Meeting at an awards show, friends on Facebook, dating, and now married and traveling to 15 different countries – y’all, that’s a love story. I’m so excited to be introducing Ágata, a Portuguese video editor, and André a Brazilian motion designer for this month’s International Couples Series! Their story is filled with feel good moments, laughter, and a lot of community and support. Let’s dive in!
The Quirky Pineapple: Tell me your love story! Where did you both meet, who made the first move, how did it come about?
Ágata: In 2012 I got a job offer in André’s hometown, Fortaleza. The economic crisis was pretty bad in Portugal so when I got an offer to work in my area (I’m a video editor) I didn’t think twice and just hopped on the plane! I think it was 4 months after I arrived, we met in a tv and commercial award party. We were kind of drunk but André could remember my name the day after so he added me on Facebook and we started to talk there. From there we started to date and now are happily married! ☺
André: I was in an award party, when I saw this beautiful girl. I just wanted to talk to her, so I got my award (I won the category I was running) and I tried to impress her, and it worked!
TQP: Where are you living now? If it’s not both of your home countries, why there? What do you like about it?
Ágata: Well, right now we don’t have a house but we lived in São Paulo (in the south of Brazil) for 3 years before. We just sold everything we owned and went travelling for 6 months!
André: Nowadays we don’t have a home, just our backpacks and a camera!
TQP: What languages do you both speak? Which is the common language that you communicate in?
André: Portuguese, a little Spanish and English, we talk in Portuguese to each other but sometimes some words come out in Spanish as we are travelling in Latin America now!
TQP: What are your nationalities? What are your ethnic backgrounds?
Ágata: I’m from Lisbon, Portugal and I guess my ethnic background is European. André on the other hand is a mixture, like many Brazilians. His mother is blonde with blue eyes as she descends of Dutch colonizers and his father has indigenous blood! He is really white, too, and when we go to the beach and I get tanned I say I’m the Brazilian and he is the European!
André: Ágata is Portuguese and I’m Brazilian, as for my ethnic background is both Dutch (mother side) and Indigenous (father side).
TQP: What is the most frustrating thing or has been the most frustrating thing about being in an international and intercultural relationship?
Ágata: We are always finding out other expressions or slang in either Portuguese from Portugal or Brazilian Portuguese! The learning process seems to be infinite!
André: I don’t see it as frustrating but as a learning process, as we are always exchanging culture between us.
TQP: What was or is one thing about your partner’s culture that was the hardest to get used to?
Ágata: I was already living in Brazil when we met but one thing I really didn’t like was the lack of compromise, people will say stuff like “oh let’s meet tomorrow” but don’t really mean it. As a European this would drive me crazy! Also meeting hours mean nothing to them, like let’s say we meet at 8PM, they will arrive at 9PM and it’s fine! Nowadays I got used to it.
André: I don’t have any frustration (yet) with the Portuguese culture.
TQP: What is the one thing about your partner’s culture that you love the most?
Ágata: Although Brazil seems to be in a bad shape, economic and politics wise, Brazilians are always making fun of themselves and that’s great because unfortunately Portuguese people don’t have much sense of humor. We are very melancholic!
André: The food, the wine and the people are nice too!
TQP: What have you adopted from your partner’s culture that you would try (or want) to incorporate into your own?
Ágata: I would say the sense of humor, always try to see the good side of things; even if we are in a bad situation, to think “well it won’t be like this forever so let’s just get on with it!”
André: I love the slang they use and how they complain of their stuff! It’s funny! Also, they seem to be more rational in their politics, which is a great thing because in Brazil politics are treated like a football game!
TQP: Can you describe a funny situation when you were “lost in translation or culture”?
Ágata: Our first date, André didn’t understand anything because of my accent. I told him this funny story and he didn’t even laugh! Two or three years later we had a friend staying in our house in São Paulo (as she lives in Fortaleza) and she told the exact same story (because the story was between me and her) only this time André laughed his ass off! I was so pissed because I told him this story twice before!!!
André: We have a lot of “dirty” expressions and I always have to translate them to her! Portuguese people are more prudish than us, for sure, not her, but the Portuguese society in general.
TQP: Where do you both plan on living in the future?
Ágata: After we are finished with our trip, we are thinking to move to Lisbon. If not Lisbon, Dublin or Berlin but let’s see what the future holds!
André: Long term wise, in some countryside somewhere. We are dreaming about this farmhouse with a little vegetable garden, solar panels, chickens and some kids. In short term, probably Lisbon.
TQP: Do you have any suggestions or advice for people who find themselves in an international, intercultural, and multi-language relationship?
Ágata: I would say the most important thing is for you two to have a common background! So like for us, we both worked on the same area (I’m a video editor and André is a motion designer) we liked the same music and the same movies, we wanted to travel a lot and after when we met each other friends, we just became a very dysfunctional, big family of friends and family around the world! Before we went on the trip we had a farewell drink in a bar in São Paulo and it was crazy! There were people from almost all states of Brazil, Portuguese friends and such, it was great! I guess we are really lucky to always find really nice people along the way ☺
André: You will have to have some patience because relationships are hard! Even if you’re not in an intercultural relationship patience and empathy is essential.
TQP: What has been the craziest adventure you’ve embarked on together, or are planning together?
Ágata: Definitely to sell everything we owned and live out a backpack for 7.5 months! It was very well planned (money wise, we were saving for a year and a half for this!) but still a crazy adventure for sure. Luckily, André always wanted to travel as well! This is our third big trip, only this time we are hitting around 15 countries. It will be a long trip as we are doing 3 months from Santiago, Chile to Cartagena in north Colombia and then are going three more months to the Southeast Asia!
TQP: How long have you both been together?
André: We have being dating for 4 years now and living together and married for 3 years! And very happy!
Thank you, Ágata and André, for sharing your love story and inviting us into a peek of your life! I find it so inspiring that you two were able to sell everything you had and travel for six months, especially because traveling with someone for that long can be difficult. I enjoyed reading your stories and how you both shared bits and pieces of your life together. It honestly gave me goosebumps reading through it and laughing to myself, as if we were in a living room together and sharing a beer. I’m excited to see more of your adventures around the world and in Southeast Asia! Want to follow Ágata and André’s love story as they travel around 15 countries? Check out their blog: The Backpacker Couple, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook!
The International Couples Series was created to inspire and highlight some of the challenges and funny moments of being in an international relationship. My hope is to inspire those who are in these relationships, that if the relationship is healthy, it can really be worth all of the paperwork and visa headache! Thank you, Ágata and André, for sharing your story! If you’re in an international, intercultural and/or multi-language relationship and would like to be featured on The Quirky Pineapple, please contact me so we can set up an interview and you can share your love story! (:
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