Today is the fourth installment of the series spotlighting couples who met on TravBuddy and ultimately tied the knot. Today's lovebirds seemed to be a mystery to many other TravBuddies, so I decided to wait and feature them as the final couple. Their story is inspirational and touching. Much like James and Asri from Part II in the series, this is a relationship that required a giant leap of faith and immense sacrifice on both parts, but they are proof that different cultures and geographical distances are obstacles that can be overcome when you find your true love.
Many other members know they recently got married (they are actually the most recent in the series to get married), but may not realize they initially met through TravBuddy. Although I've not had the pleasure of personally meeting Dave yet, I have met Marina -- along with about 75 other TravBuddies who attended the epic 2008/2009 New Year's Eve meet-up in Amsterdam! So, without further ado, I introduce you to today's couple -- Marina (Marinushka) and Dave (DHaworth).
1. How did you guys meet on TravBuddy?
We met totally random, I was living in Moscow, and Dave placed Moscow as his dream destination on Travbuddy. Just out of courtesy and TB (Travbuddy) etiquette I wrote on his wall something like “Nice to see you, are you thinking about visiting my hometown? If you need any tips please feel free to contact me”. He replied saying, "thank you." It was November 27th, 2008. As we are both always on Facebook, Dave added me as his friend, and we started talking. Sometimes everyday, sometimes not that often, and we were discussing everything from travels and movies to families and relationships. Pretty open but nothing like dating. We were both busy with our lives: Dave was travelling and working on his new book “The Dragon of Prali”, I was looking for a new job. We even stopped talking for a while, but then started again and exchanged phone numbers. Phone calls, text messages, skype, emails and probably about 200 postcard Dave sent to me (I even have my special Dave’s Box in my Moscow apartment) We just got into each other and moved to the next step: travelling together.
2. Where did you meet in person for the first time?
We first met in London, at Heathrow to be precise. Dave was flying from San Francisco and I was flying from Moscow. We arrange it that way to land at Heathrow at the same time but it was winter, and my flight was delayed for some four hours. Poor Dave! After an 11-hour transatlantic flight he had to wait for me for hours. When I finally got there I found him sleeping at Heathrow terminal in his famous brown hat and brown coat (his travel outfit). I could not stop my well overweight cart and just ran into the bench he was sleeping on. We looked into each other’s eyes and the rest was history. I would not say it was love at first sight - I don’t even believe in it - we fell in love with each other long before, talking for 7 hours every day despite that 11-hour time difference between Moscow and California. UK, nevertheless, we consider the place where we actually meet, and I am happy it was that country: England is Dave’s home away from home, and I’ve been there several times before, creating both great and unpleasant memories coming from other people. Now the UK is the place where I totally found the love of my life, and the surprises he had in store for me in U.K.. The private tour of Stonehenge was amazing. To be able to touch the stones and stand in the center of the henge was incredible.
3. Where did you get married? How long have you been married?
We became engaged on March 4th, 2010, at St. Basil’s on the Red Square in Moscow and got married November 6th, 2010 in Las Vegas. Not bad for two world travellers. Actually, I never dreamed about getting married, even when I was a little girl, I just thought it is not my cup of tea. We just reached that level in our relationship that we just needed to be together and I knew that engagement and wedding would not be traditional. Dave came to Moscow to meet my family, and I felt he had a plan, and knowing him I didn’t expect a classical dinner proposal - my writer BF would do it his own way, and I was right. We were walking around Moscow and stopped at St. Basil’s, where in a small chapel Dave knelt down upon one knee and asked me to marry him. A diamond ring was attached, though - the only traditional thing about our engagement.
Our wedding was unconventional too: me wearing a black dress and a small pink hat and no guests, except for those who worked in the chapel and the minister. It was an official big big M&D day and we just did it our way like the famous Frank Sinatra. The very moment at the chapel was so emotional that I think nothing can beat it. I am not sentimental but was ready to cry. I would never think that getting married could be that special and emotional. Just one more proof we were doing the right think.
Road trip from San Jose to Las Vegas and back was a lot of fun too.
4. Did you move a long distance to be with your significant other?
I moved from Moscow to San Jose, California to be with my one and only. Not a simple decision, as I had to leave all my life behind and start all over again in a totally different country, but I never had a regret. The happiness we have now is worth much more than my big city life back in Moscow and good job in an office with the Kremlin view. We both had to give up a lot to be together and we treasure what we have now. Plus, I love Dave’s kids - Xavier and Trinity, and I know that without their dad by their side it would be hard for them. I consider them my own and really want them to live with us full time. Hope I am doing a good job as a (step)mother.
With all this technology, world travel boom and globalization it is easy to meet someone from far away, thought it's not easy at all to keep and upgrade long distance relationships. Dave and I knew that and promised each other to work hard to be together. We did it and are very happy now, and I want to tell everybody who is now suffering from seldom visits and long skype talks: commitment, loyalty, open communication? support and understanding are those keys that make a long distance relationship work and make two people from different parts of the world come together in love and happiness for all times.
I'm still hoping to track down any couples who initially met through TravBuddy and ultimately got married. If you know anyone, please send me a message with their information so we can feature them as well!