HomeInternationalGirl meets girl at band camp. They fall in love

Girl meets girl at band camp. They fall in love

(CNN) — It was August 2011 and Natasha Fisher was 17 and touring from her dwelling in England to the United States for the primary time, determined to spend a summer time in New York residing out a fantasy she’d solely ever seen in TV and movie.

Only NYC wasn’t on the playing cards. Instead she ended up a pair hundred miles west.

“My grandma offered to take me to Pennsylvania, because my aunt lived there,” Natasha tells CNN Travel immediately. “I was like, ‘it’s not New York City,’ but I’ve got nothing else to do, it was the summer. I’m thinking: ‘It’s Philadelphia, that’s cool; it’s Pittsburgh, that’s cool.’

“Then we went to this tiny little city in rural Pennsylvania, the place there was nothing.”

Natasha’s aunt, realizing this countryside experience wasn’t quite what her bored teenage niece was hoping for, suggested Natasha tag along to her partner’s daughter’s band camp for the day.

High school bands aren’t really a thing in the UK, and Natasha didn’t play instruments, but she agreed, intrigued to see a slice of American high school life.

When Natasha arrived at the band camp, her American peers treated her like a celebrity. The campers flocked around her, asking her questions about England, intrigued to meet someone new and different.

Among the crowd of Pennsylvania band kids was Kyrie Huf. Also 17, she was a senior in high school, juggling her studies with working two jobs, practicing trumpet and spending time with her then girlfriend.

And although Kyrie was in a relationship, Natasha piqued her interest right away.

“I may level her out from a mile away, I used to be like ‘She’s positively not at this college,'” Kyrie tells CNN Travel today. “I went as much as her, and I’m a talker, so I simply launched myself.”

When Kyrie realized Natasha was British, she was even more interested. She harbored dreams of traveling the world when she was older — and in the meantime, figured making friends who lived abroad seemed key to making this a reality.

“But I additionally simply thought she was tremendous cute,” Kyrie admits.

Kyrie asked Natasha if she could add her as a friend on Facebook. Natasha hesitated, explaining she was hard to find there.

Kyrie got out her cellphone and looked up Natasha’s account there and then. She found the page quite easily, and sent through a friend request.

“I will not be capable to add you till I get again to England, I haven’t got service,” said Natasha.

Natasha was slightly overwhelmed at the amount of attention she was getting from these American teenagers.

“They have been all obsessive about me, as a result of it was highschool. People have been bringing me ice pops, foods and drinks,” she recalls, laughing. “So by the point that Kyrie was speaking to me, I’d already spoken to so many individuals.”

Plus, Natasha had never been big on social media. Adding people she’d just met in order to continue a conversation online was a new concept for her.

But later that day, after camp concluded, Kyrie went to work. When she arrived, digging her phone out of her pocket, she saw she had a notification.

Natasha had accepted her friend request.

“I used to be like, ‘Boy, she obtained again to England fast…'” says Kyrie today, laughing.

Natasha says she’d sifted through the 50-odd messages she’d received from the band camp attendees, saw Kyrie’s profile and clicked accept.

She’d been intrigued by Kyrie too.

“It’s humorous, as a result of that day, really, after I’d simply seen her, barely talked to her, simply launched myself, that was it,” says Kyrie. “I informed all my pals I used to be going to marry her someday. My pals have been like, ‘You cannot simply marry some girl from England!'”

But for Kyrie, it was a sort of gut instinct.

“I simply noticed her and knew she was it,” she says. “I knew it wasn’t going to be simple, as a result of she lived in England and I lived in America. I did not understand how tough it was.”

She sends seashells

210819093401-03-chance-encounters-kyrie-and-natasha

Natasha (left) and Kyrie visited Berlin in June 2017 as their relationship blossomed.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

A week or so after the band camp meeting, Kyrie was on vacation at the beach.

She found herself thinking of Natasha, who’d mentioned she was from the British seaside town of Brighton. She snapped a photo of a shell that caught her eye, and sent it to her.

