It’s very rare that I get personal on the blog but sometimes I like to write about things that are very special to me.
This week I have been with my husband Dan for five years, I can honestly say it has been the best five years of my life. From the moment I met him everything changed in my life and for the better. I became a better person and most importantly I learnt how to care about someone else other than myself, which for a fiercely independent 24 year old girl was a little tricky.
It all started with a phone call from an agency that I hadn’t received any work from since I had arrived 8 months earlier. I usually dodged these phone calls as I had plenty of work and after signing up with around 10 agencies they really hound you and I was bored of their phone calls. But that particular day I wasn’t working and I was able to answer the phone, it was an agent who I hadn’t ever spoken to, he asked if I was looking for work in the new year. I was working in Mitcham in South London and it was taking me over an hour to get to work so I was keen for a change so I said yeah why not. He explained to me the job was in Islington, I had never ever heard of the place (typical kiwi stuck in South West London). But I took the interview and they gave me the job, your probably wondering where this is going but it just so happened that a very handsome English gent also worked at this school. Our paths wouldn’t actually cross for a few months yet though.
It wasn’t until a cold and wet February evening, I was leaving work and this guy kind of chased me down the road (in a non stalker way), it was Dan. He introduced himself and we got on the tube together. You know sometimes when you meet someone for the first time the conversation gets to that point where there isn’t anything to say? This never happened. We talked about his recent skiing holiday and my recent trip to Egypt. We talked about our love of travel and where we were from, the conversation flowed. I was gutted when he got off at Oxford Circus.
The weeks that followed were general chit chat or ‘friendly banter’ as the Brits call it but one night (after a few drinks) we realised there was something there. He then took me on a date the following week and the rest they say is history. We were crazy about each other from the moment we pushed go and we didn’t look back. Within a matter of weeks he was spending pretty much every night at my flat in Clapham and within a few months he bought a flat and we officially moved in together. It all happened really fast but we both knew that it was the right thing.
We are so different in so many ways, he is into history and I’m into the Kardashians. He is OCD when it comes to cleanliness and I’m a total slob, he can cook, I can only try. We love to socialise, go out, see friends, drink, eat, be merry but the thing that most defines us most is our love of travel and adventure.
So I thought I would share the best adventures from the past five years as a little ode to my best friend, husband and ultimate travel buddy.
Our first ever holiday was to Brugge in Belgium for a long weekend of food and lots of beer.
We then spent a summer abroad in Italy and Greece, soaking up the sunshine, the cuisine, the culture and the history.
We got all romantic in Rome, my absolute favourite city.
Quad biked around stunning Santorini.
We loved Italy so much the first time, we returned the following year for another romantic holiday. We spent Valentines Day in Verona, went on a gondola ride in Venice, joined in the Carnival festivities and marvelled at the statue of David in Florence.
Dan booked us a getaway to the party island of Ibiza as a little surprise because he knew how much I wanted to go there! We had so much fun dancing into the night, drinking endless cocktails and exploring the totally misunderstood Balearic island.
We embarked on a ‘around the world in 6 weeks’ adventure over our summer holidays and it was a real test! It was 9 flights over three continents and 8 destinations crossing four time zones. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Fiji, Auckland, Queenstown and Hong Kong.
We had an absolute blast with friends and family at home and I tried my hardest to show off New Zealand as best I could and of course he fell in love with the place. He was also the doting Uncle to my new nephew Liam which melted my heart and we even jumped out of a plane together!
Ever the romantic, Dan decided it was time we went to Paris so whisked me off there for a few days on the Eurostar. We ate, drank and went up the Eiffel Tower.
Dan helped me through my first snowy time in London that required actually walking in snow. I spent an afternoon at Hampstead Heath falling on my ass, he was there to pick me up/laugh at me every time.
In 2013 we began our adventures in Iceland. We loved hanging out in the Blue Lagoon and seeing so many waterfalls.
In Barcelona, we ate tapas and went on a Gaudi hunt and drank our body weight in sangria and cava.
Dan and I froze our fingers and toes off in Copenhagen.
