In an intercultural relationship you may sometimes find yourself living away from home.
However at the same time this doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to live in the home country of your partner. In fact, many intercultural couples live in a third country.
Some couples meet while studying at university, and others in their place of work. Living in a third country, or on neutral ground as some might say, can in fact help to reduce some of the stress factors of an intercultural relationship.
Not only will this equalize matters in terms of adapting to a new culture, it also means that both of you will need to cultivate new social groups and try new kinds of cuisine. In fact it could be argued that living in a third country levels things out in almost every way. While one set of in-laws may end up being further away than the other, they are both in a different country. This can reduce the pressure on a relationship and make it easier to work together.
If you are thinking about living in a third country, there are plenty of factors to consider. Many of them depend on your age and occupation.
For those that are young and fancy an adventure, it may not matter about moving away from major cities with their job prospects and universities. You could quite easily run away to a tropical paradise and live on the beach for 6 months, if that’s what you feel like doing.
Other considerations start to come into play if you already have a career and want to develop it. For example you may need to live in a country in which you can work in your native language, or be close to large cities that offer positions in your field. This will be a major limiting factor in choosing where you can live.
At the same time an increasing number of people are working remotely, and so long as they have a laptop and a decent internet connection it doesn’t really matter where they are. If both you and your partner are able to make money while on the road, the world is your oyster.
Given that you have the freedom to live just about anywhere, what could influence your decision? One important point is choosing a culture in which you can both live comfortably. Your perceptions of different cultures are influenced by your own background, so discuss with each other any cultural points that would rule out a particular place. One example of this could be the way in which women are expected to behave in certain cultures, or the lack of alcohol in others.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential destinations, you can start to think about what you would like to have in your new home. If cultural events are important to you, it might be best to stick to the cities. However those that want to escape the hustle and bustle for a quieter life should consider beach or countryside destinations.
Another point to consider is whether or not you want to have children. While this may seem like a long way off for some readers, it’s worth considering if you want to stay in your new home for some time. While your Caribbean island may provide for your needs when all you want to do is work, lounge on the beach and drink coco loco, other factors come into play when you have kids.
You will eventually need to consider whether local schools are up the standards that you want your children to have, and you may become more concerned about crime rates and security. After all, life as a young couple allows you to take certain risks that you wouldn’t want to impose on your progeny.
For those that can work on the road and don’t have children, it’s more important to think about the lifestyle you want to lead. This can be influenced by the weather, available activities in the local area and the culture of your new home.
It might sound like a lot to think about, but the good thing is that you can always move on if you don’t like it. If you are one of these digital nomads, you can keep on trying out different places until you find a home that suits your needs perfectly.