Natasha responded, and a dialogue started up.

“We talked a bit bit, and a bit bit — after which it was like we have been speaking each day, all day — each free second we had,” says Natasha.

In some ways, their lives were quite similar — they were both finishing up school, both still living at home.

But they realized Natasha had a bit more independence in the UK, where you can go to pubs and bars from the age of 18.

She entertained Kyrie with stories of evenings out with her friends, while Kyrie told Natasha about American high school.

As they swapped experiences, they migrated from messaging to Skype. Before long, they were sending one another letters and tidbits in the post.

It was exciting, but it wasn’t easy. If Kyrie’s parents realized she was talking to Natasha late at night, they’d sometimes switch off the Wi-Fi.

At the time, Kyrie says, her parents weren’t very accepting of the fact she was gay.

On Skype, Natasha was talking to Kyrie about her dream of one day owning a one-bedroom apartment.

She said she wanted them to live in the flat together.

It was the conversation that sealed it. They were determined to be together, somehow, somewhere.

They changed their relationship statuses on Facebook. It was September 23, just over a month since the two had met at band camp.

But Kyrie and Natasha didn’t meet again in person for another two years.

Across the pond

Natasha and Kyrie wrote letters throughout their time aside.

Natasha and Kyrie wrote letters during their time apart.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

Over that period, Kyrie and Natasha turned 18, then 19, moved out of their parents’ homes and started their adult lives.

A big part of their imagined future was being together, but it wasn’t easy to envisage how they’d get there.

“We began trying into how we will make this actual,” recalls Natasha.

They realized they’d have to save up for a plane ticket, and that was going to take some time.

Kyrie made slightly more money in her job, so they decided she’d visit Natasha in the UK when she had the funds.

In August 2013, Kyrie booked a plane ticket for that Thanksgiving. For the next three months, every day was a countdown, and then finally she was on the flight.

As she was crossing the Atlantic, Kyrie felt occasional pangs of worry — what if Natasha wasn’t going to be at the airport waiting for her? What if the relationship wasn’t what she thought it was?

When she arrived at London’s Heathrow airport, she glanced around nervously and couldn’t see Natasha anywhere.

“I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be stranded in this nation, and I do not know anybody,'” recalls Kyrie.

Then amid the crowds, she spotted a guy who looked familiar. Kyrie had met Natasha’s parents on Skype, and she thought this man might be Natasha’s father.

“But I wasn’t actually certain. I imply, you’ll be able to solely see a lot over Skype in 2013 when every thing was pixelated.”

Kyrie looked at him, and he looked at her. I can’t go over there, she thought, what if I’ve got it wrong?

Then suddenly Natasha appeared, pushing through the crowds, waving, explaining she’d picked the wrong moment to duck into the bathroom.

After this inauspicious start, the trip was a brilliant success. Natasha and Kyrie had booked a vacation rental in the countryside, they also spent time together in London. Kyrie fit right in with Natasha’s friends and family. They say it just felt right.

When the trip came to an end and Kyrie was getting ready to leave, the two vowed not to leave it so long until their next reunion.

“From then onwards, we did go backwards and forwards,” says Natasha.

Romance on ice

A frozen Niagara Falls in the winter of early 2014 supplied a romantic backdrop for the couple.

A frozen Niagara Falls in the winter of early 2014 provided a romantic backdrop for the couple.

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

The following year, on Valentine’s Day 2014, she met Kyrie at Niagara Falls, where the cascading waters were unexpectedly frozen, rendered even more spectacular.

When they traveled from Canada back to the US, the border patrol officer asked how they met. When the couple explained it was at band camp, he asked them what instruments they played.

“I stated ‘trumpet’ and he or she stated ‘I do not play something,’ and for a second I did not assume they have been going to let her again in with me as a result of it positively did not appear real,” says Kyrie.

