The Next Chapter Begins

If anybody were to predict a year ago that I’d now be married and living on a narrowboat moored in Central London, I’d think they were nuts! It’s bizarre how life takes its course and what can eventuate in the space of a year. This time last year I was just beginning to go steady with Adam. Mindful of the fact the end of my visa was fast approaching, I made a conscience effort not to get in too deep. Little did I know I’d end up falling for him!

I’ve never been a fan of long distance relationships; in fact I was completely against it at one stage. Until it was time to return to Oz and I found myself at a crossroad – Do I let a good thing go or continue on with something that could potentially turn into everlasting happiness?! Wearing my heart on my sleeve, I opted for the latter. Apprehensive at first, I decided to give long distance a shot with the man who’s swept me off my feet.

It hasn’t been all easy breezy I can tell you that much! Not only have we had to tackle the time difference, but the poor signal experienced on either side – gets so frustrating having to repeat yourself over and over again, only to be cut off by the bad connection. It takes a great amount of effort from both parties and a great deal of patience, something that I’ve learnt to acquire (to some degree). The obvious absence of not having them around is another hurdle that we’ve been able to overcome through all forms of communication – be it Skype, Whatsapp,Tango, Viber, Email, Video blogs…. you name it, we’ve used it!

I wouldn’t be an advocate of long distance if there were no set plans to see each other in the interim. We spent four months apart before Adam flew to Oz back in May. His brief, yet much needed visit re-confirmed just how strong our love is. Having met my family and friends who all gave their seal of approval, it wasn’t long before we spoke of our plans to be together. Being halfway across the world from each other, someone’s gotta give. That someone being me. It seemed somewhat crazy at first to leave everything behind in sunny Oz to return to gloomy London – the things you do for love hey! Although, apart from the weather, London is amazing – the endless things to see and do! And with the rest of Europe being so accessible, it wasn’t a bad trade off after all 🙂

The long and arduous process of having to prove our relationship to get me back over here has all been worth it. It sure as hell tested our patience but we got there in the end. Five months further down the track, it was time to say my teary goodbyes to all my loved ones back home. The days what felt like I had a pen pal, rather than a boyfriend had come to an end as I set off to be reunited with my man.

About a month ago, when the doors opened to Heathrow airport, I could not believe my eyes.  There he was amongst the crowd standing outside the arrival gate. We instantly spot each other from a distance and all of a sudden a feeling of euphoria envelops me as we run into each others’ arms and begin to kiss passionately. It felt so surreal being in London and back in his sweet embrace. We naturally picked up where we left off, as though we’d never been apart to begin with.

A few days in and still a bit jet-lagged, we took a trip up to Wales for a couple of nights to meet Adam’s folks who are absolutely lovely. Such a good thing to have great in-laws! Bonded over nice home-cooked meals and some sightseeing. I even tried my hand at horse (or should I say “pony”) riding, which seemed very scary at first but really fun. I advanced to a trot on the first lesson. Not a bad start if I do say so myself! It was a pleasant change being out in the countryside…with the greenery, the animals (heaps of sheep) and the mountains in the distance. What I couldn’t believe was the fact that running water out of the tap tasted the same, if not better than bottled water– so refreshing and limescale free! Fresh from the mountain catchments of Snowdonia and straight into the kitchen sink. Didn’t get a chance to climb the highest peak in Wales, or England for that matter. I believe that will be my next challenge – to hike it all the way up Snowdonia! Hmm…..might be a little bit too ambitious of me come to think of it.

For Adam’s birthday shortly after returning to London, I decided to take him out for some top quality steak and drinks to match at Hawksmoor. After dinner, he wanted to kick on for more drinks, but stressed it needed to be somewhere nice. I figured since it’s his birthday, I’d let him have his way. We came across Centrepoint and ended up having cocktails at Paramount Bar on the 32nd floor. Overlooking the beautiful view of London at night, Adam started professing all the little things he loves about me. It was this moment that things took a new turn. I didn’t’ think much of it as he’s always been expressive about his love. Until he discreetly pulls out a ring box and pops the question – in true Adam style. I was so shocked –  The first words out of my mouth were “OH MY GOD!”. It took me completely by surprise! In my excitement, I  started to kiss him and only then realised that I forgot to answer the question. Even though the kiss was a dead giveaway, I eventually said yes 🙂

I got on the phone to my family to tell of the good news to which my mum replied “well you didn’t fly halfway across the world for nothing!”  – Fair point! I wouldn’t have invested so much time and effort into someone I couldn’t see a future with. I refused to believe it then but looking back now, it’s true what they say – when you know, you just know! It still baffles me when I think about how far we’ve come along since the day we first met. From turning him down after our first date…to moving in with him a few months later. Well played Adam!

Inspired by my in-laws’ love story, we agreed on a small, intimate registry wedding in Chelsea. We decided to hold our wedding on the same day we became an official couple – November 15th, which conveniently landed on a Friday this year. That gave us about 2.5 weeks to plan a wedding. I’ve never been the type who envisaged a big, extravagant wedding, in fact I wouldn’t have the faintest clue about what’s involved in the planning and preparation so something low key was right up my alley. BIG thanks to my mum in law who made the bouquet, buttonholes and wedding cake – brilliant job!

The morning of my wedding day and the only thing stressing me out was my hair and make up – both of which I chose to do myself! Another BIG thanks goes out to my dear friend Duong who arrived early on the day to capture the key moments on our special day – love your work! I’d prepared myself for rain – being smack bang in the middle of November, so I was absolutely chuffed when the weather remained clear all day. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day with the sun brightly shining down as we made our way towards Chelsea. Once we were declared Man and Wife, we walked out onto the famous steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall where our guests – armed with confetti, were waiting outside to greet us as a married couple.

Drinks and canapés at a quaint little pub nearby followed the ceremony. Kudos to the Events Co-ordinator at The Surprise, who did a great job making sure everyone had their fair share of food. I may have ordered one too many canapé boards but….better to have over catered than under hey!? Shortly after cutting the cake, we all migrated into town where the night ended with drinks at Madison Cocktail Bar. Basking in the magnificent views of St Paul’s Cathedral from the rooftop terrace during sunset was extremely breathtaking. 

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What a successful day it was, being so fortunate to have the weather on our side and everything else swiftly falling into place.  Who says you need to spend months and a wod of cash planning a wedding?! Certainly not me! Although my family couldn’t be there, my mum is anticipating a Cambodian ceremony when we return to Oz. Which we’re more than happy to do. Look out – Adam dressed in a traditional Cambodian outfit, now that’ll be a sight for sore eyes!

Till next time…Outskies!

Srey x

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