A huge milestone in our relationship was when Dan popped the question at Glastonbury 2013 during the Rolling Stones song ‘Gimmie Shelter’ – my favourite Stones song. Even though he was really sick he knew it was the kind of proposal I wanted and he was right. I loved it, it was so me.
I got to watch my intelligent man pick up his Masters Degree and become a Teacher of the Deaf. It was a really proud moment for me after watching him work his butt off for two years.
The celebrations continued when my ring from New Zealand arrived, we popped off to Norway for the weekend. We were too poor to eat out so we snuck into McDonalds for a feed, we think thats totally acceptable sometimes.
Always looking to seize and opportunity, we booked a flight back to New Zealand via Singapore for 12 hours. We managed to pack in a whole bunch in 10 hours but most importantly a Singapore Sling. This is our we haven’t slept for 2 days smile.
I took him home to New Zealand for a second time because I really wanted to go home before we tied the knot. Dan totally agreed and we had a great time yet again. He was such a hit with my nephew as yo can see.
A weekend in Amsterdam was just what we needed pre wedding and it was the perfect way to forget about work, wedding planning and everyone and just be with each other one last time before families and friends descended on us for the big day.
Dan accompined me to a very special afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. Although not much of a Royalist himself, he knew how special this was for me and got really into the spirit of things. It was one of the best day’s we’ve ever had and I’m so glad I got to share it with him.
After a year long engagement we tied the knot at Islington Town Hall before having a party at a pub in Kings Cross. It was a great day had by all and I felt so wonderful becoming his wife and progressing with the next step in our lives. From this day on we felt like a proper family.
Part of the deal with the wedding planning was that Dan organise the honeymoon, I knew nothing about the location until just before the wedding and what awaited me upon arrival was actual paradise. The husband did good and married life started with a bang in the Maldives.
The celebrations didn’t end there though, when we returned home we hopped on the next flight to Italy to enjoy the beautiful Cinque Terre and Venice. We drank copious amounts of prosecco, ate truck loads of pasta and topped up our tans at the beach.
We spent a week in Spain and Portugal continuing our love affair with tapas, sangria and cava (I’m seeing a trend here). We loved the madness of Madrid!
Dan understands that Christmas for me is a time to get away on holiday so we spent another Christmas abroad, this time in Germany with friends.
We have ticked items off the bucket list like seeing the Northern Lights in Norway, it was a very special moment for us. It was the third attempt for Dan and the second for me. We took it all in and appreciated it so much. It was everything and more than we expected.
Dan and I embarked on our very first road trip together, Scotland took our hearts and tested our ability to map read on a daily basis.
Knowing Dan was missing his bestie who lived in Ireland, we went out there to spend a few days with him at his families holiday home in West Cork.
We had an incredible few days with friends in Ibiza, even at 38 my boy still knows how to party!
We spent our first wedding anniversary at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel where we spent our wedding night. We know how important it is to celebrate things and our first one has set the president for the rest.
He knows how to look after a homesick kiwi as well, by buying a special cake fully loaded with a Silver Fern and an All Blacks jersey for my birthday.
Cementing the married life, we bought a flat together after 6 long, painful months of working with solicitors and agents. Buying a house was 100 times worse than planning a wedding! But we got through it created a home.
Dan supported the mighty All Blacks once England had been kicked out of the world cup and even donned the jersey when we went to see them play in the quarter finals match.
We spent yet another Christmas abroad but who could turn down Christmas in New York? He was like a real life Kevin McAllister while we were there and I think I even got him into brunch while we were there (only because they served beer).
The last 5 years have truly been remarkable and I can only hope the next 5 are full of as much love, laughter, adventures and happiness with my lovely English gent. For all those ‘solo travel is the best’ posts I see I always think of how much better all of my travel experiences have been because I’ve had Dan by my side and I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to share this with someone special.
We worked out the other day that during our big trip we will be spending 4 1/2 months of it camping in a tent together so I think if we can get through that we can get through anything!
Here’s to the next 5 years x
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