Sometimes loves takes us to amazing places, makes us do incredible things we never expected we'd ever try or do, it might even move mountains to leave with incredible memories and stories for us to tell.
And sometimes, we bump into a special person that lives so far away that the only thing left to do is either leave or leave with them.
Here's a new interview series I will be introducing called "Moving For Love", where we're gonna meet and get to know a few people who actually moved across seas and changed cultures for the person they fell in love with.
Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Louise?
Born in the UK but currently live in De Haan (the coq) on the Belgium coast and live 10 mins away from the beach. Love to go to the beach in summer to watch the sunsets as never a two the same.
I am a goth babe and have a huge love for art and antiques and adore to collect gothic, cute and quirky pieces for our home. Mario and I like to paint new pieces or collect artwork from friends and local artists that they create.
Cooking is a big passion , and wish to own a small café one day with a mixture of English and Belgian influenced foods and treats.
How did you guys meet? And how did you guys keep up with communication?
We both met on Facebook on a tattoo page we was both member on. Once a week we would join in with group activities and share pictures of our tattoos and we would be talking and became friends.
After about a year of being friends we started talking outside of the group and realised we had a lot in common and decided to video chat. From there we never went a day without talking to one another.
Have timezones been difficult?
For us that wasn’t hard.
England and Belgium is just one hour apart. When I would finish work Mario would be finishing work an hour before or after me, so we were always able to work out a good time to talk.
How did you guys decide who was gonna move to who?
We decided it would be best for me to move. I was in a job that was making me depressed and wasn’t happy so we and my parents decided a fresh new start would be a good thing for us. I moved May of last year in 2018 and am now coming up to my first year living here in Belgium as a British expat.
What's been the hardest about "the move"? Were there any difficult/hard choices and/or decisions to be made along with it?
For me it’s the whole speaking another language. I am now learning the language and can communicate better with people whereas at first I would smile sweetly and say "sorry I understand" and we would laugh about it.
Grocery stores was another hard one at first. I would look at everything and say "what is this?", "what is that?" and people would walk past and giggle at me.
Also the currency and prices in Belgium of things is hugely different to England. Most things is half the price or more in England so I had to get used to that fast and then learn about Euros (€) at the till as I’m used to the Pound (£).
How have others responded to your relationship?
It's been a bit 50/50 to be honest and quite hard for us. My family and my close friends were cool and love to see me happy. They love Mario and everyone gets on really well, which is lovely. I had a load of “friends” whom I told about us and instead of being happy about our relationship - they turned on us and got nasty.
We were told we are disgusting because of the age difference (20 years) and that it’s really wrong we are from different countries. It got to the point I stopped talking to everyone and they would send threats through other people even after I moved. Nowadays no one has any way to contact us and has moved on and even tho we don’t want to know them we wish them good luck with their future.
Most of the people here in Belgium, pretty much everyone, to be honest, have been so supportive of us and super kind and it’s wonderful. We have had a few rude people but we look past it as they are bitter people and it’s not worth being upset over.
What's something you wish others knew about long distance relationships or moving countries for love?
That it’s all very hard.
You travel to go see your partner for a weekend or two weeks or so and it’s lovely. You spend good time with each other and love every second then you have to leave and that hurts. We have both had lots of tears, we won’t lie.
You come back home from your time with them and are happy for the time you have had and the things you have done but you're sad at the same time because you miss each other. You miss them but you have to go back to work and carry on as normal and it’s like it never happened. You spend whatever time you can talking to each other will be on camera or a text message or even eat dinner together over the camera to feel close.
Your friends are in relationships and they see their partner all the time and they're happy but it makes you feel extremely sad as you can only text and can’t even have a hug. That has to be the hardest to not be able to have a hug. Some will get funny with you if you reply to a text message whilst they're holding hands and making out in front of you (gross lol) and then don’t understand why you are sad. They see you're sad and they don’t understand and say something like "well you were with them a month ago", then brag about having dinner or a date with theirs.
When you move it’s extremely hard. You're happy you're together and will be starting your life together but you constantly miss your family and friends from back home.
When they can visit or you can it’s wonderful and amazing but then it’s over and your sad again.
What's been the best so far about your journey and experience?
We finally get to live together and no more video chatting and texting lol. We’ve grown stronger and have both learnt new things not only about each other but ourselves. You become your own little family and can live properly together and not behind a screen. Yes, you argue at times but who doesn’t? The little things make you happy. Cooking together, doing the weekly shop together, walking up and he has made you a cup of tea.
So what are your guy's future plans?
In the near future to move to a new home and find somewhere a bit bigger for us to live in. For me to find a new job with more hours and to start language school. For us to sort our finances and power work so we can save up and to sort out finances and sort out paperwork and then we can both move back to England becayse our hearts belong to the UK.
We do like Belgium, it’s beautiful scenery and beaches and lovely people around here but it’s not our home. Even for Mario who was born here in beautiful Brugge usually say that it doesn’t feel like home anymore.
Here we have close to nothing besides our pets and few handful of people we like talking to. But in England we have family, we have amazing friends and we have more of a possibility to a better life there. It feels like there is more to do and life is more affordable there and right now it seems like it's the best option for us at the moment.
Any advice or encouraging words for other international couples?
Like every relationship: always be honest with each other and take it slow and don’t rush.
Get to know each other. Both go to each other’s countries and get to meet in person and meet family and friends. Enjoy your time with each other whether it be in person or camera. Most of all plan, plan, plan everything and do your research before moving as there is always snags in the law and it never goes strait forward.
Before moving - save up what you can money wise and realise you can’t take everything with you. But ultimately - do what makes you happy.