• amyashleen

How we met

Funnily enough this story doesn’t begin in New Zealand or Ireland… but instead in the middle of the ocean.

Amy left New Zealand at 21 to go traveling and ended up working on board a cruise ship - Oriana. At roughly the same time Ashleen decided she too wanted to travel and managed to get herself a job on board a cruise ship. We like to say that all things happen for a reason.. now both of us were on cruise ships however they were different ships, that is until Ashleen broke her thumb and was medically disembarked (this is the thing that happened!). After a few weeks on land she was called to cover an urgent opening on board the Oriana.

Our first meeting wasn’t the stuff of fairytales; it was in the crew bar. If anyone has ever been to a ship crew bar they’ll know that it’s not the most romantic setting in the world, but after various crew bar parties, a case of mistaken identity (when Ashleen accidentally called Amy Australian) and a wander around Rome.. we finally had our first date in the middle of the ocean, somewhere in Europe.

Further dates were had in:

Norway – the one with the Northern Lights

Spain – the one with the romantic walk on the beach

Sweden – the one where we got drunk and lost

Estonia – the one with the ‘I love you’

Russia – the low key one

Germany – the one with the great food

Portugal – the one with the cupcakes

Italy – the one with the wish

Poland – the one with the tiny receipt

… to name a few

Cruise ship contracts are usually 6 months, during this time on board our relationship grew stronger and stronger. Dating on board a cruise ship is very different from dating on land. You don’t just have a weekly date and some text messages, on board you see each other every single day and every single evening so things get serious very quickly. We realised early on that we had found something special, however given that we were from opposite ends of the world and Amy had already used her UK visa to get on the ship, we had to come up with a plan so that we could stay together.

We researched many different places but decided that Australia was where we wanted to head next. Australia is a country where Amy is able to live and work visa free, however Ashleen needed a visa… this was visa number 2 (we count Amy’s UK visa as visa number 1 as without it we would never have met).

After our time in Australia – which we’ll talk about in more detail in later blogs – we decided to move back to Amy’s native New Zealand, this is visas 3 & 4.

Visas 5 & 6 come from our recent move back to Ireland.

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