So you’ve traveled somewhere and you’ve found love abroad. Awesome! Now what the heck do you do?
Unfortunately, finding love in a foreign country also comes with pesky things like navigating visas, cultural differences and lifestyle choices.
The good news is, you can make it work if you both really want to. We’ve met many happy couples who are still together and some who are even getting married (eek!). But those relationships take dedication and desire.
If you’ve fallen in love while traveling, here are your options for making the relationship (or should we say vacationship) work.
Maximize visas to get as much time together as possible
How long can you stay in your significant other’s country legally before you need to renew your visa? Visit the local embassy or do some research online to find information.
Some countries have a cap on how many times you can visit per year, and there will definitely be work restrictions. Is it possible for them to visit you in your country? What are the timelines you’re working with?
Figuring out sticky financial situations
The one thing that can ruin love is money. How long can you withstand your newfound lifestyle without working? Are you in a position to support your love while they apply for visas? Can you support them if they come home with you but can’t work?
Unless you have help or a trust fund, your savings account will eventually tap out. Are there real work opportunities for you?
Where will you live?
There’s little-to-no privacy in a hostel, unless you happen to be in a private room, and even that gets old.
If you’ve answered these questions and have got the logistics sorted, here are some other things to consider:
Questions to ask yourself
“Is this love that I’m feeling?” Ask yourself this: If you met this person in a different, less romantic setting, would the outcome be the same? When it comes down to it, you’re turning your vacation into a day-to-day reality. Be sure you’re not blinded by the backdrop, because the novelty will wear off.
Suddenly the quaint 5-block beach town feels claustrophobic. What then? Remember, you are the one out exploring the world, not them.
Chances are, they like where they live and don’t want to immigrate to a new country, leave their family behind, and deal with a new set of laws and restrictions. Do you?
Make sure you’re on the same page
We hate to say it, but speaking from experience, before you change your plans and rearrange your life, make sure your partner is as committed as you are.
Are you the first tourist who they’ve fallen for? Have they had many ex girlfriends who they’ve been this passionate with? Are they serious or just in it for the sex, and then when you leave, on to the next pretty backpacker?
It’s hard, but try to keep your guard up until you know their intentions. Beware of the player. You don’t want to start signing your emails “heartbroken and lonely.”
Sure he’s not a player? Good. So how do you make this dream a reality?
As with any relationship, it’s important to make sure you are on the same page. Do you want to get married sometime soon? Do you want kids? Do they? Are they religious? Will they support your career goals and vise versa? These are topics that come up rather quickly in foreign love affairs, mostly because time is of the essence. Remember that pesky visa situation? Yeah- not going to go away. No pressure or anything, but the limited time factor will play a role in your decision making.
Are you cut out for a long distance relationship?
Are you ready for the strain being apart can cause? Is your significant other? Chances are you are going to have to separate from your beau at some point to renew your visa or due to a long list of other reasons. Long distance relationships can be really draining and aren’t for everyone. Is there enough trust in your relationship to withstand time apart?
Can you see yourself introducing them to your family and friends?
Would they get along? Have you met their family? Are they supportive of the relationship? If this all sounds a little too heavy or overwhelming, maybe it’s time to hit the road. The longer you stay, the harder it will be to leave. Love is complicated, and while some people do find true love while traveling and the desire to create a life together, it seems to be the exception to the rule, mostly because there are so many hurdles to clear.
Have you ever fallen in love while on vacation? Did it work, or is it now just a good story to tell?