Warning: #13 in this post contains mentions of abuse.
1. "I moved to New Zealand to be with my partner. I’m from the US, and my partner is from Bulgaria, but we met in the US when he was a student. At the time we were just friends, though it always felt like more was there. A few years later, he moved to New Zealand, and I thought I would never see him again. Fast-forward a few more years, during which we’d been keeping in touch through email, and we both found ourselves single and things were definitely starting to develop."
"A few months later, I flew to New Zealand to see him, stayed for three months, came back to US, and then permanently moved to New Zealand six months later to be with him. We now have a 2-year-old daughter and will celebrate our five-year anniversary this July. Just an American and a Bulgarian living half a world away from where we both grew up with our little Kiwi baby."
—37, New Zealand
2. "I’m from Canada but moved to the UK to be with my fiancé. We had met in France during my uni year abroad, then moved back to Canada for me to complete university. His visa expired at that point, so we moved to the UK. As he had moved to Canada for me, I definitely felt as though it was only fair for me to move to the UK for him. However, we moved in the summer of 2020 to a completely shut-down country, and it took me over a year to get a job and to make a single friend. It was the lowest we've ever been, and I really felt full of resentment for the entire experience; due to the pandemic, I inadvertently became way more reliant on him than I had signed up for (which was obviously not his fault)."
"I’m so proud that we managed to pull through. Now, we are doing better than ever, getting married this summer, and planning our next adventure."
3. "It wasn’t really abroad as such, but going from England to Scotland. I might a girl online on a forum about a show. We started messaging privately on the website and then decided to exchange numbers. I knew that this was risky, and I never gave away my address. We texted lots and talked every single day, so it turned into phone calls nearly every evening. That way, I could hear that it was a Scottish teenage girl on the other end of the phone. I still remained cautious, however. I was then given a computer, which meant I could set up MSN messaging in my bedroom and got myself a webcam. I know, dangerous territory, but when you’re young, and you think you’re in love, you do silly things."
"Anyway, again it was a very beautiful teenage girl showing up in the pictures. We talked every day for hours, and if we weren’t online, we were texting. Eventually, we decided that after my A-Levels, I would go up to visit. Mum, of course, wasn’t pleased, so wanted to meet her mum online. We both had to sit there on webcam while our mothers talked…mortifying. But it worked. After my exams, I headed up to Scotland and had a lovely week with her. I was definitely in love and was devastated to have to head back. Straight off the plane, we were messaging and then on webcam when I got home. We tried to find another time that I could go up and visit (her family was quite poor, so she didn’t have the money to travel), but no dates worked out. It eventually became apparent that it wasn't going to work. I was going to uni in September, and she was going to college. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more brokenhearted. I look back on it now as quite a story to tell and that girl really helped me through my A-Levels. Without her, I wouldn’t have gotten my grades to get to uni, so overall, I’m grateful to her and hope wherever she is, she’s doing well."
4. "I came to Australia in 2020 just before COVID hit. I decided to stay instead of going back home to Brazil. I was trying to build a life for me here when I met my partner at church. He is sweet, kind, and super supportive. If not for him, I would have given up my dream of living abroad and would be living my sheltered and safe life back at home."
"Life with him is fun and adventurous. I am very glad that we have met."
5. "We met abroad, and while deciding where we wanted to settle (his country or mine), we continued traveling together and living on temporary visas. At first, it was great! All very romantic! He chased me across a country because we were both so in love. We got through some traumatizing times together. We laughed and shared a lot. But because we were traveling and partying a lot, I didn’t realize how bad his drinking was and how dire his financials were. Then, we took a short break and went back to our countries. I couldn’t stand it, so I went to stay with him in his parents’ home and my depression hit me hard (seasonal affective disorder). I didn’t have access to healthcare or medication, so we just got visas somewhere new. Unfortunately, financially, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I paid for everything!"
"When we arrived, his drinking and spending got worse, and he wasn’t contributing anything because he had to send it all home. I grew resentful, and he got angry. I wanted so badly to end things, but we had a lease, and I didn’t want to ask my parents for help. So, we stuck through it. After this visa ran out, we traveled a bit more, but finally went to our own homes. We didn’t last two months apart, and I've never been paid back. I’ve let that go, and we are on good terms now! I believe we are two good people who made each other fundamentally worse together, and the traveling made it harder to figure that out with all of the moving variables."
