Make It Last Forever: Amirah And Jarrell The Couple On An Indefinite Honeymoon Across The World
As soon as you hear Amirah And Jarrell’s story you’ll love and hate them. The Ohio natives are doing what most of us only dream of — traveling the world after quitting their jobs in corporate America– and they decided to embark on this adventure one year after they jumped the broom three years ago, opting for what they call an “indefinite honeymoon.” So far, the Mr. and Mrs. have been abroad for 23 months, visited 17 countries, and are currently spending their days in Greece. So how does a pair living such an unorthodox life make it last? Read on to find out straight from Amirah.
MN: How and when did you two first meet?
We met when we were 7-years old. Jarrell’s grandfather started a track & field club, and we spent our summers traveling, competing in meets throughout the states. We grew up in a small city, attending rival schools, so we were never too far from each other. We are both the youngest children in athletic families, so to this day we will randomly challenge each other to a race. Always competitive, and kids at heart, we both think we’re the fastest. I can beat him when he’s in flip flops.
MN: Who first had the idea for an indefinite honeymoon and what was the other’s reaction?
Technically it was my idea. I thought it would be so cool to go on an indefinite adventure together, and traveling long term was always a dream of mine. Jarrell loved the idea of experiencing the world together and actually pushed me to make it happen when I got scared and tried to resort to a road trip throughout the states. Neither of us had ever been out of the country, so we didn’t know what we were doing. He pushed me to take a leap of faith and just go, without having it all figured out.
MN: How did your family and friends react to the honeymoon idea over a wedding? Did they try to talk you out of it?
Honestly, we didn’t choose to do one over the other, we just chose to do them both our own way. Our decisions weren’t based off of societal standards or our family’s expectations. We didn’t care what a bride or groom were supposed to look like, I didn’t buy one bridal magazine. Knowing that this was going to be a day we looked back on with our children, we wanted to write our history true to us. So we went shopping in LA to capture the essence of who we were when we got married. Jarrell bought his favorite sneakers, Jordan Concord 11s, and a leather Bulls SnapBack. I found a pair of white lace BCBG shorts and wore a matching suit jacket as my top. We flew to Vegas and had a ball partying together before having a night wedding and reception in the Wynn, for just the two of us. While our family and friends wanted to be there, everyone respected our decision. It set a precedent that we were going to live our lives how we wanted and not how people expected us to. I can go dress up as a beautiful bride whenever I want. But I could only look like my 25-year old self, beaming with that in-love glow, and youthful feeling of invincibility, in that moment. It was the beginning of our cool, young history.
MN: You got married fairly young for today’s standards, how did you know each other was the one?
We’re lucky enough to have close relationships with our parents. So Jarrell’s mother gave him a great example of what to look for in his wife, and I always say that my father gave me the perfect blueprint for finding my husband. Jarrell claims to have had a crush on me since we were running around the track as children, while I always say I crushed on him in high school. We dated in college and made a playful pact to get married at 27. I moved out to Los Angeles, but we remained close friends. When we were 25, we knew ourselves and what we wanted. So we moved the pact up a couple of years because we couldn’t wait any longer.
MN: A lot of the stress on new marriages is learning to live together, you all are doing over and over again while learning new cultures and meeting new people. What has that been like?
We spent our first year of marriage living in our hometown, so by the time we set out on our adventure, we were pretty used to living with each other. Experiencing new cultures and meeting new people around the world has been nothing short of amazing. We’re able to take pieces from different homes, cultures and lifestyles we encounter, to decide what will be best for our family.
MN: The other part of new marital stress is often dealing with in-laws, have you pretty much avoided that issue because you’re away from everyone? Do people visit you?
We actually delayed our honeymoon so that we could spend our first year of marriage around both sets of in-laws. We knew we were planning to travel indefinitely, so we went to every family function and dedicated a lot of time to soaking up as much as we could. Because we grew up together, our families already knew each other, and it wasn’t a typical in-law relationship. For example, Jarrell’s sister named her daughter after my sister, years before we ever thought of being married. My family loves Jarrell and his family loves me, so if anything, we miss them more than we’re avoiding them. We did get to meet up with Jarrell’s mother when she took a cruise to Mexico, while we happened to be living there for a month. My sister came to visit us in London and Amsterdam. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up with more relatives soon.
MN: Would you consider your marriage a typical one?
I think if you ever consider your marriage typical, you’re in trouble. It’s like buying a suit. An off-the-rack option is never going to fit you as great as a suit tailored specifically for you. So we focus on creating the life, and marriage, that best fits us. It may seem strange to others looking in, but from the inside, it’s a perfect fit.