We met on a beach in Thailand and before our minds could think of all the possible reasons why it would never work out, our hearts had already decided we were going to try. Fast forward five days of fun, laughter, romance and good times on Koh Phangan Island, the time had come for us to part ways. Jake had flights booked to Cambodia and Marie had flights to Vietnam; our hearts were aching!
Was this it?
Do we let this thing go or do we do something crazy?
Jake: I had no idea of what love was at this point, but I was a big believer in ‘when you know, you know!’ All I knew when I was boarding the ferry about to leave Marie, was that I couldn’t bare the thought of not seeing her again. I felt sick that I was leaving her even for a second. For the first time in my life I was willing to give up everything for a girl 😍
My friend Trent and I took a ferry to the mainland, then a bus to the airport, then a flight to Cambodia. The whole time I was thinking I was an idiot for leaving her on that island. I had to break to it Trent that as soon as we arrived in Cambodia I was going straight to Vietnam with or without him. Being the good friend that he is, he decided to come along. This is where the crazy began! We booked the first bus to Vietnam having no idea that in order to get into Vietnam, Australians need a Visa and getting this Visa can typically take up to 10 days. That wasn’t going to cut it. So we are sitting in the bus station with no Visa and no way to get into Vietnam. Enter local Cambodian guy from on the street who offers to take our passports along with $210 US dollars to the embassy and organise emergency Visas for us. Any sane person at this point would have said ‘no’ and found another way but for some reason I trusted this man and my heart couldn’t wait any longer. To convince Trent to hand over his passport I offered to pay the entire fee for the Visas and any costs associated with getting him a new passport if it never came back – I was definitely in love! 😅
We had 2 hours before our bus was scheduled to leave. One hour and 55 minutes later … still no passports and no Visas! Just as I was about to concede that it was the worst idea ever to hand over our passports to a local guy all for a girl I had only known for five days, he arrived with passports and Visas in hand! So we got on the bus headed for Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
reunited in vietnam
I hadn’t been in contact with Marie at all during this time and it finally dawned on me on the bus that she might think I’m crazy and be turned off by my desperation to see her again. The thought of being rejected, however, was nothing compared to the thought of seeing her again … even if it was only for a second. I was hoping she would think it was romantic and not psychotic. Thankfully, I know now that she loves that type of crazy and when I walked around the corner of her hotel in Ho Chi Minh she was coming around the opposite corner and couldn’t believe I was there. We dropped our bags and ran to each other just like in every one of those corny, romantic movies and embraced. It was the best feeling I had ever had in my life to hold her again and I knew I wasn’t going to let her go so easily next time.
Marie: It was crazy to see him there in Ho Chi Minh. I didn’t know if it was an ‘Australian thing’ or if it was just a ‘Jake thing’ but I loved that he would do that for me. We spent the next three and a half weeks together adventuring across Vietnam. In between all the fun and the laughter when I had time to think, I couldn’t believe that this was happening. I was falling for a long-haired Australian guy and all of a sudden I didn’t care about doing my Masters in Barcelona. All I wanted to do was travel and be with him. On the last day we were together (before Jake had to go back to Australia for work and football) we had our first date alone together. This was the moment we knew we wanted to see if this this crazy thing could work. We had no idea how, but we were going to try. The plan was that Jake would fly home for five to eight weeks and then we would meet up somewhere again. So Jake flew home and I flew to Indonesia. We had only known each for four weeks and we were potentially going to be apart for eight weeks. This didn’t sit well with either of us, but I had no idea Jake would do what he did next.
anything for love
Jake: I was home for what felt like the longest two weeks of my life. I was so nervous that Marie might have second thoughts and start thinking with her head instead of her heart and the feeling would be lost. With this in mind I told my coach and my boss that I needed more time off and I booked a flight to Indonesia.
Marie: I was in shock once again when Jake arrived at the airport. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. We spent another 12 days together in Indonesia and our love was starting to really flourish. It was at this point I started to realise that the happiness I felt when we were together was worth more than any job or uni degree ever would. Jake flew home again and then back one more time 10 days later! If I didn’t know he was committed up until that point but I did after that. I was ready to give up my Masters degree and tell all my friends and family that I was in love with a long-haired Aussie boy.
After four days on Lombok we parted ways for the very last time. Marie went back to Germany and Jake back to Australia. We packed up our lives, told all our family members what had happened and took a one way flight to Los Angeles on September the 21st, 2016. We have spent every single day together since. We created our joint Instagram shortly after, as a way to keep our family friends updated on where we were and what we were doing. A growing passion for photography quickly turned into a fully fledged commitment to inspire others through social media We wanted to help people muster up the courage to follow their hearts just like we did.