From Our Readers
September 19, 2013 6:00 am

About a year ago, I left my job in New York City and in a dramatic post college grad crisis and moved to Bangalore India to save the world, whatever that really means.

A month into my new found move, I found myself overwhelmed at the changes and in really good shape because I had a cheap gym membership and no friends. To get myself out of my K-hole of boredom, I decided to go to a party with a friend I had just met at an Expat meetup.

That’s when I met him. Like all romantic love stories, the story of A and I began waiting in line for the bathroom at a random apartment party where we both had feebly attempted to meet people. He was funny, very smart, came from a crazy global background, adorable, and probably very drunk at the time.

Anyway, after sobriety sunk in, we began to talk and become obsessed with each other. We kicked off the courtship phase where we became physical and emotionally inseparable, where our thoughts and interests all blended into one. We were on Narnia time, a time where you feel like you’ve known someone your whole life and you have this cosmic connection, but by god it’s only been 3 weeks? NO WAY guys, it feels like 6 years!

All of sudden, my issues with Bangalore all melted away because I had this amazing guy, cue trumpets and fireworks.

Anyway, all these feelings got me thinking, which is a dangerous thing I do too much when I am left alone, what if my feelings for him are only heightened by my unhappiness and boredom in a new place?

Imagine yourself traveling, studying, or living abroad, whether it’s for 1 week or 5 years. As an avid traveler, I have met some of the coolest people on the way, some of which become my best friend for the night and some I still keep in touch with, helping me create fun memories and stories for my folks back home. What draws you to let your guard down and hang out with people that in any other circumstance, you may not have?

You all are brought together by a similar situation – a sense of newness and loneliness. It’s human nature to want to emotionally cuddle up with someone, so we will do whatever it takes to establish a connection. You will put yourself out there from the events you attend, to the people you talk to, to the amount of information you reveal upfront. In a race against time, you are putting your best foot forward to establish a spark, getting the best of each other until it’s time to hit the airport.

This same philosophy can be extended to a romantic relationship. In a life of an expat, everything is transitional. I know that most of the people I meet here are here for a contracted amount of time, and within a year, a new batch of intern, associates, and volunteers will embark upon their world saving missions.

A and I have talked about our future and both leaving India for other opportunities. While this sounds glamorous, we both are aware that getting ideal jobs and work visas in other countries will be difficult, especially if we want to be in the same city together. Yet, I would be lying if I said that sometimes I wonder if we are together because it was a right time and right place, that maybe, that restricts our love to only India.

Is this juvenile? How do I know that we aren’t another case of vacation fever, a product of being pushed out of comfort zone, a result of being lonely at simultaneous times in our lives?

I guess only time will tell but I’m curious to hear HG readers experience, how do you guys handle relationships you make when you travel or move abroad?

You can read more from Shilpa Rao here.

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