Katalin and Karol are a Polish-Hungarian couple who met in Finland! They were engaged in Brazil, married back in Finland, now have a little baby, and are continuing their travels as a family of 3! They’re sharing their love story on the blog, and giving us a little peek into their family life, as remote workers, who travel with a newborn baby.
Let’s get started!
The Quirky Pineapple: Tell me your love story!
Katalin: We met in 2011 in Finland on a student party. I was an exchange student and Karol has been living there already for many years. I added him as a friend online, and then he asked me for a date or two. After that everything speeded up.
TQP: Where are you living now? If it’s not both of your home countries, why there? What do you like about it?
Katalin: We have lived in Finland for 5 years because we had studies and jobs here which still allowed about 3 months travel each year. And of course, the beautiful nature and amazing winters were another reason of staying in Finland!
Then, after our marriage, we started traveling (as we work mostly remotely). Last year we have been on the Balkans and in Canada, but now we returned to Finland for a couple of months because of the
birth of our son.
TQP: What languages do you both speak? Which is the common language that you communicate in?
Karol: It is quite complicated. We both speak Finnish (not fluent though) and English. The latter one we use for everyday life. When we need a secret language during our travels, then Finnish is the perfect choice. I am familiar with German and I understand other Slavic languages based on their similarity to Polish. I attempted few times to learn Hungarian, but with no good results. Katalin learns Polish and she knows the basics in French. We both talk in our mother tongue (Polish/Hungarian) to the baby, so probably it will give a boost to learn each other’s language.
TQP: What are your nationalities? What are your ethnic backgrounds?
Karol: Katalin is Hungarian, I am Polish. We are both Caucasian.
TQP: What is the most frustrating thing or has been the most frustrating thing about being in an international, intercultural, and interlanguage relationship?
Katalin: In the beginning, the communication was challenging. I missed my mother tongue and the easiness
of expressing my thoughts and feelings. Luckily the situation improved by me getting fluent in
TQP: What was or is one thing about your partner’s culture that was the hardest to get used to?
Katalin: I considered giving hugs and kisses to friends and acquaintances normal earlier. In Poland (and especially in Finland!) the people are more reserved and need bigger personal space. In the beginning, I shocked others by trying to give kiss to their cheek or hug them. It was a long learning process.
Karol: Hungarian spicing, lot of garlic and onion in dishes, and their weird sausages are something I
will never get used to.
TQP: What is the one thing about your partner’s culture that you love the most?
Katalin: I love Polish food!
Karol: I like Hungarian food too. My favorite dish is lángos, but I also like lecsó (actually its Polish version, so probably it doesn’t count as answer to this question).
TQP: What have you adopted from your partner’s culture that you would try (or want) to incorporate into your own?
Karol: I can only think about food: lángos. Yes, Katalin makes it for us regularly.
TQP: Can you describe a funny situation when you were “lost in translation/culture”?
Katalin: We were going by bus in Finland. We stopped at a fuel station, the driver announced something and left the bus. I didn’t understand Finnish at all that time. I told Karol that I haven’t understood the driver. He told me he does not understand me. I repeated it louder, but he said again that he didn’t understand me. I was getting angry as I didn’t want to shout on the bus. After some moment, finally, I realised I was speaking Hungarian! Of course, he had no idea what I said.
Always be patient with your Significant Other, it is so easy to mix languages without noticing it!!
TQP: Where do you both plan on living in the future?
Half a year in Finland (because of the baby), half a year traveling! I am not sure if we ever really settle down!
TQP: Do you have any suggestions or advice for people who find themselves in an international, intercultural, interlanguage relationship?
It is a best way to really understand another culture. Learning at least the basics in the language helps a lot too!
TQP extra question! What has been the craziest adventure you’ve embarked on together, or are planning together?
We consider it normal, but some of our family members and friends consider traveling with a newborn/child is crazy. Is it?
Thank you, Katalin and Karol, for sharing your love story! It always fascinates me when I meet an international couple who didn’t meet in either of their home countries! All the best to you and your family and your new addition to the family! (: I loved reading through your answers and how you both defy all expectations when it comes to travel and also a “normal” family life. Want to follow more of Katalin and Karol’s story? Head to their blog: Our Life, Our Travel, and give them a follow 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! Stay tuned for my next series, featuring some badass women who created their own business and found a way to live a life that gives them their daily adventure!
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