It’s not Martin’s immediate desire to give up his good life in Germany to travel full-time.
He likes stability, comfort, structure, and routine. He likes Germany!
But he also wants to be with me, and therein lies the dilemma.
I just caught up over Skype with Mr. and Mrs W, fellow expats and early retirees in Germany who run What Life Could Be, and they totally understand how difficult it can be to live in Germany. The biggest challenge is the social part – that after living here for so long, we will never feel German. Which makes a huge difference in one’s quality of life and sense of belonging.
After 5.5 years of living in Germany, I’ve given it a fair chance and it’s time to move on.
Indeed, I too have in the past felt ‘bullied’ to stay in Germany to be with Martin. But I also know that we’re adults here, and we can’t (and don’t try to) *force* the other into doing things.
It was my free-will to stay here for so long, that wasn’t Martin’s fault. Just as it’s my free-will now to leave, and Martin can decide for himself what’s he wants to do.
So I don’t think I’m bullying him, but certainly there is an element of pressure. Though this works both ways.
We have also discussed other alternatives. Like I could go alone to Chiang Mai, and see how I like it first. Or we could go together for a month and get settled, and then he could return solo to his German life to decide what he wants to do.
The only caveat to him staying behind is that we would need to legally separate on paper. Because if I am to do my no-tax nomad strategy, I cannot keep a spouse in Germany.
Martin isn’t interested in any of these alternatives.
He’s certain he wants to go all-in and come with me!
Which is a relief, because I want that too. 🙂
I say all the time that we are very different, but fundamentally, we share many common values. One of our values is putting effort into our relationship and listening to each others’ needs – then making adjustments when necessary. This was one of those necessary times.
We’re still only 2.5 years into our marriage, and it’s not always a cakewalk, but so far so good. 😉