If you have read my previous blog article, you now know that I am moving to Iran for love, as soon as the day after tomorrow. The most frequent question or remark I have had is: “But, how? And isn’t it safer to stay in Belgium? Especially now that Covid is still rampant worldwide and the economy in Iran is devastated by US sanctions?”. Love doesn’t bring bread to the table… I’m sure you are well aware of that. Other questions concern the way I deal with cultural differences and what I actually want to do once we arrive there. Today, I won’t (yet) be dealing with culture, but instead expand on the choices we have made, and the general mind set behind them.
Changing Priorities in the Face of Crisis
My friends, crisis has hit us all. We have all suffered in different ways, seen plans and dreams and even loved ones disappear in front of our eyes. But if I may preach one, and only one thing, is to ask you not to let it paralyse you. It is never too late or bad timing for saying “Damn it! I’m going another way”. Crisis makes you open your eyes to what matters most and you may see your priorities change because of it. And so it did with me, also.
My priority went from getting a good internship at an EU institution or similar, going to a prestigious college for my Master’s Degree in International Law and earning a great living independently, to making sure that I find myself – whatever the circumstance – in a situation where I can say “My work, be it through words, acts or other, has made life more beautiful and worthwhile for someone.”
My Love for Iran
This is exactly what I have chosen for by going to Iran for the foreseeable future. A country, though not my own ancestrally, that has shaped me in so many ways throughout the last few years. A country that has brought me to tears of both joy and sadness, that has shown me its gardens resembling paradise and welcomed me like the most hospitable person could not welcome a king. And mostly, a country that has opened my heart to allow more softness and love inside.
Yes, staying in Belgium could be considered safer. I know the people, culture, language and the healthcare system is robust. Statistically, my chances of earning a decent income with my qualifications are also better in Belgium, or any other EU country at the moment, than in Iran. Yet, taking a job – any job – over there to be able to support Ehsan and me, goes directly against many of our current convictions of what is important in life. We are all well aware of the “trap” that a decent job, a safe choice, can be.
Chasing a Dream
We have a dream. And it’s a really, really big one. Everything, from being able to speak my mother tongue to the possibility of a stable, safe job will have to make way for it. We have chosen to wait longer to see each other, take bigger risks than we would otherwise be comfortable with and start completely from ground zero. But, we are doing it together (and, … with our cat).
So, does this mean we’re settling down? Helllllllllll no. We are building up a home base from which we can venture outward. To wherever we want. Whenever we want.
I currently work part-time as an English and Dutch language teacher to get some extra money in, while Ehsan works with his dad in the Tehran Grand Bazaar as a hand-made rug dealer and takes care of the main part of our income. Yes, we need our ‘normal’ jobs to sustain ourselves, but meanwhile we are working on something bigger, in an attempt to bring the best Iran has to offer to all of you. I hope you stay around to find out what I’m talking about. But rest assured, there is no place better to start than in the heart of an art form itself.
Would love to hear from you all in the comments. And of course, follow over on Instagram for more daily updates and insights into everything.
Andrea & Ehsan