6. "I traveled to New Zealand after high school graduation to experience the world before going to college. It was supposed to be five months, but I met a Kiwi, fell in love, and decided to move to NZ permanently! Thankfully, my family was really supportive. Eight years later, we’ve been married for six years and have a baby on the way. I miss my family, and there are cross-cultural things that are hard, but I’ve never regretted moving overseas for love once!"
"I love my life in NZ, and my husband."
—26, New Zealand
7. "When I was 18, I met this guy on the internet on a teen site. He was from Australia, and I wasn't, but we got on really well, and became good friends. After a few months, he was coming on a group trip to the country I lived in, which happens to also be where his dad lives, and he had a lot of family here, so we made plans to meet up while he was here. He planned to stay for six weeks after the group trip ended, and by the end of those weeks, we were head over heels for one another and agreed that we wanted to try and make it work long-distance. And we agreed that I'd save up for a trip to Australia while we kept the relationship going. After a long and expensive eight months' worth of long-distance phone calls (this was back in 2003–2004 when cheap long-distance calls weren't really a thing yet), I finally saved up enough for my open-ended ticket to Australia with a month's stop in London to stay with family there."
"From the first week I arrived in Australia, things started going not great. My original plan (approved by my boyfriend's parents) had been that I would stay with them for a week or two until I was able to find myself an apartment to rent. But on day two or three after my arrival, the first chance she got, my boyfriend's mom told me in no uncertain terms that she didn't like me, didn't think I was good enough for her son, and gave me until the end of the following day to be out of her house. I found a place and after a few weeks of her being awful to him as well, my boyfriend moved in with me. My plan had been to get a job and work while I was there, and that didn't really work out for me, so after three months when I ran out of money, I came home. We continued the relationship for another six months after that, but in the end, he decided to choose his mother over me, with part of his breakup speech including the words 'after all, blood is thicker than water.' (Never mind that the full quote is 'the blood of the battlefield is thicker than the water of the womb.') I feel lucky to have avoided having his mother as my mother-in-law."
8. "It wasn't solely to find love, but I moved to Canada for my study and career, with a hope to find a loved one along the way. I live in Toronto and have met a variety of interesting people from different cultures, from which I have a lot to learn. Men in Canada, from my experience, are overall nice and polite. I was lucky enough to not have any traumatic experience. I found my partner through a dating app, and we were able to connect on deeper levels, sharing many ideologies and views on life."
"We have been together for five years now and still are going strong. Back in my home country, I never imagined myself in a relationship as Asian patriarchy is still heavily influenced."
9. "I never moved abroad to 'find love,' but I think it found me. I was studying in the US on a J1 Visa that was coming to an end. Instead of returning to the UK after finishing my college course, I opted to instead do a bit of solo traveling and make the most of the time I had left. I was in staying in a hostel in Philadelphia on the night before my 21st birthday when I met the most interesting, intriguing man I've ever met. I knew as soon as I saw him that I needed to talk to him. The draw was instantaneous from both sides. We traveled a bit together over the coming weeks, and eventually, I returned back to my home country, admittedly a little heartbroken."
"We kept in contact at first, but like most long-distance romances, it fizzled out. It's been almost six years, and I still wonder how he's doing. I have a wonderful partner now, and I truly hope that he does too. I think he was my first love, and I'll never forget that."
10. "I come from the USA, and I moved to Germany over 10 years ago for a bit of a change. I had no job lined up and thought I would stay for three months at least and one year at the most. A month after moving here, I was lost on the U-Bahn, trying to find my way home. I asked a handsome man on the platform for directions, and it turned out he lived only one station away! We exchanged Facebook info as I didn't have a phone yet and started chatting."
"We got married in 2020 after nine-and-a-half years together! Still in Germany living our best lives. Best decision I ever made :)."
11. "I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2019 to start my master's degree. Not necessarily looking for love, but not opposed either. Long story short, COVID hit the following March, and we all went into lockdown. One of my classmates (who was dating another classmate, and they were going to live together during lockdown) invited me to live with him and his roommates since they had an empty room and didn't want me to be stuck alone for what was supposed to be two weeks. During lockdown (which turned into three months), I met my now fiancé. He was one of the roommates, and we seemed to hit it off right away, but we were both too shy to say anything about it until the end of the three-month lockdown. Fast-forward to June 2020, we decided to start dating, but I had to move back to the US in January 2021."
