Distance doesn’t mean much in the Linkin Park Underground. The LPU Summits are growing more diverse, and some of the strongest bonds are made thousands of miles apart. Just as distance did not stop Raissa and Kai, or Lizzi and Paul, James and Martina closed the distance that started in between them, now living a life together in New Zealand.
This is the story of how I met my wife Martina.
In 2007, I was a regular member of the LPU chat room. I remember one day someone entered the chat room, upset about something and was looking for one of her friends she could talk to but I was the only one there at the time. We started talking, became very fast friends and used MSN Messenger to talk and even video call once or twice. Her name was Martina and she was living in Germany and I was living in New Zealand. We both felt a connection and even talked about starting a relationship, but I decided the distance would be too difficult for it to work. Boy was I wrong.
17th March 2007 was my 18th birthday party. I had a few of my friends over and one came with one of her friends…my memory gets a little blurry here, but long story short, she ended up kissing me. But I had this strange feeling, like I had “cheated” on Tina. That’s when I realized that it was worth a shot. That she was worth the struggle of distance.
After a while, we knew we needed to meet in person. Ten months after we met in the LPU, she jumped on a plane and flew to the other side of the world to meet me. Those three weeks were easily amongst the best time of our lives. She met my family and friends, we really got to know each other and knew we could make it work. Six months after that it was my turn to fly to her. Another three weeks of some of the best times of our lives! I got to know her family and friends just as she had mine. At this stage we knew we wanted to be together in person forever. Unfortunately I could not talk German, however Tina loved New Zealand and had some family in Australia. The hardest part of all that was talking to our parents about our plans. Thankfully all of them were understanding and amazing people who only helped to support us.
It was another six months afterwards that Tini moved to New Zealand for me and me alone. Can you imagine that? You leave your friends, your family, your job and your life to live with someone on the other side of the world. That’s how much she loved and trusted me. I already knew she was an incredible person but that- that’s just a whole new level.
One of our dreams was to see Linkin Park live together. She arrived after the Minutes to Midnight tour cycle and they only seem to come to New Zealand once every second album. Three years ago during the Living Things World Tour in 2013 we finally got our chance! I wanted to talk with Mike quickly just to say thanks for bringing this beautiful woman into my life, but I was rather star struck and just spoke gibberish, haha. We sung our lungs out that night and enjoyed watching the band that brought us together.
Today, we have been together almost nine years, married for two years. We own a house, have three cats along with a bunch of amazing friends we have made along the way. We have had people ask us about how we made it work starting from such a long distance; I don’t know if we have a answer but what I can say is that we both had a strong connection to music that initially got us together. I guess when you love someone unconditionally, distance is just a obstacle to get around.