At Least We Share the Same Sun

Hah, puts your own LDR in perspective ;-)
Great thought play!

The Green-Walled Tower

europa-thick-ice-crustSource

<message sent 10:34:04 SST, July 13, 2144: Europa Station 5>How are you these days?

<message sent 11:18:23 SST, July 13, 2144: New Alba, PA, UNAS> I’m okay. Busy, as always. You?

<message sent 12:04:39 SST, July 13, 2144: Europa Station 5>Busy too.

<message sent 12:50:08 SST, July 13, 2144: New Alba, PA, UNAS> When do you think you can come visit next? Everyone keeps asking about you. The kids keep growing like weeds. Harris is walking now, you know.

<message sent 13:35:56 SST, July 13, 2144: Europa Station 5>He is? That’s great. I don’t know when I can come back. We opened a new mine last week. The new crew’s a bunch of morons. Gotta keep them in my sights or they’ll end up blowing up the whole moon.

<message sent 15:02:43 SST, July 13, 2144: New Alba, PA, UNAS>Yeah. I understand.

<message sent 15:49:12…

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10 years of long-distance #wtf?!

The day Ali popped the question was our 10th anniversary, Dec. 4th, 2015. Ten years of permanent long distance relationship, only interrupted by shorther or longer stays at his places in Venezuela and Barcelona and my places in Hannover, Karlsruhe and Berlin.

10 years! Whenever I tell people how long we have been together their jaws drop open, especially when they hear that all this time was spent in LDR. Why the hell would you do that?

Well, Ali and I met when we were faily young. We became a couple when I was only 16 years old, years away from finishing school, Ali, 21 at the time, still in university. I cannot remember if we have ever really talked about it in specific, but we must have – as we have always talked about pretty much everything (which by the way has sure been one key factor to why we are still together): But in my mind it was always pretty clear that we both should not let this relationship come between us and our education and dreams. After school it would have been much easier for us if I had started an apprenticeship. I would have earned a little money, gained experience on the job and a foothold in some company while after 3 years max I would have been trained and set for a permanent full-time position. That would have been the easy way.

But I did not want to look back years later regretting my decision. A decision I would have made for a relationship that by that time might not even exist anymore. I know many people in LDR are head over heels, and I sure was as well at some point, but when it came to life-changing decisions I have always been a stone-cold realist (maybe another reason why our relationship is so bold). Some people might think it’s egoistic not to step back for your relationship. I don’t think so, I call it survival. I have never been a risk-taker. So whatever decisions I have made in my life, they were always played on the safe side. It’s also healthy self-reference not to forget your own life, your own dreams, your hobbies, your friends, your family. Don’t give up what you cherish in your life apart from your relationship. I always knew that our relationship would benefit if I was at ease and peace with myself because I would channel this balance into it. In the end a relationship consists of two individuals with individual needs and personalities that need to be taken care of.

And Ali never pushed me. On the contrary he always backed me when it came to pursuing my dreams. He was happy when I was happy. Selflessness -another key factor to the survival of LDRs.

So after school (almost 5 years had passed) I studied public relations – a career very close to my dream job journalist/author but better paid  ;)  and afterwards did my M.A. in communication management. Not taking any unnecessary breaks, not going abroad, gaining job experience with suited internships and student jobs on the side but still performing above average *shoulder pat*. It wasn’t easy, it was exhausting and at times I felt like I knew nothing of this “student life” involving fun and parties that everyone talked about. This was my compromise, my sacrifice for our relationship: Getting done as soon as possible. Because if I got my way I should at least not waste any time. And still my university career took 5 years until I finally graduated last summer. And that is how easily 10 years sum up. The love for each other has maybe cooled down a little in terms of “settled” as it happens with every long-term relationship but it has become deeper and deeper. In fact, when I look at the two of us it reminds me of those old couples you somtimes see on the street, still holding hands. Isnt that what many people’s relationsip goals are?

And in a way all the decisions I have made have created a solid basis for our life together. I am finally full-time employed with a permanent contract, not earning very much but well enough to support us both. Not being able to do that was always my biggest fear but I have fought it with all I had. We are getting married on Sep 30th, 2016 and although I look back on the past 10 years with a warm feeling in my belly I cannot wait to call this LDR past.

Funnily this post was supposed to describe the day of our engagement. I guess, I’ll postpone that for another time  ;-)

TLDR – Don’t forget about yourself in a LDR. Your self-confidence will bring balance to your relationship and make passing time much easier.

