It is (mostly) a tale of three cities, two cultures, one island, and one overwhelming desire to correct every spelling and grammar mistake the world over. It’s also a tale of legendary, ageing angst-rockers Pink Floyd vs. the young(er) power-punk supergroup Linkin Park. A tale of Sex and the City vs. Seinfeld. And, sadly, a tale that is currently separated by 2,320 kilometers; cultural and generational differences; and even widely differing opinions on cats vs. dogs.
But wait… Matthew and Rebecca are planning to get married? Is it a marriage of convenience so he can get his foot in the door to a life of luxury in a Balinese paradise? Or the marriage of a fan to her publishing idol? Of course not! So let us explain a little more…
Matthew and Rebecca’s life “together” actually started years ago when she became a senior writer with DestinAsian magazine, which, up until Matt helped launch (as editor-in-chief) Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, was the region’s biggest travel magazine.
In her many free hours (read: in between crushing deadlines and frustrating queries to obstinate tourism organizations), Rebecca gazed with wonder at Matt’s handsome profile photo in the magazine (this is Matt writing, by the way, so allow me some freedom of artistic license), thinking: I wonder what it would be like working for such a clearly capable man and excellent editor.
Meantime, thousands of kilometers away, Matt slaved away at the new magazine, shunning social gatherings and trade shows, putting words in the right order (“what an editor does”) and generally knuckling down. He was even officially Stressed Out from time to time. A proper doctor told him so.
So when they eventually and serendipitously met and discovered that they both worked in travel publishing and both had a fondness for obscure general knowledge and arcane philosophy (coupled with not suffering fools gladly), sparks—as they say—flew.
Then, as they realized they both LOVE celebrity gossip, food, fashion, E! Entertainment, food, science, philosophy, food, even more celebrity gossip, religious ideas, and the weirdest trivia in the world, they fell for each other. That and they find each other totally irresistible…
They are also both fluent in Publishese, an obscure language used by editorial types. When Rebecca revealed that she knows the difference between “nameplate” and “masthead,” Matt was even more smitten. He does, of course, love language and love people who can take it seriously as well as humorously.
And when Rebecca saw a man capable of not only launching a magazine that, some have said, changed the media landscape in Asia, but also capable of compassion, humility and intellect (and with a raucous sense of humor and silliness, plus a passion for Friends), she was also even more smitten.
Some ask us: how do you deal with the distance factor? We say: we see each other online more than most couples see each other face to face. Some ask us: is age a factor? We say yes! Rebecca is wise beyond her years, while Matthew has a tendency to act younger than his age (putting it politely).
Others ask: what about culture? We say: we both share a common love–hate relationships with cultural “performances” but have the utmost respect for each other’s cultures. She loves his Englishness and fondness for tea; he loves her commitment to family values and fondness for babi guling.
Some simply ask us why, and we say that we believe that our love is divinely inspired. That we do… And we’ll say “we do” on a date that will be revealed very, very soon…