Katie & Micah

 

OUR STORY

One month after meeting each other, Katie and I moved to Australia in search of a life-changing adventure. Friends and family took bets on how long we would last in a foreign country together. The max was two months. We made it 363 days, two days before our one-year working visas expired. From staying in over 40 cockroach infested hostels, to picking various fruits to support ourselves, to avoiding everything that could kill us, to living in a van for three months, we spent every waking moment side by side, and I could not have done it with anyone else.

It was Valentine's Day 2014 when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this girl. We had been stuck inside our 1996 Mitsubishi Express van for three days straight due to a severe tropical storm. We had been scammed by an employer so we only had $12 to our name and could not afford gas to move our “home”. But it was our first Valentine's Day together, so it needed to be special. Among the various things we learned while backpacking, following the employee at the grocery store who had the reduced-to-clear sticker gun was essential. He would mark food that was expiring the next day down 50 to 80 percent. During the one-hour period where it stopped raining, we ran to the store and bought two dented cans of chili, a loaf of day-old bread, a crushed cupcake, a bottle of wine and paper—so we could make cards for each other—all for under $6. We rushed back to the van just in time, right before another torrential downpour. We spent 15 minutes in opposite corners of our van (4 feet apart) to write Valentine's cards for each other. We lit our citronella candle (which is extremely toxic), had our romantic candlelit dinner on top of our twin mattress, and spent the rest of the night playing Scrabble on our makeshift paper Scrabble board. It was the most unique and memorable Valentine's Day I have ever had, and I love Katie even more for putting up with it.

Since then we have had more adventures than we can count, and I am beyond excited to spend the rest of my life with the girl that lived with me in a van down by the river.