Why did you move here? Bi-national relationship advice – Laura and Jonny’s story.


Why did you move here? Bi-national relationship advice – Laura and Jonny’s story.


A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a photo of a sweet couple on Instagram. The caption said: “Nostalgia. One of the best times of my life was leaving a snowy Stockholm for a sunny California, and falling head over heels in love with my Jonny. #lovetober”. I was intrigued, what was their story? So I started talking to Laura aka @secretlydancing and found out that she met her love Jonny (@thekidfromcalifornia) on Instagram. What a perfect fit for this series!

If you’re just half as curious as me, you want to know how those two hip kids went from talking online to living together in Sweden. Just keep on reading:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself! His name is Jonny and he is 25 years old. Her name is Laura and she is 27 years old. His passion is coffee and he is a barista by trade. She is planning to go back to school for nursing. In the meantime she has engulfed her time in books. They live together in Stockholm, Sweden (finally!).
  • Have you always lived where you live now? She has spent her life in Stockholm. He spent the majority of his life in California, before moving to Sweden this November.
  • How & when did you meet your partner? About two years ago, they started talking on instagram. This led to text messages, phone calls and video chats. In March 2013, she flew to California (her first time travelling by herself! But accompanied by butterflies in her stomach, of course) where she was greeted by his freckled face at LAX.
  • When and how did you know it was serious? They were both committed after her very first visit to California, but it took a while to agree on a label of the relationship. Are you girlfriend and boyfriend after having spent only two weeks together, before being separated by the Atlantic again and not knowing when you will see each other next? But it didn’t take long for him to book a ticket to visit her in Sweden, and in the transatlantic travelling that followed, everything fell into place.
  • Did you have to spend time apart? The hardest part was spending four months apart after her first visit in California, because everything was so new and fragile still. After that, he visited her in the summer of 2013, and then during the winter of 2013-2014 she spent a total of four and a half months in the US with him. The longest time apart was the seven months after her last visit and before he was approved to move to Sweden. During the times apart, Skype was a big help. Many handwritten letters and postcards were sent, and starting a book club and reading the same books at the same time made the distance seem smaller.
  • How did you decide where to live? It is much easier (not to mention cheaper!) to move to Sweden from the US than doing the opposite. He also wanted to leave the US, while she wasn’t ready to leave her family and friends behind. So it really wasn’t a hard decision to make.
  • What’s most challenging about immigrating into another country? The paperwork, the lack of communication from the Migration board, and not knowing how long it would take for him to be approved for his residency permit (it ended up taking 10 ½ months). For her, the hardest part was making the physical space for him in her life – where to fit his clothes, books, and knick knacks. He has a lot of knick knacks!
  • What do you love about your bi-national relationship experience? Both got to travel to new countries and experience new and exciting things. She got to see the California sunsets and he got to pick berries in the forest for breakfast.
  • What advice could you give other people in similar situations? Communication is key. Stay calm, be patient. You are not alone in this; your partner is going through the same thing. Skype is great invention, but don’t forget that a handwritten letter or a small gift in the mail is much more meaningful.
    • What are your 3 favourite words? His: Citadel, infatuated, fika
      Hers: Love, sommarregn (Swedish for summer rain), elokuu (Finnish for August).

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Laura And Jonny!

    With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

    ❤ Leonie❤

    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.