"We chose to do long-distance and spent 11 months apart until he could finally come to visit. The time apart was more challenging than I could have imagined, but it was absolutely worth it. We try to visit each other every three months and recently got engaged in December of 2022. We are still doing long-distance until the wedding next year, but I'm very much looking forward to the day when we finally get to come home to one another."
—27, Georgia, USA
12. "We met almost four years ago on a pen pal app. It all happened just before COVID hit. He was from Tunisia and unable to get a visitor visa to visit me, so I traveled there a total of six times. We married almost two years ago, and recently, he finally received his PR. We are living our happily-ever-after in Canada now. It was a long and painful road; communicating only by video chat and text is the most painful experience I have ever gone through, but it makes every second together even more perfect."
13. "During summer 2022, I met an American visiting my hometown in France during his summer trip around Europe. We stayed in touch for months and chatted every single day despite the distance and the time difference (nine hours between France and the West Coast). In October, I decided to visit him for two weeks in Seattle, and it was a blast! We really enjoyed our time together, and I thought he was my soulmate. I then visited him in February 2023 for two weeks, and that time, things were different; he was stressed with work, and his life project as well as mine (I was relocating to Canada), but I was still very attracted to him. At the end of March, I decided to spend two months with him as things weren’t going well in Canada, and he agreed and was kinda excited about the idea. It turned out, this time was even worse."
"He had many traumas that he was hiding with cannabis consumption and mostly alcohol. He became very violent verbally and physically toward me and even told me one time, when he was drunk and while I was hosted in his studio, that I had no rights in this country and that he could kick me out whenever he wanted. I stayed a few days after that, but this kind of event happened two more times. So the next week, I decided to pack my stuff and leave his place to go back to France without warning when he was at work. I regret how I did it, but not the fact that I did it because I felt really threatened at that time. It was a good decision overall, but still traumatizing to this day."
14. "In the late '90s I had a romantic, weeklong fling with my friend in Paris. We went to different colleges and kept in touch via letters, but never dated. Then, he invited me to visit him when he moved to Paris after college. It was a fairy-tale romance — walking around the city, looking at beautiful art, eating delicious food, and making love. I was in a photography class at the time, and I still have a beautiful black and white photo album from that trip."
"We remained friends and are now married to other people. I'm so glad I had that magical experience in my early 20s."
15. "We met while in business school in Madrid where we started off as friends. Did I think he was hot? Definitely. After asking me out a few times over the course of a couple of months and a gentle push from my friends, I accepted a first date. We had a blast! It was so easy to transition from friends to something more. After graduation, I landed a job in Chicago, and as we stayed connected, I went down to Mexico City to visit him, thinking it'd be a fun weekend. But instead, we decided to see if we could make it work. After a year and a half, I was laid off. I decided to try out Mexico for a few months. He made it clear that if I was going to take the leap and move there, it was his responsibility to ensure that I was going to be happy."
"Ten years later, I'm still here, married to the love of my life, in a job that I love, and in a life that is more than I could have imagined. Who knew that I'd get both my MBA and MRS. degree!"
16. "This customer came into the Primark I was working at and asked me where in the US I was from, because she recognized my accent, which shocked me because I didn’t recognize hers. I asked her what brought her to the UK and she simply said 'love.' Apparently, she took a — in my opinion — HUMONGOUS leap and moved to the UK 17 years ago for a man she barely knew, and they’ve been happily together since."
"Now, it kinda makes sense why her accent was unfamiliar, because it was a mix of British and American."
17. "I was visiting Singapore for a short trip and was swiping on Tinder at the airport while waiting for my flight. I caught his profile, thinking he was cute, and swiped right, but was called for boarding immediately. When I landed, I got notification that it was a match, and he messaged me right away. We messaged each other, but nothing serious happened until he told me that he was visiting Indonesia for a business trip, which was a lie; he just wanted to meet me. We finally met after four months of talking online. After meeting me, he said he doesn't want to be friends with me anymore — he wanted to marry me."
"So, he asked to meet my family, and we planned our wedding right away, which made us always travel to see each other. Either he or I would fly to Indonesia or Singapore every two weeks. I finally moved to Singapore permanently two weeks before the wedding. We just celebrated our five years of marriage this year and have two children together. And fun fact: Changi Airport featured our story and made video about us as we were their frequent travelers during our long-distance relationship."
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.
Have you ever traveled abroad for love? Let us know your experience in the comments below. Or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can share your story using this Google form.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.