Not entirely surprising after my first post in this series, many TravBuddies already know who else has met and married on the site! This week I'm featuring one of my favorite TravBuddy love stories (especially because I like to think I had a little part in this one indirectly).
One of the most well-known and first TravBuddies I ever met was James (Pearcetoyou). James came on the site and practically out of nowhere was attending and organizing meet-ups at a staggering pace. In just a 15 month period, I met up and traveled with him on three different continents! During his visit to us in Taiwan, he planned a few little excursions to Malaysia and Indonesia to meet up with some of his other longtime TravBuddy friends. What he didn't know at that time is that he'd end up meeting the love of his life, Asri (Acy_Jkt) during one of these meet-ups.
Congrats to James and Asri who recently tied the knot as well. Here's a look at their inspirational love story:
1. How did you guys meet on TravBuddy?
We had talked from time to time on TB for over a year before we actually met in person at a meetup. When I knew for sure that I was coming to Jakarta I sent Asri a message to make sure she was attending the meetup that was being organized.
2. Where did you meet in person for the first time?
We met in Jakarta, Indonesia at a meetup that was being held in my honor Jul 27th, 2009. It was my first visit to Indonesia, and a very short one. I traveled there during my visit at Brett and Erin's in Taipei and had just enough time to arrive one night and leave the next. Since then, I have been back to Indonesia several times. We have traveled together to Bali on a few occasions and also to Lombok for part of our honeymoon.
3. Where did you get married? How long have you been married?
We were married in Jakarta Indonesia in October 2010. The wedding was what Americans would call a civil ceremony. The reception was quite a bit more planned, however. The family had the reception at Asri's mother's home, with some help from TB friends, Rini (rintjez) for the event and Rizky for the great pre-wedding pics. We were originally planning to keep it small, but as it turned out, we had a few hundred guests arrive. We are also having a second wedding back in the states after Asri moves back.
4. Did you move a long distance to be with your significant other?
Currently, we are doing the paperwork for Asri's immigration. The process takes a few months, while at the same time Asri also has a commitment to do and finish some education relief projects in Indonesia, but once she gets her visa she will move to the states in St. Louis, Missouri. Our plans are to settle there, unless she can't handle the harsh winters, in which case we might move to warmer parts of the country. But wherever we happen to settle for the long term, travel will be a big part of our lives because we have to return to Jakarta to see Asri's family at least once a year. I am planning to return to Jakarta once more before she actually moves to the states.
I also asked the couples if there were any other interesting tidbits to share with other TravBuddies and James shared this:
All of us recognize that TravBuddy is not a dating site, and there were never any intentions of starting a romance when we attended the meetup in Jakarta. But fate often plays a bigger role than we sometimes might care to admit. The interesting part of our story is that the spark ignited in a 24 hour time frame. After hanging out with other TravBuddies the first night, Asri met me the next day to give me a tour of the city, and later in the evening she rode with me back to the airport. My flight was to depart around 7 that night, and as I checked in, Asri waited to make sure everything was okay. But then I learned that my flight had been canceled and I was given another flight that wasn't leaving until sometime around midnight. I told Asri the bad news and she said she would keep me company until I could recheck. I was very grateful for her hospitality. We then spent the remainder of the night at the Jakarta airport lounge, and as they say...the rest is history. We aren't sure what would have transpired if not for the delay, but we are both thankful for that AirAsia cancellation. It has always felt like fate, that we should be together.
If anyone knows of any other married couples (besides the other "suspected or known" remaining two, please send me a message so we can extend this series!)