So you’re moving abroad with your boo. Congrats! You have both just made a huge decision that will alter your life forever (don’t worry, we mean that in a good way). Now what? Will you be able to cope with all this stress with your partner without breaking up or fighting? Though there will likely be some disagreements along the way, check out our tips for moving abroad as a couple to make your transition just that much smoother.
Discuss your goals/life plans
Are you moving abroad to save money? For a big career change? Just to travel? Setting goals and expectations for your time abroad is crucial. You’d be surprised at how many couples never discuss their goals with one another. Discuss why you’re moving, how this will impact your careers and future goals. And most of all, be sure this is something that you both want in order to avoid the ‘trailing spouse effect’.
Prepare for questions from your friends and family
When we first brought up the idea of moving abroad to teach English in Korea, many of our friends and family had 1000 questions for us (don’t worry we love you guys!). Where were we going to live? When were we coming back? What about our apartment in Canada? It threw us off guard a bit but looking back it was quite reasonable for them to have so many questions – we were moving thousands of miles of away after all! Be prepared for all sorts of questions when you announce your move to friends and family and try to have answers for them if possible. Not only will it appease them, but it will also show them that you’ve put a great deal of thought into this and aren’t doing it on a whim.
Make a list and divide the tasks
There are soooo many things to do before moving abroad! Don’t believe us? Check out our checklist of all the things you’ll need to think about before your big move. The good news? You have a partner in crime to help you tackle what may seem like an overwhelming amount of things to do. Our advice is to make a list of tasks you need to complete (including due dates) and divide it up equally. This way no one will feel like they are doing all the work!
Make a budget and share expenses
This will depend on your financial situation, but if you both make equal incomes and keep your finances separate, we highly recommend splitting everything in half. Not only will it help you both save equal amounts of money, no one will feel like they are paying for everything. You should also strongly consider making a budget for how much you’d like to spend/save during your time abroad. This way you can both agree ahead of time on the kind of lifestyle you want to have and manage your expectations accordingly.
Get to know each other before the big move
Moving abroad can be hard on your relationship so we wouldn’t recommend taking on something of this magnitude if you are in a new and/or unstable relationship. Be sure you know your partner really well before moving since they will likely be your only source of emotional support for a little while. A good way to do this would be to move in together before committing to a move abroad and to travel together (just the two of you) for at least a few weeks. Trust us when we say that you’ll feel closer than ever after these two things since they tend to bring out, err shall we say, ‘different’ (AKA less desirable) aspects of your personality.
Communication is key
Since you’ll likely be together basically 24/7 for the first few weeks and tensions will be high due to your new situation, there will inevitably be little things that start to bother you about one another. Don’t let these things fester! Air them out right away so that you don’t find yourself holding on to a grudge 6 months later.
Be romantic with one another and have fun!
With so much pressure and stress when moving it’s easy to forget about the romance. But don’t! You’re in a whole new environment so don’t forget to take an evening off and explore your new neighbourhood.
Make friends and spend time apart from each other
I know we just said to spend some time together, but it’s also really important to make new friends and spend some time apart. Whether it’s joining a soccer team, taking a sketching class or just going out for an afternoon by yourself, spending time apart will allow you to have different stories to talk about.
About everything. Moving abroad can throw you some serious curve balls so just take a deep breath and let it go. Things usually work out in the end and if they don’t you have a great partner by your side to help you deal! Just embrace your new life together and its challenges.
Keep in touch with friends and family at home
We seriously underestimated how much we would miss our peeps back home when we moved to Korea to teach English. We found that a good way to beat these blues were to set up weekly Skype chats with them. This made it seem like they were a regular part of our lives (like Sunday night dinners) rather than thousands of miles away.
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