What I Wonder When I Wander: What’s fate got to do with it? (The story of us)

what i wonder when i wander

Last Updated on February 15, 2021

We have so many loyal readers out there, a community of people who read everything we write, get in touch with questions, offers to host us in their cities, words of encouragement or suggestions for places to travel to next.

But we have realized something…

Just the other day, some new friends asked us the story of how we met. As we told them our story, we realized that this is something we haven’t shared with all of you who have been with us here for so long!

Here it is…The story of how Dani and I became a couple. It might just be a bit juicier than you expect.

Dani and I met in 2006 in her hometown, a small city in Germany called Erfurt. It’s the kind of city most foreigners don’t travel through…much less move to.

I did just that, however, in 2003, when I followed a previous relationship all the way from Guatemala (where I had lived for two years) to Germany. When that relationship fell through a couple years later, I had already managed to make a little home in the middle of a country where I didn’t speak the language, know a soul or have a clue about the culture.

It took about a year for me to learn German well enough to start making a circle of friends outside of the teachers at the schools where I worked as an English teacher. It would take Dani and I another year and a half after that before we ever spoke – even though we had been spending almost every single day together since I moved to the city.

You see, Dani had just returned from working in Ibiza, Spain in 2003 and started an International Business degree at the school where I worked. Every day throughout those years, I taught English to dozens of classes as Dani studied, though our paths never crossed until that fateful day when I stepped in to cover for their Business English teacher. The students responded well and when a spot opened up the next year to teach the class in their final year (with a nice per-hour pay raise) I accepted.

This turned out not to be one of my favorite groups to teach and while Dani was always nice, she sat in the back, cool as a cucumber, seemingly more interested in her newspaper or sending text messages from under her desk (can’t fool me!). Her grades were great with little effort, and I would have never thought she was interested in the class, let alone in me.

When Dani tells the story, she says she was already interested the year before, from that one day I taught her class. I was so nervous that day I barely remember a thing. This was because as the teacher, I was actually YOUNGER than a few of the twenty-four girls in the class and had less (read: NO) business experience at the time, either. Although Dani was, and not surprisingly still is, younger than me, the difference between us is only 14 months. This meant that the relationship was never exactly one of student-teacher, but more like I was working and she was studying and that happened to take place in the same place.

When I tell the story, I say that I still had no idea she was interested when, at the very end of the school year, her friend and fellow student had arranged lunch for the three of us to thank me for some extra exam help I had given a few of the girls. I still had no idea that summer when Dani and I started hanging out as friends, either, because, Dani being Dani, she remained totally relaxed about it all – until she absolutely couldn’t hold it in any more. She planted one on me at some point, and, well, that is obviously when I knew how she felt and how I felt, too!

Not six weeks later, however, I was scheduled to fly to England and leave Germany, quite conceivably, forever.

The funny thing was…so was Dani.

Completely independent of my plans, Dani had signed on back in April to study in northern England for a fourth year to complete her Bachelor’s degree. Four months earlier, in January, I had enrolled in a Master’s course in the south of England.

As fate would have it, we were both moving to England within one week of each other. What may have just been an exciting, confusing, small-town summer fling became a long-distance relationship, then a live-in relationship, and finally, this. Us. What we are now. The GlobetrotterGirls. Living our dream traveling the world.

What I wonder is just how much of a role did fate play in these wanderings of ours? Me, ending up in random German city, Dani moving back from Spain, neither of us knowing each other for almost three years and then our lives coming together on so many levels all at once…

And another thing I wonder…is there anything else you would like to know about the two of us? Let us know!

Tags : What I Wonder When I Wander


  1. Cute!! I just finished reading Paulo Coehlo’s “The Witch of Portobello” the final line is: Love just is. Fate plays a role, and so many other things too, but in the end it either is or it isn’t. Thanks for sharing you two!

    1. Oooh, Kim, I read that a few years ago but don’t remember the line. You’re right though, either it is, or it isn’t. In our case, it is 🙂

  2. So, what you’re saying is I need to move to Europe to find a girlfriend? 🙂 I love your story about how you met and got started with traveling. I appreciate how random things can appear sometime…

    1. Ha ha Heather! I think there are plenty of girls for you to meet anywhere, but I can recommend Germany on that front 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story!

    1. Laurence, I can say that learning German was really hard at first, but people are so so pleased when you try to speak it that there is tremendous opportunity to really learn it. My number one piece of advice on that – listen to the mistakes Germans make in English. If it’s grammar or idiom-related, you can guess that is how you say it correctly in German.

  3. What a sweet story! I absolutely believe that you were fated to be together, and the other decisions you made prior to meeting each other brought you together. Love it!

