Personally, I've always cared more about the company I keep than where I keep it. The friends I've met abroad are some of the deepest connections I have ever made. I've made unforgettable memories with friends whom I've had the honor of travelling with. There's something special about exploring new places with friends, old and new, definitely life-long. Therefore, it's no surprise that living with my best friend, who also happens to be my partner, has given me so much to be thankful for. Here are the top 5 reasons why I am grateful for living with my partner while abroad:
1) Always have someone who's ready for exploration
We're both semi-introverted in ways, so we don't always go out (but when we do, we do). It's wonderful having a roommate/friend/person who will spontaneously take you ice skating at 10 am! No phone calls necessary.
2) Shitty days seem less shitty
On a particularly rough day at work, a colleague asked how I can remain cheery. I honestly responded that my happiness lies outside of the work-place. Yeah, today was nasty, but I'm going to go home and have a beer with my loved one now.
3) Having someone to challenge me
Sometimes I want to watch TV for a few hours on a Friday night and pass out from a wine-induced coma. This urge is particularly strong when its -10 degrees Celsius outside. Sometimes my partner will indulge with me, but more often than not he challenges me to do something more productive with my time- read a book from our reading list, play a game, or study Russian. I provide the same encouragement when it's called for.
4) Two heads are better than one
My boyfriend and I both like studying languages. He has studied Russian for a number of years, so he's been an amazing support line to have here in Moscow. When we visit Japan, I'll finally be able to repay him by directing him through subways, reading menus, and generally playing tour guide.
5) Twice the connections
Similarly, so much of what we have made here has been possible because of the connections Chase has made while studying abroad. If we ever move towards East Asia or finally get to making a business of our own, I'm hoping to involve some of the great people I've met into our story.
Most of the items on this list are valid whether living with a roommate or a partner, at home or abroad. They're just some simple ways that express how the most valuable part of living in Moscow has been the ability to share the experience with my beloved. Sorry if the post comes off too sappy or braggy-it's not meant to. But this is a blog about life! And you are free to exit out any time! For those who are genuinely happy for our happiness, I am so grateful to have you!
The reason why this article matters so much to me is that it was incredibly hard to make the decision to move away from NYC to start a new life in Moscow "with my boyfriend". I was brought up as a strong, independent woman who wouldn't ever entertain the idea of "giving up her dreams for a man" or "following a boy to another city"! We need to eliminate this kind of thinking and language already.
I had the courage to go because I knew what my actions really meant:
Opening up the door to opportunities I didn't know existed!
Seeing a side of the world I never saw before!
Being in a nurturing relationship where both parties want to see the other grow and reach his/her full potential!
I am grateful for what every day has to offer and I will never close my ears or eyes to life when it comes knocking on my door. That's how opportunities are made.