If relationships with countries …

If relationships with countries were like relationships with people, I would be in several relationships right now, not capable of monogamy, afraid of commitment, flirty, and kind of slutty.

I would be married to Santa Fe and we had some really good years in the beginning, but now we are starting to fight. Some days it is great, some days a big horrible fight. This has been going on for a few years and something is going to happen.

Italy and I dated very seriously for years, considered marriage, but then I totally freaked out at the reality of it. We kept going on for a few more years, but then he just got overwhelming and now I need some time away from him. We are having a trial separation. I am dating other countries (although I always dated other countries anyway), but now I am dating them seriously. After a few years apart, it may all start up again, or maybe the relationship has changed and we will just be friends.

Switzerland is the wonderful old lover you have been with forever. You only see each other once a year, but it is always perfect and you always wish it could last forever. Switzerland is who I run to when Italy gets too much for me.

England is the country I am courting now, but part of me thinks maybe France is the one for me. He seems more exotic, more sunny, warmer. But England is a better match. We suit each other perfectly. He is the country that would be best for me in my later years. We could grow old together.

Hawaii is a once a year fling. Wonderful while I am there, forgotten once I leave.

New York City is my passion, but is best longed for from afar.

Canada is an old husband, divorced, forgotten, and never thought of again. But he was there for the first half of my life.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

3 thoughts on “If relationships with countries …”

  1. Hi Pauline — I just LOVE the countries, relationships analogies. For years, I had a common-law marriage with France, but lately we seem to have drifted apart. I think my renewed relationship with Italy started to get in the way.


  2. In today’s NYTimes, there is an interview with the author, Sarah Dunant, about her life and her new book, The Birth of Venus, set in 15th century Florence. (Sounds like a good read.) Anyway, she says:
    “I highly recommend falling in love with a city. It’s more faithful and stimulating than a man. And if you pick the right one, you never have to cook again.”
    I love your dating history with different countries…
    Yrs, Robert

  3. Pauline,
    Add me to the list of admirers for your countries/relationships analogy! Perfect.
    (I *love* that Sarah Dunant quote – thanks, Robert!)

    I was c-r-a-z-y in love with Italy for 10 years, but it was ‘too hot not to cool down’ 🙂 I have the feeling, though, that Venice will forever be my “always there when I need it” city.

    Now I’m flirting with a bunch of other countries. Can’t wait to see if any turn serious!

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