“We met on the only hike I’ve ever been to. I was invited to Cape Town by some South African guests who’d visited Bhutan through my travel agency. On my trip there, we hiked to Table Mountain, where I met my future husband. Jan was friendly and offered to show me around. We visited lots of places and did many activities. It was obvious that we liked each other. So before I returned home, a month after we’d met, we had to decide whether a relationship would work. It was tough; the distance factor was huge and visiting would be costly. But we were ready to share our lives with someone. And we chose each other. We parted not knowing when we’d meet, but hoping it’d be soon.

A few months later, he spent almost all his savings to take his first flight to Asia to see me. This told me that he was the kind of man to put in effort. I wanted him to know my world, my family and my culture. His 10 day visit solidified our relationship and we got married in 2018. We were processing our MC so he could stay here longer when the pandemic struck and the process froze. Additionally, we were in Thailand and were informed that foreigners weren’t allowed to return to the country. I was pregnant at the time, and incredibly anxious. I couldn’t leave my husband behind during a pandemic. I anxiously wrote to the highest authorities, who thankfully allowed us both to return. We made it home, but after 4 months, they said he had to leave. I was already 8 months pregnant. Had it been a normal year, without COVID or a baby on the way, we’d have been okay. But I was desperate, so I wrote to the Zimpon’s office. My plea was graciously and immediately accepted, and I now get to have my husband here until March. We’ve had so many favors these past few months and are so very grateful.

Our story has been a series of leaps of faith. There’ve been countless challenges but we’ve trusted one another and made it through. I think love is a choice. The world nowadays wants everything to be instant and easy. But if you truly love someone, you must fight for it. All relationships come with challenges, we just need to commit to make it work.”

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