  4. What a sweet story. Definitely fate. Sometimes relationships are just meant to be and the universe does an awful lot of work to line itself up to get two people in the right place at the right time.

  5. I most definitely believe in fate. More so as I get older. My husband is a great procrastinator, with the attitude “if it is meant to happen it will”. This I found very annoying because I liked to make things happen. But we have had wonderful things happen for us just because of fate. What is meant to be, will be!

    1. Jan, that’s an interesting point – Dani and I have become so much more laid back since we started traveling with the idea that if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen!

  6. Isn’t it fascinating how events happen to place us in just the right place and time at just the right moment? Gives you a feeling of great cosmic wheels turning, ever so slowly – but every so precisely…

    Thank you for sharing this very personal and tiny glimpse into your private life together – I enjoyed reading it and knowing a bit more about “how the story began…”. I’m such a romantic at heart and I do love a good love story… 🙂

  7. Hehehehe…this is pretty much how my boyfriend and I met. I had just returned from one month in South Korea, and he was in my first class on the Monday I started teaching English again. He was interested from the start, while I became interested when I realised he was interested! 3 months later he was off home…and well…I just left with him.
    Fate is a beautiful thing 🙂

    1. Wow Denise, that’s so cool! I love that we share this 🙂 Literally three months after I got to know Dani we were both living in England and committed to each other!

  8. Synchronicity and Serendipity are key ingredients for happiness – When everything seems to fall perfectly into place. It was definitely something that I felt on my year Abroad.

    For myself you can feel that thrill in the moment but the true impact is only felt when the larger story unfolds. That chance encounter with a person might lead to a few memorable moments and nothing more or become your life partner and ultimately changes the course of your life.

    I’m really happy you guys found each other.

    1. Thanks Loz – I once heard a saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Guess we see how Dani and my chance encounter worked out!:)

  9. Very interesting story and unique. I am not sure how many student – teacher relationships work out where someone doesn’t end up in prison! 🙂

    However, you need to work on your communication skills if you were together, had a fling, but didn’t have a clue that each of you was planning to go to England. Hope the communication is better now! 🙂

    1. Interesting comment Jeremy? We were 25 and 26 when we met, so probably no prison time. And, we absolutely knew that we were moving to England, since we were friends before the fling. It just felt like fate is all. Since we work and travel full time together now, I think our communication is pretty good.

  10. How cute, thanks for sharing your story! I recently realized I haven’t posted the story of how I met my fiance either, I should do that…I can’t say I believe in fate, but I am nonetheless happy with how things sometimes turn out quite amazingly for us travel couples!

    1. Thanks so much, Edna! And you should definitely share the story of how you met your fiance – everybody loves a good love story 😀

  11. That’s a really wonderful story; thanks for sharing! I think it’s great how open you are about your lives on this blog; it really makes your reading it so much more personal, and I really appreciate that.

    And Jess, it still makes me laugh that students think they can text under the table without us teachers knowing. No one just stares so concentrated down at their crotch like that otherwise!

    1. Thanks so much, Sam! It took us a while to be open about these things (on the internet! 😉 ) which is why we really appreciate feedback like yours!! And hey – I was pretty good at blind-typing back then.. not sure how good I’d be nowadays though with all these touch-screen phones 😉 ~Dani

  12. Lovely story, girls. Thanks for sharing. My girlfriend and I are off to Central America in December. We are a writer and a designer and also do some blogging (I’ve just started a blog about life in Byron Bay in NSW, Australia), so it’s inspirational to see your site and read about your travels. Good on you for making the dream a reality.

  13. Great story girls 🙂 I like how so much of what you two write is just so honest, open and down to earth. It was lovely to hear your story.

      1. Thanks, Sam! We actually spoke both – German and English. Jess is so fluent in German that I thought she was German when I first met her! When we moved to England, we started to speak in English with each other more and more.

  14. Who doesn’t love a love story!? Is that last picture from Colorado by chance? Looks way too familiar!

    Seems like fate was totally in the works for you two! Things tend to work out as they should. 🙂

    My husband and I have a funny ‘her story vs his story’ versions which are both cute. I had no idea he even noticed me and he tells me he knew we would be together when he first saw me.

    1. Tiana – yes, that’s Colorado!! 🙂 Isn’t it amazing how different people’s view can be on the same story? I am so glad that things worked out for us the way they did – we’ve come a long way in the seven years we’ve known each other now 🙂

  15. What an incredible story! I am not normally a fatalist, but it really does seem as though your circumstances conspired to ensure you found each other. So romantic! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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