Couple: Kim & Ash Spencer
Country of Origin: USA & UK
Country of Residence: USA (Florida)
- Where and when did you and your partner first meet?
Ash and I met onboard the Carnival Magic in January, 2012 where we were both working.
- What were you doing onboard?
Ash was a Corporate Trainer and I was an Entertainment Lighting Technician, so he conducted the training when I first joined the ship. Since it was my first time onboard, I remember that Ash seemed like the only person who knew what was going on in such a crazy, new environment, so I decided right away to follow his lead!
- What are you both doing now?
Ash is now the Director of Global Talent Attraction for Carnival Cruise Line and I most recently worked in System Sales for an entertainment lighting integration company.
- Where and what was your first date?
I invited Ash to join a party that was being hosted by the Entertainment Team. I ended up giving him a tour of the backstage and showing him how some of the magic show tricks worked. We spent hours just talking!
- What was the best and worst part of working and living together onboard?
The best part was being able to travel the world together! We were lucky enough to have contracts in South America and the South Pacific, so we were able to share some amazing experiences together. We were also blessed to be able to spend so much time together -from coffee breaks to helping each other at work. Ash helped me clean lighting fixtures and I helped him decorate for crew parties!
The worst part was when our contracts didn’t line up and we had to spend anywhere from a few weeks to six months apart. We joke about how we probably spent a fortune on phone and internet cards, but joking aside, we really did spend so much money!
- What was/is the most challenging part of dating somebody from a different country?
It was difficult to see where our futures would lead us. I knew I wouldn’t work onboard a ship forever, so we didn’t know how it would be possible for us to live and work in the same country. Luckily, getting married solved that problem!
- What cultural differences have been the most difficult to adapt to?
Luckily, the US and UK aren’t that different! However, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to driving on the left-hand-side of the road in England! Also, any time we go through the fast food drive-thru in the US, the employees rarely understand Ash’s accent, so I often have to order for him! 🙂
- Do you have any funny language barrier stories you can share?
At my first family dinner while visiting Ash’s family in England, I was trying to describe my Grandmother’s personality. I said she was very ‘spunky’! In American-English, this means, plucky or spirited; however, in British-English, ‘spunk’ means something very different! You’ll have to look it up! Fortunately, we all had a laugh, but it was really embarrassing!!!
- What have been your biggest lessons/takeaways from dating across cultures?
Laugh at your differences!
To this day, we are still learning about each other’s idiosyncrasies – how different our childhoods were and the difference between American/British words and phrases. Sometimes I still can’t understand his accent! 😊
- What are your plans for the future?
We keep thinking about expanding our family, but we have a few travel goals we want to achieve first!