Once people learn our story, that we’re a pair of one Canadian and one Englishman who met on the other side of the world, in Australia, and have been travelling together for the past 4 years (or however long we had been going at the time we met them), their first question is always,
“How did the two of you meet?”
Long story short, we met in a hostel room at Wake-Up! in Sydney, Australia. But how we actually became a couple is probably the more entertaining and rather awkward story.
Alright, let’s rewind about 4 years, it’s sometime in June 2014, we are now living in Cairns, at the infamous Gilligans (hostel), and Will and I had already been hanging out and pretty much spending every day together since first meeting in May (2014).
We mostly just passed the days living the backpacker life; i.e, hanging out at the lagoon, sunbathing, swimming, going out every night, staying up till dawn talking about all kinds of shit, eating $5 domino’s every Tuesday, scrolling gumtree looking for work, napping and introducing Will to Game of Thrones.
By this point we were pretty close (not just as a backpacker couple but as friends too) but hadn’t put any kind of label on our relationship. When we talk about it now, we both say that, at the time, we were both thinking the same thing .. or .. not thinking about it at all: back then we both weren’t really thinking about what we were. We both liked each other, liked spending time together, but neither of us remember thinking about what would happen later or if one of us found work or whatever. Neither of us were thinking very far into the future.
That is, until that one night at the Woolshed, a popular bar among backpackers that had free pizza and beer if you signed up for it with Backpackers World Travel.
We had gone with a bunch of our hostel roommates and other backpackers. We were sat together, side by side across the table from two girls from France. We had all been chatting about various things while eating our free pizza and drinking our free beer (if you haven’t figured this out yet, backpackers love them some free stuff!) when out of the blue, one of the girls leaned over the table and asked
“Are you two a couple?”
*Insert some chirping crickets*
*then some nervous laughter*
*a quiet pause that lasted a moment or two too long from both of us between laughs*
*and a couple questioning looks at each other*
Anyone paying attention could probably tell neither of us wanted to be the one who said anything first for fear of their response being different than the others.
I just remember doing a lot of looking at the table, weird little laughs, touching my hair and fidgeting. You know, all the things people do when put on the spot and not knowing what to say. Then, out the god awful, way too long of an awkward moment, came Will’s, quite confident if I may add, voice:
“Yeah” he said, with a little nod of the head. He then put his hand on my knee under the table, gave it a squeeze, looked at me and we both smiled, let out a little laugh and that was that. We haven’t questioned it or looked back since.
The girls laughed and gave us the ol’ “awwwwww”, “you guys are so cute”, blah blah blah. And I bet you can’t guess what they asked next 😉
“How did you guys meet?!”