Why did you move here? Bi-national relationship advice – Patrycja’s story.
It’s been a while since I wrote an article under the bi-national relationship advice headline. But then I met the lovely Patrycja at one of the markets where I sold my Maple And Oak Designs this summer. What a refreshing story, what a sweet girl! This is what she has to say:
Tell me a bit about yourself!
My name is Patrycja. You are probably thinking “how the heck do I say her name?” And even though I love my Polish name, just to make it easier to pronounce I use the English version of it, which is Patricia. I moved to beautiful Calgary, Alberta a little over 4 years ago and I love it here.
For most of my working years I was part of the corporate life, filling out spreadsheets, preparing documents, implementing data and pretty much anything involving office work. However, my passion for something else and something more was always inside of me. I always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and a creator.
I started a blog this year, which lets me release the creative side of myself. I write about my life, about my adventures, and of course about beautiful Canada. I also wanted to express my European culture and fashion with others and had the idea with my sister to create handmade European inspired jewelry. This is when we created Petite Rock. I am excited with where this next adventure will take me and am happy to share it with others who also want to enjoy the ride with me.
Have you always lived where you live now?
You probably already guessed why I moved to Canada. Yes, I met someone special, his name is Kevin and he is Canadian. Believe it or not, it has been already 10 years since we met for the first time. It was in Czech Republic where he and I met while doing our AIESEC internships. So many memories and so many stories to tell.
How & when did you meet your partner?
So me and Kevin lived in the same dormitory, together with other 15 people from all over the world. We lived together, travelled together and also fell in love with each other. We got to explore Czech Republic and many other European countries during his stay in Europe. But obviously one day our internships had to come to an end and each of us had to go back home.
Did you have to spend time apart?
Long story short, I visited Canada many times, and Kevin also visited Poland. Even though Kevin and I wanted me to come to Canada to work and live there was a lot of paperwork that needed to be filled out and completed. Lots of red tape and pencil pushing. So I stayed in Poland, I got a job and Kevin stayed in Canada. We talked on Skype, we talked on the phone and visited each other once or twice a year. And we have done it for almost 6 years! Even though there were ups and downs, we always stayed in touch.
How did you decide where to live?
One day I found out there is a program for Polish people called the International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows work and travel in Canada for a year. I decided to apply and got accepted. That is how I came to Calgary. First I thought it would be for a year, to see how things will work out, but have already been living here for over four years. The love for this country and for Kevin only grew stronger by living here permanently.
What’s most challenging about immigrating into another country?
I think the hardest part is to be away from your family. Even though I just visited them a couple months ago, I am already thinking about my next trip to Poland.
It is also very hard to miss all of the important family events back home. Recently my sister became a mom of two beautiful twin boys and it is so difficult to not see them grow up. I miss them so much!
Whenever Kevin comes to Poland (and he came with me last year in September) I become the interpreter for him and my parents. It can be difficult to see them not able to express what they truly want to express with each other because of the language barrier. I know that my mom and dad would like to talk to him but unfortunately they can’t.
What do you love about your bi-national relationship experience?
What I love is learning about different cultures and customs. Whether it’s the food, the pop culture, the language or the different cities and towns I get to visit, I get to learn about something new and different almost every day.
What advice could you give other people in similar bi-national relationship situations?
Have an open mind. Even though there are many different things than your own culture, it can be just as intriguing and exciting. Also, with long distance relationships, if the love is truly there, there can be no doubt that you will both eventually be together.
What are your 3 favourite words?
Rodzina, means family in Polish that is the most important thing in my life.
Kawa i herbata, which means coffee and tea in Polish. I always enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or steeped tea in the morning 😉
Honey, which I love, love, love! I always add it to my tea and my baking. I’m a huge fan of honey.
Those are three things I can’t live without 😉
I would like to hear about your reader’s own stories about their bi-national relationship as well. Where they have lived, where they want to live, how they met their own partners and also about life decisions that changed their lives. Everyone has their own unique story and it is always great to hear about it.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us,Patrycja! The photo was taken by CEDNA Photography.
With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,