Sometimes, taking the road less traveled turns out to be just the right path. When our San Francisco wedding fell apart, we decided to chuck it all and go get married in New York's Central Park. When the opportunity came up for my husband to take a job in Germany, albeit one week before our wedding, we barely thought twice about it. We got married at a castle and then ended up living in the land of castles. It seems we ended up as far as possible from the track everyone we knew was on, buying houses in California and starting families, but feel so at home in the life we have chosen. That's not to say marriage isn't hard work, because it is. Starting that life halfway around the world from all our family and friends in a country where we didn't even speak the language has probably made it a lot harder than it had to be, but I think in the end, it has only strengthened our relationship and made us better people.
When I look back at the photos from our amazing wedding day in New York, I almost have a hard time remembering those earlier versions of ourselves. We have grown and changed so much, and not just in our location or my hair color. We have been tried and tested in ways we never really expected - try frantically struggling together to articulate to a vet that your dog has just been savagely attacked in a language neither of you has a terribly firm grasp on, or supporting each other through the immense sadness of not seeing your mother in over a year - and have had to lean on each other perhaps more so than the average couple. It's not always easy, and it's certainly not always the jet-setting adventure some people envision expat life to be, but we have come to appreciate each other and this life we have made together in ways we might never have otherwise.
So in honor of our four-year wedding anniversary today - and eight years together, conveniently on the same day - here are a few of the photos making me most nostalgic this year for the adventurous day that so appropriately kicked off our not-so-average life together. Here's to the many more adventures to come!
Wedding photography by the amazing Augie Chang