First 52sits post on our fifth anniversary

How much quality time do you get to spend with your partner? A few hours each day after work? A long weekend trip away? Two or three weeks on holiday each year?

I met Vanessa in April 2013.

I was passing through London, heading back to my off-grid island home in Panama. I was invited to stay for a couple of nights with a friend in Peckham. She had plans to go out to a concert (Matchbox Twenty) with some friends on my last evening there, and wondered if I would like to join them. One of the friends was her flatmate Vanessa.

Vanessa and I sat together at the concert, and later, over a bottle of wine back at the flat, we chatted late into the night. We found we had a lot in common.

I suggested Vanessa come and visit me in Panama, and three months later she flew out to Costa Rica, where I met her at the airport at San Jose.

That was on 7th July 2013, exactly five years ago today.

She had only booked a two week holiday, but after about ten days together we decided we wanted to explore our growing relationship further.

She changed her return flight date, resigned from her job, and told her flatmate that her brother would call to pick up her car and clothes!

Since then we have spent almost every day together, 24 hours a day. For five years.

In later blogs we’ll look more at how we live, travel and earn an income, while spending so much time together. For now, let’s just celebrate our five-year milestone!

We thought we’d do something a little bit special today.

We’re currently house sitting in the Caribbean, in the beautiful island nation of St. Vincent & The Grenadines. The view from our house is magnificent, and in the distance we can see the tropical island of Bequia.

We know two other couples currently house sitting over there, so first thing this morning we caught the ferry across to the little island.

We were collected at the dock and enjoyed a great coffee in a delightful beachfront cafe.

A relaxing swim at a quite beach followed, and then lunch at our house sitting friends’ temporary island home – with a few celebratory beers, of course!

Before we knew it, it was time to head for the last ferry home.

We sat quietly watching the seabirds soaring on the updraft at the back of the boat, diving in to snatch a fish from just below the surface of the sea.

What a perfect way to celebrate an amazing five years together.

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