It wasn’t the first time someone had raised an eyebrow about the unlikeliness of an American and an English girl meeting at band camp.

That summer, Kyrie visited the UK for a month.

“By this time, I’d purchased a home — I’d purchased that flat I used to be speaking about,” says Natasha.

The two stayed there together. One weekend they went on a trip to Paris, wandering around the Louvre, spending afternoons at the museum and soaking up the city’s ambiance.

In front of the Eiffel Tower, they sat on the grass, gazing at the view.

That’s when Natasha produced two rings, and asked Kyrie to marry her.

It was three years since they’d met at band camp, and thousands of messages later. Kyrie said yes, and they were both delighted.

But back home, when the two started looking into how visas could work, the reality of the situation sunk in.

The goal was that Kyrie would move to the UK after they were married, but they hadn’t realized just how costly the visa process was.

“It was so miserable,” says Kyrie.

The couple started saving. Two years passed, during which time they refrained from buying costly plane tickets and didn’t see one another in person.

Instead, their relationship reverted back to non-stop messaging and video calls. They’d eat together on video call, or sync up their screens and watch TV and film together.

By the end of 2016, they had the funds. Kyrie traveled to the UK that Christmas.

They made their wedding arrangements, deciding they wanted to get married in the US, at Niagara Falls, which held a special place in their hearts.

Then they’d travel back to the UK and settle there permanently.

Kyrie and Natasha rings

The couple’s engagement rings.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

On August 17, 2017, Kyrie and Natasha got married in Niagara Falls, with Kyrie’s parents there as witnesses. The couple had a big celebratory party a couple days later, with Natasha’s family in attendance too. Kyrie took Natasha’s last name, also becoming a Fisher.

They’d decided in advance they weren’t going to get new wedding rings, but would use their engagement rings to save money.

But Kyrie had something up her sleeve.

“I believed ‘you solely get married as soon as, so I’m going to purchase the marriage bands as a shock,'” says Kyrie.

They were in a bag that had belonged to Kyrie’s mom, which served as the “one thing borrowed” for the occasion.

Natasha only realized what Kyrie had done when the rings were pulled out of the bag during the ceremony.

“It was such an ideal second,” says Kyrie.

Moving in

Kyrie and Natasha on their wedding ceremony day in August 2017 at Niagara Falls.

Kyrie and Natasha on their wedding day in August 2017 at Niagara Falls.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

Kyrie and Natasha were thrilled to start the next chapter of their life together, and the next step would be Natasha heading back to the UK for a bit, before Kyrie joined her.

But in the afterglow of the wedding, the thought of separating again, even for a short while, felt impossible.

“We determined, ‘Actually, I do not assume we may be aside for a month, that is going to be too exhausting,'” says Kyrie. “Then we’re like, ‘Can we keep in America, is that lifelike?'”

All their plans so far had been about settling in the UK. They had to switch tack entirely, get a different lawyer, figure out if this was doable, and something they wanted.

It was. Natasha stayed in the US. She’d only packed for the wedding, but she left everything else behind in the UK. Kyrie had also moved a bunch of stuff to England in preparation for living there full time. She left that behind too.

“I feel my mum shipped over some sentimental stuff, however probably not something,” says Natasha.

The two didn’t care — they were just so relieved to be together and settle into this new stage.

They’d also adopted a dog, Max.

It was a whirlwind, they admit now, and it was tough for Natasha, who is very close to her parents.

“My mother and father have at all times been super-supportive, however I do not assume they ever thought that it will be one thing that might really work out,” she says, referring to the earlier years of long-distance messaging with Kyrie.

Her friends too, had been supportive, but they also weren’t sure how this online relationship would pan out.

“I feel everybody did assume it was only a pipe dream,” she says. “No one ever thought I’d transfer right here, as a result of I at all times stated she’d moved to England with me.”

Kyrie’s parents, meanwhile, had come round to the relationship. Kyrie thinks it was the possibility of their daughter potentially moving to England that changed their mind. They were so happy when she decided to stay in the US, and they welcomed Natasha too.

