Would you be willing to uproot your life for love? What about all the doubts, the unknowns, the simple logistics of it? I am proud to say that I am someone who took that chance and have been enjoying the fruits of my ‘labor’ ever since. But don’t think it was without problems that I have made it through the wilderness!

It all started with a semester abroad while in college. I attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and in my junior year had the opportunity to do a semester abroad. I chose Santiago, Dominican Republic in order to practice my Spanish. I arrived in January of 2010 and loved what I saw. I felt like I had found a paradise! The island was beautiful, the people were friendly, the money went a long way…and the schoolwork was a breeze! I felt like I had just embarked on a 4 month long vacation for school.

MichelleI was not looking to find a boyfriend while in Santiago, and maintained my distance with men to not get wrapped up in anything too emotional. One day a male friend of mine, a Dominican, tells me he has a friend that speaks English that he would like to introduce me to. I thought to myself, “Big deal, all my friends speak English…” but I went along anyways. Thank goodness I went, because that English -speaking friend of his turned out to be my husband!

At first, we did not even have much of a connection. I was not looking for anything romantic, and neither was he. We met, hung out in the group for the night, and that was it. About a week later a girlfriend of mine mentioned that she and a few girls had gone and hung out with him again and for some reason I felt a jealous sting! Was there something going on here that I wasn’t even aware of? I decided to find out by visiting him again, casually and inconspicuously of course. The spark was there. After that discovery, on both our parts, the rest came like a whirlwind. We became a serious couple, and quickly.

Next came the problem, everything I was trying to avoid since I’d arrived—I was inevitably heading back home! I still had a year of college to finish, as well as plans for after graduation with a highly respected Vanderbilt program…what to do now?! Without much ado, he told me what we had to do: either I go back and finish college and return to him immediately after, or we were done. Sounds harsh, right? But it addressed the issue, and efficiently: if we stay together (long distance) there had to be an end-date in sight. If there was not going to be a solid plan, we would end up like all those cliché long-distance failures, and may as well avoid the heartache. He was right, and I was determined. I was going to finish school and return!

The long distance was not fun, but it went by quickly since there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I finished college and moved back to my love. Then, dealing with the realities of his family, my family accepting my move, culture shock, etc. all began to settle in. Our relationship has dealt with overcoming the odds of distance and differences, and has passed. Four years and a beautiful two year old daughter later, I’m still here with him and thankful for his strength and solidness through the rough times. He’s made me the happy, confident woman I am today and I wouldn’t trade the trials and tribulations of uprooting my old life for the life I have today for anything! I truly believe and have exemplified that moving for love might just be the perfect move for you!