Go to a border ditch? How this couple divided by a pandemic occurs during a passage between the United States and Canada


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Instead of going down the aisle next week, Savannah Koop and Ryan Hamilton will meet on either side of the Canada-US border – six feet and an international border apart.

“We meet on these two parallel roads between the Sumas border crossing and the Aldergrove border crossing,” said Hamilton, who lives in Bellingham, Wash.

He and Koop, who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, have been separated since the COVID-19 pandemic closed in mid-March. The couple had to postpone their May 8 wedding and their closest physical contact is to walk around and speak along the border itself.

“There are quite a few places on the border where we can get close, as close as six feet,” said Hamilton. The stream Matt Galloway.

“But most of the time, there is a real gap that is a little further than that. We can usually see each other very well and we can get along, ”he said.

While Koop and Hamilton walk together on opposite sides of the border, there are places where they can be separated by six feet and places where the distance is much greater. (Submitted by Savannah Koop)

“It’s funny because people always say” oh, you haven’t seen it “and I guess yes, I have seen it, but it’s different than normal. “

Koop said it was difficult not to be physically close and comforted in this difficult time, but they are making the most of it.

“It’s a tough season for everyone and it’s hard not to be together,” Koop told Galloway.

“We just had to be creative and try to have fun with it. “

Applications correspond to users from neighboring countries

The couple met on the Hinge dating app last July – it’s common for people living in border towns to correspond with someone in their neighboring country – but it wasn’t exactly love at first attempt.

“I didn’t think she had a great super profile,” said Hamilton. “She seemed to be an interesting person, but she didn’t have pictures as beautiful as I expected. “

The couple were to be married next week. (Submitted by Ryan Hamiliton)

But Koop was not sure either.

They went to make a first date with a coffee and watch the sunset over the San Juan Islands.

“The date he planned was like the best date I have known, and we, like, talked effortlessly for hours,” she told Galloway. “But I was really like, he’s not very funny, and he’s a little weird. “

However, about a month later, the couple had warmed up and officially dated.

“I never thought I would meet the love of my life on a dating app, but here we are,” said Hamilton.

A short commitment cannot exceed the pandemic

The couple got engaged on March 1 and decided on a short engagement.

Koop’s parents live in Europe, but were already planning a trip to Canada in May, when Koop’s sister was due to give birth to their first grandchild.

Two weeks after our engagement, we were separated– Savannah Koop

“We thought, hey, why don’t we get married while they’re here? So they only have to cross the world once this year, “she said.

Friends gathered to organize their wedding in just a few weeks.

“We had a friend who offered us his property, another friend was going to take the pictures … everything was just falling into place,” said Koop.

But then when Koop returned from a visit to Washington – “we had literally just done our marriage registry at Target,” she said – advice came for Canadians to quarantine for 14 days s ‘they had visited another country.

Within days, the total suspension of non-essential travel between the two countries was suspended.

“So two weeks after we joined, we were separated,” said Koop.

Koop and Hamilton will often bring blankets and snacks so they can sit and talk for a while. (Submitted by Savannah Koop)

“Grateful” for the challenge of the pandemic

The initial closure was scheduled to end on April 21 and the couple hoped to still be able to accommodate their 150 guests on May 8, many of whom came from around the world.

When the US and Canadian governments agreed to extend the border restrictions for another 30 days, they decided to postpone.

“It is difficult to go through something like this, to cancel all the plans we had and to mourn the loss of that, and not to be able to hug or be physically close to each other”, a Koop told Galloway.

” [But] I was saying to Ryan last night, as hard as it is, and I don’t like him, I’m also grateful to him, “she said.

“It pushed our relationship in a way that we would not have been pushed if it had not happened. “

Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Anne Penman.


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