“This photo was taken the first day we met; it’s our first photo together! I climbed into his van and didn’t get out for the next 2 weeks. Now, I realize that sounds more like the beginning of a horror story than a love story, but I assure you it’s the latter. I know right now most of you are probably wondering what the hell I was thinking when I neglected the age old advice to never get in the car with a stranger. But, in my defense I was backpacking in New Zealand - an incredibly safe country where hitchhiking is very common. Before I met Ladi, I had always been especially anti-committal to anything that would impact my ability to travel long-term. I viewed having a boyfriend and traveling as being an ultimatum; it was either one or the other. That is, until I met Ladi on a solo trip to New Zealand. Ladi was living and traveling in a camper van and I was a 23-year-old backpacker on a tight budget, with no solid plan, and in need of a ride to a nearby campsite. As two strangers, we drove onwards exchanging pleasantries, all the while I couldn’t pronounce his full Czech name. During just a short ride, I realized I was completely captivated by him. We quickly decided to spend the next two weeks camping together, of which during that time, we never spent more than 2 hours apart. Somewhere during the hiking, exploring, adventuring, cooking, and watching sunsets together, we fell in love... 3 years later, we are still together and just as in love. The only difference is we traded in our old crappy camper for an updated model which has become our full-time home. My message to anyone reading this is: If you do what you’re passionate about, you’ll find your family along the way. Maybe you’re not meant to be tamed. Maybe you’re meant to run free until you find someone just as wild to run with."