It’s coming up to our second wedding anniversary. With that in mind, I thought I would share a bit about our story. “How did you guys meet?” We get that question a lot! “How does an American end up married to a New Zealander and living in New Zealand?”
For those of you new to FreshTake Publishers, let me give you a little intro. I’m Jennifer Hammond. I grew up in a suburban coastal town in Connecticut on the east coast of the US. I got the travel bug quite young and am fortunate enough to have experienced a variety of cultures and peoples in my adventures. I spent several years doing humanitarian work in the Middle East. David is a Kiwi and grew up on a farm in the Far North of the country. His mother is British who came to New Zealand on her own in her 30s to do social work. He’s also travelled and spent some time in England at the London School of Economics.
Where did we meet?
We met online four years ago. I was back in the US after my time in the Middle East. I was working at a vegetable farm (or market garden as they are called in New Zealand) in the greenhouse planting, watering, and picking vegetables. David was working in ministerial servicing for a government department in Wellington, New Zealand. We hit it off over skype and knew that if it was going to go anywhere we’d have to get offline and meet in person sooner rather than later. David took the plunge and came to visit me for several weeks. I was extremely nervous as I waited for him in the arrivals of Newark airport. He was equally nervous as the plane touched down after his 24 hour trip.
Needless to say, we hit it off as well in person as we did over skype. We would spend about 12 hours a day together; going on outings be they dinner dates, movies, hikes, preparing dinner for my parents, visiting friends and family, going for walks, a trip into New York, attending a performance of Shakespeare in the park, attending church, helping serve a meal at church for the vulnerably housed and homeless, and even helping my parents clean up mess of tree branches and what not after a hurricane.
David then came back again for three weeks at Christmas, New Years and his birthday in early January. Then it was my turn to visit him in New Zealand. By this time, I was teaching English as a Second Language to adults so I went over my summer break (which is winter in New Zealand). This time, I fell in love with the country as well as having fallen for David. We got engaged only for me to travel back to the States and David to stay in New Zealand. He came one more time for Christmas break before we got married in June 2013 in my hometown. And the rest is history, so they say! (I’ll continue the rest at a later point.)