We are so happy to present Claire & Anthony as our Couple of the Week. This UK couple, fell in love, quit their jobs, and moved to China to follow their dreams. They know that you can’t sweat the small stuff and that living life to the fullest is the key to happiness. Read and learn from them!
Claire & Anthony
Ages: 30 years old
Status: Together 0 centuries, 1 year, 8 months, 16 days (won’t bother with hours, minutes and seconds as the whole time difference confuses me!) Currently engaged and living in China.
How did you meet?: I (Claire) interviewed him for my old job (I had a kind of promotion but I was secretly hoping to leave and travel the world). He started to work at my school (we were both teachers) and for some aspects he was even my boss! Then we fell in love (whirlwind romance thing!), moved in together after 3 months (& 2 days!), went travelling in our school holidays and then quit work (same day, same school) on his 30th birthday to travel the world for as long as we can!
When did you realize you were in love?: Not quite love at first sight as he was in an interview – though he did look very nervous which was quite endearing! After knowing each other for less than 2 and a half months (with a 6 week summer holiday in the middle where I never saw him), I realised I loved him and got my best friend to ask him out on my behalf. He nervously said yes and the rest is history!
What qualities in each other make you a good match?: We literally have everything in common – more than once we have been described as each others’ soulmate (if you believe in that). I guess we are a good match as we can cope with spending 24/7 together (we worked together, lived together, and now travel together). We both agree that the only important things in life are to love and to live. So we try our best to love each other and life, living it to the full.
What is your perfect date night?: Together! Seriously – that is all we need. We like treating ourselves to a posh Western meal (a novelty as we live in China currently) as well as watching films (big film fans). We love exploring somewhere new, learning something new or sometimes just chatting the night away about where we want to go next/look through the photos of where we have been.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a couple and how did you get through it?: Moving to China! Yes we decided to go together and in many ways it was a dream come true. However, nothing could prepare us for how we felt those first few weeks and even now we have a wobble and it’s pretty tough. Being together 24/7 was intense back in the UK but at least we had family, friends and other hobbies. However, the isolation here is quite a challenge sometimes. We literally have each other and no-one else. Most of the time this is perfect but sometimes that is a bit much for a relationship. Even now, we are trying to plan a RTW trip and there are some stressful points to iron out. However, we never let a falling out cross onto the next day – we work through it no matter how hard and we always kiss and make up!
What is one thing you would like to improve about your relationship?: To not let the little things get us down and to always see the big picture. The problem with getting rid of everything you own, quitting well paid jobs and travelling the world (yes there is a slight problem) is that all you are left with are the little things and sometimes we can make them into bigger things than they actually are. It is important to take stock of where we are in the world, to remember how far we have come (literally) and to be thankful to have each other and each day full of new experiences. To love and to live and nothing more is what we strive for.
What advice would you go back and give yourselves when you just started dating?: Don’t hesitate and take some risks now and then! Grasp the opportunities and have the confidence to see them through no matter how difficult they may appear. So many of the things that we do now and are successful at we talked and talked about months ago but were too fearful to try.