You may be wondering what qualifies us to write about long-distance relationships? Or maybe your here to read about our own LDR journey?
We met in 2015. Back then it was hard to find any adequate advice that we could relate to. Or maybe we just didn’t search hard enough!
Either way, it was clear that we were both inspired to help other LDR couples and families. Now with the help of other relationship experts, we are on a mission to give a little back, share some love and support however we can.
Where did you first meet?
Not a typical meeting place for most. We met at an ATM while we were both on separate vacations. In the middle of a busy medina in Marrakech, we struck up a conversation at a broken cash machine and from there Adam invited me to enjoy a fresh orange juice and to walk around the shops together.
Video: Our return trip back to Morocco.
With no plans for the evening and a charming invitation from a handsome British man, I could not resist. We went to enjoy a fun evening of Moroccan entertainment with the dancers in the square, and learn about each other as the night went on.
I was flying back to Florence the next day back to my study abroad university, and before we parted, I invited Adam to visit me the next week. Adam was working as a freelance photographer at the time and had the freedom to book a last minute flight to spend more time together. Our first spontaneous trip was already on the books before our first date ended.
How long have you been in an LDR?
We first met in March 2015. – Two years and a few months were spent living long distance, travelling between our homes in the US and England. We successfully closed the distance in 2018.
This involved moving to Dublin, Ireland was we could both legally live and work together and now in 2018, we enjoyed our second move to set up home in Edinburgh, Scotland.
How many miles were you living apart?
From doorstep to doorstep, we lived 4676 miles apart. Some days it could feel like we were only in the other room from each other, or other days worlds apart. I’m sure all LD-couples can relate to this. What kept us strong was good communication and knowing deep down that we could make our long distance relationship a success.
Where did you each live originally?
Adam lived in the South East of England and I lived all the way over in Spokane, Washington, USA.
What first attracted you to each other – What is your LDR story?
Adam: The day we met, Kim had spent the afternoon travelling back from the coast in Morocco, her hair was wild, long and very curly. She was tall much like me and looked beautiful in her ‘traveling’ attire. More importantly, I could see she would have an interesting story to tell.
Kim: It was Adam’s blue eyes and his big smile that first attracted me to him. The accent didn’t hurt either. He was so gentlemanly from the first interaction, that I couldn’t wait to spend more and more time with him. The invitation to walk around the square and get an orange juice together was sweet and friendly, he truly did want to know more about me without coming on too strong to a woman who had just met him.
How often did you visit each other?
In the first three months, while living between Italy and England, we saw each other on three separate trips. Adam flew to Florence three days after we met, where we spent five days together travelling through the nearby cities.
A few weeks later we both flew to Paris and due to aviation workers being on strike, only spent 36 hours together. After our short, but romantic, Paris trip, I flew from Florence to London and met up with Adam and his family for a long weekend.
To some, this may read like a movie plot, but it truly happened down to timing and circumstance aligning. Before returning back to America, I visited Adam one last time, leaving him with no set date for our next reunion.
Four months and several Skype dates later, I was on a plane heading back to London to visit Adam for 7 days. It was the longest we had been without seeing each other, and the week could not have been any better. We celebrated missed birthdays and savoured the trip after a long time apart.
With plenty more long distance gaps between our trips, we met up just over 10 more times before closing the distance and moving to Ireland to live together. (now living in Edinburgh 2018)
What are your favourite long-distance activities?
Adam: I enjoyed writing handwritten letters to Kim. I found this the best way to express my true thoughts, sitting down and writing letters wasn’t natural to me at first. I began to enjoy the process and found it to be a creative way to connect with thoughts during our long-distance relationship.
Cooking is something that I really enjoy. We had fun trying new recipes over our video dates, knowing that we would be sharing the same meals in different spaces. We maintained the close bond even from afar.
Kim: Our weekend Skype dates were my favourite long distance activity. Every weekend we would have a date to call and catch up on what we missed in each other’s lives, that we couldn’t express over texting or phone calls. It was so nice to keep the element of “dating” alive, even with the miles between us.
There were so many things I still wanted to know about Adam, like where he went to school, and what his favourite movies were, that created the dating atmosphere around our skype calls.
The letter writing was something that came very natural to me, and I was thrilled when Adam and I started the tradition. We kept up our fortnightly letter exchange for the entirety of our long distance relationship, and we still leave each other notes from time to time in our flat.
How do you spend your time together?
Adam: We liked to make the most of our time together and made sure to plan a lot of activities prior to our reunions. There were times where we would lounge, but mostly we were out creating experiences together.
We knew this would be the bonding process that would create memories that last beyond the trip. Simple things, like sharing a dessert, can become extra special after living months apart. Anyone in a LDR will realte to this!
Kim: My favourite thing that we did together on reuniting trips, visited the big cities close by and making 100% of our time together. When Adam visited me on one of his trips to Washington, I drove 5 hours from Spokane to Seattle and picked him up from the airport for another long weekend in the city. It may sound expensive, but we really saved between the months apart.
We had the most heavenly meals out and enjoyed all of the elements that make Seattle special. It was the same when I flew to England to see Adam. He would plan a romantic day out in London, where we could visit Buckingham Palace and get a 99 cent ice cream and flake next tourist stop.
The best part was calling into a small coffee shop when the rain spontaneously poured down on us, and we got soaking wet in our summer clothes. These hilarious memories stayed with me during our times apart, when all I wanted was more time together.
Name a memorable experience you’ve been through as a couple?
Adam: The first week we spent together in Florence will always be remembered. Italy was like no other country I had visited previously. The whole time with Kim was an incredible experience. There was no shortage of places to visit, food to sample, and opportunities to learn more about each other.
Unfortunately, I feel sick for a few days and immediately Kim showed her caring side. She was my impromptu nurse for the entire remaining time. Months later this would always stick in my mind as a learning experience to see her caring character traits.