Settling into their new life together, the couple ended up buying Kyrie’s grandmother’s house. It was a fixer-upper, and they spent time renovating it together.

Despite taking these big steps, it still took a while for it to sink in that this was their real life.

“I feel at the start it was similar to I used to be on trip. Everything was so thrilling, every thing was so new,” said Natasha. “And we lived in that middle-of-nowhere space in Pennsylvania the place I’d initially gone, and it appeared nice as a result of we have been collectively.”

As they adjusted to living together full time, they realized, with surprise, how different some elements of US and UK culture are — whether it was food choices, or how American towns are built for cars, not pedestrians.

But none of it really mattered to them. They’d finally achieved their long-fought-for goal — they were together at last.

Starting their family

The couple and their son Jackson visited Florida in 2019.

The couple and their son Jackson visited Florida in 2019.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

About a month or so after the wedding, Kyrie and Natasha were eating dinner together when Natasha said she thought they should have a kid.

Having children had long been Kyrie’s goal, but Natasha had been less sure, but now she knew she wanted this too.

At the end of 2018, Kyrie and Natasha’s son Jackson was born. It was a celebratory time, but also a tough period.

Jackson was originally a twin, and his twin passed away.

The couple supported one another through this devastating loss. They got into a routine of Kyrie going to work and Natasha staying home with the baby.

And as time went on, they decided they wanted to move out of Pennsylvania.

It just so happened that they went on a family trip to Disney World in Florida in February 2019, when Jackson was four months old.

It was a special, healing trip and the family fell in love with Florida’s sunshine.

Within a few months, they’d packed up two cars and relocated south.

After the difficulties of the year before, 2019 was a year of renewal, filled with special memories for the growing family.

“We have been doing a great deal of issues, and that was nice,” says Natasha. “My mother and father came to visit and so they beloved being right here at the pool. We went over there twice. We went to all of the Fall Festivals over right here, all of the Christmas issues, that was superb.

“And then Covid happened.”

Coping with the pandemic

The couple hope to introduce their son to his British grandparents soon.

The couple hope to introduce their son to his British grandparents quickly.

Courtesy Kyrie Fisher & Natasha Fisher

Natasha says she nonetheless remembers watching the information announcement in March 2020, her coronary heart sinking as she heard concerning the journey ban on flights from Europe and the UK.

She could not imagine it. Her mum had visited solely a few weeks earlier than.

Months handed, international locations locked down and borders remained closed.

In summer time 2020, Kyrie and Natasha determined that since flying wherever was out of the query, this is likely to be the appropriate time to have one other baby.

Their son Alfie was born earlier in 2021, and Natasha’s household nonetheless have not met him in particular person, as British folks nonetheless cannot journey to the US.

While Americans can now go to the UK, Natasha is at present ready for her Green Card to be renewed, to allow them to’t go wherever for some time. Plus, touring with younger kids throughout the pandemic is a fear.

It’s been a tricky time, however Kyrie and Natasha are additionally relieved they’d began their life collectively earlier than Covid hit.

“I’m part of the Love is Not Tourism page on Facebook, and there’s so many people on there who are couples who can’t see each other because they’re not married,” says Natasha.

“We’ve had to support each other, talk to my parents and support them and vice versa, because they’re desperate to meet their new grandson.”

The household are hoping to go to the UK in October if circumstances enable.

Spontaneity and dedication

Natasha and Kyrie have navigated their relationship by way of a decade of ups and downs, from being youngsters messaging throughout the Atlantic from their household houses, to being mother and father dealing with loss and elevating kids collectively.

They assume their connection works as a result of they’re each passionate and spontaneous, and help each other by way of their wildest desires and ambitions.

“We both aim for the impossible and then try and work out how we can get there,” says Natasha.

“There’s nobody else who I’ve ever met where I could just move countries with two suitcases and just be like, ‘OK, we can do this.'”

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