In a Baskin Robbins in South Korea, I once met an American couple who were new to the country. They were teaching together, living together, and spending all their time together. I had given them a simple Fellow Foreigner Nod, but they waved me to their table and hit me with an outpour of pent-up observations and questions and stories. We had fun, despite the weird “thank God there’s someone new” vibe.
I’d hate to move abroad as a couple, I thought as I walked home. How could you not get tired of the person, being constantly together, and leaning on one another for all your social needs?
A month later, I met the man with whom I would share the expat life for three years and counting.
In the process, I’ve gained some retrospective empathy for that ice-cream-eating couple in Korea. Moving overseas together has brought us very close, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Below are tips that I offer any couple looking to make the expat leap.