The Story of Jennifer & David (or How this American ended up in New Zealand)

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?

Photo of a small tractor

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.

Photo of Jennifer and David Hammond of FreshTake Publishers

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.

Photo of David Hammond of FreshTake Publishers

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.)


Comments on this post (4 comments)

  • Stephanie says...

    I so enjoyed your story Jennifer. Best of luck to you settling in. I too married a Kiwi; a boy from a wee rural town called Raetihi. He was away on tour with his rugby team (he was living in Sydney at that time) and I was a Southern California girl living in Long Beach. That was in 1980. We came to Wellington in 1986. I’ll enjoy looking at what you’ve posted. I like the way you tell your story. All the best! It looks like it could be a glorious spring with the trees in bloom and the birds loud and flirty.

    On October 16, 2015

  • dianne haist says...

    nice to see you found happiness here as we did 27 years ago in Palmy

    On October 16, 2015

  • Ginny ( Chiodo) Walsh says...

    Thanks so much for I read I remembered the time you, Jennifer were picking David up at the airport and meeting for the first time. I had come to your home town but was heading home .and was disappointedthat I would not be able to meet David,as he was arriving the same day as I was leaving, and a few hours later than me. Although I did not get to meet Daivd then, I was happy that Jennifer was able to take me to the airport…where there was a severe weather delay and Jennifer waited with me , sitting on the floor on the crowded airport eating snacks for a few hours . That ended up being a fun time talking , just you and I. Then you went onto another airport to pick David up. This is a story of fate. It was meant to be…. that a lovely girl from the East Coast of the US met a handsome man from New Zealand on-line and married 2 years later. Love it! Happy 2nd Anniversary Jennifer and David !!

    On June 22, 2015

  • Leah says...

    Hooray! Thanks for sharing your sweet story, and congratulations on 2 years! :)

    On June 18, 2015

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