About Elen Turner Elen Turner is a full-time travel writer and editor based in Kathmandu, Nepal.She has led previous lives in the USA, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and the UK.This issue isn’t unique to people from different cultures.When I asked my Nepali boyfriend if there was anything I needed to know about how to behave in his village, he thought for a few moments. Village people don’t understand.” That seems easy enough to me!And thirdly—and this is something that a lot of Westerners struggle to understand—many people from less-developed countries don’t want to leave everything they know to pursue a life of increased material wealth. It’s not like I decided that I wanted to be with someone from Nepal regardless of these very important factors. With increasing opportunities for location independent work, coming from different countries doesn’t mean we have to be in different countries. Maybe some people exoticise their partners, but I see this as akin to being attracted to someone just because of their looks.Life in an economically poor country may come with specific challenges, but not everyone actually wants to leave permanently. Both my boyfriend and I have careers that enable a lot of travel—me as a freelance writer and editor, he as an outdoor adventure sport guide—so if we decide we want to be together long-term, the potential to travel together, or divide our time between our home countries, is on the cards. It may be one small component, the cause of an initial spark, but unless there’s something more, it’s unlikely to lead to a deeper relationship.What gets lost in the excitement here is that relationships still come down to individuals with unique personalities and values, and just adding ‘dating a local’ to the bucket list could lead to disappointment if such relationships aren’t entered for the right reasons. My boyfriend is very encouraging of my attempts to learn Nepali, and is happy to practice my currently extremely banal and limited sentence structures with me, ad nauseum.
I like to read books, travel n enjoy music in free time. Anyone’s family has the potential to be difficult, even if you are from the same culture or country.Certainly, cultural and language differences can compound problems and lead to misunderstandings, but they don’t always. Yes, there are unscrupulous people out there who see marriage as a path to living in a different, often more-developed, country. How to time a hot shower around the power-cut schedule.Well, I know people from my own country who do things differently to me, too.