May 2014 – I was in a hostel private room in Malaysia, with Yuily, who I met a few weeks before in New Zealand. There was a significant romance going on inside me, more than your average backpacker date. We could talk for hours, and one topic we had was cheap ways of traveling. “My friend traveled around the southern hemisphere by bicycle for two years” she said. “She is so brave, I could never do it.”, she continued. “Maybe only around Taiwan. Will you want to ride a bicycle around Taiwan with me?”
It was never a question meant with seriousness. But grasping jokes was never one of my strengths, so I said “Yes, why not” and started researching about it.
Summer 2015 – More than a year went past, but this idea of bicycle touring never left my head again. Much of my free time went into research, finding out about different types of bicycles, panniers and other equipment. Yuily probably saw that she managed to light a fire in me and became increasingly enthusiastic about cycling as well.
By now we already spent lots of time together, traveling, working, living. We barely had any fights and arguments, and loved each other very much. The idea to put a ring on our relationship was there and frequently suggested by friends.
January 2016 – But the cycling tour was the real test for our relationship. Previously we hardly ever had a fight and could easily find a consensus for many things. But after a week of cycling together, we fought almost every day. Disagreements about our cycling speeds, what to wear and even just a miscommunication about altitude vs. distance had us shouting at each other in rage.
We somehow managed to stick together though and overcome these arguments. Through China and the rest of Asia we cycled with much more harmony and even today we still look back on that first week with a laugh on how ridiculous we were.
January 2017 – Some serious planning started to actually get married. We knew we would arrive in Germany in a few months, and Yuily’s brother already booked a flight to visit us when we were there. I discussed the possibility of getting married there with my mother, who immediately started planning for us. I researched the documentation needed, but quickly found out that Yuily would need to apply for several documents in person in Taiwan. Even then, it wouldn’t actually allow her to stay. So we dismissed registering for now – it was going to be just a celebration while we did the paperwork later.
April 2017 – We had arrived since a few days at my mother’s place in Germany and started preparing. We didn’t have much money to do this, renting a place was out of the question, so the guest list was kept short to the closest family. I even only managed to invite two of my best friends. Gladly, a colleague of my mother was able to borrow us a party pavilion for the celebration. Yuily then did a great job hand-crafting most of the decoration.
The day finally came, and it was an all around success. When I saw Yuily walking towards me in her wedding dress, I knew I made the right choice. This is my wife. And even though it was a small wedding consisting of mostly family, everyone really enjoyed themselves and told us later how beautiful everything was.
May 2017 – Our trip was going to continue. Since Yuily entered the Schengen Area back in March, she would have to leave by July 2nd. We already made the plan to cycle to the UK and Ireland, which are not part of the Schengen Area, by then. But for now, we wanted to enjoy that sweet relaxing time for as long as possible, so we left no earlier than May 20. Until then, we relaxed, watched movies, visited friends and worked a little on this blog. It was a choice not to be regretted, since it was unusually cold and rainy, and only started to warm up on the day we left. But when we did, I was fully energized again, really looking forward to a new adventure!