Travelling gifts you with one of life’s greatest connections of friendship and love. Friendships that last one moment, one day, one night, one adventure, one lifetime, every person that has come into your life is a connection that has made you who you are. Sometimes without even realizing it, there is a lesson, a quality, a memory, a change, a growth, a love, a hate that is a part of you. No matter who we are, we are all looking for love. This is my story about an incredible guy, Maxwell, and our adventure. Let me first start by writing how I am truly the luckiest girl to have Max a part of my life…

Max and I met in February 2016 in Queenstown, New Zealand. I was out for dinner celebrating our epic hike adventure with an American couple, Hannah and Jackson. We were at an Indian restaurant that was serving $14 curry. In walked this boy. You could feel his excitement. I couldn’t stop smiling (thinking about it right now makes me laugh). Whether it was a pre beer buzz, the curry or him just excited you could feel it in his energy. I was more smiling at his tall stripy socks he was wearing with his running shoes and shorts. So cute. He was seated beside our table and it was NBA playoffs so the boys got to chatting. Good thing I met my American friends. The only enduring sports conversation I could have been a part of was obviously hockey. I forgot to say Max was with his twin brother, Zach! Honestly I didn’t even notice, I just couldn’t stop smiling at Max. We all went out for beers after dinner and that is when he stole my heart. We were talking about our families. It was like he knew how to get to this girl’s heart.

Conversations about brothers and sisters, moms and dads, Grammies and Grandpa’s, Aunts and Uncles.. I find when travelling a lot of conversations are based around “where have you travelled” “how many countries have you been too” blah blah and to me it feels so shallow. But…asking about my family that gets my heart going. We called it a night. Pretty sure I fell asleep with a smile on my face thinking about Max.

The next morning during breakfast Jackson was trying to find Max and his brother on Facebook (I’m pretty much faceless so I was no help). All we knew was their names and that they were from Alaska. Before I knew it Jackson had added Max on my Facebook. Yes I give Jackson all the credit! Honestly I just enjoyed the fact that I was crushing hard but knew I probably wasn’t going to see Max again….

Hannah and Jackson had left Queenstown to continue their adventures. I was trying to find a job, set up a bank account and find a place to live. But that didn’t really happen for me. I ended up meeting with Max and Zach to play mini golf, Frisbee golf (frolf) and got drunk off tequila and beers. We danced. Or I danced. Made out on the rocky beach under that stars (for real! So drunkenly romantic) And cuddled for maybe 2 hours before Max was leaving on the bus early in the morning to Christchurch, where he was flying back home to Alaska. That was it. Our love story lasted 48 hours. 48 hours of what felt like the best feeling in the world. I was crushing so hard. I remember messaging my sister telling her I could not believe I met this guy and I could not stop thinking about him. There was just something so special about Max and a connection we experienced together unlike anything I had ever felt before.

Max and I ended up talking on the phone here and there. He is a fisherman in Alaska, so with boat living, minimal wifi it made it a bit difficult. But we did it. We put all our effort and time into staying in touch with each other. And not to mention the New Zealand- Alaska time change… I felt like I was practically living in the future. I still remember the day we finally had our first FaceTime. It felt like a date. I was SO nervous. I laughed the entire time because if you knew Max he is quite a goofy character and you can’t help but just smile and laugh!

I went and visited Max and his family for 10 days of June 2016. Even though we felt this incredible connection and were crushing on each other, I still remember thinking I’m absolutely crazy for flying all the way from New Zealand to Alaska for a boy I only knew for 2 days. If it wasn’t for the encouragement and conversations with my friends in Queenstown I would not have taken the chance to pursue this exciting relationship with Max. My heart feels so grateful to have had all my girlfriends supporting my crazy adventure without any judgments. We had an amazing time together. His family and friends were so caring and loving. And Alaska is absolutely, insanely beautiful. Breathtaking! Max decided to ask me to be his girlfriend before I flew back to New Zealand. Something we were both new at and had no idea how this was going to work but our feelings for each other were undeniable. I felt all the butterflies.

Max finished his fishing season and came back to New Zealand in October 2016 for 3 weeks to visit. We decided to rent a van and travel New Zealand together. Again, our memories we made were epic. He left New Zealand to meet up with his brother and friends in Europe and we all met up again for New Years in Bali. I had decided to end my adventures in New Zealand to continue to travel with Max. We travelled Asia together for two months and Max came back to Canada to meet my family before he left to go fishing again in March 2017. We planned to spend the summer together in Alaska that same year. We recently just spent Christmas together in Canada and travelled Central America in the New Year 2018. Currently, I am writing this from my hometown here in Ontario, Canada and Max is back on the boat fishing in Alaska.

We are both so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to all these amazing countries. Each country unique for their own culture and lifestyle. Each country beautiful for its own uniqueness. Our travels have fulfilled our curious, adventurous personalities and have grown our hearts together in a way that is indescribable. Amongst all our amazing memories together, we have experienced many challenges along the way. Long distance, getting stopped at borders and unable to see each other, family heart aches and friggen missing each other. It hasn’t been easy, but we both know it’s worth it.

Call us crazy. But Max and I would not change anything about our adventures. In our challenges, we find strength. In our times of sadness, we love harder. In our feelings of loneliness, we support each other stronger. We choose our love. Everyday. We choose each other. Everyday. The foundation our relationship has been built upon is an intense strength from our love and support of each other. Our commitment is so powerful, we know our love is unbreakable. Without the support of friends and family along that way, our relationship would not have become what it is today. We are so thankful for the motivation, support and love from each and every person that has been a part of who we are, separately and together. We hope our connection inspires those around us to love fierce and strong. Know that no matter the resistance you meet, your love will never break. To love is to live. And all that really matters is the love you share.