Falling in love abroad is a beautiful, exciting, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Usually, it means meeting a local of a foreign place and being completely swept away by their unique charm, intriguing culture, a different world-view, adorable accent, and language mistakes. In some cases, it also being taken in by their family and getting the best traditional home-cooked meals. When we are alone in a foreign place, we feel extra lonely and vulnerable and need a support system as such. Or maybe it means meeting another wanderlust soul who is just as excited and adventurous as you are to take in everything this new city has to offer.
For months, the two of you have the time of your lives, just like I did. We did everything together. Beaching, cuddling, cooking, picnicking, partying, shopping, staying up all night talking. It was a dream come true, I never had so much fun in my life. He was my soulmate. How could it be that the love of my life lived thousands of miles away from me?
What was I to do when my trip ended? Would I stay abroad forever and make it my new home? Was I to give up everything I had back at home for him and leave my family? How could I know if this is really it? I worried that no matter what I decided, that I would forever regret it. I tried to convince myself that I fell in love with the city and that staying would not be only for him.
But deep inside I knew why I really wanted to stay, and what was really breaking my heart about leaving was him. I wanted to be strong, independent, and follow my dream. I went back home to pursue my studies at one of the most prestigious studies. Or so I thought.
After a few months, I felt like I made a decision that was not best for me. I wasn’t happy. It was too hard for me to be so far away from him, so I left university and moved back to him. Somehow though, very shortly after my return, everything changed.
I didn’t feel the same anymore. I noticed things about him that I hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps the stress about what was going to be when I moved away caused more infatuation on both sides. Maybe it was all just a summer fling. Maybe the time away grew us apart. Perhaps the pressure it put on him that I moved back for him was too much. To say the least, our relationship ended and I was completely heartbroken.
At the time, I was in the middle of other commitments that I want to follow through with. At this time, I fell in love with the city and everything about it. I saw a different side of it that I had never seen before. I had experiences that I would have otherwise not have had if I was still in a relationship. It began to feel home and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I made the best friends I could have ever for and did everything I could have ever wanted to.
Now, almost a decade later, I met the actual love of my life, in the same city. And even if he paid me to move back to my hometown, I would never even consider it. So what can I tell you that I took from this experience? Firstly, don’t be afraid to fall in love abroad. Whatever happens, happens for the best. Life will always work itself out, sometimes, the journey just takes some time to see its purpose. Trust your instinct, because there’s no right or wrong at the end of the day.