I love my boyfriend. He is smart, handsome, creative and he makes me laugh everyday. But moving to Australia together just one year into our relationship has been the most confusing and emotionally baffling experiences of my life.
When you think of Australia, you naturally think of waterfalls, white sand beaches and riding insane waves with a BBQ going strong on shore, and while it is all of those things, when you’re here for a year there are of course, days where very little happens – something I wish I was told before I got on that plane.
Having six years customer service and retail experience along with two degrees, I didn’t think it would be too difficult to secure a job when I arrived in Brisbane. But the reality is, very few people like to hire somebody so temporary and all the casual positions that are available, are filled with younger people who cost less to employ. It’s six months in to our trip, and I still haven’t found a job – and up until a month ago, neither had Adam.
As you can imagine, looking for work and trying to not run out of money was extremely stressful for us both, and meant we were spending a lot more time together than we ever had before – and it soon began to take its toll. Luckily, we had his family here in Aus to fall back on accommodation wise, but rent is not the only thing that costs money. Before long we started questioning our relationship – which looking back at it now seems so stupid – and wondering if we were even meant to be together at all. We regularly argued and asked each other if we were even happy anymore. It’s funny how your views can become clouded because of the situation you are in financially and geographically.
Back home we had the perfect relationship. So much so that we both happily entered it despite not looking or wanting to be in one with anyone. But we both agree that that is because we both had our own lives. We went out separately without any grief from the other, we had our own friends while still being able to happily socialise with each other’s and we had a good life/relationship balance. Admittedly, that’s something we just don’t have here, by no fault of our own. Living in such close encounters with no personal space or time is a harsh reality that is a real test to any relationship, especially one that is still so fresh and between two very independent, young people. People said this trip could make or break us, and I am starting to see how right they were.
As soon as Adam started working however, we no longer had to stress about money, we no longer lived in each other’s pockets and we didn’t argue half as much. But moving abroad with your boyfriend can cause you to gain a new perspective of your relationship and life in general. It’s a completely natural thing to discover new things you want from live while traveling, but the potential consequences of those new wants and desires were so scary to us, that we both hid them from each other until last week – which is something we have never done before, and of course a really unhealthy thing to do.
Last Wednesday, it all came pouring out. How homesick we both were and how we know that we wouldn’t be living with each other yet if we hadn’t made this move, and of course whether that means we should be living with each other when we move home. Normally, after being with someone for two years, the natural next step is to share a home, and I didn’t want anyone to think that we weren’t ‘normal’. But in reality, our situation and our relationship hasn’t been on the average course, so who cares if we go home and live apart for a year or so, if anything I now think it’s healthy. I would never want Adam to sacrifice anything for me, and he has never lived with a friend – something I think everyone should experience one time or another.If he wants to spend a year picking up his friend’s socks for a year before picking up mine (he is the biggest neat freak I know), then that’s fine by me. I like my space too, and I would rather us realise this now than in five years time.
But then we came to clash over what city we even want to be living in, and I knew shit was going to get real the moment we touched down at Heathrow. His homesickness and love for his family has made him question whether he should even be moving to Leeds or staying put in Sheffield – I know, not even that far right? But still, it would be a challenge to keep it going only on a weekend basis.
After long, emotional days of debating going home early, and leaving him here to sort out what he wanted, I decided to stay and embrace what we have together, right now. It might seem controversial or strange to some, but when does anybody ever know if their relationship is forever? Maybe he will see his friend (who is coming out to visit in two weeks) and his parents (who are coming out for a month in August), and realise he was just blinded by his homesickness or maybe he won’t. All I know for sure is that right now, we are together, working on and enjoying our relationship while exploring a new country. At 23 and 21, what more can we do? I love him and I am willing to see it through and find out whats in store for us when the universe is ready for us to know.
Traveling with someone you love can be one of the most exciting things in the world, but it can also be the most challenging. My dad told me there would be times that it wouldn’t be easy, and I guess my cockiness thought that didn’t apply to mine and Adam’s relationship. But I was so wrong. Despite all the hard work and emotional times this trip has brought to our relationship, and I am so grateful we have managed to love each other throughout all the stress. Take heed when booking a year away with your significant other, remember the reasons you decided to go away together in the first place and don’t let other people’s relationships or norms effect the way you run yours. Every love is different.