I met my husband, of now 7 years, on a study abroad trip in Italy. We dated for less than a year and got married in the USA. After going through the roller coaster immigration process for my husband to get his green card, we jumped ship and went to live at his parents house in Italy. My husband is not Italian though, he is Danish. He had to show me on Google maps where Denmark is located. I had no idea.
When we went to live in Italy, it was nothing like our romantic beginning. It was winter and we were broke and NO ONE spoke English. I was listening to “Learn Italian” CD’s for about 3 hours a day. My one friend in the city couldn’t speak a word of English. Trust me, I tried to teach her! But at least I had a friend. Italians are wonderful even if you don’t know what they are saying.
However, as soon as my Italian passport was ready, I insisted that we go west to find riches and fortune. We were not digging for gold, but I needed somewhere I could find a job with my very limited language skills and somewhere not so expensive. This brought us to the Netherlands (the place I met Ms. Blogger herself!). The Netherlands has attractive welfare policies to help non-Dutch citizens get started and a low unemployment rate. Fresh produce is well-priced and most people speak English.
After 3 years in the Netherlands, we “landed” in Denmark to live near my husband’s parents. “Landed” is expat talk for those who are constantly on the move – which is how I feel! As an expat, you can never say how long you will stay in one location – but with our two kids (1 year and 6 years), a solid ground soon becomes important.
Anyone else fall in love with a foreigner… only to become a foreigner yourself?