Hi, ya’ll! I’m L, the writer behind Soul of a Seeker. Through my words and our adventures, you will have met my Englishman, Andy, who also illustrates our stories.
How we met . . .
And likes to say he “found me online,” which is true, but the tone he takes when telling this to people makes it sound as if I had posted an illegal prostitution ad or he was entering some type of black market. This (unfortunately or fortunately) is not the case.
What did happen — in my side of the story, he would say — is that I was starting to open up after being a recluse for years following my divorce. I yearned to return to the simple way of life when, as a child, the sun would coax me awake, inviting me 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 offered an escape and the only protection I needed 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 rather large apartment complex asking if I could tag along on a forest excursion.
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 company improve productivity and research in manufacturing. I like to picture him weathering the high seas on his voyage to America, order in hand to help his piteous colonials succeed and determination in his heart to report back to the queen his triumphs. So maybe Andy is right after all — 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. I realized this the moment my newfound hiking group was peering over the edge of some glorious mountain where waterfalls cascaded down, so the moment I returned I felt compelled to craft my best apology message. He responded a day later and slyly said I could make it up to him over dinner, which meant on a 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 charming, an amazing conversationalist, and that glint in his green eyes, his smile and laugh — I was immediately captivated and wanted to get to know him. He confessed later that he could tell I was different, that I was special and that he too was drawn in.
Turns out, we stayed in the bar until it closed then wandered along the city’s canal, talking and laughing — 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; we are chasing a different life, one that society has not dictated.
And this life — our life — is not normal. For us, international love defined “long distance relationship” and visa acceptances encompassed our wishes so that we could have a shot at being together. Our “mistakes” spanned from ones a lawyer said we could not do — like get engaged. But we knew only a little world built on chance — a world we had created from the beginning — so in we jumped, figuring it out along the way but figuring it out together.
In the end, Andy was hired by an American company and he won the elusive “lottery visa,” which gets its nickname due to the slim odds of being chosen. The combination meant the official start of our love story.
Though we are scarily similar, we are also different . . .
About Andy . . .
Andrew is the 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 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 sheer surprise. I am the pursuer of stories, a wanderer, a 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 embarker but most of all I am a seeker, forever a seeker.
In the end though, we are one American girl, one English bloke; we have one dog and one cat (which we call our ‘pup-kit’); but together, we have one soul of a seeker.
So that’s our story. Thanks for stopping in — We are both humbled and honored.