 

 

Things X LDR: He says, she says…

As I’m trying to get familiar with current LDR blogs again I stumbled across this cute “interview” with a LDR couple :’)

Things on Real Life

I’ve known Joy since I was 14 and she’s the person I’ve traveled with the most. Mainly because her boyfriend, Shanky, lives in Singapore and we both fly there almost every year. I’ve seen her happily spending time with him and I’ve seen her cry in airports for leaving him.

I’m no relationship expert and don’t even get me talking about being in one but, there’s something about Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) that seems so gratifying even if most of the time, it is quite misunderstood.

So here’s a little experiment. I’ve sent both Shanky and Joy the same set of questions about their LDR. Let’s see if she looks at things the same way he does.

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Where to begin?

Oopsie. It’s been a long time since I last wrote anything on this blog. Jeez, more than two years actually. Although I had been so confident in the beginning to keep writing and thereby document the time till our marriage. Well, chances missed, I guess. Almost – because Ali and me are very close to finally get married in Germany.

But first things first. It’s actually pretty funny how I end up writing this post. Right now I am in Kenya where I was sent by the humanitarian organsation I work for to get an idea of our projects, take great photos and document what experience. Well, eventually I got myself food poisoning – which is the reason I could not attend the mission I was supposed to go on this week. Spending the time till my flight back to Nairobi in our regional office I found a few minutes for the first time in weeks to check my private e-mail beyond mails from family. I stumbled once again over someone commenting “this blog about LDR, Venezuela and our path to marriage that started a few years back”. So since I feel miserable and there is nothing much to do (and because there is finally stable internet connection!) I check out what that person named “SK” wants to tell to the author of an obviously dead blog. I most certainly expected spam.

But nope, surprise, it’s actually someone who has ties to Venezuela and LDR and to whom some of my posts still mean something after all this time. A welcome wake up call. Well, one of the posts commented by him or her seems surprisingly recent.It tells about protests in Venezuela, similar to the ones taking place at the moment. There are so many reasons for these protests as there has so much happened in the past two years that they are difficult to name. To make it short: If the economy was ill before, it’s even worse off now. There are shortages of almost everything due to nationalized/socialzed and then mismanaged companies and strict currency control. The currency control is actually in place for quite some time. But many knew how to betray the system in order to make profits from it or to use the black market as a work-around. Now inflation is so high (700%) that even the black market work-around doesn’t work well anymore and currency control has become much stricter (which would be a good thing if it only meant fighting corruption). Ali needed some meds last week (luckily nothing life-threatening) but of course could not get them anywhere. Anyhow, so things are pretty dire – but you can actually read enough about it in the news if you just google “Venezuela” (sadly).

What about us? (This is the “what happened to you guys”-part requested by SK ;)
As I said earlier we are still on our path to marriage. And when I say “path” I really mean it. We have completed all the paperwork necessary in Germany. So Ali got all those nice little papers that are sometimes difficult to get in Venezuela because the Venezuelan State doesn’t know such documents asked by German authorities like the infamous “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” – which basically says that you able to get married (wtf?!). I got all of them translated into German – which costed me “only” about 300 Euros (and now I’m just waiting for anyone commenting that they got it way cheaper), handed everything in to the German authorities, namely Standesamt and Kammergericht (district court). The latter was to decide whether the documents we handed in to replace the in Venezuela unknown Ehefähigkeitszeugnis were actually sufficient. They were. Phew – so far, so good.

What is missing now is the “Visum zur Eheschließung”, the specific visa needed to enter Germany for the purpose of marriage (German bureaucracy is great, isn’t it?), for which Ali needs to apply for at the German embassy in Caracas. The documents from me/Germany he needs for this (Verpflichtungserklärung, Letter of Invitation and confirmation by the Standesamt naming the date of the marriage – 30th of September, by the way, woohoo) are on their way via DHL Express. Now we are hoping for them to arrive soon and safely so that he can apply, hopefully gets the confirmation quickly and can then book the flight to Germany.

So that’s it for now. Of course I have left out all the many details, the tears, the worries, the often frustrating seek for information…but as writing makes you reflect I realized that although many things have happened months, sometimes many months ago, they are still extremely present in my mind. So I hope I find the time and nerves to recap these many moments and fill this blog with life again. If not, maybe a gentle reminder by “SK” can send me back on track ;-) But this time: please without free time due to food poisoning.

TLDR – Venzuela is even shittier than in 2014. We are getting married on 30th of September. Period.