Since there are possibly quite a few people coming across our website and social media pages who don’t know us and our story I thought it might be nice to give you a short version of how we came to be together. I guess its my (Silke’s) version of events – it seems sometimes our memories are varying somehow 😉
So when I was 29 I decided I was over life in Germany. I was deeply unhappy, I would even call it depressed now – in a dark hole and completely lost in a world that had no meaning to me at the time. I was working in the corporate world and had a string of unhappy relationships and not much else to fulfill me. So it almost feels what we are doing now is comparable to what I did then. I quit my job and I quit my apartment, packed my life up into 30 boxes that were stored at my parents place and left with a backpack to travel around in Asia. I visited Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Tibet for 6 months and then had a working and holiday visa for 1 year for New Zealand and for 1 year for Australia. So the plan was to figure out who I was and what I was doing here and to learn english along the way. After spending 6 months in Asia & 6 months in the South Island working as a kitchen hand and on farms I settled in Hawke’s Bay to do pruning and orchard work.
I found a job in Bay View and a room in Napier. On the day I found my new room I went to the information centre and saw a flyer of a really nice backpackers by the sea. Somehow I decided I was going to check it out, because it looked so nice – although I had already committed to a room elsewhere. The people that just bought the backpackers where super nice and enthusiastic, so I changed my mind there and then to move in and cancel the other room. If I hadn’t made that decision to change plans Tim and I would most likely never have met. The people who purchased the backpackers where friends of Tim’s and they asked him to come and do some photos for marketing. Well he came and I happened to just come in from my run and we all had a cup of tea together.
Tim was not in a good place either at that time. His 2nd wife had just left him for another man. So really we both were emotional wrecks, pretty clueless about what the future would hold for us standing in the mess that we either created ourselves or that was inflicted on us.
Those friends invited us to watch a rugby game at their house a few days later. Tim didn’t really care much about rugby and I even less so we ended up talking and exchanging phone numbers. A few more dates later we both realised there was something there, but I only had 3 months left in NZ. I had found a job in the Hospital in my actual job as an administrator by accident. I was sending applications in English and hoping to get some interview practice in, because my initial plan was to spend my year in Australia working in my actual job, rather than just fluttering around in holiday jobs. So they employed me, but we couldn’t find a way for me to stay anyway, as that job was not on the wanted skills list. So a few weeks of research and meetings later we found an Immigration Agency that could manage what we couldn’t. I spent my last savings $15,000!!! on that agency to get a work visa, so we could buy more time to see if our relationship had a future. Well 17 years later I can say with confidence that that was probably the best investment I ever made ;-).
The first couple of years weren’t easy. Although we both came from first world countries the cultural and language differences where there. There were many situations where we were lost in translation. I struggled to find the words to really be able to express myself and Tim had such a different upbringing to myself that is took a while until everything clicked into place. I also found it hard after being free for a year to get back into a 9-5 job and being an administrator with my limited language skills was challenging at best. I was a bit homesick and missed my friends and family and didn’t feel like I fitted in entirely. I guess we both somehow held space for each others healing, learning to trust again, and finding a way forward together.
Just going through the house and looking through photos and coming across things that reminded me of so many things we have done together. We both have grown up so much and changed alot. I guess we are lucky that we mostly walked into a similar direction as we grew through becoming parents & house owners and business owners, maintaining a marriage in among all the chaos and busyness that family life brings. Like all relationships it hasn’t always been easy or a smooth ride, but I am really proud of what we created together. We both love our children to bits and its such a joy to see them grow up into their own little personalities now.
I always said to Tim looking back at how we met and what state we were in when we met we must have had an army of angels firing those love arrows at us, pushing us in the right direction – it was almost as if we were both guided to be together, because none of it really made logic sense. I find there is a bit of that now as well. It feels as if we are gently pushed in the right direction, by whomever – some call it inspiration, some intuition, some call it god, some call it angels, some call it universe.
Looking back at how it all started makes me realise that adventure has always been part of our story. If I hadn’t been adventurous enough to go and see the word and learn english in New Zealand we would have never met. If Tim hadn’t been adventurous enough to hook up with a weird german backpacker there would be no us. Lets see where the next adventure takes us with us all involved together as a family.
Now we are all ready to start our new life. This in between stage has been very tiring and full on. We can’t wait to move onto Polly, have a breather and readjust and feel into our new direction. I am most looking forward to having time for once to spend with my family and just live, enjoy a bit of freedom and have some fun, laughter and adventure together, rather than running around like crazy headless chickens.
Hopefully it will be a dream come true and not a nightmare…. Stay tuned.