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Moving over seas

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2014 07:10 am
Any advice on moving over seas? My partner and I are planning to move to Guam in a year, next summer, and we will both be 21 by that time. I recently move 3 states away from my family about 7 months ago and my mom is still upset and constantly asking when I'll be moving back home. I don't know how to tell them now that we will be moving a days flight away in just over a year. Any advice on how to handle this?
 
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Ally1202
 
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Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 05:34 am
@dalehileman,
Curious about it in what way?
jespah
 
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Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 06:42 am
@Ally1202,
Well, you'd better get started, I'd say. Springing it on them at the last minute isn't going to cut it. This is an extreme move, no matter how you try to spin it. I guarantee they will be upset; your sole hope is for them to be not 100% upset, and for them to be flexible and reasonable and open to convincing. They might not be, no matter what you do.

You will need to make it abundantly clear that this is a good move (it is, isn't it?), you'll have a support system (you will, won't you?), and you'll be financially secure (right?). You have to make it clear that you will visit when you can (you will, right?) and you will even help them financially if they want to visit you and can't afford it (yes?).

The other side of the world is a helluva move. And I have to say, they would be right to be concerned about it, and beyond their own personal emotions. This is a place where it's quite the production to get there and back again. Three states away? You can drive, or take a train, bus, or plane, at least part of the way. But Guam is a long, long flight, and not a cheap one.

Guam is also not a place that's known for any sort of industry. It is a dot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Even Hawaii and Japan are pretty far slogs from it. Making your money off tourism means you live at the whims of the American and Japanese economies. Wikipedia (not always the greatest of sources, I will admit) says the biggest employer is United Airlines. But let's face it; there are plenty of other places you can be and still work for United. And if your heart is set on working in the tourism industry, you can do that in a lot of other places, too.

The second-biggest employer is the US military. Is this for a deployment? Because I don't think you would know where deployment would be this far in advance. As for making your living off the military, then you're confined to whatever relates to that, whether it's running a restaurant or a nearby hotel. US military bases are still all over the world, and many of them are in far more accessible locales.

Pacific beauty comes in a lot of other places; Hawaii is a far more reasonable trip although it's not a cheap place to live, by any means, and it suffers from similar issues of being remote and claustrophobic, but at least there are other islands you can hop to. With Guam, your (somewhat) local options are confined to Micronesia.

Also, being that far away (and you are not going there to be with anyone in your family, or any of your friends, so far as I can tell from your post), means that you will be overly dependent upon your boyfriend for companionship, friendship, and entertainment. He will be the one to take you to the Emergency Room if necessary. He will be the one to take you shopping, too, or to a day spa or whatever you want to do with your time while there and not working. It will be a ton of togetherness. You may feel you are truly in love and all of that, but even people who love each other deeply need a break from each other every now and then. Being that remote, and without friends already there, means you need to make friends, fast, when you get there, in order to try to build a support system.

BTW, I don't know if it matters to you, but you may also be walking straight into a situation where you'd be a minority. Are you Filipino or of other Asian descent? Are you Roman Catholic? Because if you aren't one or of the other of these characteristics, you're less than 10% of the population, and probably less than 5%.

Think about how you're going to answer all of these concerns and questions before you say anything to your parents. And think about whether you really mean the answers, or whether you're just looking to convince them of the rightness of your actions.

Because you need to be convinced, too. And being in love is not a good enough reason.
Ally1202
 
  3  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 07:09 am
@jespah,
It is a good move, my partner(wife) is chamorro and is from Guam, so we would have a tremendous support system since most of her family, minus the couple handfuls who move around due to military, still live there. She moved out here as a teenager and hasn't been back, so we wanted to move where we would have a support system, and she wants to go into marine biology and would love to study there. I'm a nursing major so I can study almost anywhere. We will have enough money, we make a little over $5,000 a month with only $1000 rent and roughly $200 bills, and we will be saving everything we can for this next year. And her family already has jobs set up for us and a house we will be renting. We have almost everything figured out and have started planning for everything in advance, so we will be prepared for it next July. We won't be staying there for the rest of our lives, we both love to travel so I think we will go all over the world one day, but of course we want to get our degrees and save a bunch first. So this is more of a temporary 4-5 year move. And of course we will save to be able to visit at the very least once a year and help my parents visit at least once a year. I just know how my mom is, bs she doesn't want me far, but I don't want to let that restrict me because I want to travel and experience the world as much as I can. Not settle down in my home town when I'm 20. I hope that doesn't sound too aweful.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 07:33 am
@Ally1202,
Okay, that's a bit different (and sorry for the gender error - that's me reading too fast).

