Leaving As A Husband, Returning As A Father

Me, Myself & I

My name is Ethan Wilkinson and I am a student at Cardiff University. I study politics, Italian and Spanish and today my wife and I are leaving the UK to study abroad for 11 months as part of the European Union’s ERASMUS programme. We got married last November during our second year of university and we are expecting a baby this October. Yes…we are having our first-born baby abroad in Spain! I will be studying at the University of Valencia (España) for the autumn semester and the spring semester will be at the University of Pavia (Italia). I lived in Spain as a teenager and I served my mission in Italy so both countries are familiar, however the respective cultures are still a world away from our great British one.

Paella, Tapas & Churros

Leaving as a husband, returning as a father

When I think about the BBCs (Basic British Comforts) that I will miss, I realise that most of the franchises, outlets and shops are in the food sector. Nando’s, Tesco, Bella Italia, Asda, Haribo, Domino’s, Cadbury. Granted that not all of these are British (but they are certainly widely available in the UK) and some of these products can be located in Spanish cities up and down the country. But, I am familiar with the aisles, the price tags and the menu combinations of these great culinary dishes, right here, on my own island. Restaurant, a British magazine aimed at chefs, ranked three out of the top ten best restaurants worldwide, in Spain. I am sure that I will eventually embrace la cocina española, but for now I know that my wife will miss her loaf of Brace’s bread and I will miss my lemon and herb, double chicken wrap with pineapple and cheese from Nando’s.

Husband To Father

I have and am very much enjoying being a husband to a beautiful wife. I have some very good (non-Mormon) friends at university that thought that I was crazy to be getting married “so young”. My lecturers didn’t understand why I wanted to commit myself and take this big step in the staircase of life during my university studies. I got married and they were excited and happy for me. Then, it was announced that I would soon be a father and having a child, not just during my degree but during my year abroad in Spain. “Oh, but it’s a third world country that doesn’t accept the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and the NHS won’t be there to save you” they said. Well, maybe it was because of all of those years of planning and completing YM (Young Men) Duty to God goals or the daily goals set as a full-time missionary, but my wife and I knew that if we were to press forward in faith, not just believing but knowing that God would provide for our family (regardless of our location in the world or location in life’s journey), that He would do just that. And He already has.

The 'nappy cake' that was made by one of our friends.

The ‘nappy cake’ that was made by one of our friends.

As a student you constantly seek out the offers, buy the bargains and accept the freebies. It has been no different being a married student and it will not be different being a parent student. We have been blessed to be surrounded by very good and generous family and friends (both Mormons and non-Mormons) who have bought baby grows and blankets, nappies and toys. Of course money will be tight and the trips to Nando’s will be less frequent (and not just because there are no Nando’s restaurants in Spain!), but I can’t wait to be a dad!

Today I leave as a husband and will return in a year’s time as a father.

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My name is Ethan Wilkinson. I am 23 years old and I am fiercely proud to be British! I love my country and one day I would like to be an Ambassador for the British government, representing the UK abroad. I am a full-time politics and languages university student that is about to leave the UK and study abroad in Spain and Italy for a year. I am married and about to become a father! www.bleno.com - Read about & comment on my religious beliefs, my political opinions & my personal life.

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  1. […] You can view my post right here (below) and on The Very British Mormon Blog (here). […]

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