Someone asked the question, “Any advice for someone who would move to another country to be with someone.”
I was surprised when so many people told me how brave I was to move to Ireland to be with Aaron. For me it was the easiest move I ever made. Aaron was the love of my life I would have been a fool not to. I was beyond excited. I was very aware I would be leaving my friends, family and a life I had built in the States over many years but the thought of being with all of them and not having Aaron was untenable. I also knew I was luckier than most people because I work for myself and could do it from anywhere. In the States my family and friends were pretty spread out coast to coast so I was already quite used to keeping in touch by phone, texting, and instagram.
I also knew Aaron, not only loved me but wanted to share his life with me. If you are going to leave your home and country to be with someone make sure they are ready to share all aspects of their live with you. This includes being included with his family and friends, on holidays, special occasions and what not. Remember you are giving up everything you have built for yourself over the years to be with this person. Your partner must not only love you but want to share all of his life with you.
Think of yourself as a stranger in a strange land, especially if they speak a different language. I was lucky that in Ireland they speak English even though I still can’t understand them half the time because of their accents and the speed in which they speak. Even if you are moving to be with the person you love it will still be very isolating if you can’t speak the native language. You should be prepared to immerse yourself in some sort of intensive language course. Even if you don’t excel in the language at least you will have the opportunity to meet some who are most likely also new to the country. Most countries also have groups for expats which is another way to meet people. Dublin after 2 and a half years is finally beginning to feel like home. I think it has taken a bit longer due to Covid and having so many restrictions to deal with.
When I decided to move to Ireland to be with Aaron it all seemed so simple. I loved him, I wanted to marry him and I would do anything to be with him. In reality it is not that simple. Little did I realize the hoops you have to jump through to be with the person you love if they reside in another country. If I wanted, having a US Passport I could pretty easily leave every 90 days for a day and walk back in the following day without any problems. I don’t think this a way to live and I am not sure how many times immigration would allow me to do this.
The most perfect scenario would be if you worked for a company that was willing to transfer you to the country of your partner. What could be more ideal you simply move in together and play it out. I’d say the chances of any of us being that lucky are about nil.
Before you commit to moving you really need to have some heart to heart talks with your partner. Are you going to get married? Are you going enter into a domestic partnership? If that is your plan the amount of paperwork you have to fill out is endless. The first time I did it I filled out the wrong form which was about 50 pages and I had to do another one. Are you going to become a student? You will have to do one of these things if you wish to stay in the country legally. If you intend to work you will have to wait until your marriage visa is approved to do this. My guess is that in most countries it will take at least 6 months. Can you support yourself for this long of a time? If you plan to work I certainly hope you can speak the language. There are so many things you really have to discuss. What about health insurance? Can you get on your partners plan. My health insurance in Ireland feels like a bargain compared to what I paid in the US, 189 euros vs 1500 dollars. Supposedly I am on on of the best plans in Ireland although I really haven’t had much of an opportunity to see yet. Then just wait until you try opening new bank accounts they wanted so much information I almost gave up, but without a bank account in the country it was impossible to get a cell phone.
I’m sure it can start to feel like a real bummer. All of a sudden this romantic and exciting adventure is turning into something serious and a bit distressing. Trust me though it is better to get these talks out of the way before you make an emotional and financial mistake that could stay with you for years.
I remember when I went back to New York to move. I was completely overcome. It was the middle of Covid. I hired the movers when I was in Dublin and gave myself 5 days to do the move. I had not been in my apartment for about 5 months. I took a look around, sat down and thought no fucking way am I going to be able to do this. I never thought of myself as a collector of stuff, but I was looking at living proof. In addition I also had a storage room in my building. I realize now that storage rooms are dangerous, Anytime you think you don’t need something instead of giving it away or tossing it, you simply put it in storage.
Looking back I am probably lucky I decided to close up shop in New York during Covid and get the move over and done with. The city was virtually deserted and everybody I knew had flown the coop for safer places, making it easier for me to get the job done and not procrastinate.
A little moving advice do not be an idiot like me. I was having a whole container going to Dublin. A container can probably hold a two ot three bedroom apartment. I was most likely not even going to fill half of it. So it is now time to pack my kitchen and I will sit there looking at a spatula for ten minutes wondering if Aaron and I bought one or do we need one. What am I worried about, that it will take up too much space. I could just throw the fucking thing out if we already had one. Also if you haven’t used something in 5 years, most likely you will not use it in the next ten. Don’t think about it just get rid of it. For some reason it is against the law to have open liquor moved. It broke my heart seeing hundreds of dollars of good liquor wasted. I really should not say wasted as I gave it to all the staff in my building. They were very happy. Before you hire movers ask yourself if you really want what you are having moved It is expensive if going overseas and you might just want to sell your stuff and buy what you need wherever you are going.
To sum it all up. I was very lucky when I moved to Ireland. I did it ass backwards and everything went pretty well. There was one painting I had to leave in the apartment it was about 12 feet by 10 feet and expensive. My building was nice enough to let me leave it in the apartment until I could find a way to get down. The movers I hired could not get it in the elevator and did not think they could get it out of the stairwell if they walked it down. From Ireland I had to hire some experienced art movers to walk it down sixteen flights of stairs. From there it had to go into storage. Moving that painting cost just about as much as my whole move.
There are plenty of hoops and hurdles if you decide to move to another country but if you are doing it for the right reasons it is well worth it.
See you soon guys. My brother and his wife are coming to see is for two weeks and were hitting the road.