Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of @DinksDownUnder
The Black Expat Couple: 'It's Us Against The World'
Bré and Jomar met at Texas A&M University-College Station. After dating for several years, the couple tied the knot on September 28, 2013.
Less than two years later, they packed up and moved to Sydney, Australia. Bré is an accounting consultant manager at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, which led them to Australia. Jomar is a procurement executive manager with an Australian infrastructure management company.
We spoke with them about life as a married couple abroad.
TN: What led you to want to pack up and move?
Bré: One of our first conversations went like this: “What’s your middle name? … What’s your favorite color? … Do you like to travel? … Would you want to ever live abroad?” Yes.
Fast forward to a year into our marriage when all our other couple friends were having babies and buying houses, we realized we weren’t ready for that. That’s when we knew it was the time for us to make the move and we happily landed in the land of kangaroos and koalas.
TN: What was the job process like for Jomar once you all arrived?
Bré: It took about two months for Jomar to find a job. We discovered that the Australian market was a catch 22. Companies will not hire you without Australian experience, and you can’t get Australian experience without a job. Jomar even tried setting up interviews before we moved, but recruiters wouldn’t even set up an interview or consider him for a role until his feet were on Aussie soil.
TN: Was it easy or hard to adjust your married life routine to your new home?
Bré: Adjusting to married life in Sydney for us wasn’t necessarily easy or hard, just different. Our weekends in Texas consisted of one date night, one friends’ night, and then family time on Sundays. When we moved to Australia, we only had one friend from college who lived in another state, but it was pretty easy to adjust to Aussie life. Our Australian weekends now consist of a very active lifestyle as we work out, go to the beach, take hiking trails, and even cook more than we did in the States.
TN: How has your relationship improved since being abroad?
Bré: The complete reliance upon each other for every element of our lives, specifically when we first arrived, was slightly overwhelming as we arrived sight unseen. We had to become each other’s shoulder to cry on, guy talk, fashion consultant, medical advisor/doctor, escort to the salon, etc. We were each other’s everything. No family. No friends. New vernacular. New culture. The strength and bond that resulted is one that cannot be replaced. It’s us against the world.
TN: Do you all see yourself starting a family abroad?
Bré: That is the question for 2019. We are looking to start a family, so hopefully, it’s in God’s plan for us. We have seen a handful of expat couple friends our age have children in Australia so we know it’s possible. On the other hand, both of us really want to raise kids in Texas around family, so we will see where our adventure leads.
TN: Do you have advice for other married couples wanting to pack up and move abroad?
Why not just go and see what the adventure brings? What do you have to lose? We honestly look back and still can’t believe we did, but it’s been an amazing journey. Don’t let your fears hold you back. Although finding a beautician for Bré was a hesitation for us, we weren’t going to let that stop us. I knew that I could at least find someone that could do braids.
There are many Americans, even Black Americans, living outside the States and that expat community becomes your family away from home.