Disclosure: Some posts contain referral links (much love if you use them!). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any entities.
Hey there! If you’ve been reading our blog for a minute – or are just our friends – you probably know who we are already. But if not, today we are diving into a little bit about us and what makes us tick!
Let’s start at in the middle, why don’t we! Sarah and I met in Germany at Bodenseehof Bible School. We were two of around 110 students from ~16 different countries who descended into the small town of Fischbach, Germany for a year of exploring, learning and growing.
It was – to put it simply – an incredible year. A majority of the students would agree it was one of the best years of their lives. It is one of those experiences that I find hard to talk about or convey because it was so intimate… words almost seem to cheapen it. The Bodenseehof memories are strong; and as the years pass and the memories slip, the indescribable feeling of warmth and of home grows even deeper.
Sarah and I knew each other decently well enough at Bible School, but I wouldn’t say we were by any means close. I was in a long-term relationship, and Sarah was kinda-sorta in a relationship too. Amusingly enough, we even went on a double-date at the time.
Bible School ended and everyone moved on – many of us back to our countries of origin. Sarah headed back to Canada and I went back to Maryland, and that was that. Our friends had other plans, though.
Sarah and I reconnected when she was down in Maryland visiting a friend from Bible School. Our friends totally take credit for arranging our hangout, and they might have a point. Anyways, a year+ after Germany, we started dating in the summer of 2012. We dated for a year, were engaged for a year and then got married in the summer of 2014 in Maryland and Sarah moved
All of that is important because of what I feel like it reveals about the two of us and how we work. We are both pretty adventurous – taking a year off post-high school to live in Germany – and really dig learning about new cultures and different ways of doing things.
Sarah moved all over when she was a youngin’ – from Canada for a couple years, to Germany for 6 years and then back to Canada again, so Europe + travel is kind of in her blood. Me on the other hand – I’ve basically lived in the same house my whole life, so I guess exploring is an area Sarah definitely pushed me into. But we have a lot of fun together and thanks to Bible School and University, we have a lot of friends all over the world 🙂
The fact that Sarah grew up in Germany was one of the reasons that she was drawn back to Bodenseehof. My journey there was a little different – my Dad went there and it had such an impact that he named me after the founder of the school, Major W. Ian Thomas. Knowing that growing up, I’d always had a strong pull to attend Bodenseehof after high school.
Given the circumstances of our meeting, traveling is something we love doing. We take every opportunity we can to hop on a plane or jump in the car to experience something new. Traveling is also expensive and it was no different when I was a college student living in Alabama trying to get up to Toronto to visit my girlfriend.
It was around that time when I was introduced to credit cards and the many doors that they open up. It wasn’t long before I was taking flights up to Buffalo on Southwest covered by the points earned with sign-up bonuses.
That travel-love has definitely been a big part of our marriage and any time we take vacations, we are looking at the different ways we can help offset costs with miles and points to make our trip a little bit longer, a little bit cheaper or both!
Life these days
Sarah and I graduated from University in 2014. I just finished my MBA in 2017. We bought a house in 2018. Our families live 13 hours away, 8 hours apart. We are pulled in a lot of different directions. Bills to pay, house stuff, car stuff – it all adds up!
Sarah owns her own calligraphy business and does her thing over at True North Paper Co., and I work for the government. Both of our jobs allow us a level of flexibility that we cherish and it has allowed us to see and do a lot of fun things over the years.
We don’t have a bunch of money or extra income. Credit cards kind of are our extra income. Credit cards and sign-up bonuses help us travel. It is because of these perks that we were able to head to Australia and New Zealand for three weeks and pay under $1,000!
We don’t travel because we have a lot of money, we travel because credit card sign-up bonuses make it so cheap! It might seem like we have everything together with credit cards and miles & points, but there is still so much that we’re continually learning – don’t let that intimidate you from getting started!
The Simple Summary
Sarah and I had a pretty unconventional long-distance relationship, but because of it, I discovered the benefits of credit cards, miles & points! Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to travel around a decent bit for a fraction of the price.
I hope this glimpse into our story was insightful. If you have any questions about us, credit cards… house renovations… fiance visas… travel – hit us up at [email protected]! We’d love to get to know you!