October 1st, 2009
Siem Reap, Cambodia
I was sitting in a small restaurant in the middle of a flooded city, tired after a long day of touring Angkor Wat, but ready for a night of celebrating my traveling companions birthday. Jayme and I had been gone for four months and were currently visiting our twentieth country. To my request, “Happy Birthday” was playing over the radio as I noticed an attractive guy sitting at a table across from me. I stopped at his table on our way out of the restaurant and invited him to join us at a bar down the street for beers and trivia and he replied with, “Thank you for that information.” A group of us joined together for trivia and after sharing traveling stories and itineraries, we realized that we are all planning a similar route through SE Asia. We decided to exchange facebook names in hopes of meeting up in the next few months. He wrote down his name on a random hostel card I found in my purse… “Norman” a name that I had never spoken, but now brings a smile across my face every time those two syllables reach my lips. My Norman, my wonderful, loving, amazing, soon to be husband Norman!
October- November 2009
We met for dinner every night on Koh Tao, an amazing island in Thailand for a week while Jayme and I took classes to earn our scuba certifications. After studying or diving during the day, we spent our evenings at local restaurants, beach side bars with fire dancers and loud music, or just talking. As the nights continued, I became aware that I had strong feelings forming towards this man who I only just met. On Norman’s final evening on the island, he visited us at our scuba resort to celebrate our PADI completion. Like every night together thus far, we talked and talked and talked. Hours rolled by as we shared stories, realized common interests, and discussed our family and friends. The night came to an end with an awkward goodbye hug outside of his guesthouse. First thing the next morning, I felt the urgent need to write him an email stating that “we have to meet up again in Bali. Last night can not be the last I see of you!”
After many emails back and forth, Norman and I reconnected on the beautiful island of Bali. Our days in Kuta were spent lounging, swimming, eating fresh fruit, and talking. During the evenings we all gathered at local restaurants where English movies were projected onto the walls, but the subtitles with their many mistakes made them almost impossible to concentrate on. Instead we laughed and talked during all the films. The three of us decided to spend the rest of the week travelling around the island, so we hired a driver and spent the next few days exploring Lovina and Ubud. Snorkeling trips, sunrise dolphin boat tours, and cultural centers kept us busy during the day and our nights were spent sitting on the patio talking about what we had together, something incredibly special. I felt like I had known him my entire life and had already decided that I would visit him in Germany the following fall after my world tour came to an end. With tears in our eyes, we said goodbye in Bali, not quite knowing what our future would hold.
We emailed almost every day while he traveled to Northern Australia and Jayme and I continued on to Java and the Philippines. I was completely surprised when he told me that he had “just changed everything because everything has changed!” He met me in Singapore for 26 short hours, which quickly solidified an adventure we were excited to begin together. He flew home to Germany as my trip continued on toward Australia.
April 2010 Brazil
After five long months apart, daily emails, weekly skypdates, and random phone calls, we were together again. Norman flew to Brazil to join me in part of my adventure through South America. We traveled throughout the Southern coast of Brazil, working our way towards Rio de Janiero. It was so wonderful to be back together and it was as if my world finally made sense. We were supposed to be together and had finally found what I consider to be “fairy tale love.”
July 2010 Colorado
I had less than one month before I would finally see Norman again in Germany. I was excited to see his home, meet his family and friends, and experience real day-to-day life rather than the traveling experiences we had shared thus far. Every possible emotion came over me as I learned one morning that Norman had been secretly planning a surprise trip to Denver and would be arriving that very evening. I spent the week showing him off and introducing him to everyone I had been talking about for the past nine months. We took a mini weekend trip with my family to Steamboat, the first of many mountain towns he would visit in Colorado over the next few months. In everything that he does, he was very thoughtful in deciding to come to Colorado before I left for Germany. He wanted my parents to know who I had fallen in love with and who I would be spending the next few months with in Germany.
As fate would have it, Norman’s family had already planned a US road trip including a quick stop in Denver, even before Norman and I had become serious. I spent a few days with his German-speaking family, showing them around the area and introducing them to my family. The next time I saw them was one month later at the airport in Germany, this time with Norman by my side.
August-October 2010 Germany
I love Germany and I loved being there with my very own German. I took language classes, explored the city, spent time with his family and friends, and took advantage of the close proximity to other countries. Norman surprised me with a weekend getaway to Vienna, we went on a day trip to France, a road trip across Germany, and had a lovely weekend in Italy. It was an important first step in creating a future together and by the time I had to fly home to Colorado, I had already made plans to move out to Germany in April.
November 2010-March 2011 Colorado and Germany
Relationships are hard, long distance relationships are difficult, and intercontinental ones should be a lot worse, but not for us. We were able to see each other four times during these five months apart. Norman flew to Colorado for Thanksgiving and my birthday and then again for New Years. I spent a week with him in Germany at the end of January. Norman joined my family and I in Mexico during March to spend a week on the beach. He proposed right on our beach, next to the waves, and under a beautiful star studded sky. My life feels complete and I am ready for the next chapter of our lives together!
What we share is extremely special and I feel like I fall more and more in love with him every day. Norman is an extremely kind, patient, thoughtful, caring, funny, and hard-working man… everything I could have wanted, plus he has a super cute accent! He makes me feel loved and special and I want nothing more than to make him feel as happy as I do when we are together. I get tingles when I touch him, my heart skips a beat when we kiss, and I feel at home when I look into his eyes. I feel very lucky to have found him, even if it meant traveling half way around the world… I found the man I want to love and be loved by. I am overly happy with him and this is only the beginning of our adventure filled life together.