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The only way for this committed couple to see each other right now is 6 feet apart, with an international border between them.
Savannah Koop, 25, lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and her fiance, Ryan Hamilton, 26, lives in Bellingham, Washington. When you live in border cities, it’s not uncommon for dating apps to match you with suitors from the neighboring country, and that’s what happened to them.
“The dating apps in our area just have a large radius you can match, and most people here end up matching someone in Canada,” Hamilton told BuzzFeed News.
Nor is it not uncommon for residents of these communities to cross the border often, whether for work or shopping or, in this case, dates.
It was last July. The pair quickly fell in love and started looking at the rings last winter. On March 1, Hamilton asked the question and they started planning a quick and simple wedding with the support of family and friends. They even had plans to come for a trip to Europe for their honeymoon.
“In a way, it seemed like the perfect storm – we just didn’t understand how bad the storm would end up,” said Hamilton.
The wedding was to take place on May 8, but like what has happened to so many life events, the new coronavirus pandemic has forced them to postpone.
“When they announced that the border would be closed for 30 days, we realized that we could not have the wedding,” said Koop.
But the border closure created another problem – Koop and Hamilton, who still live in their respective countries, could no longer see each other.
“You can’t cross the border if you don’t have any essential goals,” said Koop. That means you have to be someone like a doctor or nurse, or need a prescription that you can’t get at home. Weddings and seeing your fiance don’t count (they checked).
Koop therefore had an idea – they would just meet at the border.
Along the road between their places are parallel roads that run along the border, one road on each side, with no walls or fences in between. It may sound strange, but Canada and the United States have the longest undefended border in the world.
“But it’s basically a gap between the two – there are areas where it’s like a land bridge between the two,” said Koop. “Clearly, there is a lot of confidence that the Americans and Canadians will respect the border. “
And so, they started meeting in the evening, able to approach within 6 feet of each other. Koop will often bring a lawn chair and Hamilton will bring a blanket to sit on, as well as snacks and coffee. Sometimes they have to shout at the traffic noise. But they make it work.
They are not alone either. There are a lot of cameras and border officials on both sides on patrol. Officers often wave their hands and ask them what they are doing.
“I’m sure some of them know us well. They just wave with their hands, “said Koop. “We have had meetings before where they sit and watch all the time. “
“We tried to make it fun and exciting, but it’s a strange thing to work around,” said Hamilton.
Koop published a TikTok on their situation, which has more than 400,000 views.
Koop just posted it for fun and was surprised to see the views add up. Some people even said they saw the couple at their date or photos of them posted by other people.
” This is Notebook worthy, “wrote one person.
There is even a TikTok from someone else who spotted them on a date.
Although being able to see yourself is a blessing, it is always difficult to be so close but so far.
“Being able to take Ryan’s hand would make me so happy,” said Koop.
“We know that so many people are in more difficult situations, so we are very grateful to live in an area where we can see ourselves in real life. But it’s difficult because it’s a little teasing, and you still have to say goodbye. “