One American girl. One English bloke. One pup-kit-cat.
Together, one soul of a seeker.
↠ HOW WE MET ↞
Andy likes to say he “found me online,” which is true but that is the short version . . .
What did happen — “in L’s side of the story,” Andy would say — is that I was starting to open up after being a recluse following my divorce. I yearned to return to the simple way of life when, as a child, the sun would coax to wander under the green leaves of the canopies in the warm months or the brittle brown limbs of trees in the cold. The trees never ceased to offered an escape and protection so that when the sun disappeared, I would return home covered in dirt and filled with happiness. This was the feeling I craved to find again as an adult so I realized I needed to learn the way of backpackers . . .
Here, I sent a message to our large apartment complex asking if I could gain knowledge on forest excursions.
Meanwhile, Andy lived in my complex — He had just moved from England to America for a short-term work placement. He was tasked with helping an American engineering company improve productivity and research in manufacturing. I like to picture him weathering the high seas on his voyage to America, determination in his heart and an order in hand to help his piteous colonials succeed so that he could report back to the queen his triumphs. Let’s pause here: Maybe Andy is right — Maybe this is only my side of the story . . .
Regardless, after a month in America without a friend, Andy decided it was time to take a step towards socializing. He was one of several people to answer my message for a hiking comrade . . . but he was also the only person I accidentally forgot. To make matters worse I realized this the moment my newfound hiking group was on the edge of some glorious mountain cliff where waterfalls cascaded below. The moment I returned I crafted my best apology message, which seemed to work because he responded a day later, slyly saying I could make it up to him over beers and burgers. That scorching Virginia summer evening, we met at a dive-of-a-bar a few blocks from where we lived.
It was here, without even realizing it, we fell in love. Andy was and remains an amazing conversationalist, and I was immediately captivated and wanted to get to know him further. He confessed later that he could tell I was different, that I was special and that he too was drawn in.
Turns out, hiking was skipped over as we filled the hours talking about traveling, only to learn this passion made both our hearts beat. We stayed in the bar until it closed then wandered along the city’s canal, talking and laughing more — innocent and light — and I can honestly say we are still those people that first met.
↠ BECOMING US ↞
Hiking and traveling has continued to bond us. The forests are where we prefer to be — at any given moment — and there, we roam wild and free. We are seekers of peace and escape to find that in nature as we chase a different life, one not dictated by society.
For good or for bad, our life is not normal. For us, international love defines “long distance relationship” and visa acceptances encompassed our wishes so that we could even have a shot at being together. Our mistakes and secrets spanned from ones a lawyer commanded. But we knew only a little world built on chance — a world we had created together from the beginning — so in we jumped and figuring life out along the way.
In the end, Andy was hired by an American company and he won the elusive “lottery visa” — nicknamed this due to the slim odds of being chosen. This combination meant much but one was the official start of our love story.
↠ ABOUT ANDY ↞
Through my words and our adventures, you will have met my Englishman, Andy. True, he is the illustrator behind our stories on YouTube and the mechanic-guru for our 1965 Clark Cortez restoration . . . but he is also much more. He expresser of mood-capturing facial expressions, the both proper and furious British-cuss word verbalizer while also being the shy worder. He is the romantic, the whisperer of words in my ear each night as we fall asleep. He is the optimist, the logical thinker, the idea-creator and he has planted a garden of blooming dreams in my mind.
↠ ABOUT ME ↞
I, on the other hand, am the impulsive do-er, the jumper, the one tugging us out of our comfort zones and challenging us to embrace a life of surprise. I am the pursuer of stories, the writer, wanderer, and tomboy who prefers hiking boots over heels and dirt instead of make-up. I am a fierce nature protector and overemotional animal lover. I am a learner, an idealist but most of all I am a seeker, forever a seeker.