In Part 1 of this series, I presented the questions.
Part 2 profiled Kay and Todd from Japan and the USA
Part 3 profiles Vibeke and Spencer from Norway and Gibralter
1) Your names Vibeke and Spencer
2) Your blog
3) Your nationality
4) Spouses nationality
5) Where do you live now? Do you live with your spouse?
We live together in the south of Spain
6) Amount of time married
9 years married, 14 years together.
7) How did you meet?
We met at the Taj Mahal in India whilst waiting for the sunrise. Because the Taj Mahal was bathed in thick fog, we got chatting and ended up travelling together for two weeks before I changed my air tickets for Gibraltar rather than Nepal.
8) What was the biggest impediment to getting married?
There was no impediment.
9) Where did you get married?
10) What was your marriage ceremony like?
We had a civil ceremony in Gibraltar’s botanical garden, then went on a boat trip to see dolphins in the Straits of Gibraltar before we had a huge beach party.
11) How is the relationship with your in-laws?
Ok. In-laws are in-laws…
12) What about your spouses with your family?
13) What was your biggest cultural misunderstanding?
There have been many…anything from a continuous confusion when it comes to what a lunch should consist of (I am used to a light sandwich type lunch, my husband a sit down, three course meal) to an eternal opposite view of time spent outdoors vs. indoors. My husband is literally born on the shores of the Med and will seek the outdoors whenever possible. I am used to spending at least six months per year more or less indoors due to sub zero temperatures outside.
14) Can you tell a funny story about a cultural mishap?
When we first moved to Norway, we bought a small Renault Clio which packed in on a cold winter’s day when my husband was out on his own. He phoned the tow truck, but found the wait long and freezing. So he knocked on the door of a house and asked for a bottle of hot water which he took back to the car and poured it on the ground next to the car in the hope that it would make the ground warmer…. Anyone who has experienced 20 below zero will predict the effect: the snow on the ground immediately turned to ice and made the whole area so slippery that it became almost impossible to maneuver the car rescue operation.
15) Have you traveled with your spouse?
Yes, many times.
16) If so, has it been challenging? Why?
17) If not, why not?
We may have a lot of differences, but the one thing we have in common is our love of travel. Because we met as young backpackers we have never really had any challenges when it comes to choosing new destinations. My husband has introduced me to traveling by motorbike, and I have opened his eyes to city breaks, so I would say we have completed each other pretty well when it comes to traveling.
18) Do you have children? If so, what is that like, internationally
We have two children aged five and eight. They speak Norwegian, English and Spanish fluently and are able to relate with great ease to their three different nationalities. They find it surprising when other children only speak one language and I find they have a high level of tolerance when it comes to accepting other people’s ways. We have also travelled a lot with the kids, and it is beautiful to see them feel at home in the world and be able to communicate with children almost everywhere we go.
19) If you don’t have children, why not? Do you plan to?
20) What is the best and the worst thing about international marriage?
Best: To have bi-cultural children as well as to be able to become bicultural myself.
Worst: The potential chaos that would occur if we split up and decided to live in separate countries. Bringing children into an international marriage/relationship is a huge responsibility!