NYTimes article about French fashion blogger Garance Dore moving to New York to be with her significant other—Scott Schuman, of the Satorialist blog. (A gushy NYMag interview of the two here.)
What a coincidence. An article around two topics, among others, that have popped up on my radar in recent days: Street fashion in Prague. (Does it exist?) Moving for love. (Yea or nay?)
Given that it's Valentine's week, let me try to note my thoughts on the more timely of the two topics before I lose the smidgen of enthusiasm that has me glued to my chair and in the mood to write....
But what a broad topic, and one with a personal subtext too.
When I was still back in the States, I knew I wanted to live in Europe, except I had all sorts of logical excuses and delay tactics lined up that kept me grounded. It took a short whirlwind romance with a Czech charmer I met while on vacation to Prague to light the fire.
Eight months later and misgivings aside—how much did I really know about this guy actually?...—I packed my bags anyway and returned to Prague, because for the first time in a long time I was energized about the next chapter of my life....
I landed; the romance soon lost its shine, but I GAINED a new life. Because even as I tried to figure out the man in the bewildering months that followed my days always presented me with many “Wow, I can't believe I'm really living in Europe!” moments.
For every one happily-ever-after relocation story, there are about a dozen narratives of “Let me tell you how soon after I landed that the Jekyl and Hyde transformation began...!” My statistics may be sketchy, but if you're planning to move for romance accept right now that the odds are not in your favor. For a lot of reasons that you don't really need me to illuminate.
But do it anyway—the first time.
Because here's the thing: Some of us need powerful catalysts to get us MOVING towards our desires. And if it's to live somewhere else, especially abroad, other than running from the mob or a murder prosecution, love is a fantastic motivator to make that happen. And that first move gives you the courage for the next one...if needed.
But before packing your bags the first time be smart. Do the work prior to leaving to set yourself up to thrive in your new city. (Lots of online digging and reading will help.) Do not expect your partner to help. Do not. Do not. Do not. If he does go above and beyond to get you set up, super—reward him.
I lost one gamble, but the consolation prize—living in Europe—ain't bad. Would I do it again? Hmmm.... I thought about this when a friend posed the question to me a few months ago, and it's still a toughie to answer because on one hand I don't want to sound calculating, but on the other hand a woman's gotta have limits. You just can't pack your bags every time some slick European yahoo flashes a smile and turns up the accent, ya know?
After my experience and listening to other love-turned-sour tales, I've come up with this mandate-in-progress: The first move is or can be a freebie. Don't relocate more than once for romance without some type of guarantee.
Basically, in the first go-round get your feet wet, be smart about it and have fun. If it works, great. If not... Second time, someone should be moving for you or to meet you. But if his location is just more appealing than where you are make sure to get an expensive ring placed on your finger, though this isn't even a guarantee that things will work out either, but at least you'll have collateral! Ha!
Tell me what you think: Would you move for love? Have you and did it work out? If not, would you do it again or what would you do differently?