Van and Zachary
How We Met
Cruising back to 2014, I was studying law & business and enjoying the fun, Aussie student lifestyle, typically stressing out about exams and spending my weekend with friends at the beach or having smashed avo for brunch. I didn’t plan on going to Europe until I got an email out of the blue to say that my application to study in Germany for two weeks has been successful! I completely forgot that I’ve applied and have thought I wouldn’t even get in and I can remember so clearly calling my mum and saying “hey, so…I’m going to Europe in 3 months”
Fast forward to planning for the trip, being a university student and only working 10-15 hours a week, I didn’t have a lot of money for a big round trip but all I knew was that I HAD to visit Venice. It has been a dream of mine for so long and so I planned for my 2 weeks in Germany, a few days in Paris and after looking at a ton of tours and asking a lot of questions, I finally decided to do a Contiki tour through Italy. Travelling overseas for the first time ever was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. From the 36 hours all the way to Europe all by myself, to figuring out the subway system, to lugging my 20 kg of WHY DID I PACK SO MUCH luggage around to getting absolutely lost to not knowing the language and holding up everyone at the station because I had to figure out how to use the Euros but on the other hand, it was also the most exciting, educational and incredible time of my life and I’ve caught the travel bug ever since!
Zach and I met in the hotel lobby of Rome because all of us Aussies on the tour decided to persuade the Canadians that “dropbears are totally real”. I remember telling Zach that my phone have been stuffing up during my trip, and being the stereotypical nice Canadian that he is, he offered to let me borrow his phone to take photos and as many selfies as I want and being the stereotypical Aussie girl on a Euro trip…I took A LOT. And well, by the end of the night, it was “our phone”. We were both independent, carefree souls who were in search of endless adventures and so we just connected. And mind you, with sights like the Colosseum, the cobble stoned streets of Florence, the amazing arrays of gelatos everywhere and of course the magnificent canals in Venice, it was hard not to be romanticised. And against all odds, even as we went our separate ways, we stayed connected. Funnily enough, we both didn’t really believe in long distance relationships and didn’t think it’d work, but we both took a risk anyways and decided to put in 100% to try and see if it could work.
So after 6 months apart, Zach came to see me in Australia. And in June the year after, I made my way over to Canada to enjoy their summer (well I don’t know if summer was the right word as it was still 15 degrees most days). Last year, we did an amazing 6 weeks trip in SE Asia where Zach came back to Australia with me on a temporary visa! It has been absolutely surreal to finally have him here and to be able to go on date night or to be able to hug him after a fight. Little things like that we appreciate so much more just because we’ve had to deal with so much time apart.
And of course this year, the biggest one for us yet – Zach finally got his permanent residency and we took a trip back to where it all started and he proposed!! It has truly been so wonderful to find someone who I can share my love for travel with, who is my best friend, my love and my partner in crime.
So, as cliche as this may sound, taking that big step and travelling so far away by myself has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Sure it was scary and sure it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows but there is really nothing better and more humbling than realising that the world is just so big and open and full of amazing sights, people, culture and well, in my case love! And all you really have to do is take that one step and explore it.
How He Asked
There I was in my own little world taking photos of the beautiful castle with my back turned, waiting for what I thought was Zach getting out the tripod so we could take a cute photo under the very arch I excitedly tagged him in on FB a few months ago. And then, I turned around and well, my face says it all… No words can describe the feeling when the love of your life, your best friend, your partner in crime asks you to spend the rest of your life with him. We met while travelling through Europe 3 years ago and it was just so fitting that Zach has planned a proposal for when we decided to come back to where it all started! AND he even managed to find a Hungarian photographer to capture the beautiful moment… AND AT A BLOODY CASTLE IN BUDAPEST TOO?! This means I’m officially a princess right??