“You were you,
and I was I;
we were two
before our time.
I was yours
before I knew,
and you have always
been mine too.”
Even though we were separated by distance. London-Sydney.
I know that as the day come, and we say “I do”.
We get the rest of forever
to live, and be, together.
It’s not everyday you find a couple as charming as Albert & Asri. Through thick and thin, the two have endured many trials (including a long distance relationship between London and Sydney). Yet there they were, still lovestruck and smitten like two kids falling in love with each other.
Throughout the photoshoot, the couple had such a fun, wonderful time together. We were surprised to learn that Albert, who works in London, flew those many, many hours to come to New Zealand to do this photoshoot with Asri, who lives and works in Sydney. He literally crossed the globe! No wonder the time together, each second, was so precious to them. That’s when we knew, that this special love story is one worth telling.
By mutual friends, Albert met Asri as they were both students in UNSW. They didn’t see each other again for nearly a year after they were properly introduced. In one of those late nights Asri spent studying, on campus until well past midnight, she had stumbled upon Albert again as both of their friend groups were studying in the same spot. As the time showed 2 AM, and she was finally packing up, Albert quickly approached her and offered to walk her home. The rest was history. Asri recalls, “It was funny that he suddenly approached me at 2 AM to walk me home. Since then, he’d study in the same spot every night with me, and wait to walk me home, even at 2 or 3 AM, ever since.”
It is Albert’s love and dedication to Asri that becomes one of the many reasons she loves him. Each time she was too busy studying to catch up on her meals, Albert would come to the library and bring her dinner, and then walk away, without even chatting so as not to disturb her personal time. When Asri had a hospital rotation to a rural area, Albert would drive 5 hours just to send her off to Port Macquarie, and take the coach back to Sydney (a 6-hour way home.) “When I’m back for the weekend,” she says, “he’d drive with me to Newcastle, have dinner with me there, make sure I have breakfast and lunch for the next day, then take the 3-hour train ride back to Sydney while I drive back up.”
“She’s pretty bold, mature, and socially eloquent,” Albert tells us, listing these as the reasons she caught his attention when they met again in 2012 and started talking to each other.
Not only that, but they both share a love for reading, road trips, and rock climbing. “These are the hobbies Asri and I can do together,” Albert says. “I love her maturity, how she cares for other people, and the way she laughs.”
When we asked Asri what she loves most about Albert, however, she had no shortage of answers herself. Her long list began with Albert’s reliability. She describes him as “calm and reliable”, and even often refers to him as their rock or tree. “My favorite thing to say to him is, okay you handle it, and I know that whatever it is, I can trust him. I can always count on him.”
“Although we were still 18, whenever I was with him, everything was calm and soothing,” she explains, “He wasn’t much of a talker but every time he speaks, it was clear that he meant every word he said.” Albert’s persistent nature also won her heart. “It took us at least a year since that night in the library to officially get together!” Asri recounts, “This guy was so persistent, hahah! He just didn’t know how to give up – and I can’t be more grateful for that perseverance.”
She still continued with her list of reasons she loves Albert. Asri explains that Albert is true to himself—not easily swayed by people’s opinions. “He does what he thinks is right, and what he finds fun. So when you see him working, he’ll most definitely be working on what he loves, not what parents or society expects him to do. He’s passionate about everything he’s chosen in his life.”
One of the last things she mentioned, was Albert’s relentless positivity. “There was a townwide blackout on our first night in the Kosciuszko area. It was a cold night, and we haven’t even showered after hiking all day. Our phone batteries were almost flat, it was dark, and we haven’t had dinner. We had groceries but still needed a stove to cook in our Airbnb. No lights, no heater, no warm water, nor electricity to charge our phones with. The nearest supermarket was at least 30 minutes of a difficult winding drive away. I was disappointed because our unit was so beautiful but we couldn’t enjoy it. But as always, with hungry bellies, dirty clothes, and no phone batteries, Albert remained such a bundle of positive energy. Knowing I’d be hangry, he quickly took out bread and Nutella. We ate in the dark, took out our tripod and camera, and started photographing the night sky. Not the best pictures, but we laughed, and I was again thankful to have him by my side.”
On our last day, we were at the Church of the Good Shepherd; a grey brick chapel, sitting on the edge of the beautiful Lake Tekapo. Albert and Asri stood in the scene, marvelling at the view and enjoying their last night together. The sky twinkled with love, the lake sat still, reflecting the dark of night, and the small church stood, with its brick walls and humble rooftop. Albert and Asri watched the stars decorating the night sky, and lovingly stared into each other’s eyes. They held each other, closely, as if their hearts were intertwined. It was their last evening, and the next day, another goodbye would have to take place. And so they stood, hugging each other tight, and we wished that all their “goodbye”s can someday be tucked away,
turned into a lasting, beautiful forever.