Kim: The most memorable experience for me was the time I met Adam’s parents on my first trip to London. Adam and I had known each other for a little over two months, and within a few hours of landing at Heathrow, he had me shaking hands with his mom and dad at their house.
Maybe not your standard LDR story, I thought this guy must be mad, or does he bring every woman over to immediately to get his parent’s seal of approval? Thankfully, it was neither, and they proved to be sweet and inviting people, just like Adam.
Do you have a favourite picture from your relationship and why?
This was our first ‘selfie’ together, taken in Florence, Italy. The week we fell in love!
What do you value most about your relationship?
Adam: Any LD-relationship requires the utmost trust and commitment to each other. I’m proud how we communicated through the challenging times and saw the time living apart as a positive way to learn more about each other.
Ultimately, I learned far more about myself than ever before too. The right person in your life will help show you this. When you feel it in your heart you do whatever it takes to make the relationship successful.
Kim: The most valuable part of our relationship is the time that we have invested in each other. When you are physically apart for long periods of time, you start to think about bettering your circumstances.
That leads to you improving yourself first, so in many ways, this relationship has bettered us more than any of our previous relationships have. The dedication we have to our long-term goals (getting married, buying a house, and me becoming a British citizen) is extremely valuable to me.
Do you share a favourite movie or documentary?
Adam: We were fortunate enough to return to Morocco, this time living on the coast for a month. Part of our daily routine included watching the ‘American Office’. The show really set us up for the day ahead and help us bond through laughter. We still laugh at the show now and it takes us back to those good time living abroad.
Sometimes while living at distance we would watch the ‘Blue Planet’ Documentaries. We would set up a video call (skype) and pay the show at the same time.
Kim: It’s not so much a favourite movie, but I love that Adam is open to so many genres. We can watch “The Crown” and “Black Mirror” back to back with no issue. Some people can be very picky about the films and shows they watch, but it’s not an issue for us at all.
I really enjoy the time we spend together cuddling or eating dinner while we watch a new Netflix series. The little things that melt away all of the months we spent apart are my favourite part of our time when we watch the shows together.
Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
Adam: ‘Patience is a form of action’ – I wrote this on a ‘post-it’ note and stuck it on my computer.
Kim: I live by “Go big or go home” a little too strictly. The motto gives you options, you just have to chose which way you will go, big, or home. We chose to go big. We stayed focused and went big. I would say moving to a new completely new country with each other was pretty ‘big’.
What did you learn from living long distance?
Many will say how can this relationship a success, or that can’t be easy living apart. Our LDR taught us that if you have a strong vision of your future and feel compelled to make it work you can achieve anything. Life is full of possibilities and choices if you are determined you can make anything happen.
Additionally through extended amounts of time travelling we learned the best ways to save on airfares, hotel bookings and transferring money between accounts to split the bills. All the things that we still use to this day. See our resources page for our top tips.
What challenges/hardships have you overcome?
Thinking back to living at distance, we especially value the challenging times. These are strong foundations that we can now build on living together. I remember times such as when Adam sold is vinyl collection and photography equipment just to help fund our next plane ticket. I also took on a second job in the States just to fund our future plans. A long distance relationship teaches you the value of time, money and love very quickly.
How did your friends and family react to your LDR?
Adam: My family were very supportive and positive throughout the 2 years of living at distance. They would always ask after Kim, they enjoyed hearing our LDR stories and future plans to live together. I’m very grateful for their support.
On the flip-side, some of my ‘then’ housemates and work colleges were not so encouraging. The best way to handle this was by staying true to my own mind and quickly shifting conversations away from relationship talk.
Kim: When I first told my parents they thought it was going to be a quick relationship. Adam and I met while I was studying abroad for 4 months in Italy, so with the distance factor between us, my parents assumed we would part ways.
Many couples do in those circumstances so I wasn’t surprised at their assumptions. As they saw how invested I was in this man, whom they had never met, by the way, they eventually understood this relationship was going somewhere. They have been supportive of our relationship and are excited for us in our next endeavours.
What makes a long distance relationship successful?
There are many pionts to consider. A good place to start is our resource page: 41 Actionable Long Distance Relationship Tips – Go check it out!
What are the best gifts you have sent or received?
Kim: On my birthday, Adam sent me flowers with a cute love note to my workplace . It’s the little surprises like this that make a big difference.
Adam: Kim bought me a really smart watch last year, as a symbol of our time apart and our future together.
Describe your perfect weekend together?
My perfect weekend would involve sunshine, ripe avocados for brunch, and some nice walks around our neighbourhood park. I enjoy reading the news in the morning while we slowly wake up from a nice lay in.
When we can go to Ikea and stroll through the other-worldly rooms, it’s so fun to plan our fictional country house and then our city penthouse. We can dream! It’s always my favourite weekend when we get to spend time together, after 2 years apart I feel lucky everyday that we have together.
Our other a passion is writing this long distance blog. It may take time and money to run, but we genuinely want to help other couples with their own long distance relationships. If we can just help a handful of people then our mission has been worthwhile.
What are your long-term plans?
Exciting times ahead! The next chapter in our story includes house hunting in Scotland. It will be our new base for at least one year while I will return to complete a masters degree in business.
Adam will seek new employment and continue to work on the technical side of Sending-My-Love. We are excited to marry in 2018 and obtain a spouse visa.
Name your favourite resources that helped your LDR and if possible a brief reason why you use them?
We have written several pages to help other with this, you may enjoy:
Long distance success stories
Since starting this blog we have interviewed dozens of other LDR couples, here you can read their own LDR stories with fun insights into how they make the distance work.
Kim & Adam:
Location: America / England / Ireland 2017 → Edinburgh 2018