It’s Been a Year


…since we stepped off the plane at Philadelphia International Airport, and stepped into this new chapter of our lives.

Hard to believe that 12 months ago, we arrived with 3 suitcases and a whole lot of hope. For readers who aren’t familiar with my story, I’m an American, but I spent 2 years living overseas with my husband in his home country.

When our daughter was 3 months old, we headed across the Atlantic and temporarily settled into Eastern Europe while M. finished his Master’s degree. During that time, we submitted all of the paperwork for M. to receive permanent residency in the US, which many bi-cultural couples will tell you is no easy task! There were stressful nights, days of preparing forms, submitting documents, many trips to the post office, hundreds of dollars in fees paid, and the gathering of photos, cards, and everything else that would prove the legitimacy of our union, just in case our daughter wasn’t proof enough.

During those 2 years abroad, I paid off my student loan debt, we saved up as much as we could and started budgeting, and M. received his Master’s and his visa to the US.

We made it through all of that, always with the goal of a brighter future in mind. While life overseas was wonderful, we knew that opportunities awaited us all here, and today, we’re finally experiencing it. It has not been easy, essentially starting over, but with effort, perseverance, and the support of our family, it has been possible. One step at a time, we’ve been getting established and building the foundation of a more secure future.

This past year has really flown by, and I’m happy with the progress that we’ve made so far. As with any journey, we’ll just keep on taking it one step at a time.

About Lauren

Lauren May is a freelance writer and full-time mom living her best life on a budget.

30 thoughts on “It’s Been a Year

  1. I can relate to the immigration story! I left my home of over 30 years (Canada) to relocate to New York after I married my husband. I have been here about 7 months. It’s definitely an adjustment! Congratulations on being back in the US.

  2. Congrats on the first year anniversary!

    I cannot imagine moving to a foreign country with a 3 month old. That must have been quite a challenge! Great job paying off your loans. It sounds like you’re a real world traveler.

  3. Congrats for successful completed one year. I know you conquer many trials, up and downs during those days.

    I am working overseas for almost ten years and yearly taking one month paid vacation. I know how’s the life and adventure living and making money in other countries.

  4. Congrats on being back in the States for a year Lauren! I can’t even imagine what going through all the paperwork and waiting must’ve been like. We have really good friends who went through something similar as they met while in Africa. It’s not easy, but so cool to look back on…especially when part of it is paid off student loans. 🙂

  5. Congratulations on your “one year back” anniversary =). Moving around in the same country is hard enough, moving overseas with all that paperwork is even harder! I’m so glad everything has paid off for you two. Sometimes we just need to take risks for better opportunities.

  6. I just love people with interesting life stories. Excuse my noobiness to your blog but how did you two meet?

    I like that this article makes me feel a little better about this world. 🙂

    1. Thanks Will! We actually met in Alaska, of all places. We were both working there seasonally. Fell in love, spent 2 more summers up there, got married, and moved overseas. I’d like to think I’ve been living an interesting life, or at least, I try to! 🙂

  7. Congrats on being in the US for one full year! My friend teaches English in Costa Rica and married someone there a few months ago. They plan on staying there for now and eventually moving to the US. It seems like she’s in a similar situation as you were a couple years ago.

    Also, that’s great that you were able to pay off your student loans!

    1. Thanks DC! It’s a long road to travel when you marry a citizen of another country, with all of the immigration stuff. Best of luck to your friend!

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