On the 14th of March it will mark 2 years since Shane moved over from New Zealand.

I’m just going to let that sink in for a bit.

Okay, yeah, we’re in slight disbelief by this, not because we think it’s a long time, but because to us it feels surprisingly short. We’ve managed to pack SO MUCH into those years it feels like we’ve known one another for a lifetime, in such a wonderfully amazing way.

 

The First Time

In February 2015 was when we first physically met, I took a chance and flew to New Zealand to create memories with someone I considered my best friend despite having never even embraced in a platonic hug.

I will always remember the first time, I think everyone who finds their soulmate does. I was so excited I practically ran from luggage collection and dived through the arrival doors, I frantically scanned the crowd of eyes staring back as they waited impatiently for their own friends and loved ones to exit. Shane saw me first, he was speechless at having me there right in front of him. When his voice failed him, he banged his ringed hand against the metal railing to draw my attention. When our eyes fell onto each other, seeing Shane after almost a year of getting to know him online, my heart fluttered in anticipation at the adventures that lay ahead. I just dropped my bags and we ran, meeting in the middle as we embraced with smiles stretching from cheek to cheek. We had no idea just how far this would take us, how much we would fight for each other.

 

We packed so much into two weeks, it was my first time in New Zealand and Shane wanted to make sure I had an awesome taster of his part of the world!

 

After our short-lived Kiwi adventures, I returned to England heartbroken and tear-drenched. We didn’t hesitate to start planning our next trip together to keep our spirits up, and this time, Shane wanted to come to the U.K.

For Shane, this was both thrilling and terrifying. He had never travelled very far from home and now he was about to make a 30 hour journey to a country he never dreamt he would step foot on!

 

The Kiwi’s Big Adventure!

It felt like forever before Shane boarded the plane, but finally September came and eventually he pushed his way through arrivals. Our eyes met once again and we both helplessly cracked out our dorky smiles, I knew in that moment I didn’t want to part from him.

We both loved exploring England together, though I have lived here my whole life, experiencing the UK with someone who has been unexposed to these familiar places refreshed them for me, as if it was all new once more. Having someone who descended from a colony (whose own country is still very young in comparison) was a sweet reminder to how culturally rich Britain is, though not all charming, it is certainly diverse and fascinating here.

 

Shane’s first red squirrel! He literally camped at that tree for 30 minutes to get that shot haha!

 

Alas, come October, we had no other choice. The pain once again tore through us like a rusty toothed blade as we waved to each other from opposite ends of the security gates at Heathrow. I never realised I could cry so much, my mum had to call me up just to keep me focused as I drove 2 hours to return home. What I vividly remember from that day was repeatedly thinking “how is this fair?” It was as if the world was punishing us for being in love. But neither of us would give up on each other, we were determined to make this work.

 

Being Together

I did a colossal amount of research into the various UK visas available, leading me to a great starting visa for Shane to test life in the UK without it costing us an arm and a leg. We have been considerably lucky to be from Commonwealth countries, the history between Britain and New Zealand has a few benefits! Overall we had to wait another 5 months, eventually I flew back to New Zealand to help Shane (mostly emotionally), as he made this huge leap so we could be together at last.

It was important for us both for me to return to New Zealand to help Shane, saying good bye to his family, and the only life he’s really known was so difficult, even with me there.

 

We admittedly had a few rocky days, when reality sank in Shane was plagued with homesickness, especially through the winter months. Christmas and birthdays are particularly difficult times, considering he and his family had never celebrated them without each other and the seasons are reversed, you won’t see any surfing santas here. It’s heartbreaking to see that happen, though you both want to spend your lives together, there is so much you have to say goodbye to in order to do so. This didn’t come to either of us as a surprise, in fact we tried to prepare for it, making sure there were strong lines of communication between us and Shane’s folks back in New Zealand, and we decorated our place with trinkets from Shane’s life so he could feel the UK had something to familiarise with.

Together we got through the bad times, and together we enjoyed the good. We made it ours, undeterred by those who doubted or tried to hold us back, and stronger than we were when we first met.

 

Once we were together, we knew we had no excuses! We spent so much time looking at screens talking to each other online, now it was time to go on those adventures we spent hours talking about <3

 

After moving over, I wanted to show Shane everything, we have travelled around England and Ireland, visiting places where Shane’s ancestors originated from, camped in a valley, explored beauties of nature and of British heritage, it is technically after all, Shane’s heritage too.

I love to travel, and I always try my best to make the most of every country I visit, to the point of exhaustion! Now we are both infected with the travel bug, we have already booked to travel north, to explore Scotland and the Peak District.

When Shane was certain he wanted to remain in the UK with me I proposed, we married, and we promised to never leave each other again.

Never give up on your dreams. None of this came easy, but once you have it it is so very worth the hardship. I swear I love Shane even more every day, and with each passing moment I’m extraordinarily grateful to have this incredible person in my life.

 

 

I swam with the birds and flew with the fishes,
My world upside-down with your kiwi Kisses,
It became clear the first day we met,
An angel of love had won their bet,
You took my heart, along with my hand,
The day we touched down on the same land.

We walked through rivers and drank the same sun,
We laughed as the waves caught us in mid run,
We built sand castles and stood above the world,
Watching cotton clouds to the moments we held,
Mountains were painted with gold and orange,
We hugged the stars and accepted the change.

Together we breathed life into what we have,
Watching moths dance with death, we let out a laugh,
Nothing will hold us back from this new freedom,
We cried out through smiles and built a kingdom,
We washed the sky and painted it with sunshine,
To let the shadows know I’m yours and you’re mine.

 

Post written by Natasha Dancy