How I met my Husband – Part 1
I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages and given it’s mine and my husband’s nine year anniversary today, I thought it a good time! I’m often asked how I met my husband and I’m sharing it with you now.
So grab yourself a cup of something, it’s going to be a long one.
I was 27, single and working hard in my corporate job in Leeds in the UK. Work was pretty much everything to me. I worked long hours in a job I loved, making the money I needed to live in a lovely city centre apartment, buy nice things and go on holidays.
However, I was exhausted, my insomnia was at an all time high (low) and I had no time or energy to do much more than work.
I decided that while I was young and had no other commitments, I’d take a sabbatical, take 6 months away from work and see some of the world. “Travelling” had never particularly appealed to me for years – well holidays had but not the back-packing thing. Something had changed though and I wanted to do something different, see the world, meet new people, do something new.
I didn’t want the trip to only be about sight-seeing and fun times, I wanted to find a purpose too and I had a really open mind to whether I would even return to the UK and to my job. I just knew somehow that this trip was going to lead to something new.
I researched online and found an orphanage in Xi’an, China who were looking for volunteers to work for them and help look after disabled babies. I hadn’t finished the first paragraph when I knew it was the project for me. Something instinctively told me that I could really make a difference by doing this work – for those children and for me too. I needed to push myself and find my purpose. So I signed up and started making plans!
Fast-forward to a few months later and I was on a plane to Beijing which would be my first destination. I’d booked a round the world ticket and on my itinerary was China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
I’d never had any interest in Australia, apart from Neighbours and Home and Away! I didn’t see much appeal but it was much cheaper to buy a plane ticket that went around the world than one to South East Asia and back to the UK.
I planned to travel alone but had some friends who were also traveling at the same time to meet up with occasionally. It was a nice mix of solo travel and traveling with friends.
On my second day in China I’d arranged to meet up with a group of volunteers who would be joining me in Xi’an on different volunteer projects. It just happened that we would be all arriving in Beijing first.
I was writing a different blog at the time about my trip and I wrote about arranging to meet up with the group and how excited I was about it.
We arranged to catch up with everyone at Tiananmen Square as it was quite central. We’d then go for dinner. One of the group, Tom, had said he was bringing a friend that he’d met on the Great Wall of China that day. As you do.
I wrote in my blog, wondering if Tom’s friend was going to be, well, ‘fit’. That’s probably what I said at the time – it was a long time ago! Turns out, he wasn’t. He wasn’t my type at all. He was quiet, wore a hoodie with skulls on it and had his head down most of the time. How annoying. He was Australian. He didn’t watch Neighbours OR Home and Away. He was in Beijing on holiday from the Philippines where he was working on a contract as an animator with Disney. I didn’t really like Disney.
I wrote in my blog what a let down he was but never mind – plenty more fish in all of the seas I was about to see!
I didn’t want my trip to be about hunting down a man but I had joked with a friend that whilst I didn’t want to meet anyone serious, I did want to kiss a different man in each country I went to. Life is all about making goals, isn’t it?! Cringe.
The next day a few of us met up again for a day trip to the hutongs and then at night to go and see an acrobatics show which was amazing. He came along again, I’m pretty sure he had the same clothes on. Such effort.
That night we all went for dinner and most of the group went home after that. I stayed out with Rachel, one of the girls in the group, and the Aussie.
We went to a dodgy club in the city and it was a weird, weird night but we made the most of it, had a few drinks and hopped in a taxi home in the early hours.
As the taxi pulled up to my hotel, the Aussie asked if he’d be getting out too and coming in with me. Um, no thank you! However, a few cocktails in, I’d decided he might be worth a ‘pash’ so that’s what happened in the taxi. For the record, I’m yet to hear an actual Aussie call a kiss a ‘pash’ but play along with me.
Our eyes met, our lips locked and our teeth bashed into each other. Twice. It wasn’t awful but it certainly wasn’t earth-moving. The taxi driver cringed for us. Because yes, he’d turned around in his seat for the show. I excused myself and went inside.
Oh well, despite the crap kiss, I could check off kissing a man in China! He was Australian but details.
A week later I was in Xi’an and loving working at the orphanage but something wasn’t right. My heart hurt. It just hurt and I couldn’t understand why. I talked to my friend about it, confessing that whilst I didn’t know why, I just missed this man.
I didn’t find him attractive, interesting, captivating, anything I thought I would when I met “the One”. I just really, really missed him.
When my project was coming to an end, I was set to visit Hong Kong next and then Thailand. I’d started Facebook messaging the Aussie at this point and he’d invited me to the Philippines in the few days I had spare between HK and Thailand. Now on Facebook, he was so much more fun! In fact, what a flirtatious, hilarious keyboard warrior he was!
I was weighing up whether to go there, to Vietnam or Cambodia – I’d heard awesome things about the latter two but one needed a visa and the other had no flights. So I booked tickets to Manila and slowly started to look forward to going. More than anything, I just wanted to stop my heart from hurting.
I wanted to know if this man meant anything at all to me or if I could forget about him and go and enjoy the rest of my trip. So off I went to Hong Kong until the day I boarded the plane to Manila.
I warned you this was a really long post! Click here for Part 2!
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