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"Definitely coming from Australia to Canada, they are very different in their environment and weather patterns," says Tessa. "Long winters in Canada and long summers in Australia — that's really difficult, especially when you're married to a ski guide. It sounded so romantic at the time, but it means eternal winters and when I want to go back to Australia, which is for Christmas, that's Adam's really busy time."
And then kids entered the scene. Xanadu is four-years-old and Devon is two, and both children have dual citizenship.
"And then, once you have kids, you are always debating where to be and someone always has to make the sacrifice or the compromise," she says. "I want to be living here, but a lot of times I'd like to be in Australia, too – but that's not as feasible." Being a musician, Tessa's work is flexible, but, as she points out, there are not many mountains in Western Australia.
"It's a very romantic idea thinking that you can marry someone from somewhere else," says Adam, adding that it can be a very enriching experience by being exposed to other cultures and environments.
But at the same time it does have its challenges, he says, especially with having to go back to somebody else's home as a holiday destination.
"It's hard to be away from family," he continued. With his folks living in Ottawa and Tessa's in Australia, he says the distance causes them to long for that family connection at times.
"They are the kinds of things that you don't think about when you are 26 and getting married."
Tessa says having children altered their travel patterns too.
"You know what, it's actually since we had kids that we've been back to Australia," she says with a grin. "For the first four years I didn't go home. And once we had our first child, I've been back four times."
Tessa laughs when she recollects Xanadu's first trip to Australia when she was two years old. "She went to walk on the sand and she couldn't — she was afraid of it."
These stories are simply a smattering of examples of cross-border love set in the Sea to Sky corridor, where numerous couples have overcome tremendous ordeals in the pursuit of happiness and the goal of living together in Canada.
Michele Davidson, a professional celebrant, knows all about it.
She has been performing weddings in Whistler and the surrounding area for five years and in her experience, she has married Canadians to a bride or groom from "Britain, the United States, Australia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong... you name it," she said.
Davidson sums up this rise in international relationships perfectly.
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