Relationship

How we met: 'I actually thought he fancied someone else'


Scott Wooderson met Kate Parkinson in 2010, shortly before they were due to embark on a nine-month overland trip from London to Sydney. “It was an organised tour with 40 people in a truck,” he says. “We all met in Covent Garden [in central London] to get to know each other before we left.” They met only briefly and neither remembers much about the exchange. “Apparently, I turned my back on him, but I don’t remember. I’m always a bit anxious in large groups,” says Kate.

They set off in August and quickly built a friendship. As they travelled through Europe, the pair spent plenty of time together, but neither anticipated romance. “I remember thinking he was really shy,” says Kate. “And I actually thought he fancied someone else on the trip.” Scott had recently gone through a breakup, while Kate was in a long-distance relationship with someone back home that “wasn’t really working out”. She admits that she noticed Scott’s adventurous spirit and was “impressed” when he fearlessly tackled a bungee jump in Nepal. “Everyone else in the group was really scared and he just leapt off. I thought that was cool.”

But it was not until they reached China in December that the dynamic between them began to change. “It was Kate’s birthday. I took her for a walk while the others went to buy her presents,” says Scott. “It was the first time we’d really been alone together and we were in this romantic spot next to a river lit by lanterns.” Although they both felt an attraction, they were not ready to admit their feelings. “In the end, one of our friends told me that Scott liked me, but we hadn’t actually told each other,” Kate says, laughing.

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Scott and Kate in Singapore in 2011, en route to Sydney



Scott and Kate in Singapore in 2011, en route to Sydney.

They became a couple shortly afterwards, but the rest of the group did not find out straight away. “We’d been camping out in -40C weather and going without showers for days. Often we’d sleep all huddled up together or just crash in different rooms in pairs,” says Scott. “One day, we stopped at this lay-by in northern Laos and set up a two-man tent together. That was when everyone else realised that we were together.”

After reaching Indonesia in April 2011, the couple flew to Sydney. “There was an option to continue by boat, but I get seasick,” says Kate. They spent the next five months travelling and working in Australia before returning to Scott’s hometown in Suffolk. It wasn’t long before they started to get itchy feet again. “In 2013, I got a job offer to work as a vet in New Zealand,” says Kate. “We moved within a month, arriving with nothing but a couple of suitcases. I love that Scott is always up for an adventure. We ended up sleeping on the floor for the first month.” He found work in a timber sawmill and they enjoyed exploring the country together.

In August 2015, they decided to move home to be closer to their family. On the way back, they stopped in the US for a month-long road trip, where Scott proposed. “A year later, we hired a posh Airbnb to get married and then we had a party in the village hall for more people,” Kate says. “We had a truck-shaped cake and lots of our friends from the trip joined us.”

The couple now live in Suffolk with their cat. Kate still works as a vet and Scott is an engineer. They spend their time walking, canoeing, seeing family, travelling on Scott’s motorbike and visiting car shows.

“My mum always says that Scott calms me down and I jazz him up,” says Kate. “He’s so kind and lovely. He loves cats just as much as I do and he’s got a nice bum, too.” Scott says his wife is funny and more outgoing than him. “We both love to travel and we’ve had some incredible adventures together. We’ve been through highs and lows, but we love each other as much as ever.”



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