From Simon Waterhouse.
At the end of this year, my younger (and only) sister will be moving far, far away to New Zealand. This makes me unbelievably excited for her, but sad for me. When I tell people new to her story about the move, this is usually how the conversation goes:
Oh, that's so cool! So, is she moving for school or work?Confusing, right? Here's the quick rundown. Three years ago, Jen studied abroad in Madrid (Alcalá de Henares to be exact). Before starting classes, she spent two weeks traveling around Spain with my brother and friends. On her first day there, she met Ed, a young Brit who was traveling on holiday. Ed liked Jen and Jen liked Ed, but my brother was initially not so keen on the kid who kept his younger sister out all night and into the next morning. (Don't worry...Ed has now received the "Older Brother Stamp of Approval.")
No, for love.
How sweet! Wow, how did she meet someone from New Zealand?
Well, actually he's from England.
Um, okay. So, did they meet in the US or in England?
Neither. They met in Spain.
Jen and Ed's phone conversations, emails and trips to visit each other led to them falling crazy in love. And even though she had to return to school in Tucson, their relationship continued to grow. Eventually, she made the decision to move to Manchester to be with Ed. Unfortunately, her visa expired after 6 months and she had to return to Arizona. Now, fifteen months later (and many long 14 hour flights to see each other), they are more in love than ever, but silly immigration laws make life together very difficult. After exhaustive research (and many frustrated tears), they discovered that they can spend a whole year in New Zealand to start their lives together!
From André Pipa
Now, we all know that the easy solution would be marriage, but they are young (she's 24 and he is 22) and smart and want to be 150% sure (rather than the 145% sure they are right now). Still, they both know that if and when they decide to get married, they have the full support of their family and friends. Their love story is pretty amazing and the fact that they've managed to make it through their college years on separate continents while growing into people they continue to adore is pretty much mind blowing.
As much as I hate having my sister live so far away, there are definitely worse reasons to move around the world than for love. And I have to admit that she makes pretty good choices about where she lives. She made for a great excuse to visit Spain and now she's a very compelling reason to visit New Zealand.
P.S. If any readers in New Zealand have any advice about where to live, what to see, etc., definitely drop me a line!