Mike and Ashley met on a warm August afternoon in 2002. Ashley was in the process of moving in with her brother, Ryan, to attend university and Mike just happened to be over at Ryan’s place. The first thing Mike ever told her was that there was no way her many boxes of stuff would ever fit into her tiny 8 foot by 8 foot bedroom. He was wrong, but she didn’t hold it against him. Before long, Ryan informed Ashley that if she was ever going to date any of his friends, she shouldn’t date Mike. He was also wrong. After numerous conversations about great bands and music, Mike and Ashley started dating in November 2002. At the start of their relationship, Mike told Ashley that he didn’t believe in love and that he never wanted to get married. Yep, he was wrong about that too. They got married in their backyard in Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, on June 30, 2007 (by none other than Chinese Elvis). Mike (an engineer) and Ashley (a teacher) were set to live happily ever after in their century-old home, attending concerts and living the North American dream.
Then on March 1, 2010, they decided that there was something missing. They wanted to travel. And not just for Mike’s three weeks of holidays each year. The trip originally took form as a year long adventure. But, after both Mike and Ashley were denied leaves of absences from work, they got rid of the timeline. They quit their jobs, sold their house, sold their worldly possessions, and are now traveling the world.
Some Interesting Facts about Mike:
- He has made his own cheese.
- He has made his own beer.
- He likes to bake bread by hand – no bread machine.
- His ideal diet consists of cheese, beer, and bread…
- …except once, when he went on an all meat diet.
- He graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Industrial Systems Engineering) in 2005.
- He once owned his own tire shop.
- He has a yellow belt in Renbukai Karate
- He was elected as town councillor twice in the town he grew up in.
- He loves cheesy kung-fu and gore movies.
- His first major purchase in life was an excessively loud stereo system, despite having no job, no money, rent that was due, and tuition to pay.
Some Interesting Facts about Ashley:
- She decided that she wanted to be a teacher in Grade 1, as soon as she ruled out the runner-ups: baby-sitter and artist (a classmate had told her that artists have to live and work in an attic while they starve, which is probably why teacher won out).
- She took a 5 year double-degree program in University – a Bachelor of Education & Bachelor of Science (mathematics) – strictly to challenge herself, not because it was required for her career.
- She taught high school math for four years.
- Her head doesn’t sweat. Seriously. It never has. No sweat above the neckline. Which is probably why she gets migraines from the heat.
- She likes organization, but hates to clean. So having no more belongings than will fit a backpack will work well for her.
- Except for band trips and Minot, North Dakota (which doesn’t really count), she never left the province of Saskatchewan until her third year of university.
- She is possibly the clutziest person on Earth. This is not an exaggeration..she once gave herself a concussion climbing into a truck.
- She spent her childhood living above a grocery store that her parents owned.
- She has an inexplicable appreciation of all things mathematical.
- She’s a bit of an adrenalin junkie – roller coasters, bungee jumping, sky diving, white water rafting… bring it on!
- She’s a big Saskatchewan Roughrider fan (that’s a team in the Canadian Football League).