Since my husband Marco and I celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary tomorrow, I thought this would be a great time to sit down and write a blog post on our story and how everything started.
On occasion, I get people asking me how we met and how we made long distance work. It’s a story I’ll always keep close to my heart, and because it’s lengthy, I usually rush through it and never do it justice. So here’s my attempt to document it in a way that I can come back to every once in a while to get all the feels. First, a little back story on how we met in the homeland and where our story began.
My mom’s family and Marco’s dad’s family are from two little towns in Portugal that are situated next to each other (about a 2 minute drive away). Combined, both towns have maybe 100 people living there, many of whom are immigrants. My town has one church and one coffee shop where people from both towns usually meet on the weekends. And every summer, it holds their town party with lots of great food, drinks and music that have us dancing all night long. The Portuguese immigrants usually come back in August so they can catch this party and see their friends and family.
In August 2007, we were at the party’s morning mass and that’s when I remember seeing Marco for the first time. We hadn’t met each other yet but we’d look at each other and laugh about a hymn sounding a little too folky at mass. Post mass, everyone moves into the church hall for lunch and I remember us constantly looking at each other from across the hall and trying to make it discrete. That night, I was dancing with one of my friends and Marco asked his cousin to dance with my friend so that he could dance with me. The funny part is that I had become friends with his younger sister a few summers before, but had never talked to him until that summer. Even though we lived on opposite sides of the world, me in Vancouver and him in Paris, we stayed friends. We knew there was something there but we were still teenagers and lived worlds apart. I knew I wouldn’t get to see him until the next summer and could only speak to him through Facebook messaging, which we of course did every once in a while. Every summer we’d get excited about going back to Portugal and being able to see each other again.
I can say that we officially started dating the summer of 2012, we saw each other all the time. Whether it was with our friends or family, we would sneak away whenever we could for some alone time. Trying to contact each other in towns which rarely had any cell reception made it tricky at times, but that didn’t stop us. We made some incredible memories together that summer. And that’s when we decided to go for it and do long distance until we figured out what we were going to do. We were both in University, and trying to come up with a solution at the time was impossible. I remember it being the hardest good bye of my life.
For the next 5 years, Marco and I were in a long distance relationship. For the first 3 years, he lived in Paris and I was in Vancouver. But I was lucky enough to live with him in Paris for a few months while I interned as a Social Media Coordinator for a designer (but that’s a story for another time). At that time, Marco was looking for an internship he needed to do abroad for his master’s degree. He initially looked at Vancouver but ended up finding work in Silicon Valley, a software developers dream location.
I guess deep down, I knew in that moment that I’d eventually be moving down to California. I was in school and working part time, still unsure of what I’d be doing or where I’d be working. And I’d possibly get to move to California? That sounded incredible!
Marco proposed in the summer of 2015 back in Portugal while we were on vacation. I thought we were spending a couple days by the beach to celebrate our Anniversary, but he had other plans. He asked my cousins, his sister, and his best friend to come and be there for it. I was shocked when I saw them there and they handed Marco his guitar. He had written a song and proposed at the end of it. It was such an amazing day! I couldn’t stop shaking, and looking at the ring and my disgusting nails that needed help. Luckily, my cousin brought me nail polish to temporarily fix the mess.
After that summer, we were engaged and I knew that I’d finally be moving down to the Bay area. We needed to get through all of the frustrating paperwork and headaches that came with moving down to the States. I still couldn’t live there permanently without my visa and since the process takes a long time, I decided to work as a Flight Attendant. One, because it would make our lives a little easier and two, because I’ve always wanted to work as a Flight Attendant. At that time, he and I were able to use my passes to visit each other. We also really took advantage of those passes and used them to do a lot of travelling.
We had our civil wedding ceremony in 2016 in the bay area, and our religious ceremony with all of our friends and family in the summer of 2017 back in Portugal where it all started. Shortly after the wedding in Portugal, I finally made the move down to California. But I still had to wait for the green card, which lead to several months of not being able to work. Leaving my friends and family behind in Vancouver, and not being able to work yet I had some lonely moments with all this time on my hands, but I was finally able to live with Marco.
It was quite a journey. Long distance is not an easy thing to do. For those who are struggling in a long distance relationship, there’s hope! Try to always have your next weekend together or next trip planned so that you have something to look forward to. If you’re on the same page and willing to put in the work, you’ll make it happen. Just trust and have faith that it’ll all work out in the end if it’s meant to be. We were put through the ultimate test. And we knew we’d get through anything. So when I think back and remember those times, I remember how hard it was but also that it was worth all of the waiting. I learned patience, trust, and to have faith in God’s path for us. Though it sucked, I’d do it all over again because I can’t imagine my life without him.
Alright. Enough of all this cheesiness. I hope this has helped anybody who’s in a similar situation as we were. If you’re in a long distance relationship right now, comment below on how you keep going and what your motivation is?
Happy 2nd wedding anniversary babe.
Here’s to many many more!
I love you.