I have to admit, when I went to South Africa with Virgin Unite in 2012, I had a sneaky suspicion that I was going to meet my husband there. I think I may have slipped that little piece of information out after too many beers on the porch of our volunteer lodge the first night, and that is how our first wedding came about.
I was immediately intrigued by this handsome man with motorcycle pants and a white t-shirt who walked straight up to me the first day as I was working in the community garden. We stood there chatting for quite awhile, and I ended up inviting him to swing by our cabin that night for some drinks. It was four in the morning when we finally said goodnight, feeling something had begun, but not knowing what. He would come by every night thereafter to say hello and partake in our volunteer group's, ehem, lively evening gatherings. On the last night, my new family of crazy friends decided to throw us the wedding we had both eluded to that first night too loudly under the stars. I was to marry Charlie Sheen, as we called him, it was about to be an epic night. It was the best wedding party I could have ever asked for, and as it turns out, we were just doing things in reverse.
A year and a half later, I finally made it back to Ulusaba. I was there for my personal project, where I brought cameras to kids and taught them how to capture the world around them on film. Ian had since left his job there as a chef and was now pursuing his art career, but he invited to show me around for the last week I was in Africa. "It'll be our honeymoon!", he exclaimed, and I was more than excited for our time together... Again, I was in for a surprise, as three days later, we were engaged.
It's been three weeks now since we stood in the minister's beautiful backyard, holding each other tight as we listened to Korvus speaking of love and marriage, saying "yes" to a lifetime of love, growth, and adventure. I couldn't be happier as I board the flight tonight back to my husband, ready to embark on this journey together. It's incredible how life can change in a moment... My moment happened when I opened the email from Virgin asking for applicants for the trip to Africa almost three years ago. My heart beat out of my chest as I typed frantically, telling a distant soul how I felt I was meant for this opportunity. I guess what I can say from all of this is, when you feel something so strong, charge after it with all your might, and believe with all your heart that it is yours.