Do you go to airports on a regular basis? I do. In part because of my own travels and also to take relatives who are either going to or returning from their homes. Its another perk of being in a cross cultural relationship.
Airports are a window into realizing that international couples are more common than we think. They come in all shapes and sizes, and travelers seem to enjoy that particular reality more so than traveling with someone from their own countries.
I like to think that this is a sort of safety net, a net that helps them integrate a little better or faster with the realities of their partner’s cultural background. We know that it is easier for younger children to assimilate the cultural biases that a new country offers, an assimilation that is usually the reason why they detach themselves from the things they brought with them, creating a kind of vacuum for this new life to command their future existence. But for those of us who are in a relationship with a partner who migrated after they were groom by their places of birth, we know that it’s harder or almost impossible for that particular assimilation to happen. Because of this very noticeable uncrossed bridge, we have to learn to blend with those things they defend so strongly, whether it is their religious beliefs, the lifestyles they are so used to, their art preferences or any other difference.
Visiting a country with someone that is still engaged emotionally as well as culturally with that country, serves as a high-speed highway into the roots of its folklore and its historic perseverance. It is like a door that opens wider as you get closer to it, and not necessarily because of the shifting view point of its perspective. This is one of the reasons why I like airports so much, they help me to understand better my own reality.
As I was waiting for my husband´s grandmother to come out from the International Arrivals gate, after her two months stay in Cuba, I couldn’t help but take some pictures of couples, especially the ones like mine. I realize now, editing and cutting them, that there is a different shine to these couples. I am not saying that other couples are not shiny, but there is just a different hue or spark that is very distinct in them. The way they look at each other, how they hold hands, how they help each other; it’s just different. It may be that what I am seeing is what other people see in my own reality. It may be so, but nonetheless the difference is quite noticeable. These pictures tell their own story.
There is no particular magic potion for relationships to flourish, it’s our own devotion to our partners what sets the stage for a future of joy. There will always be, in cross-cultural couples, the need to understand and be as accepting as possible if we want our companions to feel that we acknowledge the differences, and for them to do the same in return. Seeing all these different couples at the arrival gate of the Miami International Airport made me realize that walking the journey of life with a partner from another country than our own is the ground for rarity, and sometimes rarity brings a kind of unknown magic to the pot.
I love traveling. That bug caught me at a young age and it has taken hold of my own lifestyle. My Cuban man likes traveling too, and his Spanish way of ordering food at a restaurant in Cuba is like theater. Ordering a pineapple based sauté fish dish turns into a study of Caribbean cuisine. I wish I had had a filming crew capturing that moment. I mean, honestly, it is just fish in a sauce, that’s all. Right? Oh NO! Not for them. In less than three minutes, he had gotten the recipe from the cook himself with cooking temperatures and all. And he has made that dish more than five times since we came back from Cuba. How can you not love that?
International couples have a fire that burns through their clothing for everyone to see, anyone who cares to look, at least. They breathe a different togetherness. Adventure turns into music, differences make way for a diverse way to experience life, like having four eyes that becomes one single real life dream, with its twists and turns, like any other couple, but with a footprint that clearly states: – try it!