They Matched, Then Quit Their Jobs to Travel the World
Jamie and Ivana had a rather inauspicious start. They matched on Bumble back in October 2015, but being busy London-dwellers, didn't notice that their 24 hours had run out. When Ivana, a New Zealander with Croatian roots, saw Jamie, a Scot, had rematched with her, she made the first move — sending a panicked "hello, how are you?" from work.
"I didn't really have time to say anything cool," said Ivana. "But I felt like I had to say something, because he'd used his one chance that day on me!"
Fast forward to December 2017, and the two adventure-seekers had moved in together, got engaged and even quit their jobs to travel the world together. Here, they tell of their whirlwind romance in their own words. (It involves late-night fried chicken, a Harley Davidson, and plenty of football.)
Describe your first date. How did you feel leading up to it? Was it what you expected?
Jamie: It only took us a few days to meet up. I was with my best friend who was visiting from Scotland, and we had just been to a Chelsea football [Editor's Note: soccer, in the U.S.!] match, and decided to hire rental bikes to cycle around London and have a few drinks. Ivana was with her best friend in a bar having a few drinks and watching New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup. Later that evening, after probably a few too many drinks, we thought it would be fun for the four of us to meet up. This turned into heading to a local bar where there were shots and dancing into the early hours. After this we all hit the local fried chicken shop. I knew Ivana was the one for me after she tried to hijack someone's hoverboard, and ordered a massive amount of chicken!
Ivana: It was a 'spirit of the moment' first meet-up, which took the pressure off. We were messaging that day and knew we were out around the same area that night, so just decided to meet up and drag the friends we were with along. Why no?t! We managed to have the most random night ever. It was good fun.
How does your partner empower you to be the best version of yourself?
Jamie: Ivana is a pillar of support. Since we've been together, I've become the truest form of myself. Just before I met her, I felt lost and was heading down a personal and professional route that, looking back now, just wasn't me. Since we've been together, I'm a stronger character and the flaws and weaknesses I once was ignorant to I'm now aware of. I strive to become a better person. Ivana has love, patience and empathy regardless of my mood or situation which inspires me to be a better person every single day.
Ivana: Jamie supports me and is my strength through every challenge. Even so, he encourages me to be independent and my own person. He is my number one fan.
What are your favorite things to do together?
Jamie: We literally do everything together. Ivana embraced my love for football and quickly changed her allegiance from her favorite team Arsenal to my beloved Liverpool. This saw us become members and travel to games as often as we could. When I had the idea of getting a motorbike license and a Harley Davidson, Ivana embraced this decision and bought her own helmet so we could share that experience together too. Before we left to travel full-time and whilst living in London, we would be very proactive in using our free time out of work to go explore the city, trying new bars and restaurants or sampling the latest quirky activity that had just opened up. Even picking a new Netflix series to watch together is always an easy decision!
Ivana: When we lived in London, I loved going to the gym together, seeing a movie, traveling to Anfield in Liverpool to watch Liverpool Football Club play when we could get tickets, and going on weekend adventures — either a long weekend away in Europe, a cruise somewhere on Jamie's Harley Davidson, or exploring a different part of London.
What upcoming goals do you have for your relationship?
Jamie: We've managed to achieve more goals in our short time together than most would in a lifetime, so who knows what we can go on to achieve in the future. Just last year we moved in together in London, got engaged in Paris and quit our full-time jobs to go travel the world. Our future goals would be to figure out how we can work and live remotely, which allows us to continue to travel full-time and be wherever we want or need to be in the world. Ideally, we would have a home in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere, which would make visiting our friends and family a whole lot easier! We will also have to sort a wedding out in the near future, so who knows where that will be. Starting a family which would include plenty of pets as well as kids is something we plan for too.
Ivana: Well, we've hit a few big goals in the past year. We moved in together, got engaged, and in December 2017 we quit our jobs to travel the world together! We've been to Singapore, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia so far, and our next stops are Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. We're hoping to travel for at least 12 months if not more, and we'll see where the wind takes us after that in terms of settling somewhere. I really want a dog and a cat and Jamie wants a duck. We also need to start planning a wedding!
What advice would you give to people who are nervous to make the first move?
Jamie: Don't be. 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained' is the best attitude to have. I went out on a limb to not only match Ivana, but to extend the match. If you have a good feeling about someone then don't give up. Who knows — maybe you will end up traveling the world or something similar by making that first move.
Ivana: Follow your heart, give it a chance and just know that everything always works out in the end!
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