table.

5. The Future
Eventually, this topic will come up. It’s the elephant in the room. If you and your s.o are from different countries or continents, one of you will have to make the move in order for it to continue. This is probably the most difficult part of any long distance relationship, let alone, a relationship where you’ve got a body of water called the Atlantic Ocean between the two of you. Whether it’s job security or personal preference, making the decision change your home for another person is a big deal, and can bring both positive and negative issues into the relationship. I’m a believer in the concept of always being able to find a way, as long as both individuals are on the same boat.

I would love to hear about other experiences similar to mine, please comment or message me and tell me your story!