You’ve heard of The Five Year Engagement – now get ready for its thrilling sequel! Or alternatively, “How My Mother’s Blood Pressure Skyrocketed to New Heights.”

Terrence and I are both the sort of people that like to be prepared. We like to have things set-up and done and squared away so we don’t have to worry about it, so you can imagine that having to move to the Bahamas within three weeks was a bit of a shock to our systems. Because I really wasn’t interested in being deported, I wanted to know for sure that a girlfriend could piggyback on his work permit, but as Terry so eloquently put, when he asked Human Resources about that, they replied with “…piggyback? What?”

Okay. So that wasn’t ever really a Thing after all. I did my own research and amidst a variety of expat forums and the Bahamas Immigration website, I discovered the inevitable. In order for me to live there legally with him without a work permit – since I don’t have any professional skills, nor the time to search for a career there – I would have to be a spouse.

We talked briefly about this possibility but it was over several plates of dim sum on the first of March that we realised it was something that actually had to be done. We would find a Justice of the Peace, use my mother’s living room, and have five people there max. Basically, just our parents. The whole thing would take an hour. But if you’ve ever helped set up a wedding or gotten married, I have a feeling you know what I’m talking about when I say that these things, well… they snowball. We simply didn’t get a choice in the matter.

In the end, our wedding was booked for noon on a Sunday (which just seems wrong) and about twenty people attended. My mum brought in a coworker to act as photographer, and a student at her school her sang In My Life while dad walked me out to the living room (albeit a little late). It started at 11:30 in the morning and everyone was gone two hours later. Phew.

Thankfully, Terrence and I have been together for over five years. We didn’t have to feel rushed or unsure. It felt natural, practical, and marked the next step in our adventure. We used to think that when we’d move, we’d move to Victoria, maybe Montreal… and then we thought bigger. We thought outside of Canada. That the Bahamas happened feels like clarity, a yes, you can sort of message from the universe that has left me – as usual – hitting the ground running. But I’ve grown to like it that way. A travel graduate and a chef shouldn’t be confined to urban North America. There’s a world to explore, and we plan to do it together. In truth, I’m lucky. I spend a little bit of time every day thinking about how lucky I am, and it’s not the meditational type where I sit myself down and focus on my gratitude. It happens spontaneously while I’m driving home, doing chores, or even scrolling mindlessly through social media feeds.

I’ve considered myself lucky for five years with Terrence. I am constantly blown away by how consistently warm he is, how delicious his cooking is, how inspiring his work ethic is, and how well he treats me and how comfortable he makes me feel. I will never stop saying “thank-you,” even when he responds “that’s what I’m here for.” I will always fall more and more in love with him and I will always be grateful, and try to show that gratefulness in more than just words. Because it’s more than I can say anyways.