It does sound like you have a support system and a plan in place, which is great. However, I would still caution you, because your support system 100% comes from your partner. Your folks will likely pick up on this as well. Despite how loving and welcoming your partner's family is, if it all goes sour (and this happens sometimes, despite our best intentions), then you are the one with no support system. Your partner's family will not hesitate to side with your partner, I'm sure.

I'm also not sure what the support system will be in a predominantly Catholic island as you are (if I read this wrong again then I maybe need new glasses) lesbians. I'm not saying that prejudice is guaranteed, but you may feel it just the same. Consider this - a close friend moved to Kansas in the '80s for her husband to attend grad school at KU in Lawrence. Yes, they're straight. But they are Catholic and she is Italian while he is Portuguese. Lawrence, at the time, was overwhelmingly Protestant - and they had very little of a support system, despite how much the university tried to help them. I cannot imagine what things would have been like if they were Jewish, or Muslim, or atheist, or African-Americans, or a gay couple, etc. All I'm trying to say is, you may find intolerance. And in a small community (150,000 people on Guam but about 45,000 in Dedeno Village, the largest 'city') where there really is nowhere else to go.

Also, gay marriage and civil unions aren't recognized in Guam. Be prepared to be denied access to your partner's hospital room, tax records, or, if it comes to that, estate if she dies (I hope not, but stuff happens) without a will while you're living there.

Just - your folks are going to want the best for you and they are going to urge caution. I'm trying to cut through this and do so without emotions (after all, I don't know you at all, of course). There are positives to this move, and there are negatives. And right now, despite what you're saying, the negatives are still rather large one. Don't convince me; think about how to convince your folks. But I bet their questions and concerns will be similar, once they push past their feelings and start to ask objective questions.
Ally1202
 
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Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 07:43 am
@jespah,
Yea, I am aware that I will be a minority, and that there aren't any gay rights in place. I do know that her family loves me, and also pray that our marriage never goes south. I know its not the same, but i was alone in high school because most of my schools population was african american, Asian, or hispanic/Mexican, and I was gay, and when i say alone, i literally mean alone. I had one good friend in high school but she lived 45 minutes away. So I have some experience and expectation as to how it will be, even though I know that her family accepts me already. I know things such as the lack of gay rights could come in play, but i don't want to live by the what ifs, if it happens that I deal with it and come up with a new plan.

I know you don't know me, and that i should answer these for my parents, but i do like answering them here, its sort of like practice for when I approach my parents, my mom is HR director and a UC, so she is very good at arguing (haha), and I have learned from her, but of course she has 27 extra years of practice. So this is very helpful, thank you! Smile
dalehileman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 09:51 am
@Ally1202,
Quote:
Curious about it in what way?
Eg, for what reason Al would one wish to move to Guam

Edited to remark, reason given in your posting #….536
Ally1202
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 10:56 am
@dalehileman,
Oh, yes. We want to move 1. so that she can be back home for a while after being gone so long, 2. she wants to study marine biology, thats a good place to do so; we've done research, 3. I love to travel and have always wanted to go somewhere tropical, 4. we wanted to move somewhere with a support system. I am very excited to make this move, I think it will be a great and challenging experience for me, I just know my parents, mostly mom won't like it. Then again she doesn't really like anything unless I say we are moving back to California.
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jespah
 
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Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 12:44 pm
@Ally1202,
I well recall moving to Delaware and knowing absolutely no one (this was for school). Way, way, way before the Internet and it was very isolating. Best of luck to the two of you and hey, get your mother on Skype. Back when dinos were roaming the planet and I moved to Delaware, we just had phone and snail mail.
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